Dr Barclay has a double major undergraduate degree in nutrition and food science and a graduate diploma in dietetics. His PhD investigated the association between dietary carbohydrates and chronic disease. He has worked in clinical dietetics since 1994, public health nutrition since 1998 and academia since 2003. He has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 5 books, with his research presented at conferences around the world. He is an official spokesperson for the Dieticians Association of Australia.
Dr Barclay was invited to review the TCM Wellbeing Programme with the following comments in his executive summary.
Consuming the Herbal Decoction three times a day for 14 days without solids provides an estimated average daily energy intake of 646 – 786 kj per day for women and 646 – 822kj per day for men, and has generally low to moderate levels of most nutrients. Average energy requirements for Australian adults aged 31-50 years are 6,500 – 8500 kj per day. As such, it doesn’t provide sufficient nutrients as a stand-alone dietary regiment and is in a form of a fast.
However, the Herbal Decoction is not a true fast, but a modified form of a fast (a supplemented fast) because it provides some essential nutrients including but not limited to energy, carbohydrates, fat, protein, sodium and postassium.
Under testing conditions an average well-nourished adult is able to utilise body stores to maintain bodily functions for several months provided they meet their fluid (ie water or tea requirements). For an overweight/obese but otherwise healthy Australian adult, endogenous glycogen stores would be depleted with approximately 1-2 days of commencing the programme with gluconeogenesis providing essential glucose from protein stores (plus small amount of protein and carbohydrate are provided by the herbal decoction) from then on. By around day 3, ketone production from fat stores would become the body’s primary fuel source. In theory, an overweight/obese but otherwise healthy Australian adult would be able to last for longer than 77 days depending upon their initial degree of adiposity.
While the herbal decoction does not provide sufficient potassium to meet the recommended dietary intake (RDI) or adequate intake (AI) for an average Australian adult, it does provide some potassium. As long as the herbal decoction does not contribute to excessive losses of potassium in the urine or from the gastrointestinal tract, it should not cause a patient to have potassium levels equal to or less than 25mmol/L.
The addition of foods set out in the meal plan A (Lebanese cucumber and white protein) and Meal Plan B, (Lebanese cucumber, white protein and cooked green vegetables) increases energy and most of the nutrients, however all are less their respective NRVs with the exception of omega-3fat in women and selenium in women and men.
The TCMA approach is gentle, intuitive and has been credited with transforming the lives of many Australians, restoring their health and wellbeing.