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For the health of the body, prevention 
and treatment of diseases


The term ‘nutraceuticals’ was introduced in 1989 by Dr Stephen De Felice, who coined the term by combining the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutics” to refer to the discipline that investigates all components and active ingredients of foods that have positive effects on health, disease prevention and treatment. Nutraceuticals are normally derived from plants, foods and microbial sources. Examples of nutraceuticals are probiotics, antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6, vitamins and enzyme complexes.


The intake of nutraceutical foods or supplements has a multitude of areas of application, helping to improve the health of the body, helping to prevent the onset of particular diseases, including chronic ones, delaying the ageing process and increasing life expectancy.

Compared to medicines and drugs, nutraceuticals have the advantage of acting on certain chronic diseases in a soft way, without giving side effects, and can be taken by anyone, subject to the indications and warnings of each individual product.


In Italy, food supplements have to comply with various regulations, e.g. they have to be approved by the Ministry of Health and mentioned in the appropriate register. In addition, according to the rules established by the European Community concerning labelling of food products, they must bear the nutritional value table on the packaging and specify the benefits they bring to the body.


Nutraceuticals therefore contribute to the normal functioning of the body and help compensate for any nutritional deficiencies, but it is important to include them in a balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, accompanied by a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity.

A great help in achieving “successful ageing” is the use of nutraceuticals in the prevention and treatment of the diseases that most frequently characterise ageing, such as dyslipidaemia, osteoporosis and sarcopenia. Nutraceuticals can help longevity and quality of ageing.