Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplement approaches to promote health and wellness

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Understanding Nutraceuticals Supplements

Nutraceuticals are food or part of food or prepare with extract from natural and herbal ingredients to supplement the human body's essential nutrients and help treat or prevent disease. Its may resources from multiple ingredients or single ingredient.

Nutraceutical Supplements are prepared with substances or extracts from herbs and natural ingredients in the form of powders, granules, tablets, capsules, liquids, jellies or other dosage forms are commonly sold as 'health products' that have health benefits.

Around 80% of people around the world rely on herbal remedies and herbal supplements as part of their primary health care.

What are Nutraceuticals?

The term Nutraceuticals was originally coined by Dr. Stephen L. DeFelice (founder and chairman of the Foundation of Innovation and Medicine in New Jersey) from the terms "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical".

Nutraceuticals are derived from food based ingredints include plants, herbs and animals.

nutrition+pharmaceuticals

Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, & Dietary Supplements

Nutraceuticals products are categorised under dietary supplements and mostly recommended for use to -

  • improve health condition,
  • delay the aging process,
  • prevent chronic diseases,
  • increase life expectancy,
  • support the structure or function of the body.

The term 'Functional foods' means foods that provide benefits beyond basic nutrition and may play a role in reducing the risk of certain diseases and other health conditions.

A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a dietary ingredient and / or a new dietary ingredient intended to supplement the diet.

Dietary Supplements are defined as products comprised of "dietary constituents" and orally administered to supplement the nutritional requrement of diet [ Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) 1994 in USA].

How Nutraceuticals Works in Human body?

The concept of nutritional supplements derived from the great philosopher and physician Hipocrate's quote let the food be your medicine and medicine be your food.

Nutraceutical products are used for the purpose of obtaining physiological benefits or preventing chronic diseases. The main goal is to maintain a balance between intake and nutritional requirements, so that the causes and symptoms of diseases can be overcome.

it may have very important role in human wellbeing

Formulation of Nutraceutical Supplements

There were many plants that were popular for their healing properties over the last millennia. Herbs and spices and their extracts are used extensively in the formulation of dietary supplements and nutritional products.

Generally Nutraceutical supplements are made with of formulation strategies. These are-

  1. Fortification
  2. Restoration
  3. Enrichment

Fortification

Addition of one or more essential nutrients to a food, wheather or not it is normallly contained in the food, for the purpose of preventing / correcting a demonstrated deficiency of one or more nutrients in the populationn or specific population groups.

Restoration

Addition of essential nutrients to a food which are lost during the courese of manufacturing process or during normal storage and handling procedures.

Enrichment

Used interchangeably with fortfication but elsewhere it has been defined as the increasing the level of vitamins and minerals in foods.

In addition, nutraceuticals supplements products may also contain ingredients, other than additives, which are either standardized or permitted for use in the preparation of other standardized foods.

Forms & Formats of Nutraceutical Supplements

capsules-tablets-pills

Nutraceuticals are formulated in the form of powders, granules, tablets, capsules, liquids, jelly or other dosage forms.

Nutraceuticals and dietary supplements are like Over-the-counter or OTC product. All of the nutraceuticals, vitamins, dietary supplements, herbal remedies and OTC products do not require a prescription to buy.

Categories of Nutraceuticals

The food products used as nutraceuticals can be categorized as dietary fibre, prebiotics, probiotics, phytochemicals (phenolic acids, flavonoids, carotenoids, tannins, lignans and stilbenes, antioxidants and other different types of herbal/ natural foods.

Nutraceuticals Food Sources

Dietary fiber

cereals and grains, Fruits, Oats, Barley, Beans, Cabbage

Prebiotics

Chicory Roots, Banana, Tomato, Alliums.

Probiotics

Curd, Beverages, Yogurt, Cheese and Pickles.

Antioxidants

Citrus fruits. Vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids are collectively known as antioxidant vitamins.

Phytochemicals

Tea, legumes

Vitamins and Minerals

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains

Spices

Turmeric, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, onion

Nutraceutical approaches to the treatment and prevention of diseases

Therapeutic effects of Nutraceuticals

Nutraceuticals, dietary supplements are not drug or pharmaceutical based solutions, but it has health benefits including treatment and disease prevention. Nutraceuticals effectively help in most therapeutic areas such as -

  • arthritis,
  • cold and cough,
  • sleep disorders,
  • digestion, and
  • prevention of specific cancers,
  • osteoporosis,
  • blood pressure,
  • cholesterol control,
  • pain relief,
  • depression, and
  • diabetes mellitus
They can be used as an alternative to modern medicine that improves the quality of health, increases the nutritional value of food, and prolongs life.

Safety and Standard of Nutraceuticals

At present, consumers are using dietary supplements for many indications believing them to be safer than synthetic substances, and this presumption of safety is erroneous.

Nutraceuticals regulation set out by US Food & Drug administration in USA and in India by Food Safety Standard Authority of India.

In India, FSSAI regulates the health supplements and nutraceuticals through Food and Safety Standards Act, 2006 and the regulations framed there under.

Health supplements and nutraceuticals

Despite the prevalence of consumption, there is limited evidence of health benefits related to the use of nutrients or supplements in well-nourished adults.