Nutraceuticals, a combination of nutrition and pharmaceutical, refers to extracts of foods claimed to have a medicinal effect on human health. Traditionally the nutraceutical was contained in a medicinal format such as a capsule, tablet or powder in a prescribed dose, although more modern Nutraceuticals such as Probiotic drinks and yogurt are now found in ordinary supermarkets alongside normally everyday versions of the product.
Examples of claims made for nutraceuticals are resveratrol from red grape products as an antioxidant, soluble dietary fiber products, such as psyllium seed husk for reducing hypercholesterolemia, broccoli (sulforaphane) as a cancer preventative, and soy or clover (isoflavonoids) to improve arterial health. Such claims are being researched and many citations are available via PubMed to ascertain their foundation of basic research.
Other nutraceutical examples are flavonoids antioxidants, alpha-linolenic acid from flax or Chia seeds, beta-carotene from marigold petals, anthocyanins from berries, etc. With the US Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), several other compounds were added to the list of supplements originally mentioned in FDA notification. Thus, many botanical and herbal extracts such as ginseng, garlic oil, etc. have been developed as nutraceuticals.
Nutraceuticals are often used in nutrient premixes or nutrient systems in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
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