What Are Nutraceuticals? What You Need to Know
Nearly 50 percent of people in the United States take at least one prescription medication. Almost one-fourth of them take three or more.
Are you currently relying on prescription medication? Do you want to try a more holistic approach to your health? Or, do you just want to add some supplements to help you feel your best?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be able to benefit from nutraceuticals.
Now, you might be wondering, “what are nutraceuticals?”
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about nutraceuticals and how they may benefit you.
What are Nutraceuticals?
Nutraceutical is a broad term. A supplement must meet the following criteria to be considered a nutraceutical:
- Come from a food source (or food sources)
- Provide health benefits beyond general nutrition
The word “nutraceutical” combines two words. The first is “nutrient” (nourishing food components). The second is “pharmaceutical” (medical drugs).
Nutraceuticals are also sometimes referred to as “functional foods.”
Stephen DeFelice coined the term in 1989. DeFelice founded as was the chairman of an organization known as the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine.
The Greek physician, Hippocrates, served as the inspiration for nutraceuticals with his saying that people should “let food be thy medicine.”
Nutraceuticals are different from traditional pharmaceutical drugs. This is because they typically are not created with one specific purpose in mind. Nutraceuticals are also derived from natural substances in most cases.
Nutraceuticals have been found to be beneficial in treating a variety of health conditions. They have also been shown to improve overall health and well-being in many individuals.
Types of Nutraceuticals
Because nutraceutical is such a broad term, there are many different supplements that fall under it. But, some common examples of nutraceuticals include:
- Vitamin and mineral supplements
- Herbal products like garlic, ginger, ginseng, echinacea, licorice root, onion, and turmeric
- Dietary enzymes like bromelain and papain
- Dietary fiber supplements
- Hydrolyzed proteins
- Phytonutrients like resveratrol
- Carotenoids like lycopene
- Prebiotic and probiotic supplements
As you can see, there are lots of supplements that are considered to be nutraceuticals. You might even have some in your medicine cabinet right now!
Nutraceutical Imbalance Therapy
Many people buy nutraceutical supplements over the counter or at their local health food stores. The problem with this, though, is that these supplements are often low-quality and don’t provide many benefits.
Many people also buy supplements without fully understanding what they do. This opens them up to potential negative reactions and increases the risk of experiencing adverse side effects. People taking this approach also might not see the benefits they’re hoping for because they’re not taking the right dosage.
You can see better results from them by using high-quality, thoroughly tested supplements supplied by a medical professional.
Many doctors recommend using neutraceuticals to treat imbalances in the body and promote better health and well-being.
Some well-known forms of nutraceutical imbalance therapy include:
- Glutathione liver cleanses
- Methionine Inositol Choline (MIC) injections to help reduce body fat
- Gender-specific multivitamin treatments to promote healthy hormone production and balance
- Amino acid injections or oral supplements to help reduce body fat
These days, many nutraceutical therapies are geared toward weight loss. But, nutraceuticals can also be used to treat all kinds of health conditions.
Benefits of Nutraceutical Therapy
Neutraceuticals have the potential to provide a number of therapeutic and nutritional benefits. Researchers believe they are so effective because they play a part in a variety of biological processes, including:
- Antioxidant defense
- Cell proliferation
- Gene expression
- Mitochondrial integrity protection
These effects allow nutraceuticals to prevent disease. They also make nutraceuticals a viable option for treating (or aiding in treating) the following health conditions:
- Chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease
- Renal disorders
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Autoimmune conditions
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Visual disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
Nutraceuticals can also improve one’s ability to handle stress and maintain general health.
They also appear to be beneficial for slowing the aging process and increasing overall life expectancy. This is because they help prevent oxidative damage,
Are There any Side Effects?
Nutraceuticals usually contain extracts that come from natural foods sources. Because of this, they are generally considered to be safe for the general population to consume.
But, there are some potential side effects that can come from using nutraceutical therapies.
Some of the most common potential side effects include:
- Allergic reactions
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Excessive blood-thinning
The greatest risk stems from the possibility that a nutraceutical will interact poorly with any supplement or medication.
To avoid these reactions and potential side effects, it’s important to let your doctor know everything you’re taking. If they have this information on hand, they can avoid treating you with a supplement that could cause an unpleasant and possibly dangerous interaction.
Who Should Use Nutraceuticals?
Because they provide so many benefits, just about anyone can utilize nutraceuticals. But, certain people will likely see greater improvements than others.
People with the following conditions can see significant improvements from nutraceuticals:
- People struggling with chronic fatigue and low energy
- People who struggle with mental health disorders like anxiety or depression
- People who struggle with brain fog and poor cognition
- People who are genetically predisposed to chronic disease and want to prevent it
- People who struggle with insomnia
- People who need hormonal support as they age or go through menopause
- People who are struggling to lose weight
People with more serious illnesses can also benefit from nutraceutical therapy. But, it’s important for them to consult with their doctor first. This will help them avoid taking any supplements that could interfere with other medications they need to consume.
Try Nutraceutical Therapy Today
You now have a clear answer to the question, “what are nutraceuticals?” Do you think they might benefit you?
If you live in or around the Boca Raton area, contact us at Core Medical Group. It doesn’t matter if you’re ready to try nutraceuticals or just want to get some advice from a medical professional. Either way, we’re here to help.
Call us today to set up a free consultation!