NUTRACEUTICALS – A PREVENTIVE APPROACH

NUTRACEUTICALS – A PREVENTIVE APPROACH


Dr Sanjay Agrawal

Leading Pharmaceutical Consultant and Editor-in Chief of IJMToday
Introduction

Nutraceuticals may be considered as food, food supplement or drug like agent which may apply for health promotion, disease prevention and adjunctive supplement with the treatment of drugs. Nutraceuticals a super food today is expected to play an important role in preventative healthcare. The ageing population is giving rise to lifestyle-related diseases, like obesity which can impact the quality of life and physical health of the individuals. This can be decreased by making healthier choices and that should be earlier in life. This again brings us to focus on measures, such as a healthy diet, earlier in life to prevent people from getting ill in the future. Healthcare research, has always emphasized on the concept of PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE Nutraceuticals even today are being advised as a curative measure but rather they are believed to be more beneficial as preventive food source than a curative source of food. Nutraceuticals are just new ‘superfoods’, to consider one example, which persuade people to make better choices about their diet which is playing an important role today in everyone’s life. Therefore is always a need to remind and incentivize people to make better dietary choices and promote exercise. These pill-replacing foods could invigorate demand for further new nutraceutical products designed to promote wellness. The main purpose of this article is to provide summary of the current scientific impression of nutraceuticals in comparison with today’s medicinal world to the practitioner’s,

Exploration of the new dietary products with various medicinal properties has created a renaissance in the world of health and nutritional research. These are the emerging natural foods popularly known as super foods are making the line between foods and drugs. It not only provides physiological health benefits but also different medicinal implications.

Nutraceuticals are to be taken normally as a part of our daily diet to accomplish lucrative effect. Nutraceuticals have created a new era of research to promote the quality of life of people. They can reduce the risk of disease or onset of disease by retaining and restoring normal health condition and by improving immunity. The treatment approaches followed today in modern medicine for treatment of disease are seeking complementary or alternative beneficial products to the drugs which the people today are expecting. These products, the nutraceuticals have fulfilled this gap.

Nutraceuticals play an important role based on their health promoting and diseases modifying indications. There are a variety of herbal nutraceuticals that have been efficient to cure stress due to free radicals, including allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer, inflammatory as well as obesity.

The main aim of this nutritional therapy is based on the complimentary therapy with nutraceuticals as food is not only to serve as the source of energy and nutrients but also to provide medicinal benefits. Nutraceuticals help in detoxification of our body along with restoring the healthy digestion and   also emphasizing the healthy dietary habits.

Nutraceuticals can be classified basing on the source of foods, mechanism of action and their chemical properties.  The food sources used as nutraceuticals are all natural and they are dietary fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, PUFA, antioxidant vitamins, polyphenols and so on.

Nutraceuticals have various bioactivities towards human body are widely being examined for their ability to provide health benefits. Nutraceutical plays an important role in preventing different disease conditions their onset and minimize complications of the disease. It provides protection against various non communicable diseases, helps in delay ageing process, increases the life expectancy and improves function and immunity of the body.

ROLE OF DIFFERENT NUTRACEUTICALS AS A PREVENTIVE PART IN DIFFERENT DISEASE CONDITIONS.

  • Onion, Garlic, Grapes, Rosemary, Broccoli, Spinach, Turmeric, Parsley having Antioxidant activity
  • Mitochondria Targeted Nutraceuticals Mitochondrial bioenergetics Flavonoids, Polyphenols, Probiotics for Gastro intestinal health
  • Nutraceuticals like Magnesium Citrate, Pine Bark of Pycnogenol, Pygeum, Potassium Citrate, IP6, Lutein, Lycopene, Xeaxanthin for Renal and excretory health
  • Ubiquinone Q10, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Pycnogenol, Flax seed oil, Fish oil for Reproductive health
  • Blueberry, Green Tea, Catechins, Carnosine, Vit D3, PUFA, Essential Amino Acids for Stem cell growth
  • Nutraceuticals present in citrus fruits, Soyabean, Spermidine, Caffeic Acid and Rosmarinic Acid for Prolonging life Span
  • Flavonoids, Flavones, Flavonones, Quercetin in Onion, Cruciferous Vegetables, Black Berries, Cherries, Berries, Apples and Allicin for Cardio vascular diseases
  • Ginseng, Beta Carotene, Sulfur Compounds in Garlic. Cancer 24-27Soy Isoflavones, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, Lipoic Acid, Catechins, Spices Like Fenugreek and Cinnamon, Bitter Melon, Pomegranate for Diabetes mellitus
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid, Capsaicin, Psyllum, Herbal Nutraceuticals like Chitosan, Caffeine, Fenugreek, Vitamin C, Green Tea, Curcumin, Black Gram,Bottle Guard for Obesity
  • Diacerin, Banana, Ginger, Green Tea, Pomegranate, Boswellia, Oxaceprol, Tipi, Willow Bark, Curcumin, Avocado, Soybean, Collagen Hydrolysate, Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine for Osteoarthritis
  • Odonto Nutraceuticals, Green Tea, Grapes, Cocoa Seed Extracts rich in Polyphenols, Flavonoids and Proanthocyanidins for Oral diseases
  • Curcumin, Lutein, Lycopene, Lavandula, Beta Carotene, Folic Acid and VitB12 for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Plant Polyphenols, Stilbenes, Soybean & Other Phytoestrogens, Vitamin C,
  • Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q 10, Unsaturated Fatty Acid, Brahmi and Inosine for Parkinson’s disease.
  • Lutein, DHA, Green Tea, Carotenoids, Flavonoids, Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10,Zeaxanthi,Melatonin, Spirullina, Flavonoids, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Carotenoids, Caffeine, Pyruvate for Eye disorders
  • Adaptogens (Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, L-Theanine, Ginseng) for Stress Management

The scope of nutraceutical field is huge both in terms of type and the varieties of the nutraceutical product. Nutraceutical industry now India is one of the rapidly growing markets. Both higher and upper middle class people are perceiving nutraceuticals as important alternatives to prescribed drugs and exclusively for their beneficial properties without any side effects. Consumers are now showing sharp interest in nutraceuticals for boosting energy and also for improving their physical endurance and also mental alertness. Nutraceutical industries are also focusing to develop new products with innovative formulations for choosing the right products to the consumers and improve the quality of life.

Nutraceuticals therefore have significant role in the promotion of human health and prevention of disease of all age groups. They are widely accepted by all age groups mainly due to their safety, higher quality, purity, efficacy, health promoting and disease curing abilities and activities. This is going to be the newest trend towards nutraceuticals leading to new era of medicine and health. It is still in the stage of infancy in India. In this era of medicines we must say “let the food be your medicine of choice” and “nutraceuticals daily usage can keep the medicine away”.

Nutraceuticals have always received considerable zest for their safety profile, high nutritive and therapeutic effects. These are being used as alternatives to modern medicines that would promote quality of health, increase the nutritive value of the diet and would prolong the life expectancy. Major constituents of the nutraceuticals are herbal extracts, different nutrients and dietary supplements. These are involved in preventing different diseases and also minimizing pathophysiology of the diseases too. It also acts on the immune system boosting the immunity, as a natural antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, cardio protective, organ protective agent and also with different health promoting effects. Ultimately, the main motto of these is they ensure better quality of life.

Therefore nutraceuticals should always be considered as a preventive approach than a curative approach which might be helpful to reduce the use of drugs and increase the quality of life of people and also to formulate further innovative research plan in new domain on nutraceuticals.

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