|NUTRACEUTICALS = KNOWLEDGE OF FUNCTIONAL FOODS WILL KEEP YOU AWAY FROM JUNK FOODS AND KEEP YOU HEALTHY WITHOUT "PILLS".....|
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on July 10, 2008
pharmaceutical, refers to extracts of foods claimed to have a
medicinal effect on human health. The nutraceutical is usually contained
in a medicinal format such as a
or powder in a prescribed dose.
More rigorously, nutraceutical implies that the extract or food is
demonstrated to have a physiological benefit or provide protection
against a chronic disease.
Functional foods are defined as being consumed as
part of a usual diet but are demonstrated to have physiological benefits
and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional
Examples of claims made for nutraceuticals are
resveratrol from red
products as an
dietary fiber products, such as
psyllium seed husk for reducing
hypercholesterolemia, broccoli (sulforaphane)
as a cancer preventative, and soy or clover (isoflavonoids)
to improve arterial health. Such claims are being researched and many
citations are available via
to ascertain their foundation of basic research.
However, among the above examples, only the effect provided by
psyllium as a fiber product has been sufficiently documented in human
clinical trials to receive approval by the United States
Food and Drug Administration for health claim statements on product
Other nutraceutical examples are
alpha-linolenic acid from
With the US Dietary Supplement Health and Education
Act (DSHEA), several other compounds were added to the list of
supplements originally mentioned in FDA notification. Thus, many
botanical and herbal extracts such as
oil, etc. have been developed as nutraceuticals.
Nutraceuticals are often used in
nutrient premixes or
nutrient systems in the
Very few of these products, however, have sufficient scientific
evidence proving health benefits to consumers. Consequently, few have
FDA approval for making health claims on product labels.
You can click on the hilited words
in the above to read more on the word topics on the Wikipedia web
reading in the right column the
on this news item contributed by
Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry
reading the nutraceutical information on some of the common foods on the
next page of this news item....which gives take on:
high fibre intake
does a lot of good to the body;
vEDik scientific information on oats and barley, Ragi Mudde, (balls made of powdered Ragi,
a minor millet which are all age old foods;
FIND THE TRUTH OF
FOOD FOR LIFE ....YOU SHALL LIVE FREE AND HEALTHY......
PVAF is publishing today's news item as a discussion topic in YOUR
today's life in vEDik time era we live in called
"incomplete knowledge" is, in the first instance, used for opportunity
to make money regardless of the truth of the effect of such
"incomplete knowledge" on life of humankind and all creations on planet
earth and most likely beyond planet earth....
Today the humanity is bombarded constantly by current "incomplete
science" and those who commercialize this current "incomplete science"
for the greed of wealth through opportunism that can be had from
humankind's utmost desire for immortality and/or disease-free life
with making least effort for healthy life if a nutraceutical "pill" is
available from the pharmaceutical which have been giving "pills" which
scientists really know how they work ....or the worst is scientists and
users finding the
degenerative side effects after five, ten, fifteen years in which the
"pills' probably never cured the diseases but kept one alive suffering
from the diseases......
And the proof of the above lies in the research knowledge contained in
books such as:
- "Eat, Drink and Be Health" by Harvard Medical School as Guide to
Healthy Eating by Walter C. Willet, M.D.
- "Dr. Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease
" - The only
system scientifically proven to Reverse Heart Disease without drugs or
surgery and which includes yoga is part of the daily lifestyle to live
stress-free....and/or visit the web site
RESEARCH INSTITUTE by clicking on the name hilite
But if you really wish to find the truth of how YOU can live a life in
the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS then you need to understand
- who you are from your origin,
- place and time from today to from where you are from and ,
- your purpose in life in conformance to lifestyle of your place and time,
- how you are suppose to fulfill your life purpose in the place and time you
- how you relate to all other creations and most important
of all how you relate to your Creator with respect to your origin and
present lifestyle in the place and time you live in....
And all of the above is contained in many oral trans-generational
transmissions and written texts of ancestral knowledge
in all the cultures...if one could compartmentalize the current
life knowledge conflicts with "institutions of
faith concepts"...and the information from ancestral knowledge and use
both life knowledge sources
"judiciously and truthfully" after filtering out the Truth of
One of the most ancestral knowledge texts and oral knowledge extant for
current humanity is called vED
and is in the oldest known language called
sadly hardly anybody studies and/or applies in daily living....along
with similar sources from all cultures....
(As usual please participation in this topic discussion by posting your
knowledge on this website by clicking on the
POST A COMMENT
button in the header of this news item....)
And you can get a take on the nutraceutical information on foods
such as junk food
comprising a jumbo hamburger, large French
fries and a cola drink....and healthy foods
containing grains such as wheat, oats, barley and sorghum are excellent in fiber
content, as are greens like spinach or salad leaves, cassava, glutinous rice,
tofu, fibrous fruits like bananas and chicory with coffee, tea by clicking on
the next line......
