Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals

: 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

A journey: From granny's kitchen to state-of-the-art laboratory

Manash P Baruah1, Bharti Kalra2, Rakesh Sahay3,  
1 Department of Endocrinology, Excel Center (Unit of Excelcare Hospital), Guwahati, India
2 Department of Obstetrics, Bharti Hospital and Research Center, Karnal, Haryana, India
3 Department of Endocrinology, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Manash P Baruah
Consultant Endocrinologist, Excel Center (Unit of Excelcare Hospital), Ulubari, Guwahati - 781 007

How to cite this article:
Baruah MP, Kalra B, Sahay R. A journey: From granny's kitchen to state-of-the-art laboratory.J Med Nutr Nutraceut 2012;1:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Baruah MP, Kalra B, Sahay R. A journey: From granny's kitchen to state-of-the-art laboratory. J Med Nutr Nutraceut [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Dec 6 ];1:1-2
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Full Text

"Nutraceutical"-hundreds of mouthpieces hit the stands at regular pace-whether it is drugs or food stuff.

Scientists continue to ponder over it, rendering the debate ceaselessly interesting, yet leaving vast space for more to emerge. It is a long journey from "then" to "now."

For the time being, let us travel back in time-at least by 15,000 years. And! You are now at the dawn of the history of mankind. You can easily see the group of primitive men amidst the routine of their hunting the fauna, torching the flora of the jungles for that extra something, which would make them stronger and healthier.

However, the particular task of gathering herbs and other stuff for cooking (very precisely) naturally was left to the elderly womenfolk, not going for hunting, a more physically demanding job. This responsibility perhaps had made the grandmothers the most primitive physician of the mankind and those herbs and roots as most primitive medicine.

From Grandmother's recipe to state-of-the-art laboratories, the journey of nutraceuticals has been just extraordinary.

Let us now move forward and observe what had been happening since 2500 years. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, would open the second innings for the science of neutraceutical with much hype by saying, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." [1]

All said and done, this science would still remain at a nascent and abstract form. Had we stopped in the middle ages till postrenaissance centuries in our journey in time, we would have found the inquisitive men linking health (or the lack of it) to the presence (or absence) of vitamins and minerals in the food. These would happen alongside the extraordinary discoveries of Darwin and Newton. However, exciting they may have been, we would have to be traveling a couple of centuries more in our journey with time to see a new science being born.

The last part of the 20 th century showed biomedical research moving ahead at a tremendous pace. In fact, the explosion of information regarding the role of diet in prevention and progression of many of the major chronic diseases in the last 15 years far surpasses the accumulated information over the last 15,000 years. Such explosion of knowledge has made the third innings of the science of nutraceutical just inevitable.

The term nutraceutical was first coined by Dr. Stephen DeFelice, chairman of "The Foundation of Innovation in Medicine," an American organization. To put it in his words, "a nutraceutical is any substance that is a food or a part of food that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of disease." [2]

The debate is still on as to whether to consider nutraceuticals as drugs or as food stuff! In fact, legally a lot of these products would inhabit a gray zone between the two. This whole confusion makes the science of nutraceuticals all the more exciting. 'The Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals thrives to be a pioneer in this exciting journey and looks forward to having the company of esteemed clinicians, nutritionists, biochemists, and pharmaceutic scientists.


1Bagchi D. Nutraceuticals and functional foods regulations in the United States and around the world. Toxicology 2006;221:1-3.
2DeFelice LS. The nutraceutical revolution, its impact on food industry. Trends Food Sci Technol 1995;6:59-61.