What Are Nutraceuticals?

Physician Stephen DeFelice, founder and president of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine, first used the word "nutraceutical" in 1989 to characterize products derived from food sources that provide additional health benefits beyond the basic nutritional value of foods. To be classified as a nutraceutical, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Come from a source of sustenance
  • Provide health benefits beyond those of general fundamental nutrition.

Today, the medical and health sector has adopted the term and used it as the basis for a number of treatments and products. The nutraceutical market is currently worth billions of dollars in the United States, Europe and Japan. So what makes this commodity so intriguing to everyone?

Nutraceutical products can help with symptom management, chronic disease risk reduction, disease treatment, and overall health promotion. Numerous nutraceuticals, including chondroitin sulfate, fish oils, glucosamine sulfate, and the herb boswellia, are well known for treating joint and spinal issues.

A nutraceutical product may provide a solitary nutrient or a combination of several ingredients. They might also be derived from plants or be created through genetic engineering as designer foods. Nutraceuticals can also be found in processed meals that have additional nutrients.

The Function of Nutraceuticals

These can be useful if a consumer's diet does not provide all the vitamins and nutrients their body needs. Since these circumstances can increase the number of nutrients our body needs, consumers who are treating an injury or illness or subjecting their body to additional physical exertion.

The nutrients in our food are broken down by a process called metabolism to create energy. Energy is provided by nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, while our systems need vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and water to maintain a healthy metabolism. Having enough nutrients allows our body's organs and systems to function properly and can speed full recovery from injuries or wounds. If we don't get enough nutrients, our systems may take longer to recover from injuries or may even get worse.

One of the best ways to make sure we maintain good health is to eat a healthy diet, which should include all the nutrients our bodies need to keep functioning properly. Consider taking these supplements if your diet is not providing your body with enough nutrients.

With nearly half of Americans taking at least one prescription drug, and many fed up with relying on pharmaceuticals or yearning to adopt a more holistic approach to health, nutraceuticals fill this need.

Benefits of Nutraceuticals

The fact that more and more Americans are consuming dietary supplements and that physicians are flocking to this industry speaks volumes about the perceived efficacy of nutraceuticals. Because they can help patients prevent disease and achieve their ideal levels of health, some physicians are even prescribing nutraceuticals instead of drugs.

Improving wellness

We are what we eat, and consumers are quickly realizing the value of nutraceuticals as a preventative health measure. Improving our ability to handle stress, as well as improving overall health, are some of the health benefits of nutraceuticals.

These products can support and enhance a balanced diet, allowing consumers to take charge of their health.

Could reduce the likelihood of chronic diseases

Nutraceuticals can be part of potent preventive measures, while prescription drugs can be an effective treatment option.

Consumers can take steps to prevent diseases from manifesting in the first place or stop disease before it becomes a major health problem, rather than fighting diseases once they have started. Nutraceuticals can help or contribute to the treatment of the following diseases:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Renal disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Infections
  • Allergies
  • Visual disorders

The treatment of these conditions, ailments and diseases can be made much more bearable or even avoided altogether with the use of nutraceuticals as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Prolonging life expectancy

As preventive medicine, nutritional supplements have been shown to greatly extend life expectancy. Diseases can be treated and recovered from more quickly if they are discovered early, before they become a serious problem or begin to affect the patient. Even better, therapy may not even be necessary.

Nutraceuticals have been shown to slow the aging process, which can extend life expectancy.

Help to improve the functioning of your body

Both the immune system and the body's biochemical functions can be significantly influenced by nutraceuticals. These consist of:

  • Protection of mitochondrial integrity
  • Antioxidant defense
  • Gene expression
  • Cell proliferation

Nutraceuticals can promote health and prevent disease by participating in these biological processes and helping our body.

The use of nutraceuticals can significantly improve the overall health of our body, which inevitably leads to an improvement in our mental well-being as well. Our happiness and overall mental health can be greatly affected by poor health. Fortunately, consumers can regulate their health and happiness thanks to nutraceuticals.