Garlic is a go-to natural medicine for a lot of people worldwide. It’s no secret that this pungent bulb vegetable boasts a number of potent and beneficial effects against all sorts of bacterial and viral infections. Continue reading →
Eating the same foods every day can get boring, even if you’re already enjoying healthy dishes made with familiar ingredients. If you want to taste something new (and also nutritious), try adding harissa to your food.
Cool and tart lemonades are ideal refreshments for the hot summer months. But foodies and dietitians alike find that adding ground turmeric and ginger slices to lemonade creates a potent immune-boosting drink capable of fighting inflammation and protecting against infections like the flu. Continue reading →
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rich and aromatic spice popular in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. But on top of its uses in the kitchen, turmeric also has medicinal properties that render it a potent natural medicine for numerous ailments, from sprains to arthritis.
Following a vegetarian or vegan diet may be difficult for some. After all, there are some nutrients that you can only find in animal-based food products. In addition, only a few plant-based foods are capable of providing protein, an essential nutrient that helps build and repair body tissues, among other functions. Fortunately, vegetarians and vegans can rely on dietary supplements to meet their daily protein requirements. One of the best protein sources for people who don’t eat animal products is spirulina.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disorder marked by excessive inflammation that can damage several organs besides the joints. These include the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, kidneys and blood vessels. The disease attacks the lining of the joints (synovium) and causes a painful swelling that thickens the synovium. Eventually, this can lead to joint deformity, bone erosion and permanent disability. Continue reading →
People tend to spend more time outside during the hot summer months, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The skin needs sunlight to produce vitamin D, an essential micronutrient that helps maintain optimal immunity and bone health.
The term “nutraceutical” was coined from “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical” in 1989 by Stephen DeFelice, MD, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine (FIM), Cranford, NJ.1 According to DeFelice, nutraceutical can be defined as, “a food (or part of a food) that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a disease.”1 However, the term nutraceutical as commonly used in marketing has no regulatory definition.2
When food is being cooked or prepared using “scientific intelligence” with or without knowledge of how or why it is being used, the food is called “functional food.” Thus, functional food provides the body with the required amount of vitamins, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, etc, needed for its healthy survival. When functional food aids in the prevention and/or treatment of disease(s) and/or disorder(s) other than anemia, it is called a nutraceutical. (Since most of the functional foods act in some way or the other as antianemic, the exception to anemia is considered so as to have a clear distinction between the two terms, functional food and nutraceutical.) Thus, a functional food for one consumer can act as a nutraceutical for another consumer. Examples of nutraceuticals include fortified dairy products (eg, milk) and citrus fruits (eg, orange juice).
The DSHEA formally defined “dietary supplement” using several criteria. A dietary supplement3:
Is a product (other than tobacco) that is intended to supplement the diet that bears or contains one or more of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical, an amino acid, a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total daily intake, or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combinations of these ingredients.
Is intended for ingestion in pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid form.
Is not represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or diet.
Is labeled as a “dietary supplement.”
Includes products such as an approved new drug, certified antibiotic, or licensed biologic that was marketed as a dietary supplement or food before approval, certification, or license (unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services waives this provision).
Thus, nutraceuticals (as per the proposed definition) differ from dietary supplements in the following aspects:
Nutraceuticals must not only supplement the diet but should also aid in the prevention and/or treatment of disease and/or disorder.
Nutraceuticals are represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of meal or diet.
A ray of “cure preference” in the mind of common patients revolves around nutraceuticals because of their false perception that “all natural medicines are good.” Also, the high cost of prescription pharmaceuticals and reluctance of some insurance companies to cover the costs of drugs helps nutraceuticals solidify their presence in the global market of therapies and therapeutic agents.
The use of nutraceuticals, as an attempt to accomplish desirable therapeutic outcomes with reduced side effects, as compared with other therapeutic agents has met with great monetary success.