National Online Newspaper: July 27, 2000: Prof. D. Balasubramanian
AS WE learn more about the health aspects of the food we eat, we
discover new ways of preparing and using plant material for food, and
also rediscover the value of some of the old practices. This has led to
the coining of new terms.
one such word, which means "functional food". The term appears to be a
take-off from the word pharmaceutical, which means pertaining to drugs;
thus a nutraceutical is a substance that has a role or function related
to nutrition or promotion of health by feeding.
A nutraceutical is the opposite of "junk food". The latter is the stuff
that is marketed in a seductive and high-pressure manner by hamburger
joints and snack stores.
The classic example of junk food
would be a jumbo hamburger, large French fries and a cola
drink. It is "junk" because it is high in
calories, in fat and in red meat; it is extremely acidic because of the
cola, and nutritionally not even a B grade. An occasional
trip to the hamburger joint is acceptable, but as a daily routine it
adds nothing but flab to the body (a seemingly guilt-ridden concession
in the above menu is made when the customer asks for "diet cola" in
place of the regular drink!)
With our increasing understanding of the nutritive value of various food
items, and the basic biochemical roles that they play, we are getting to
appreciate the values of the menu that various societies have adopted
around the world.
Nutritionists in the West now believe that the diet that offers the best
value to bodily health is the
Mediterranean cuisine - namely fish, whole
wheat bread, olive oil, tomato and greens in the salad, garlic and
onion, red wine and fruits.
East Asian food
would seem to score an A grade as well, with its grains
such as wheat, oats, barley and sorghum are excellent in fibre content,
as are greens like spinach or salad leaves, cassava, glutinous rice,
tofu (soya bean curd), fibrous fruits like bananas and chicory with
coffee, tea (which has about the same health-promoting
value as red wine).
We have come to understand that a
high fibre intake
does a lot of good to the body. It helps in
cholesterol levels in the blood; this leads to less plaque formation,
- prevents the blocking of blood vessels, and hence reduces the
risk of hypertension and stroke,
- helps in enhancing weight control,
- in a better glycemic control (useful for diabetics).
- help in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer, improving
gastro-intestinal function and so on.
When I consulted Dr. Ramesh Bhat of the National Institute of Nutrition at
Hyderabad on the issue of functional foods, he pointed out the
interesting fact that chicory too is a nutraceutical since it is a good
source of soluble fibre.
Some of the nutraceutical
information on chicory, soyabean, tofu, barley, oats is
A notable aspect of the South Indian food habit is that the coffee drunk
there is invariably mixed with chicory.
This is a perennial plant with bright blue flowers, cultivated as a
salad plant. Its root is roasted and ground as an additive in coffee.
Interestingly, the coffee - chicory mixture (usually 60:40) is more
prevalent in South India, where it is almost a ritual to go to the
coffee seed shop, have fresh coffee seeds roasted and ground in your
presence, the requisite amount of chicory powder added, the mixture
brought home and filtered using boiling water, and drank with freshly
Some instant coffee manufacturers add chicory in their product so as to
cater to the taste of the fast-life, no-time South Indian.
Food historians of India would surely know when coffee came to India,
and how chicory got added to it. The fact it is more popular in the
South and not in North India may perhaps be explained as due to the
French influence in Pondicherry, and Peninsular India. Among the
Europeans it is the French who use chicory in their coffee. (Professor
H. Y. Mohan Ram, the distinguished botanist and scholar from Delhi,
tells me that while chicory is a Mediterranean herb, it occurs on the
wild in Kashmir; he has found it growing lush on the roadside, on the
way from the airport to the city of Srinagar).
Chicory is rich in the fibrous polysaccharide inulin (not insulin, make
sure to remove the s), the term coming from a genus of plants. While
cellulose is made of glucose molecules chained together as a polymer
(hence the name polyglucoside meaning many glucoses strung together),
inulin is (a polymer of the fruit sugar fructose, a polyfructoside).
Unlike cellulose, which does not easily dissolve in water, inulin is a
soluble dietary fibre.
Since it is resistant to digestion by the commonly occurring enzymes, it
serves its fibrous function well. Not easily absorbed in the small
intestines, it reaches the large intestines or colon essentially intact,
where it is fermented by the resident bacteria.
It is for this reason that a molecule like inulin is called a pre-
biotic, namely non-digestible food material that selectively stimulates
the growth of health - promoting bacteria like lactobacilli and
bifidobacteria, which digest it and feed themselves and the host.
These symbiotic microbes colonize our large bowels at the expense of
harmful ones such as coliform. A pre-biotic is a "fertilizer", as it
were, for the symbiotic bacteria that thrive in our bodies.
