Nutraceutical is a combination of two words, nutrition and pharmaceutical. It is a substance that comes from food or is a part of food, which includes psychological or medical benefits. According to Webster dictionary, it is defined as a foodstuff that provides health benefits and basic nutritional value. This term is applied to products that range from dietary supplements, isolated nutrients and herbal products. It is also applied to the processed foods such as beverages, soups and cereals. It is used as a powerful product in maintaining health and to act against nutritionally induced acute and chronic diseases, thereby improving the health of an individual and by promoting longevity and quality of life. Calcirol D-3, Proteinex, Coral calcium etc. are some of the marketed nutraceutical products.
It is being used in nutritional therapy, which provides medicinal benefits. This theory is described as a healing system that uses dietary supplements also. It is based on the belief that food is not only the source of nutrients and energy, but can even provide medicinal benefits. This therapy is able to achieve this goal by using efficacy of such nutraceuticals for body detoxification.
It can be classified on the basis of its natural sources, chemical constitution of the products or as per its pharmacological conditions. Talking about its classification on the basis of natural source it can be classified as the products obtained from animals, plants, microbial sources or minerals. Other than these categories, it is also classified on the basis of its therapeutical utility for the prevention or treatment of specific condition. Mentioned below is a list of some of its health benefits on body:
- For the treatment of allergy such as yeast infection or antifungal properties
- For treating cardiac diseases
- Digestive support
- Female hormone support
- Arthritis support
- Also used for treating diabetes, blood sugar, nerve damage due to diabetes
- For lowering down the cholesterol level or for anti-inflammatory properties
- Protects and rebuilds the damaged joints, reduce pain and inflammation
This industry includes two principal segments, functional food and dietary supplements. Functional food looks like a conventional food and is taken as a part of normal diet and has been proved beneficial in reducing the risk of chronic disease. On the other hand, functional foods promote health of an individual and also promote growth and development.
Market of Nutraceutical
The Indian market is said to be the most potential market for such kind of substance and dietary supplement products. The awareness about the positive impact of using it is the new phenomenon. Over the past few years it is seen that this industry is growing at a rapid pace and is considered as the fastest growing sector in comparison to other sectors or industries and is expected to sustain its growth in the future. With rising health care costs and people becoming more health conscious, this industry is becoming very popular. The nutraceutical market is becoming more competitive mainly because of the emergence of major food companies and pharmaceutical industries. In addition, today, several food companies have opened nutraceutical divisions.
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