Nutraceutical is a term that is related to "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical". The word is used to describe herbal isolates, dietary supplements (nutrients), certain diets and processed foods such as cereals, soups and beverages that are used as drugs or to provide better nutrition.
In the United States, nutraceutical products are classified as drugs, food additives and dietary supplements. These have physiological benefits or offer protection against chronic diseases. In addition, nutraceuticals can be used to enhance well-being, slow aging, prevent the onset of chronic diseases, extend life expectancy or support the structure or functions of the body.
Unlike pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals are compounds that are not usually protected by patents. But, both can be used to treat or prevent disease.
A product is considered to be a dietary supplement if it carries or contains one or more of the dietary components listed below: a mineral, vitamin, amino acid, medicinal plant or other botanical, nutritional supplement used by humans to increase daily intake.
Nutraceuticals used to treat medical conditions other than nutrition
Ginseng, echinacea, green tea, glucosamine, omega-3, lutein, folic acid and cod liver oil are the most popular nutraceuticals. Most of these nutritional supplements have various therapeutic benefits.
Due to their nutritional, safe and therapeutic potential, these products have recently attracted a lot of attention. In fact, a study conducted by the same industry mentioned that the global nutraceuticals market reached $250 billion in 2018.
These products have shown positive results on diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer and neurological diseases. Most dietary supplements have antioxidant activity that can help prevent these conditions. Consequently, they are considered beneficial sources of health promotion, especially in terms of preventing life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, infections, and kidney and gastrointestinal disorders.
Thus, much work has been done in the present review to propose novel ideas about nutraceuticals based on their potential to alter diseases. The focus has been on showing that herbal nutraceuticals are useful against related diseases, such as allergies, Alzheimer's, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, eye diseases, immune diseases, inflammatory diseases, Parkinson's and obesity.
Some people need these supplements because they enable them to meet their nutritional needs, which in turn strengthens their immune system. The main advantages of nutraceuticals are the following:
- Improves overall health.
- Increases energy.
- Keeps chronic diseases at bay.
- Increases sleep quality.