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Nutraceutical is a new word, invented by Dr. Stephen DeFelice in 1989. It is two words put together: nutritional and pharmaceutical. Nutraceuticals are dietary supplements that are also called functional foods.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a nutraceutical is any substance that is a food or a part of a food that has medical or health benefits. Nutraceuticals help prevent and treat disease. These products can be single nutrients like Vitamin C. Or they can be dietary supplements such as a multiple vitamin/mineral combined together. A nutraceutical can also be a genetically engineered designer food. You can get nutraceuticals from herbal products. Nutraceuticals come in processed foods like cereals with iron added. Even sports drinks with electrolytes have nutraceuticals in them. The definition of nutraceutical also includes special diets. One example is a diet used to treat chronic inflammation.

This guide will help you understand:

  • what a nutraceutical is
  • why nutraceuticals help
  • how effective are nutraceuticals
what a nutraceutical is

Nutraceuticals are most often thought of as a chemical product taken from foods. They have been shown to have health benefits. They also provide protection against chronic disease. There are some nutraceuticals other than vitamins and minerals that are good for spine and joint problems. These include glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, fish oils, and the herb Boswellia. The U.S. Congress defined the term dietary supplement in 1994. It�s part of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). It says that a dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains any chemical ingredient meant to add to what a person gets in their usual diet.

why nutraceuticals help

Nutraceuticals are prescribed because a healthy diet is hard to find. Many people like to think that they eat a healthy diet. They think they have everything their bodies need for good health. Studies have shown that many people can describe a healthy diet. But when they write down what they actually eat, it's not a nutritionally complete diet. Other studies have shown that the standard American diet has more than enough calories. But the food does not have the right amounts of vitamins and minerals. It doesn't have enough fiber, carbohydrate, or protein. All of these things are needed to really be healthy.

how effective are nutraceuticals

At this point, there have been years of research on this topic. Medical researchers have published many thousands of articles. They tell us how individual nutrients and herbal medicines work in the bodies of animals and humans. This research is carried out in the same way that drugs are studied. There are strengths and weaknesses in using this method to figure out how any substance will work in the human body. We can study how a single chemical will affect a human cell. That information helps us make a reasonable decision about whether it will be useful for that cell's function or not.

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