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Nutraceuticals - why are they so popular in the United States?


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Nutraceuticals are growing in their popularity. What are they and what are the reasons driving their growth?

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Nutraceuticals - why are they so popular in the United States?

  1. 1. * Understanding what Nutraceuticals are and what’s behind their growth
  2. 2. * Stephen DeFelice, MD, created the word nutraceutical by combining nutrition and pharmaceutical’ *
  3. 3. * Refers to a food – or part of a food – that is deemed to offer health and medical benefits* Includes treatment and prevention of illnesses* Includes dietary supplements, isolated nutrients, genetically engineered designer foods, processed foods, herbal products, etc. *
  4. 4. * Expanded by Health Canada to also refer to a product derived from food but sold as medicine for physiological benefits or as protection from chronic diseases *
  5. 5. * The rising costs of medical treatment* Consumer demands are changing * want better preventive therapies for chronic diseases, more individualized medical care, and helpful solutions to address the effects of aging* The increased interest in healthy living contributes to growing desire for preventive therapies and natural cures *
  6. 6. * $86 billion estimated value of nutraceutical industry in the United States* Industry is even bigger in Europe and Japan *
  7. 7. * Most people believe nutraceuticals offer benefits on a par with those provided by pharmaceutical drugs but without the side effects *
  8. 8. * Benefit claims such as cartilage and joint health, improved cholesterol levels, healthy lung functions, relief from absentmindedness, and reduction in stress. *
  9. 9. * Dietary supplements with botanicals include minerals, vitamins, carnitine, co-enzyme Q and ginseng, among numerous others* Functional foods include bran, oats, lignin and psyllium. Additionally, there are the probiotics, omega-3 acids, medicinal foods and genetically engineered foods. *
  10. 10. * Medical experts and regulatory authorities are concerned that certified nutraceuticals are still rare in the market* Most raw materials used for the manufacture of nutraceuticals are imported and therefore offer no quality control* Not much data available on how the herbal and botanical ingredients – that go into the manufacture of nutraceuticals – are produced* Nutraceuticals clearly affect physiology but they are not submitted to a testing process as rigorously as pharmaceutical drugs *
  11. 11. * Pharmaceutical compliance resource website: * *