Navigation Links
Functional Food What is That, Ask First

Functional foods could be the rage today in advanced countries. But consumers seeking shortcuts to good health had better ask some tough questions before they decide to go in for the aggressively marketed brands.

Currently the international functional foods market is a $40 billion industry.

Functional foods include:

* Margarines that lower bad cholesterol (LDL).

* Probiotic yoghurts - laced with cultures of bacteria that promote healthy digestion.

* Omega3-enriched muffins, bread and dairy products - for cardiovascular and mental health benefits.

* A2 milk - contains naturally produced a2 beta-casein to help avoid health problems linked with plain milk such as coronary heart disease, childhood diabetes and autism.

* Manuka honey - healing properties, also used as cure for stomach ulcers.

* Herbs and herb-derived products that include echinacea, which studies say can more than halve the risk of catching a cold. More than 800 products containing echinacea are now available.

* Breakfast cereals enriched with vitamins and minerals.

* Kiwifruit extracts - products designed to relieve the symptoms of common digestive complaints such as constipation and heartburn.

* Sports drinks that boost energy.

* Functional foods due to be launched include: Cosmetic yoghurts which claim to "nourish the skin from the inside", soft drinks with added vitamins and minerals, a pasta enriched with grape seed extract claiming to protect the retina in diabetics and cranberry chewing gum to prevent gum disease.

So it goes and constantly expanding. But experts are warning that the actual benefits of these foods could be dubious and hence suggest consumers to be wary of falling prey to aggressive brand advertising.

"Millions of people are consuming these foods and the people who make functional foods ar e trading on people's insecurity and looking for an insurance to give them better health, says Dr. Dr.Geoffrey Savage, a senior lecturer in Food Biochemistry in Lincoln University, Newzealnd.

The term functional food was a curious and confusing concept, he said.

Clearly all foods are functional, because they provide taste, aroma or nutritive value. But it is interesting to note that the majority of the foods being marketed as functional are plant based.

There is overwhelming evidence from epidemiological and clinical trials to show that a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of chronic disease, particularly cancer, but this does not mean that meat, fish, or milk should be removed from our diets.

Functional foods were now popular because health-conscious baby boomers had made them the leading trend in the United States food industry, he said.

"When you extract something from a food and put into a pill, you don't necessarily know it is still active.

"It may be more concentrated but it may not be biologically active and in many cases this is not being tested."

When products were tested the results could prove disappointing and there should be more rigorous and regular testing of functional foods available in pill or other forms.

Original food offered the best and cheapest way to source the functional ingredients, Dr Savage said.

There was evidence foods such as oats, soy, flaxseed, tomatoes, garlic, cabbage-like vegetables, citrus fruits, cranberry, tea and red wine could all deliver impressive health benefits.

The problem was that considerable quantities of these would have to be consumed daily to achieve maximum effect and hence the shortcuts.

Researchers warn that the medicinal effects of some of the functional foods, also known as nutraceuticals or designer foods, could rebound to produce unexpected side-effects.

A British newspaper reported they were banned in some countries because of the risks. Other researchers have said there is no evidence so far that functional foods cause harm, but the data is limited to five or six years of use.

Duth Institute project director Nynke de Jong wrote in the British Medical Journal that his research on the potential risks of cholesterol-lowering margarines and yoghurts did not augur well for some users of the products.

"These products could trigger reactions in people taking statins - drugs that do the same job but act more powerfully - which might actually increase their risk of heart disease."

Canada had banned the sale of those products, the institute report said.

Dr Savage said cholesterol-lowering margarines were one of the best examples of a functional food with effective health benefits - lowering the risk of heart attacks.

Food products from larger, well-known companies would have undergone testing and monitoring, so tended to be more reliable, he said.

Still, Savage concludes, We should not allow the baby-boomers to turn eating into a serious quest for eternal health. Food should be savoured, enjoyed and shared with friends. Food has an enormous psychological impact on our lives and we should follow the advice given consistently by dieticians: eat a wide range of foods, because each one offers different characteristics and a particular function.


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Functional foods reduce cholesterol
2. Shy Bladder Syndrome: A Social Phobia Or Functional Disorder Of Micturition?
3. Bio-Functional Garments That Could Revolutionize Fashion Industry
4. Functional Taste Cells Cultured In Vitro
5. Functional Differences In Estrogen Receptor Could Be A Therapeutic Target
6. Patents: Appellate Board Becomes Functional
7. Functional Foods Must Be Monitored to Assess Their Long-term Safety and Effectiveness
8. First Vaccine Designed for Africa Cleared for Testing in Humans
9. Ajanta Launches Worlds First Once-A-Day Nimesulide Oral Formulation
10. First human clone is near
11. First Artificial Heart patient has Major setback
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal ... personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems ... offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June ... , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to ... is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... to helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented ... for the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set of ... or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, Serenity ... event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, guilt, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys are recognized ... this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing within the ... this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. Bloom, Burt ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- One of Australia,s successful biotechnology scientists, ... new biotechnology company, Noxopharm Limited [ABN 50 608 966 123] ("Noxopharm"). ... list on the ASX. Noxopharm is a clinic-ready company ... Phase 1 clinical study later this year. ... biggest problems facing cancer patients - the ability of cancers to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: ... under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as ... Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: CPXX ) ... Daylight Time). As previously announced on May ... definitive merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab ... Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to build ... Company,s stock which is currently listed on the OTC ... Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an ... difficult to understand, not only by the Company, but ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: