Selasa, 28 Februari 2012

NUTRACEUTICAL 5 - Definition and Introduction

Nutraceutical - Definition and Introduction
Corresponding Author:  Ekta K. Kalra, Nagpur College of Pharmacy, Wanadongri, Hingna Road, Nagpur 411110, Maharashtra, India. Phone: +91 0712-2646270; Fax: Not Forwarded;  Email:

Dr Stephen  DeFelice  coined the term "Nutraceutical" from "Nutrition" and  "Pharmaceutical" in 1989. The term nutraceutical is being commonly used in marketing but has no regulatory definition. An attempt to redefine nutraceuticals and functional foods is  made in this  article. The proposed definitions can help distinguish between functional foods, nutraceuticals,  and dietary supplements. The  advantages and disadvantages of nutraceuticals are also briefly discussed. 

KEYWORDS:    nutraceutical, functional food, dietary supplement 

The term "nutraceutical"  was  coined from "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical" in 1989 by Stephen  DeFelice, MD, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine (FIM), Cranford, NJ.
According to DeFelice, nutraceutical can be defined  as, "a food (or part of a food) that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a disease."
However, the term  nutraceutical  as commonly used in marketing has no regulatory definition.

I  propose to redefine functional foods and  nutraceuticals. When  food is being cooked or  prepared using "scientific  intelligence" with or without  knowledge of how or  why  it is being used,  the food is  called "functional food." Thus, functional food provides the body with  the required  amount of vitamins, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, etc, needed for its healthy survival.  

When functional food aids  in the prevention  and/or treatment of  disease(s)  and/or disorder(s) other than anemia, it is called a nutraceutical. (Since most of the functional foods act in some way or the other as antianemic, the exception to anemia is considered so as to have a clear distinction  between the two terms, functional food and nutraceutical.) Thus, a functional food for one consumer can act as a nutraceutical for another consumer. Examples of nutraceuticals include fortified dairy products (eg, milk) and  citrus fruits (eg, orange juice). 

The  DSHEA formally defined "dietary supplement" using several criteria. A dietary supplement: 
  • is a product (other than tobacco) that is intended to supplement the diet that bears or  contains one or more of the following dietary ingredients:  a vitamin, a  mineral, an herb  or other botanical,  an amino acid, a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total daily intake, or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combinations of these ingredients. 
  • is intended for ingestion in pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid form. 
  • is not represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or diet. 
  • is labeled as a "dietary supplement." 
  • includes products such  as  an approved new drug, certified antibiotic,  or  licensed biologic that  was marketed as a dietary supplement or food before approval,  certification, or license (unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services waives this provision). 
Thus, nutraceuticals  (as per the proposed definition) differ from dietary supplements in the following aspects: 
  • Nutraceuticals must not only supplement the diet but should also aid in the prevention and/or treatment of disease and/or disorder. 
  • Nutraceuticals are represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of meal or diet. 
A ray of "cure preference" in the mind of common patients revolves around nutraceuticals because of their false perception that "all natural medicines are good." 
Also, the high cost of prescription pharmaceuticals and reluctance of some insurance companies to cover thecosts of drugs helps nutraceuticals solidify their presence in the global market of therapies and therapeutic agents. 

The use of nutraceuticals, as an attempt to accomplish desirable therapeutic outcomes with  reduced side effects, as compared with other therapeutic agents has
met with great monetary success.
The preference for the discovery and production of nutraceuticals over pharmaceuticals is  well seen in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Some of the pharmaceutical and  biotechnology companies, which commit major resources to the  discovery of nutraceuticals include 
  • Monsanto (St Louis, MO), 
  • American  Home Products (Madison, NJ),  
  • DuPont (Wilmington, DE),  
  • Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, IL), 
  • Warner-Lambert (Morris Plains, NJ), 
  • Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ),  
  • Novartis (Basel,  Switzerland), Metabolex (Hayward, CA), 
  • Genzyme Transgenic, 
  • PPL  Therapeutics,
  • Interneuron (Lexington, KY).
However,  with all of the aforementioned positive points, nutraceuticals still need support of an extensive scientific study to prove "their effects with reduced side effects."
This can  be achieved  by  the enactment  of  FIM proposed Nutraceutical  Research and  Education Act (NREA).
The NREA includes the creation of  a Nutraceutical Commission (NUCOM) specifically for the review and approval of nutraceuticals and the creation of a nutraceutical research grants program specifically for clinical research. As per FIM, the key elements of NREA should include a mechanism to create the exclusive rights to claims necessary for private investment in research and development, and the creation of appropriate channels for  the review, approval, and  regulation of new products and claims.We believe that in so doing the NREA should keep in check the cost of nutraceuticals and thereby assure access for everyone.

When a functional food aids in the  prevention and/or treatment of disease(s) and/or disorder(s) (except anemia), it is called a nutraceutical. The proposed definition can help form distinction between functional foods, nutraceuticals, and dietary supplements. 

1. Brower V. Nutraceuticals: poised for a healthy slice of the healthcare market? Nat Biotechnol. 1998;16:728-731. 
2. Zeisel SH. Regulation of "Nutraceuticals." Science. 1999;285:185-186. 
3. FDA/CFSAN resources page. Food and Drug Administration Web site. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. Available at:
4. Nelson NJ. Purple carrots, margarine laced with wood pulp? Nutraceuticals move into the supermarket. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999;91:755-757. 
5. Whitman M. Understanding the perceived need for complementary and alternative nutraceuticals: lifestyle issues. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2001;5:190-194. 
6. Heyland DK. In search of the magic nutraceuticals: problems with current approaches. J Nutr. 2001;131(9):2591S-2595S. 
7. Elizabeth AC. Over-the-counter products: nonprescription medications, nutraceuticals, and herbal agents. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2002;45(1):89-98. 
8. DeFelice SL. FIM Rationale and Proposed Guidelines for the Nutraceutical Research & Education Act - NREA, November 10, 2002. Foundation for Innovation in Medicine. Available at:

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1 komentar:

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