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The Role of Nutraceuticals on Human Health

The food products used as nutraceuticals can be characterized as prebiotics, probiotics, dietary fibers, antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and other different types of herbal/natural foods.

The primary reasons for the growth of the nutraceutical market worldwide are the current population and health trends. Nutraceutical companies help in fighting some of the major health problems of the century such as metabolic disorders (cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cholesterol), cancer, bone disorders (osteoporosis, arthritis, etc.). Altogether, ‘nutraceuticals’ have led to the new era of medicine and health.

The Rise of Nutraceuticals

The demand for nutraceuticals has increased over the past few years and they are being used for various therapeutic outcomes. This article brings out the importance of nutraceuticals and their daily usage for different diseases and ailments.

Nutraceutical products are recognized not only for their better health outcomes to reduce the risk of cancer, heart diseases, and other related ailments but other related ones such as insomnia, cataracts, weakened memory, menopausal symptoms, and concentration and gastrointestinal problems.

Nutraceuticals products that are derived from honey, ginger, and garlic have also found considerable trust in treating headaches and migraines due to stress. Other related nutraceutical products like green tea, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C are meant to cure for thinning hair, lack of confidence, varicose veins, alcoholism, depression, and much more.

Nutraceutical products provide a big growth for the pharma industry, both domestically and internationally. The market is compelled by the developing population, rising health care expenses, progress in food technology, and food nutrition, as well as a thriving consumer understanding of the association between diet and health.

The nutraceutical field is rising with the highest peak of study research and development. The greatest scientific need pertains to the standardization of the nutraceutical compounds and carefully produce and execute clinical studies to provide the basis for health claims to produce an impact on the consumers as well as on the nutraceutical businesses.

Nutraceuticals – Therapeutic agents

The majority of the nutraceuticals does possess various therapeutic benefits and has been claimed to have physiological benefits or provide protection against several diseases as the following products:

  • Cardiovascular agents
  • Anti-obese agents
  • Anti-diabetic agents
  • Anti-cancer agents
  • Immune boosters
  • Substances that manage chronic inflammatory disorders
  • Formulations to cure degenerative diseases

Nutraceuticals – Categories

Nutraceuticals are non-specific biological therapies used to stimulate wellness, inhibit malignant processes, and control symptoms. These are categorized as follows based on chemical constituents:

  • Nutrients
  • Herbals or botanical
  • Dietary supplements

Vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruits, herbs, nuts, and seeds contain plenty of phenolic compounds, sulfur compounds, terpenoids, pigments, and other natural antioxidants that act as compounds for the treatment of various metabolic disorders. Food derived from citrus fruits, herbs, and vegetables provide plenty of vitamins C, polyphenols, folic acid, potassium, and soluble fiber and is also believed to prevent cancers. A large number of nutraceuticals components, including vitamins, phytochemicals, minerals, and other ingredients, is like an alphabet soup ranging from A to Z.

Among the minerals, selenium is an essential trace element that is involved in the defense against the toxicity of reactive oxygen species and helps to control thyroid hormone metabolism. Brazilian nuts are the richest known source of selenium, one ounce contains roughly about 200 mcg. Its deficiency has caused serious health effects in humans, such as Keshan’s disease, a potentially fatal form of cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease) that affects young women and children. Selenium shows a vital role in the impairment of thyroid immunity. Recommended dietary allowances for selenium varies from 20μg per day for children to 55μg per day for adults. On the other hand, the average higher intake levels of selenium range from 90μg per day to 400μg per day for children and adults respectively.

Similarly, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are highly important vitamins/antioxidants in the category of nutraceuticals. These vitamins act both alone as well as in combination to prevent the oxidative reactions leading to several degenerative diseases including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, cataracts, etc.

Apart from vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) act as a crucial category of nutraceuticals. PUFAs have two main subdivisions: omega-3-(n-3) fatty acids and omega-6-(n-6) fatty acids. The major omega-3-fatty acids are α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is the precursor of EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are found mainly in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring, trout, bluefin tuna, and in fish oils. Principal sources of ALA are mainly flaxseed, soybeans, canola, some nuts (e.g. walnuts), and red/black currant seed.

Studies advise that omega-3-fatty acids have three major effects as cardiovascular diseases anti-arrhythmic (alleviating irregularities in the force or rhythm of the heart) hypolipidemic (promoting the reduction of lipid concentrations in the serum and antithrombotic) and decreased arteriosclerosis. Developing research evidence proves the benefits of omega-3-oils in other areas of health including pre-mature infant health. Omega-3-fatty acids have been shown to be beneficial at various stages of life. Infant formulas nowadays contain DHA along with ARA, which closely mimics the breast milk. FDA recommends a maximum of 3 g/day intake of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, with no more than 2g per day from a dietary supplement.

About AdvaLife™ Nutraceuticals

As a division of AdvaCare Pharma USA, a leading manufacturer and global supplier of pharmaceuticals, veterinary and medical supplies, AdvaLife has garnered an international reputation for quality. We leverage our extensive infrastructure and supply chains to provide distributors and consumers with GMP certified, high quality, and cost-effectivnutraceutical products.