November 29, 2023

Classification of Nutraceuticals

Classification of Nutraceuticals: Dietary supplements and Nutraceuticals Notes, PDF, Books

According to Dietary supplement, health and education act (DSHEA) dietary supplements are products intended to supplement the diet that bears or contains one or more of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical, an amino acid, a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total daily intake, or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combinations of these ingredients. It may be taken in the form of pill capsule, tablet, or liquid form. It is not represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or diet. It is labeled as a “dietary supplement.” Under the DSHEA (1994), the manufacturer of a dietary supplement is responsible for ensuring that the dietary supplement is safe before it is marketed

Simply, Nutraceuticals means, NUTRITIVE + PHARMACEUTICAL: A food stuff (as a fortified food or dietary supplement) that provides health benefits.

The functional food concept can be defined as “Food products to be taken as part of the usual diet in order to have beneficial effects that go beyond basic nutritional function”

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Nutraceuticals are defined as substances that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition, and they can be classified into several categories based on their composition and function. Some common categories of nutraceuticals include:

  1. Vitamins and Minerals: These are essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly. They can be found in foods or taken as supplements.
  2. Herbs and Botanicals: These are plant-based nutraceuticals that are used for their therapeutic properties. Examples include ginkgo biloba, garlic, and ginger.
  3. Probiotics and Prebiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits, while prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates that help to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
  4. Amino Acids and Peptides: These are building blocks of protein that have various health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and improving muscle function.
  5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are a type of polyunsaturated fat that have been shown to have numerous health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and improving heart health.
  6. Phytochemicals: These are compounds found in plants that have been shown to have health benefits, such as antioxidants, flavonoids, and carotenoids.

This classification is not exhaustive and other forms of nutraceuticals exist. It is important to note that while nutraceuticals can provide health benefits, they should not be used as a substitute for a balanced diet and lifestyle. Consulting a healthcare professional before starting any nutraceutical supplementation is always recommended.

Types of Nutraceuticals

  1. Traditional nutraceuticals
  2. Non-traditional nutraceuticals

Traditional nutraceuticals

Traditional nutraceuticals are simply natural with no changes to the food. Food contains several natural components that deliver benefits beyond basic nutrition, such as lycopene in tomatoes, omega-3 fatty acids in salmon or saponins in soy

They are grouped on the basis of

I. Chemical Constituents
a) Nutrients: Substances such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids with established nutritional functions. Most vegetables, wholegrain cereals, dairy products, fruits and animal products such as meat, and poultry, contain vitamins and are helpful in curing heart diseases, stroke, cataracts

b) Herbals: Nutraceuticals holds a great promise to improve health and prevent chronic diseases with the help of herbals. Some examples are willow bark (Salix nigra), having active component as salicin, which is
anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, astringent and antiarthritic

c) Phytochemicals: They are classified on the basis of chemical name given according to their phytochemical properties. For example, Carotenoids (Isoprenoids) found in various fruits, vegetables and egg yolk, are anticarcinogenic, boost natural killer immune cells and protect cornea against UV light. Legumes (chickpeas and soybeans), grains, palm oil contain non-carotenoids, which remove cholesterol and are anti-carcinogenic. Flavonoid polyphenolics are found in berries, fruits, vegetables, and legumes,
which are potent antioxidants, phytoestrogens, prevent breast cancer, prostate cancer and control diabetes.

II. Probiotic Microorganisms

The scientific interest in probiotics boosted from the work of Metchinkoff to transform the toxic flora of the large intestine into a host-friendly colony of Bacillus bulgaricus was found by Hord
‘Probiotics’ mean ‘for life’ and are defined as live microorganisms, which when consumed in adequate amounts, confer a health effect on the host
They are friendly bacteria that promote healthy digestion and absorption of some nutrients. They act to crowd out pathogens, such as yeasts, other bacteria and viruses that may otherwise cause disease and develop a mutually advantageous symbiosis with the human gastrointestinal tract. They have an antimicrobial effect through modifying the microflora, preventing adhesion of pathogens to the intestinal epithelium, competing for nutrients necessary for pathogen survival, producing an antitoxin effect and reversing some of the consequences of infection on the intestinal epithelium, such as secretory changes and neutrophil migration.

Probiotics can cure lactose intolerance by the production of the specific enzyme (ß-galactosidase) that can hydrolyze the offending lactose into its component sugars

III. Nutraceutical Enzymes

Enzymes are an essential part of life, without which our bodies would cease to function. Those people who are suffering from medical conditions such as hypoglycemia, blood sugar disorders, digestive problems and obesity, eliminate the symptoms by enzyme supplements to their diet.
These enzymes are derived from microbial, plant and animal sources

Non-traditional nutraceuticals

Non-traditional nutraceuticals are artificial foods prepared with the help of biotechnology. Food samples contain bioactive components which are engineered to produce products for human- wellness. They are
arranged into

a) Fortified nutraceuticals
It constitutes fortified food from agricultural breeding or added nutrients and/or ingredients. e.g. orange juice fortified with calcium, cereals with added vitamins or minerals and flour with added folic acid. Some examples are milk fortified with cholecalciferol used in vitamin D deficiency

Prebiotic and probiotic fortified milk with Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 used in diarrhea, respiratory infections and severe illnesses, in children

b) Recombinant nutraceuticals
Energy-providing foods, such as bread, alcohol, fermented starch, yogurt, cheese, vinegar, and others are produced with the help of biotechnology. The production of probiotics and the extraction of bioactive components by enzyme/fermentation technologies as well as genetic engineering technology are achieved through biotechnology

Final Year B Pharm Notes, Syllabus, Books, PDF Subjectwise/Topicwise

Final Year B Pharm Sem VIIBP701T Instrumental Methods of Analysis Theory
BP702T Industrial Pharmacy TheoryBP703T Pharmacy Practice Theory
BP704T Novel Drug Delivery System TheoryBP705 P Instrumental Methods of Analysis Practical
Final Year B Pharm Sem VIIBP801T Biostatistics and Research Methodology Theory
BP802T Social and Preventive Pharmacy TheoryBP803ET Pharmaceutical Marketing Theory
BP804ET Pharmaceutical Regulatory Science TheoryBP805ET Pharmacovigilance Theory
BP806ET Quality Control and Standardization of Herbals TheoryBP807ET Computer-Aided Drug Design Theory
BP808ET Cell and Molecular Biology TheoryBP809ET Cosmetic Science Theory
BP810ET Experimental Pharmacology TheoryBP811ET Advanced Instrumentation Techniques Theory
BP812ET Dietary supplements and NutraceuticalsPharmaceutical Product Development

Suggested readings:


Chauhan B, Kumar G, Kalam N, Ansari SH. Current concepts and prospects of herbal nutraceutical: A review. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2013;4(1):4-8. doi:10.4103/2231-4040.107494

Singh, J.; Sinha, S. Classification, regulatory acts and applications of nutraceuticals for health. Int. J. Pharm. Bio Sci. 2012, 2, 177–187