Nutraceuticals

I learned a new word today!  Nutraceuticals.  Here I am writing about these things and I don’t even know what they are called!  An excellent word.

This article by Dr. Tomislav Metrovic, MD, PhD describes what they are. The preamble is as follows:

Nutraceuticals is a broad umbrella term that is used to describe any product derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods. They can be considered non-specific biological therapies used to promote general well-being, control symptoms and prevent malignant processes.

The term “nutraceutical” combines two words – “nutrient” (a nourishing food component) and “pharmaceutical” (a medical drug). The name was coined in 1989 by Stephen DeFelice, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine, an American organization located in Cranford, New Jersey.

The philosophy behind nutraceuticals is to focus on prevention, according to the saying by a Greek physician Hippocrates (known as the father of medicine) who said “let food be your medicine”. Their role in human nutrition is one of the most important areas of investigation, with wide-raging implications for consumers, health-care providers, regulators, food producers and distributors.

Hippocrates was right. I find it amazing how much a quote from a man who lived almost 2,500 years ago resonates today; “let food be thy medicine”.  The reason I actually came across this term is that I was actually flipping through my LinkedIn trying to find the name of someone related to my real work and came across an old contact of mine that is making investments into “Nutraceuticals”.  So interesting.  I need to learn more about that.  I feel another entry coming on!

 

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