Nutraceuticals is a term that can be used to describe a wide variety of products that are enriched with additional nutrients. The purpose of this enrichment is to boost the nutritional value in order to aid in healing. The term itself combines the words nutritional and pharmaceutical.
Essentially, nutraceuticals are products that are formulated to offer medicinal-type benefits. What we put in our bodies has a tremendous effect on our overall health. The overarching concept of nutrition is one that has considerable implications for us as consumers and in the industries of health, agriculture and government regulation.
Nutraceuticals can be classified based on a number of factors. Some of these are conditions to be treated, the chemical makeup of products and primary natural ingredients.
Commonly accepted categories of nutraceuticals include functional foods, dietary supplements, medicinal foods and pharmaceuticals.
Functional food covers whole or fortified foods that are thought to be effective in treating a particular health problem or group of issues. These foods are used in ways that are meant to enhance or increase the benefits of their original form.
The category of dietary supplements consists of such supplements that are made from a food source. You’ll find most supplements in the form of pills, capsules or liquids.
Medicinal foods differ from functional foods in that they are specifically formulated to treat various conditions and are administered under the guidance of a medical doctor. These foods are meant to help manage specific conditions or diseases.
Finally, pharmaceuticals are products that are meant to be used specifically for medicinal purposes.
Benefits of Nutraceuticals
Nutraceuticals, in their various forms, offer a wide range of health benefits. Also, many believe they are a safer alternative to pharmaceutical treatments. They’re used both to prevent and treat a host of medical issues.
In addition to improving overall health, nutraceuticals are often formulated to support various body functions, prevent disease and extend life expectancy.
Some conditions that have shown to respond well to nutraceutical therapy include renal disease, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and many infections. When it comes to prevention, some nutraceuticals have shown to be quite useful in immune system support.
Types of Nutraceuticals
While the list of nutraceutical ingredients is extensive, there are some products that are used more frequently for medicinal purposes. Garlic and soy are included in supplements to help lower cholesterol.
Scientific studies have shown cranberries to be effective in the treatment of urinary tract infections, and grapes contain antioxidants believed to have heart benefits and prevent blood clots. Compounds in broccoli may lower the risk of cancer.
Nutraceuticals are a powerful source in the fight against chronic health conditions. At Doctors Supplement Store in St. Louis, we offer a wide variety of professional nutraceutical brands, as there are many benefits in seeking this type of alternative treatment.
Contact us today to learn more about the specific products we offer.