Old wine in a new bottle

Old wine in a new bottle

There is confusion over the terms¬†nutraceuticals, dietary supplements,¬†food supplements and¬†pharmaceuticals. ‚ÄėNutraceutical‚Äô¬†products may range from isolated¬†nutrients, dietary supplements and¬†specific diets to genetically engineered¬†designer foods and herbal products. A¬†dietary supplement is a product consumed¬†through mouth that contains¬†ingredients intended to provide health¬†ingredients such as vitamins, minerals,¬†enzymes, etc. They can also be herbal¬†extracts or concentrates and may be¬†found in many forms such as tablets,¬†capsules, liquids or powders. Functional¬†foods are also foods that have components¬†or ingredients added to give it¬†a specific medical or physiological benefit¬†in addition to a purely nutritional¬†effect.

In India, the practice of ‚ÄėAyurveda‚Äô lays¬†emphasis on food and the Ayurvedic¬†preparations are herbal products
with health benefits and they are classified as pharmaceuticals. Thus there exists a very thin margin between
‚ÄėNutraceuticals and Pharmaceuticals;¬†Dietary Supplements and¬†Functional Foods. Hippocrates, the¬†father of western medicine highlighted,¬†around 2000 year ago ‚ÄėLet food be¬†your medicine and medicine be your¬†food‚Äô. The Indians, Egyptians, Chinese,¬†and Sumerians are just a few civilizations¬†that have used food as medicine.
In contrast to the natural herbs,¬†spices and folk medicines are been¬†used for centuries throughout Asia¬†and the nutraceutical industry has¬†grown alongside the expansion and¬†exploration of modern technology.¬†In fact many of the drugs have been¬†derived after being isolated from the¬†plant like digoxin, aspirin, metformin,¬†etc. Thus the growth of ‚ÄėNutraceuticals‚Äô¬†appears to be like presenting old¬†wine in new bottle.