FUNCTIONAL FOODS BY SHALU SINGH ABSTRACT Functional foods prevent many chronic diseases like Cardio- Vascular Diseases (CVD), Cancer, Obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese & yoghurt are among the best sources of several important vitamins like vitamin D & riboflavin and minerals specially calcium & phosphorus. Calcium, for example, prevents possible colon cancer & osteoporosis. The fermented dairy products such as yoghurt, kefir and sour milk display anticarcinogenic, hypocholesterolemic, antagonistic action against intestinal pathogens.
Functional Food constituents provide treatment of diseases, as well as nutritional values. Functional foods include food additives, vitamins, mineral supplements, herbs, phytochemicals and Probiotics. Tomato, for example, contains Lycopene which is Anti-prostate cancer and Anti-oxidant. Similarly, onion contains Quercetin which reduces heart diseases; Yoghurt contains Lactobacillus sp. which is Probiotics; Spinach contains Flavonoids which is Active against age related macular degeneration, etc.
It is the duty of processor to see that such constituents are not reduced during processing instead they are enhanced.
The sale of such products has expanded greatly in the recent past years to meet rising public demand for such products as a consequence of increasing awareness of their beneficial effects on human health. The Government in its National Policies should include schemes to increase awareness, availability as well as incentives for processors. KEY WORDS: Functional Food, chronic diseases, anticarcinogenic, phytochemicals, probiotics INTRODUCTION
The term FUNCTIONAL FOOD is applied to food and food constituents that provide specific health or medical benefits, including the prevention and treatment of diseases, as well as nutritional values. It can be of both plant as well as animal origin. Hippocrates proclaimed nearly 2500 years ago, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ” Functional foods include food additives, vitamins, mineral supplements, herbs, phytochemicals and Probiotics. Various definitions of functional food given by various gencies are as follows: * ‘’Foods that by virtue of physiologically active components provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition’’ (International Life Sciences Institute). * ‘’Any food or food ingredients that may provide a health benefit beyond the traditional nutrients it contains’’ (Institute of Medicine’s Food & Nutrition Board). * ‘’ A food, either natural or formulated, which will enhance physiological performance or prevent or treat diseases & disorders’’ (Wildman 2000). Examples of Functional Foods
FUNCTIONAL FOODS| BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS| HEALTH BENEFITS| OTHER SOURCES| Berries| Anthocyanins, Anthocyanidins, Catechins| Neutralize free radicals;May reduce risk of cancer, heart diseases & age related diseases| Blackberry, brightly colored vegetables, red cabbage, raspberry, tea, grapes| Citrus fruits| Flavanones, Hesperidin, Silybin, Limonoids, Xanthohumol| Neutralize free radicals;May reduce risk of cancer| Citrus, Hops, Milk thistle| Fish oil | Omega-3-fatty acids, DHA,EPA,ALA,CLA| Play a role into reducing risk of CVD;Improve mental functions;Improve visual functions, anti-inflammation effect;DHA major component of brain & eye tissues;Anti-inflammatory properties;Prevent blood-clotting & lowers LDL & total cholesterol;Improve body immune system;Decreases risk of certain cancers | Cold-water fish, Breast milk(contains DHA), Canola oil, Soya bean oil, Flax seed & some nuts, Meats, Cheese| Onion (yellow & red)| Quercetin| May reduce heart diseases| Tea, Apples, Cherries & Red Wine| Tomato | Lycopene | Anti-prostate cancer;Anti-oxidant| | Wine , Grapes| Phenolic, Resveratral, Ellagicacids| Anti-oxidant action, block cholesterol oxidation;Bind to & prevent absorption of cholesterol| | Yoghurt | Lactobacillus sp. | Probiotics | | Spinach | Flavonoids | Active against age related macular degeneration| Leafy vegetables, Corn, egg yolk| Allicin found in garlic, onion, leek, chives is antibacterial; reduce risk of cancer & CVD, thinning blood. Ascorbic acid in fruits, peppers is antioxidant; reduce risk of cataracts, cold symptoms. Beta-Carotene of carrots, tomato, yellow squash, broccoli, citrus fruits, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tomato, green vegetables, etc is an antioxidant.
