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What is a Nutraceutical?

Nutraceutical is a combination of "nutritional" and "pharmaceutical" and refers to foods that act as medicines.

The American Nutraceutical Association provides a more detailed description on what is considered a nutraceutical:

“The term "nutraceutical" was coined from "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical" in 1989 by Stephen DeFelice, MD, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine (FIM), Cranford, NJ. According to DeFelice, 'A nutraceutical is any substance that is a food or a part of a food and provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. Such products may range from isolated nutrients, dietary supplements and specific diets to genetically engineered designer foods, herbal products, and processed foods such as cereals, soups and beverages. In the United States the term nutraceutical is commonly used in marketing has no regulatory definition.

“Since the term was coined by Dr. De Felice, its meaning has been modified by Health Canada which defines nutraceutical as: a product isolated or purified from foods, and generally sold in medicinal forms not usually associated with food and demonstrated to have a physiological benefit or provide protection against chronic disease.”

More generally, a nutraceutical is considered something derived from food (a fortified food or dietary supplement) that is taken in order to receive some sort of health benefit. Examples of nutraceuticals include beta-carotene, antioxidant vitamins, juices such as cranberry and orange, and supplements like lycopene.

Some brand name nutraceutical supplement brand names include Solaray®, KAL®, NaturalMax®, VegLife®, Premier One®, Sunny Green®, Natural Sport®, ActiPet®, Action Labs®, FunFresh Foods©, Ultimate Nutrition® and Thompson®. .

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