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Nutraceuticals (Dietary Supplements)
A Patient's Guide to Nutraceuticals (Dietary Supplements)
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 is a nutraceutical (dietary supplement)?
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. The dietary ingredients in these products may include: vitamins, minerals, and herbs or other plant materials. They also include amino acids and substances such as enzymes or organ tissues. Dietary supplements can be extracts or concentrates. They may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, soft gels, gel caps, liquids, or powders. They can also be in other forms, such as a snack bar. If they are offered as a snack food, then information on the label must say the product is not food and not the only item of a meal or diet.
How do nutraceuticals and dietary supplements work?
Supplemental nutraceuticals work by giving you extra nutrition. Whenever your diet is not able to meet all the nutrients needed by your body, supplemental nutrients may be helpful. Illness, injury, or extra hard work can increase the amount of nutrients your body needs.
Nutrients are the chemical elements that make up a food. Nutrients are the basic elements of what you eat that give your body what is needed for running the show. That process is what we call metabolism. Certain nutrients such as...