The term nutraceuticals (coined by Dr. Stephen Defelice in 1989), is the union of the words "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical".
Nutraceutics studies the beneficial function that many foods have on human health.
Nutraceutical foods are also referred to as functional foods, pharma foods or farm foods.
Therefore, a nutraceutical is a "food-pharmaceutical", that is, a healthy food that combines its nutritional components with the healing properties of natural active ingredients extracted from plants of proven and recognized effectiveness.
It is necessary to distinguish between real foods (functional food) and their single components reduced to concentrates or pills called "nutraceuticals".
But why taking nutraceuticals? Wouldn't it be possible to introduce these substances by consuming functional foods? Surely yes, but it is very difficult to determine the exact "curative dose" contained in foods of these active ingredients.
The advantage of nutraceutical preparations lies precisely in the controllability of the quantities taken.
When we talk about Nutraceuticals we are not talking about the usual vitamin supplements found on the market but about products that are foods with therapeutic properties. The biological substances that compose them, usually concentrated, have preventive, rebalancing, therapeutic and protective characteristics.