What are nutraceuticals?
The use of products containing ingredients of natural origin has become widespread, it is now common to find situations in which acquaintances and public figures recommend the use of certain brands that assist in some issue of concern or to prevent ailments. With the diffusion of these goods, the use of vocabulary related to them has also spread, for example, do you know what are nutraceuticals?
Nutraceuticals: what are these beneficial substances?
If you are wondering what are nutraceuticals, you may intuit that it is related to natural and medicine, that is, it is somehow part of both. The creator of this term was Dr. Stephen DeFelice, who joined the words “pharmaceutical” and “natural” (in some sources it is possible to find “therapeutic” instead of “pharmaceutical”), the result was nutraceutical, which refers to a “food or part of a food” that provides health benefits, so it can be oriented to the previous care or treatment of health conditions.
Nutraceuticals are chemicals that are naturally integrated into food or other substances that can be ingested and that have been found to provide benefits when consumed, such as preventing illness, treating disease or improving physiological capabilities.
Nutrients or substances can be taken as nutraceuticals if they have a beneficial effect on the body, exceeding their essential function. Nutraceutical products can incorporate minerals, amino acids, herbs, vitamins, among other natural compounds, which are usually available in capsules, powders, pills or vials. Although they may be similar in presentation, nutraceuticals and drugs are different in composition.
Nutraceuticals can be found in living organisms such as plants, fungi, yeasts and even animals. Likewise, it is possible to consume these substances in processed, whole or fortified foods and in supplemental way, I should be note that, regardless of their presentation, each one maintains the characteristic of providing benefits that exceed their ability to nourish the body.
Benefits of nutraceutical products
Some research has found that the consumption of nutraceuticals can be beneficial to health, examples of these benefits include:
- Increasing quality of life
- Therapeutic properties
- Assist in protein synthesis
- Antioxidant properties.
- Promote cellular response.
- Assist in the sleep cycle.
It is common to find the term nutraceutical in products containing probiotics, omega-3, ginseng, glucosamine, among others, so some people turn to nutraceuticals to acquire minerals, vitamins or elements that the body requires and are not covered by the diet; a case may be that of the vegan population, which finds an option to consume iron, which leads them to wonder if they are iron supplements vegan: given the wide variety of nutraceuticals and their presentations, the answer will depend on the product or food in question.
Finally, market demand for products that contain ingredients of natural origin or that support their well-being has increased, as people pay more attention to the goods they consume.
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