The word 'Nutraceutical' literally means pharmaceutical nourishment for the body. Nutraceuticals are additional nourishment for our body apart from the food we eat. They work on the principle of prevention. A healthy nourished body is strong enough in itself to fight against various diseases. We can also avoid being affected by deficiency diseases. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Anjali Phatak, Director Nutripulse and Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Nutripulse, Jaipur, about the benefits and side effects of nutraceuticals.
Nutraceuticals health benefits
As we are also aware that we have evidently degraded or lifestyle and eating habits, few people rely on fast food that just have hollow calories. It is necessary for few individuals as these supplements help them fulfil their nutritional needs and hence strengthening our immune system. Here are the main benefits of nutraceuticals:
1. Improves overall health
Nutraceuticals help us improve our overall health. As we have discussed before that how a balanced diet is helpful in improving our health. It adds nutritional value to our body and helps in improving both mental and physical health.
2. Boosts energy
There are various types of nutraceuticals, which really help us boost our energy like all the vitamins mainly from Vitamin B group. Vitamin D group also helps you stay active. Vegans and vegetarians should try to increase their B-12 intake because it is mainly found in milkband meat which is not a part of their diet.
3. Prevents chronic diseases
Nutraceuticals are proved to help deal with fatal diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Supplements like fibre help to keep your arteries free of any form of submission. Diabetes can also be controlled if one maintains a healthy weight and proper nutrition intake.
4. Improves sleeping pattern
Nutraceuticals are also believed to improve sleeping patterns. Many natural nutraceuticals like valeria roots and some minerals like magnesium may help you get a sound sleep. It also helps us to improve our sleeping patterns.
5. Relieves anxiety
Certain vitamins like vitamins D have a very major role on establishing our mood. Vitamin B definitely is also associated with increased risk of anxiety and depression. Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is also a very important vitamin which is mostly found in meat. Hence, vegetarians can take supplements for it.
Side effects of nutraceuticals
Some supplements contain certain ingredients that can have a major impact on our body. Anything in excess is not good for our body, same is the case with multivitamins. There are various fortified products available in the market which contain some vitamins and minerals. Combining non prescribed nutraceuticals in your diet along with fortified products or already ongoing medications can some times cause problems. Here are some potential side effects of nutraceuticals:
Excess of vitamin A is associated with headache. A single large dose can also cause nausea and headache. It can range from mild to severe in different people. Therefore, it is important to take the supplements as advised by the doctor.
Excess of vitamin A can also cause dizziness and birth problems. You should eat the right foods and take nutraceuticals in the prescribed quantity to avoid this side effect. As a patient you should be responsible that before consuming any of the supplements, you should consult your doctor for right dosage.
3. Elevated blood pressure
Certain minerals also tend to increase blood pressure which can be harmful for us. It can prove to be fatal for those suffering from heart disease. A large proportion of the general population takes dietary supplements. Medical practioners should be aware of that and therefore they should take the information from the patients regarding their supplement intake.
4. Digestion problems
Excessive intake of certain supplements can cause various digestive problems like vomiting, loose motion and constipation. Excess of vitamin C is often associated with cases of constipation.
The market for nutraceuticals has proven to improve the health but it is not necessary that these products are safe for everyone. Supplements with active ingredients can also cause adverse effects in selected individuals, just like drugs. Before advising a regimen involving these substances, physicians and users must consult updated literature. You should also inform him about the pre existing allergies. You should take care that you inform your doctor about any supplements you have been taking, because some nutrients can interfere with the working of anesthesia.
Read more articles on Healthy diet