Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, in his famous quote, written around the 5th century BC, was essentially referring to nutraceuticals. The portmanteau of the words "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical", was coined in 1989, by Stephen L. DeFelice, founder and chairman of the Foundation of Innovation Medicine.

Nutraceutical is any substance considered as food or its part, which, in addition to its normal nutritional value, provides health benefits, including the prevention of disease, or promotion of health.

Different jurisdictions have collectively agreed, that nutraceutical has no regulatory definition. As a general consensus, a nutraceutical should be a non-toxic food component, with scientifically proven health benefits.

A plethora of ancient civilizations, like Indian, Egyptian, Chinese, and Sumerian, have extensively explored the medicinal traits of various food commodities. Ayurveda, the ages old Indian discipline of health science, has also mentioned the usages and benefits of food for therapeutic purposes. The modern nutraceutical industry thriving nowadays, had begun to develop in Japan, during the 1980s.

Nutraceuticals are often labeled as designer foods, health foods, fortified foods, medifoods, vita foods, pharma foods, functional foods, and dietary supplements. The term "Nutraceutical" is a terminology, which encompasses isolated nutrients, dietary supplements and diets, genetically engineered '' designer '' foods, herbal products, and processed food products the functional component must be standardized in the nutraceutical product, and be manufactured under good manufacturing practices (GMPs).

Recent developments:

August 2017: Carlson Labs, Arlington Heights, and IL, have developed Carlson Curcumin, an enhanced form of curcumin, which has a higher bioavailability, for healthy, normal inflammatory response, joint & heart health, and a powerful antioxidant protection.

The enhanced bioavailability has been a constant focus of R&D, in the nutraceutical sector, as the amount of functional ingredients have no beneficial effect, if they are not adequately available for absorption by the human body, into the bloodstream. Moreover, the enhanced form of functional ingredients are, readily absorbed by the person who has a compromised immune-system.

July 2017: NutraGlow, Inc., the developer of a blend of sublingual vitamins, launched its new Super B vitamin product, which has active B-6, and inactive B-12 to fight fatigue, and optimize brain function.

Multivitamins have been a popular form of supplements, due to its wide array of health benefits, collectively provided by different vitamins. However, blending an active type of vitamin with an inactive one, for enhanced health benefits, is a significant innovation at value-added levels.

How global market is responding to this segment of medicinal foods?

A report by a market research firm, estimates a healthy growth rate of 6.3% for increasing growing global nutraceutical market, over 2017-2022, and the market is estimated to be valued at294.79 billion, by 2022 end.

Developed countries are investing heavily in R&D, pertaining to the general well-being of their fellow citizens, along with the sharp rise in medical expenses, to tackle chronic and lifestyle diseases. Preventive approach to health has been the rising trend globally, with developing countries meeting their public health targets, and consistently increasing the proportion of GDP allotted for the …