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What are functional foods and abuse of functional foods

Currently, as the economy develops, more and more people are interested in using functional foods, it has contributed immensely to improving people’s health. However, there are also many cases that have had a negative effect due to misuse. So, in this article we will learn about functional foods.

What are functional foods?

Functional foods are products processed in the form of capsules, capsules, tablets, high nuggets, powder, liquid and other preparations containing one or a combination of substances including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, extracts from plants and animals, for the purpose of replenishing essential nutrients for the body or reduce the risk of disease.

Depending on the recipe, micronutrient content and instructions for use, functional foods are also divided into the following types: micronutrient supplements, food supplements, health foods, medical nutrition products.

How to use functional foods effectively

There are many myths about functional products but there are the following two notes to use it more effectively:

Functional foods are different from foods

  • Produced, processed according to the formula, can add some beneficial ingredients or remove some adverse ingredients. This has been scientifically proven and reviewed and licensed by authorized agencies and organizations.
  • Has more health effects than ordinary nutrients. This means that functional foods produce less energy for the body than regular foods.
  • The dosage used is usually small, even in grams or milligrams as the medicine.
  • Clearly indicate subjects of use such as the elderly, children, women of menopausal age. Especially for people with micronutrient deficiency syndrome, certain physiological dysfunctions,…

Functional foods are not medicines

Functional products must ensure the quality of hygiene and health and conformity with food regulations. It can be used regularly, long-term to nourish, nourish or prevent the risk of disease… that is still safe, no toxicity, no side effects (or there are very few)

Consumers can use it according to the manufacturer’s “usage instructions” without a medical examination, or a physician must prescribe it

Who should pay attention when using functional foods:
  • Healthy people have a balanced diet, do not need to use functional foods
  • Use for pregnant women, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding
  • People over the age of 50, who have been diagnosed with a defect in one or several vitamins or nutrients
  • Vegetarian; people receiving weight loss treatment.
  • People abstain from certain foods due to being associated with certain diseases
  • The subject is a person with micronutrient deficiency syndrome, some physiological dysfunction…

Subjects who have problems absorbing nutrients from incomplete foods or need to consume more than normal nutrient levels such as:

  • Osteoporosis patients need more calcium and vitamin D than they provide from daily meals.
  • Patients with Crohn’s syndrome, gluten intolerance makes it difficult to absorb nutrients.
  • People with vitamin B12 deficiency need to add dietary supplements in their daily diet.
  • The combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, copper and zinc may slow the progression of macular degeneration in the elderly.
  • The supportive effect of Omega-3 on some cardiovascular patients…

To ensure that the use of functional foods is necessary and beneficial to health, it is necessary to follow the advice and instructions of specialists.

Implications of abusing functional foods

As we know, vitamins are one of the most commonly used supplements, but how to supplement as well as for how long, most users do not think about consulting a doctor.

Here are some common effects when using known vitamins:

* Oil-soluble vitamin group:

  • Vitamin A (retinol, retinal, retinoic acid): nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, dizziness, birth defects, liver problems, can cause osteoporosis. These effects may be exacerbated in patients with liver disease, high blood cholesterol, or protein deficiency.
  • Vitamin D (calciferol): nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, confusion, constipation, heart rhythm problems, calcium and phosphate deposition in soft tissues.
  • Vitamins E and K: interact with antiplatelet agents.

* Water-soluble vitamin group:

  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): blushing, stomach irritation.
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine): limb nerve damage, anesthesia, tremor and pain.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): stomach irritation, kidney stones, increased iron absorption can lead to iron overdose.
  • Folic acid (folate): High doses, especially in the elderly, can mask signs of vitamin B12 deficiency causing nerve damage.

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