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Nutraceuticals: anti-smog corn and other natural secrets


Forgive us for the catchy title, but here we are dealing with scientific evidence rather than secrets. Around the nutraceuticals, that is the study of the properties of drug foods, increase interest and practice not because of the choice of life but because drug foods work.

Studies say that olive oil, garlic, lupine and bitter chocolate help prevent many diseases nutraceuticals it also includes food supplements, probiotics and prebiotics, all natural substances that we normally take with food.

Heal yourself with food it is the most ancient of medicines (Hippocrates also advised it) and it is valid above all in terms of prevention. THE drug foods they can also be very useful in fighting a modern evil such as smog in cities. For example, it is established that the high levels of flavonoids contained in corn develop the body's defenses against fumotoxins, toxic substances originating from environmental fungi in the event of high humidity and atmospheric contamination.

Anti-smog corn and polenta, but not only. Cesare Sirtori, professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Milan and president of the Italian Society of Nutraceuticals (Sinut) underlines during the conferences that nutraceutical foods exert a favorable activity on health and life span.

The studies of nutraceuticals by Bruno Trimarco of the Federico II University of Naples have shown that garlic, celery and lupins are as effective as drugs in the treatment of arterial hypertension and positive results have also emerged for magnesium, zinc, potassium and vitamins B6, C, D, E An extract of red rice and simsetin, a substance of vegetable origin, also works against hypertension.

Against 'living sickness', the American Journal of Psychitry published a study on the positive results obtained with Sadenosylmethionine, an amino acid present in all animal tissues, in depressed patients who had not responded to standard therapy.

It is certain that oleocanthal extracted from olive oil is a more powerful anti-inflammatory than ibuprofen, the resveratrol contained in grapes and present in red wine is a valid antioxidant and the omega 3s regulate triglycerides and protect the heart.

But the strength of the nutraceuticals, which combines the science of nutrition with the medical clinic, are anti-aging medicine and the prevention of degenerative diseases. From this point of view, Sinut underlines the studies that demonstrate the efficacy of a new mix composed of omega-3 fatty acids, melatonin and phosphatidylinositol in the treatment of Alzheimer's (a disease that according to the Alzheimer's Association will see cases tripled by 2050).

But what are the foods of nutraceuticals? THE nutraceuticals they can be divided into four groups. First of all there are the so-called functional foods, that is, foods that provide useful calories (for example, extra virgin olive oil, soy and lupine with their vegetal proteins and bitter chocolate). The second group is that of food supplements such as omega-3, polyunsaturated fatty acids extracted from fish. The fourth is that of probiotics, cultures of bacteria that colonize the intestine, improving its functionality. In the fourth group there are prebiotics, non-digestible organic substances capable of promoting the growth of probiotic bacteria. Characteristic of the nutraceuticals is to be naturally present in the food we eat every day.

You might also be interested in

  • Prebiotics: what they are
  • Antinutrients: what they are
  • Symbiotics: meaning and benefits


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