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Dr. Stephen DeFelice is often credited with having coined the term nutraceuticals, also spelled neutraceuticals, in 1989. The word is a marriage of the two words nutrition and pharmaceuticals. It is often used to describe the many dietary supplements derived from plants that may have benefits to the body or may supply the body with essential fatty acids, proteins or other nutrients. As well, foods with such benefits may also be termed nutraceuticals, or functional foods.
Some fortified foods are examples of nutraceuticals or functional foods. For example milk fortified with vitamin D, or with enzymes that help digest milk for those that are lactose intolerant are considered functional. Orange juice fortified with Vitamin C or with calcium is another type of functional food. Typically, the label of nutraceuticals refers to dietary supplements. So in a sense, orange juice and milk that are fortified contain nutraceuticals and are thus functional foods.
Usually nutraceuticals are considered natural since they are prepared from food substances, and not from chemical reproductions of substances naturally found in food. Some women might use estrogens found in wild yams or soy. In this case, they are using nutraceuticals. Women who take chemically produced estrogen not made from plant or food substances are not using nutraceuticals.
A further distinction may be applied to products derived from plants that are used in the form of creams or lotions. These are often called cosmeticeuticals. Some women, for example, use wild yam extracted estrogen in a lotion form, and thus use a cosmeticeutical.
Some nutraceuticals are well known and widely accepted as beneficial supplements. This is particularly the case with folic acid. Women who take folic acid prior to getting pregnant significantly lower their risk of having a child with neural tube defects, for example.
Other nutraceuticals are used for their antioxidant properties, such as antifungals, antiseptics, or for anti-aging purposes. Some are used to lower cholesterol or reduce risk of heart disease, like fish oil and flaxseed supplements, which contain Omega-3 fatty acids.
Many vitamins, when derived from plants, are nutraceuticals, but that is only the jumping off point. Herbal supplements are now particularly popular and include things like black cohosh, kava, tyrosine, and resveratrol.
What must be understood about some nutraceuticals is that claims of these nutritional supplements may not be supported by research. In fact, almost the whole market of nutritional supplements is excluded from the kind of rigorous testing required to approve prescription medications. So some claims on nutraceuticals may be highly exaggerated or actually false.
As well, nutraceuticals need to be treated as medicine. They may potentially interact with each other or with prescribed medication. Some can have abortive effects on pregnant women or should not be consumed by children. One should ask one’s doctor before using nutraceuticals on a child or if one has certain conditions that might be harmed by certain nutraceuticals. Not all nutritional supplements are beneficial to all people, and some of them can be harmful to some people.
What are Nutraceuticals and do you need them?
You may have heard a lot about nutraceuticals in the health industry and wondered what it means and whether you need them added to your diet. The term, which is a hybrid of “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical,” refers to food-derived products that have strong health benefits and that have been isolated or purified from their original food state.
Some examples of nutraceuticals include alpha carotene and beta carotene (found in carrots and other produce), lutein (found in green vegetables), lycopene (found in tomatoes), omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon), conjugated linoleic acid (found in cheese and meats) and lactobacillus (found in yogurt and other dairy products).
Do you need nutraceuticals?
In theory, you should be able to get all your required nutrients directly from the food you eat. But, sadly, most of our diets are very much lacking in essential nutrients. Supplementing your diet with nutraceuticals can help improve your health and, if you’re suffering from obesity, aid with your overall weight loss efforts.
U Weight Loss Clinics offer a weight loss program that features targeted nutraceuticals aimed at enhancing weight loss and improving overall health. These nutraceuticals address physiological ailments that commonly affect overweight individuals, such as poor detoxification, increased blood sugar and insulin levels, increased cortisol levels, inflammation, free radical damage, lowered metabolism, carbohydrate and sugar cravings, and increased appetite. In addition to treating these issues, U Weight Loss Intelligent Nutraceuticals™ can also help with a variety of medical conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, low thyroid function, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
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