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Nutraceuticals are often big on promise but fail to deliver

Nutraceuticals are often big on promise but fail to deliver

Nial Wheate, Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at University of Sydney, Australia writes an interesting and informative article on what's been observed in the study of nutraceuticals (foods that provide health or medical benefits), arguing that their promise doesn’t always hold up:

While the inspiration for the article is a recently published paper in the Journal of Clinical Pathology reporting on the synergistic effects of chokeberry extracts on chemotherapy, real world experience with other nutraceuticals, including turmeric, is also included.

Mention is also made of the drugs doxorubicin and daunorubicin, which come from a bacteria originally found in the ground outside a 13th century Italian castle, along with vinblastine and vincristine, which were originally extracted from the Madagascar periwinkle plant. (Vincristine and doxorubicin are used to treat Richter's Transformation and other cancers.)

As the article concludes:

"While the results of many nutraceutical studies are scientifically interesting, they’re almost always too preliminary to justify recommending cancer patients supplement their treatment. Only when further testing has shown effectiveness in animals and in human clinical trials, and their mechanisms of action have been determined can we justify the use of specific nutraceuticals in therapy."


Photo: Caladenia Carnea orchid, again with thanks to Jay for identifying this beautiful flower.

1 Reply

Your post raises two comments…

First the subject of a dictionary..

This word ‘ Nutraceuticals ‘ is yet another word to add to the medical terms we now have to learn due to our hypochondriasis.

It used to be just called ‘ Alternative medicine ‘ or ‘ Homeopathic medicine ‘ by some people.

If we have yet another terminology we should then use a proper word for scientifically researched medicine which is allopathic medicine.

(Ironically, the word “allopathic” was first used as a derogatory term by the classically trained physician Samuel Hahnemann, who founded homeopathy after becoming disillusioned by medicine as it was practiced in his era.)

Secondly the interesting article you linked to with your post has ONE LARGE ERROR…!!!

I regularly take a ‘ Nutraceutical ‘ each and every day..

It is the beer I drink after coming back from my cycle ride… :-) :-)



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