Capsaicin found in pepper fruit is anti-inflammatory. Folic acid reduces blood level of homocysteine, decrease CVD. Lecithins in soybeans lower LDL. Calcium in milk, meat protects bone. Bifidobacterium bifidum is probiotics found in yogurt, sour milk. EFFECTS OF FUNCTIONAL FOODS ON MAJOR CHRONIC DISEASES Cardiovascular Diseases The major risk factors for CVD are inadequate intake of foods containing antioxidant micronutrients such as vitamins E & C, Beta-carotene & coenzyme Q10. Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants is recommended as a protective measure against CVD. Omega -3 fatty acids play a potential role in prevention of CVD. Cancer
Many phytochemicals in foods appear to afford protection against cancer, these include fibers, vitamins A, D, and C, vitamins of the B complex, organo-sulfur compounds found in Allium plants (i. e. , garlic and onions), ellagic acid and other phenol, flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables and glucosinolatesnin cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. These multifarious essential and nonessential nutrients apparently modify the carcinogenic process at specific sites, interfacing with carcinogenesis. Obesity Obesity increases the incidence of ailments such as heart diseases, diabetes and cancer. The cause of obesity is the change from traditional foods (a well-balanced diet) to fast foods containing higher concentrations of undesirable ingredients (e. g.
Trans and saturated fatty acids and large amounts of sugar). Dietary factors of potential importance for energy balance and fat distribution in humans include * Macronutrients(e. g. , carbohydrate, protein and fat); * Micronutrients (e. g. , thiamin and Zn); * Non-nutrients (e. g. , dietary fiber, caffeine, capsaicin and phytoestrogens). Alzheimer’s disease Consumption of fish containing the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) twice a week can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). DHA has the strongest protective effect against AD compared to other omega-3 fatty acids. SOURCES AND BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF FUNCTIONAL FOODS IN NATURE Flaxseed
Flaxseed oil contains the highest level of omega-3 fatty acid Alfa-linolenic acid (ALA), and many important functional components, including high concentrations of protein and dietary fiber, lignin and other phytochemicals with antioxidant activities, such as Flavonoids, Phenolic acid and tocopherols. It is the richest source of mammalian lignin precursors. They play a role in prevention of estrogen-dependent cancers such as breast cancer, decrease tumors of the colon, mammary glands. Also reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels as well as platelet aggregation. ALA prevents blood clotting, which can cause fatal heart attacks. Tomatoes Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a primary Carotenoids. Consumption of products containing Lycopene reduces risk of cancer development, especially cancers of the prostate, breast, digestive tract, cervix, bladder, lung, and skin.
The mechanism for prevention of cancer by Lycopene is related to the compound’s role as an antioxidant. Lycopene is known to be the most efficient quencher of singlet oxygen in biological systems. Garlic Garlic is one of the most widely used traditional culinary herbs in the world, and it has long been noted for its medicinal virtues. It has been called “Russian Penicillin” owing to its antibacterial activity. Medicinal functions of garlic include anti-hypertensive, cholesterol-lowering, cancer-chemo preventive and antibiotic effects. The intact garlic bulb contains an amino acid called alliin, which is converted to Allicin by an enzyme called allinase when garlic bulbs are cut or crushed.
Allium vegetables, including onions, are believed to offer protection against cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. Cruciferous Vegetables Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, kale, kohlrabi, turnip, mustards, and watercress. The consumption of these reduces the risk of developing several kinds of cancer. These have high concentrations of glucosinolates (a group of glycosides) which has anticarcinogenic properties. Citrus Fruits Citrus fruits, oranges, tangerines, lemons and grapefruit, have a number of pharmacologically active components and are capable of preventing or alleviating diseases and promoting health, for example because of their anticancer effects.
Some of the principal nutrients in citrus fruits, such as vitamins C & E, folic acid, dietary fiber and carotenoids prevent and delay the onset of major degenerative diseases (e. g. , cancer, CVD, cataracts). Cranberries Cranberry juice has been used to treat urinary tract infections. It is rich in benzoic acid, which acidifies the urine. This juice also contains two other phytochemicals, fructose and a nondialysable polymeric compound, which have the ability to inhibit adherence of Escherichia Coli to uro-epithelial cells. Tea Tea, especially green tea, is a potential anticancer agent owing to its high concentrations of poly-Phenolic compounds.
Catechins is the principal poly phenols in tea. The tea polyphenols block the formation of nonmelanoma skin tumors. It is effective against CVD as well as cancer. Wine and Grapes Wine, especially red wine, reduces the incidence of CVD. The beneficial effects of red wine are thought to result from high concentrations of polyphenols, which are extracted from grape skins during fermentation and act as antioxidants. Chocolate Chocolate contains Flavonoids such as epicatechin, which promote cardiovascular health as a result of direct antioxidant effects or through antithrombotic mechanisms. Dark chocolate brings about an increase in both the total antioxidant capacity. Fish
The omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in reducing the incidence of CVD, cancer, mental disorder, and alcoholism. In addition omega-3 fatty acids perform many biological functions that can benefit the heart and blood vessels. FONCTIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR USE IN DAIRY FOODS Dairy foods contain various constituents known for contributing health benefits. Whey proteins are reported to modulate the immune system, decrease hypertension, reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, and help in nutrient transport and adsorption. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, fluoride and vitamin K in milk play a significant role in bone health and prevention of osteoporosis in later life.
