Nutraceuticals - Supplements or Complements in Different Systemic Illness. - A Literature Review
Nutraceuticals are dietary supplements or functional foods that contain health-promoting ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other natural compounds. These products are thought to have therapeutic benefits for a variety of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Nutraceuticals have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. For example, omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering triglycerides and blood pressure. Similarly, antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E, have been shown to protect against cancer by neutralizing free radicals that can damage DNA.
In addition to their therapeutic benefits, nutraceuticals may also have a role in preventing chronic diseases. For example, probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt and kefir, may help to improve gut health and boost the immune system. Similarly, fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, may help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Despite the potential benefits of nutraceuticals, there are some disadvantages to consider. One major issue is that many nutraceutical products are not regulated by the FDA, which means that their quality and purity may vary. Additionally, some nutraceuticals can interact with prescription medications, which can cause serious side effects. Finally, some nutraceuticals may be ineffective or even harmful, particularly when taken in large doses or for prolonged periods of time.
In conclusion, nutraceuticals have the potential to improve health and prevent chronic diseases. However, it is important to use them with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. The best way to get the benefits of nutraceuticals is through a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.