‘Nutraceuticals’ is a wide term including all kinds of food with health or medical effect. Regulations in the world on functional food and nutraceuticals are developed along with the development of new products. This nomenclature is not aligned across legal regulations in different countries. There are several theories trying to interpret the phenomenon of aging and the most interesting theory in terms of nutrition is free radical theory and the possible role of antioxidants in aging process. A large group of substances including vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids and minerals have in vitro or in vivo clinically significant antioxidant characteristics. There is great interest in anti-aging substances derived from food, and the most popular ingredients are antioxidants, especially coenzyme Q10, phytoestrogens, probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids. These substances have beneficial effect on digestive and immune systems, and modulate inflammatory and degenerative processes in the body. The challenge in the future will be strategic combining of cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals in order to intervene in biological aging processes and degenerative skin changes.
Center of Clinical Nutrition, Zagreb University Hospital Center, Zagreb, Croatia.