Nutraceuticals – a friend of modern human?

Currently, many Russian people have deficiency in such biologically active substances as: polyunsaturated fatty acids, native (animal) proteins, vitamins (C, B1, B2, A, beta-carotene, E and others), mineral compounds (Ca, F, Fe), trace elements (Se, Zn, I, P). At the same time excess consumption of animal fats is observed. Even when the diet is calorie-balanced, the deficit for most vitamins is about 20%.

Such interesting statistics with impressive figures is given on the site of the Center for hygienic education of the population of Rospotrebnadzor with reference to the Research Institute of Nutrition RAMS. In addition, experts of the Center believe that regular intake of dietary supplements reduces the risk of developing pathological conditions associated with micronutrient deficiency by 78-80%.

Of course, before taking any dietary supplement or drug (many vitamin-mineral complexes, probiotics and prebiotics have exactly this status) it is necessary to understand which the goal is pursued and what biologically active substances are lacking in this period for this person. Here, such areas of medicine as laboratory diagnostics and nutritiology come to help.

Nutritiology is the science of food, food substances and other components contained in foods, their action and interaction, their role in maintaining health or the occurrence of diseases, the processes of their consumption, assimilation, transfer, utilization, and excretion from the body. Interestingly, the same science is concerned with studying how and for what motives a person chooses food and how that choice affects their health.

A nutrition specialist, based on the results of laboratory diagnostics and other data, can help to choose a balanced diet system, and recommend the reception of special dietary supplements — nutraceuticals.

The term “nutraceuticals” was proposed by Dr Stephen L. DeFelice in 1989 and it is a symbiosis of “nutrition” and “pharmaceuticals”. Nutraceutical is a food or nutrient that provides health benefits, incl. prevention or therapy of certain diseases.

Nutraceuticals constitute a separate group of dietary supplements according to the classification of MUK These include various vitamin-mineral complexes, dietary fibers, etc.

According to the Center for Hygienic Education of the population of the Rospotrebnadzor people most often buy multivitamins/minerals, they account for about 32% of all purchased nutraceuticals. Next comes calcium (12%), followed by omega 3/fish oil supplements (10%), followed by a variety of plant dietary supplements, probiotics, melatonin, and coenzyme Q10.

When choosing nutraceuticals, of course, one should follow the recommendations of a doctor. And to check compliance with the requirements of technical regulations, you can use the materials of our article.


  1. Мартинчик А.Н. Общая нутрициология: Учебное пособие /А.Н.Мартинчик, И.В.Маев, О.О.Янушевич. – М .: МЕДпресс-информ, 2005. — 392 с.
  2. МУК Определение безопасности и эффективности биологически активных добавок к пище