What Are Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods

The latter portion of the twentieth century was a time of great strides in modifying the way many nutritionists and health care practitioners viewed nutrition. For decades we made nutritional recommendations based upon what needed to be avoided or limited in our diet choices. The nutritional "bad guys" were fat, which evolved to saturated fat-rich foods, cholesterol, sodium, and arguably sugar. Today it is quite clear that the other side of the nutrition coin, or "what we should eat," is probably as significant as "what we should not eat." Nutraceuticals are substances found in natural foods that seem to have the potential to prevent disease or be used in the treatment of various disorders. Meanwhile, functional foods are the foods in which one or more nutraceuticals can be found. Nutraceutical substances include some of the more recognized nutrients such as vitamins C and E and the mineral calcium, but also include such substances as genestein, capsaicin, allium compounds, carotenoids (for example, lutein, lycopene, and zeathanxin) phytosterols, glucosamine, catechins (such as EGCG), fiber (psyllium, oat bran) (see Tables 3.5 through 3.7).

Nutraceuticals are nutrients in foods that can promote better health and/or support disease prevention.

As you may have already surmised, it is possible for a nutraceutical to be an essential nutrient. However, keep in mind that the nutraceutical

Table 3.5 Examples of Nutraceutical Substances Grouped by Natural Food

source

Plants

Animal

Microbial

P-Glucan,

Allicin

Conjugated linoleic

Saccharomyces

Ascorbic acid

¿-Limonene

acid (CLA)

boulardii (yeast)

y-Tocotrienol

Genestein

Eicosapentaenoic

Bifidobacterium.

Quercetin

Lycopene

acid (EPA)

bifidum

Luteolin

Hemicellulose

Docosahexenoic acid

Bifidobacterium.

Cellulose

Lignin

(DHA)

longum

Lutein

Capsaicin

Spingolipids

Bifidobacterium

Gallic acid

Geraniol

Choline

infantis

Perillyl alcohol

ß-Ionone

Lecithin

Lactobacillus

Indole-3-

a-Tocopherol

Calcium

acidophilus

carbonol

ß-Carotene

Ubiquinone

(LCI)

Pectin

Nordihydro-

(coenzyme Q10)

Lactobacillus

Daidzein

capsaicin

Selenium

acidophilus

Glutathione

Selenium

Zinc

(NCFB 1748)

Potassium

Zeaxanthin

Streptococcus

salvarius

(subsp. Thermophilus)

Note: The substances listed on this table include those that are either accepted or purported nutraceutical substances. From: Wildman REC, The Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (Taylor and Francis, 2007).

Note: The substances listed on this table include those that are either accepted or purported nutraceutical substances. From: Wildman REC, The Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (Taylor and Francis, 2007).

Table 3.6 Examples Of Foods With Higher Content of Specific Nutraceutical Substances

Nutraceutical Substance/ Family

Foods of Remarkably High Content

Allyl sulfur compounds

Onions, garlic

Isoflavones

Soybeans and other legumes, apios,

Quercetin

Onion, red grapes, citrus fruits, broccoli, Italian

yellow squash

Capsaicinoids

Pepper fruit

EPA and DHA

Fish Oils

Lycopene

Tomatoes and tomato products

Isothiocyanates

Cruciferous vegetables

a-Glucan

Oat bran

CLA

Beef and dairy

Resveratrol

Grapes (skin), red wine

a-Carotene

Citrus fruits, carrots, squash, pumpkin

Carnosol

Rosemary

Catechins

Teas, berries

Adenosine

Garlic, onion,

Indoles

Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels

sprouts

Curcumin

Tumeric

Ellagic acid

Grapes, strawberries, raspberries, walnuts

Anthocyanates

Red wine

3-n-butyl phthalide

Celery

Cellulose

Most plants (component of cell walls)

Note: The substances listed on this table include those that are either accepted or purported nutraceutical substances. From: Wildman REC, The Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (Taylor and Francis, 2007).

Note: The substances listed on this table include those that are either accepted or purported nutraceutical substances. From: Wildman REC, The Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (Taylor and Francis, 2007).

properties of certain essential nutrients may not be why they are essential in the first place. For instance, vitamin C is essential for making important molecules in our body such as collagen, yet its nutraceutical roles may be more related to its antioxidant activities, such as helping to prevent degenerative eye disorders—for example, cataracts and macular degeneration. We will spend more time discussing nutraceutical compounds in the later chapters. We are going to be hearing more and more about nutraceuticals for years to come.

The Nature of Food 65 Table 3.7 Examples of Nutraceuticals Grouped by Mechanisms of Action

Anticancer Positive Antioxidation Antiinflammatory Osteogenetic

Influence on or Bone

Blood Lipids Protective

Capsaicin

ß-Glucan

CLA

Linolenic acid

CLA

Genestein

Y-Tocotrienol

Ascorbic acid

EPA

Soy protein

Daidzein

5-tocotrienol

a-Carotene

DHA

Genestein

a-Tocotrienol

MUFA

Polyphenolics

Capsaicin

Daidzein

Y Tocotrienol

Quercetin

Tocopherols

Quercetin

Calcium

CLA

ffl-3 PUFAs

Tocotrienols

Curcumin

Lactobacillus

Resveratrol

Indole-3-

acidophilus

Tannins

carbonol

Sphingolipids

ß-Sitosterol

a-Tocopherol

Limonene

Saponins

Ellagic acid

Diallyl sulfide

Lycopene

Ajoene

Lutein

a-Tocopherol

Glutathione

Enterolactone

Hydroxytyrosol

Glycyrrhizin

Luteolin

Equol

Oleuropein

Curcumin

Catechins

Ellagic acid

Gingerol

Lutein

Chlorogenic acid

Carnosol

Tannins

Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Note: The substances listed on this table include those that are either accepted or purported nutraceutical substances. From: Wildman REC, The Handbook of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (Taylor and Francis, 2007).

Berry Boosters

Berry Boosters

Acai, Maqui And Many Other Popular Berries That Will Change Your Life And Health. Berries have been demonstrated to be some of the healthiest foods on the planet. Each month or so it seems fresh research is being brought out and new berries are being exposed and analyzed for their health giving attributes.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment