Food Bioactives versus Drugs – Introduction
Peter J.H. Jones.
Food bioactives represent diet based molecules that perform physiological roles related to disease prevention
and/or treatment. As such considerable overlap exists between food bioactives and drugs, the purpose of this overview is
to present the case for comparing and contrasting foods versus drugs in several models of health and disease, some of
which are presented in further detail in subsequent chapters of this miniseries. The present review concludes that in some
instances distinction is difficult between metabolic processes influenced by foods versus drugs and that the two types of
compounds exerts overlapping or identical actions in prevention and treatment of disease. In summary, there appears to be
evidence of a role for functional foods in disease treatment, thus we need to look at a paradigm shift to decrease the
dependency on drugs and increase the use of food based materials for therapeutic use. Over the longer term, functional
foods and nutraceuticals must find ways to compete with pharmaceuticals on an even playing field.
Keywords: Bioprocesses, drugs, food bioactives, metabolic actions, synergism
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