Calcium reduces the risk of colon cancer, formation of kidney stones, and helpful in obesity control. Butyric acid has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Conjugated linolenic acid is reported to modulate the immune system and protect against cancer of stomach, colon, breast, and prostrate. Sphingolipids may reduce the risk of cancer and CVD. The phospholipids acts as anticancer agents, antimicrobial agents against gastrointestinal pathogens and protect against Alzheimer’s disease, depression and stress. The milk fat globule membrane is reported to exhibit health promoting properties. Probiotics is the growing dairy functional food.
Health benefits of Probiotic products are – * Balancing intestinal micro flora * Improvement in lactose digestion * Prevention of diarrhea * Stimulation of immune system * Prevention of infectious diseases and elaboration of bacteriocins * Anticarcinogenesis * Reduction in serum cholesterol * Anti-inflammatory effects * Urinary tract infections, vaginitis and allergy MODIFICATIONS OF FOODS TO MAKE THEM FUNCTIONAL FOODS Modification | Health benefits | Add probiotics| Enhance gastrointestinal health & immune function, lower risk of colon cancer| Add prebiotics | Enhance gastrointestinal health & immune function, lower risk of colon cancer| Add minerals amp; vitamins| Improve nutritive value, reduce osteoporosis risk, control hypertension, & reduce risk of colon cancer| Add dietary fibers| Increase stool bulk & prevent constipation, reduce cholesterol & risk of heart disease, lower risk of colon cancer| Add soy protein| Reduce risk of certain cancers &heart disease| Add bioactive peptides| Control hypertension, enhance immune function, & increase bioavailability of mineral| Add omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids| Reduce risk of heart attack & certain cancers, enhance immune function| REGULATION OF FUNCTIONAL FOODS AND PUBLIC EDUCATION The field of functional foods has political, legal, and administrative dimensions. Thus, laws and government policies, regulation, guidelines must be established to authorize the marketing, labeling, and advertising of specific products on the basis of scientifically sound criteria for evaluating their efficacy, safety and quality. The field is economically important as well. The production, processing, and marketing of functional food are a thriving, multifaceted business.
The sale of such products has expanded greatly in the recent past to meet rising public demand for such products as a consequence of increasing awareness of their beneficial effects on human health. A less direct but equally significant economic issue is the reduction in the cost of health-care that may be expected if public health is benefited by improvements in eating habits. Public education about functional foods is another vitally important aspect of this field. A healthful diet helps to prevent and ameliorate the chronic diseases that are so prevalent in modern society. Yet, poor eating habits and their inevitable harmful consequences constitute a serious, wide spread problem.
The more thoughtful members of the general public have become increasingly concerned about dietary issues, increasingly aware of the crucial importance of a balanced, helpful diet and increasingly knowledgeable about the good health and improved quality of life that may result from regular consumption of functional foods. CONCLUSION In recent year there has been enormous progress in the study of functional foods and nutraceuticals and their important to the health of humans and animals, but there is a need for further research in many areas of this ancient, yet modern, field. To begin with, there is ample scope for more basic research that will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which functional foods and nutraceuticals exert their beneficial (and, in certain cases, harmful) effects. The biologically active components must be identified and quantified using rigorous, standardized, internationally accepted methods.
Concomitantly, clinical and epidemiological investigation are required to assess the effects of functional foods and nutraceuticals on human health, with attention not only to their efficacy but also to issue such as proper dosage, delivery methods, bioavailability and safety. It is essential, that the discovery and subsequent exploitation of new sources of functional foods and nutraceuticals in nature be accomplished without damaging the environment or depleting populations of wild species. REFERENCES * Block G, Patterson B, Subar A. 1992. Fruits, vegetables and cancer prevention: A review of the epidemiological evidence. Nutr Cancer 18:1-29. * Chandan RC. 1999. Enhancing market value of milk by adding cultures. J Dairy Sci 82:2245-56. * Chandan RC. 2007. Functional properties of milk constituents. In: Hui YH, editor. Handbook of Food Products Manufacturing.
John Wiley, New York, Chapter 43, 971-87. * Di Silvestro RA. 2000. Flavonoids as antioxidants. In: Wildman REC, editor. Handbook of nutraceuticals and functional foods. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. P. 127-43. * Dorant E, van den Brandt PA, Goldbohm RA, Hermus RJJ, Sturmans F. 1993. Garlic and its singnificance for the prevention of cancer in humans. A clinical review. Br J Cancer 67:424-9. * Farnwoth ER. 2000. Probiotics and probiotics. In: Wildman REC, editor. Handbook of nutraceuticals and functional foods. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. P. 407-22. * Haster CM. 1998. Functional foods: Their role in disease prevention and health promotion. Food Technol 52:63-70.
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Functional Foods. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/functional-foods/