Functional foods and their clinical implications
It is generally agreed that diet may modify the risk of developing or exacerbating certain chronic diseases. This observation is not new since for centuries it is known that diet and foods have a functional role in health. What is new is the scientific evidence as well as the terminology.
Our understanding of the relationships between food, physiological function and disease has progressed in recent years especially, with regard to the role of nutrition in our state of well being. This led many manufacturers to develop and market products derived from foods that could be used to promote good health. This resulted to the development and marketing of a growing spectrum of products called “nutraceuticals” and “functional foods.”
Although the terms “nutraceutical” and “functional food” are used commonly around the world, there is no consensus on their meaning. Bureau of Nutritional Sciences, of the Food Directorate of Health Canada, has proposed the following definitions:
A nutraceutical is a product isolated or purified from foods that is generally sold in medicinal forms not usually associated with food. A nutrac ...