Dr. Ramesh Bhat points out that being of bland neutral flavour, inulin
is added to food mainly for its nutritional properties. It has all the
advantages of a fibre that we pointed out above and, being soluble,
mixes and blends well.
It is thus used as a macronutrient substitute, mainly to replace fat and
sugars, largely in cakes and confectionery, ice cream and yogurt, milk
drinks and in pet foods.
The caloric content of inulin is a mere one-calorie per gram, just about
one-ninth of that of fat.
Inulin is reported to have a variety of health benefits such as reducing
the risk of obesity, heart diseases, non-insulin-dependent diabetes,
intestinal infection, osteoporosis and colon cancer.
The safety of inulin has been evaluated and accepted by several European
countries and the Food and Drug Administration of the US. Inulin or
chicory saccharide is thus a good example of a functional food or
bean and Tofu
Tofu is soya bean curd, long favoured by the Chinese, and a special food
of their emperors.
Today the value of tofu, or indeed that of soya bean itself, as a
nutraceutical has been realized. From supermarkets to health food
stores, diet-conscious Americans are buying soy beans (both spellings
soy and soya are acceptable), not just as tofu but also as soy milk,
soya burgers, infant formula and so on - and the
FDA has given its seal of approval. It has fast caught on in the Indian
market as well, thanks to the large scale introduction of soya
cultivation in India since the 1950s (through the lab to land programmes
of the agricultural universities, particularly Pantnagar), and the
popularization of soya bean cakes and ready-to-cook granules (Nutri-Nuggets
as they are called) in the market.
It is not only low in cholesterol and saturated fat, but contains
compounds called isoflavones (with hard to pronounce names like
genistein and daidzein) that may help prevent everything from cancer to
The USFDA reviewed as many as 41 clinical studies before it concluded
that "based on the totality of publicly available scientific evidence,
there is significant agreement to support the relationship between
consumption of soy protein included in diet low in saturated fat and
cholesterol, and a lowering in the risk of coronary heart disease".
Of 25 grams of soy protein that is recommended in our daily diet, 45 mg
are is oflavones. These are compounds that act as antioxidants (quite
like red wine and teas do), and as protective agents against cancer and
Dr. Barry Palevitz, who writes about the nutraceutical aspects of soya
beans in The Scientist wonders whether the low incidence of certain
cancers and cardiovascular diseases in China and Japan might be due to
their traditional soy - rich diets; Rates of these diseases rise in the
children of Asian immigrants who adopt a Western diet, so the connection
is not genetic.
Then there are the good old grains known to man since millenia, namely
oats and barley. These have now been recognized to be nutraceuticals as
Of the two, oat is less popular since there has been a misconception
that it is not easily digestible.
Far from true, since oat porridge, Quaker Oats and Champion Oats are
eaten largely as breakfast meals.
Known in Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi as
Jav and in Telugu as
Yavalu , oat is an
excellent nutraceutical. It is free from gluten and has a high fibre
Indeed, there is now an increasingly popular food item in the US called
Oatrim. This is made by the enzymatic digestion of oat flour or oat bran
to produce soluble fibre, quite like inulin.
Oatrim replaces fat in foods, has a natural taste and adds a fatty
texture to foods - so that food containing Oatrim looks and tastes like
traditional higher fat foods. A very useful application of the material
is that it can be converted into a shortening-like gel (vanaspati type)
by heating and cooling 25% Oatrim dispersion in water. Just as inulin,
this gel too has but 1 calorie/gram compared with the 9 per gram of fat.
The gel is heat-stable and can be used as shortening in baking,
pasteurizing and cooking in place of fat.
Oat fibre has at least three health benefits.It can eliminate or
substitute for fat. It reduces cholesterol in the body, and it can be
used for reducing body weight- slimming food. The biological effects are
essentially the same as those of chicory and soya.
Barley has been known and used since the Vedic times. It is called
Yava in Sanskrit,
Jau in Hindi, Gujarathi and Marathi,
Barli arisi in
Tamil and Barley biyyam
in Telugu. It has been used as a gruel and as the preferred diet for
preparation from barley gruel, is used in North India as a cooling
drink. Tribals in Madhya Pradesh have been mixing wheat, barley Bengal gram, and
small amounts of kesari dal and eating them as
birra orbirri .
As the levels of kesari dal go up, the danger of
lathyrism can set in. (I was not aware of this intriguing mixture and
its use, and thank Ramesh Bhat for this information).
Finally, of all the PMs that we have had, the one who has a well-
publicized preference for nutraceuticals is Mr. H. D. Deve Gowda. His
favourite is Ragi Mudde, balls made of powdered Ragi ( a minor millet,
called eleusine corcana), which are eaten with sambar or any gravy. The
biological benefits of Ragi are pretty much the same as those of oats
Prof. D. Balasubramanian
L.V.Prasad Eye Institute
Hyderabad - 500 034
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