Research: HARDY and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 103


HARDY and colleagues, Pharmaceutical Nutrition Research Group, Witney, Oxford, UK, have reviewed (63 references) so-called nutraceuticals from a pharmacological viewpoint. Abstract: The aim of the review was to assess pharmacological issues relating to benefits and risks associated with the use of nutrients derived from natural sources ('nutraceuticals'). It has been shown that vegetable extracts and dietary supplementation with selenium or antioxidant vitamins has benefits for immunity and other beneficial effects on chronic diseases, ageing and cancer. However there appear to be no cardiovascular benefits from vitamin mixtures which may in fact cause harm. The authors discuss the dilemma between using standardized and well-characterized plant extracts and the risk of losing some of the beneficial effects of whole plants. They conclude that some standardization may be necessary because these preparations have powerful biological actions, but it is not desirable to impose pharmaceutical levels of control and thereby drive up the cost of these preparations and reduce public access.






Hardy G, Hardy I, Ball PA. Nutraceuticals – a pharmaceutical viewpoint: part II. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 6 (6): 661-671, Nov 2003.

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