Science behind Nutraceuticals


Back to overview
Previous entry  | Next entry

Nutraceuticals and Medicine

07.10.2006 |  

On 7 October 2006 the ENA held its first specialist congress in Italy. The theme of the conference was "Nutraceuticals and Medicine" and was designed for doctors and nutritional specialists. The subject of the papers ranged from “Science and Nutritional Supplements” through “Oxidative stress and appropriate nutrient intake in smokers” to “Supplementation in children and young people – necessity or luxury?”.

In his presentation the President of the European Nutraceutical Association Dr. Peter Prock examined the science of nutritional supplements and found that the data available remains relatively sparse in comparison with pharmaceutical research. Dr. Prock attributed this situation in particular to theoretical scientific, legal and financial factors. In order to gain a better understanding of this complex subject, the speaker regarded research with biomarkers as currently the best method at the scientific level. Equally necessary and important are further development of the legislative framework and increased provision of public funding.

With respect to nutrition in childhood, Prof. Gerald Tulzer impressively demonstrated that deficiencies in micronutrients not only represent a problem for children in the developing countries; in fact, children in European countries also receive insufficient micronutrients. Junk food and fast food are particular problems, so that natural nutritional supplements make a valuable contribution to the maintenance of good health.

The importance of a healthy diet was also emphasised by Fabrizia Bamonti, Professor at the University of Milan, whose paper dealt with oxidative stress and adequate nutrition in smokers. As a result of their tobacco consumption, this population group in particular require an adequate intake of nutrients, as smoking suppresses the appetite and fewer nutrients are therefore taken in. Smokers also exhibit increased oxidative stress which leads to an additional need for micronutrients. The results of a pilot study conducted by Prof. Bamonti show that supplementation with a fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate reduced oxidative stress in smokers. The phytocomponents present in the fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate used in the study are thought to be responsible for this positive effect.

The conference was well received and very positively assessed by all those who attended. The majority also regarded the specialist information presented as relevant in practice and considered this important for their future work.

If you are interested in seeing summaries of the papers presented, the abstract book is available for downloading below.

Abstracts.pdf (335.7 KB)