Nutraceuticals provide health benefits in addition to prevention of diseases and promotion of health. In recent
years, knowledge about nutritive value of food items and their significance is increasing. It includes various food items that are employed as nutraceuticals containing antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, certain phytochemicals and dietary fibers. Except probiotics all the components are present in fruits, vegetables and various types of food. Antioxidants are those which contain vitamins A, C and E and betacarotene. These agents prevent the formation of oxygen-free radicals. They also have hypolipidemic action. Nutraceuticals are natural or bioactive chemical compounds claiming to be health promoting and disease preventing products with some medicinal properties. This category comprises of vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements and certain animal products. Nutraceuticals also include functional foods claimed to offer a specific health benefit based on their ingredients, and they provide all the essential substances that should be present in a healthy diet for the human.
Indian nutraceuticals segment has emerged as one of the fast growing segments and it is a dynamic and evolving segment that provides possibilities to become one scientific invention with fast growing consumer interest in health increasing food supplements. Huge growth of nutraceuticals sector has provoked many key leading pharmaceutical companies like Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries, GlaxoSmithKline, Piramal Enterprises,
Abbott Laboratories among others.