When it comes to a preventive health plan, experts are quickly learning that you are what you eat. While advances in prescription medication have led to powerful treatment options for those already battling disease, nutraceuticals and quality supplement regimens are the key to prevention.

Instead of following the old school of thought—battling disease after you are affected, join the new frontier of medicine, stopping disease before it starts. With a healthy diet and a physician-guided nutraceuticals and supplement regimen, you can embrace prevention simply and effectively.

What are Nutraceuticals?

The term “nutraceutical” dates back to 1989, when Stephen DeFelice, a physician and the founder of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine (FIM) used the word to describe “a food or part of a food that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of disease.” Today, the health and medical industry has done more than adopt the term, it has become the inspiration for a variety of products and treatment options. Supplements, such as oils from fish and flaxseed, glucosamine and chondroitin, calcium-fortified juices, echinacea, St. John's wort, and plant sterol-containing butter substitutes fall under the category of nutraceuticals. It is a billion dollar industry in the U.S., Japan, and Europe, but what people want to know is—is it worth the investment?

Nutraceuticals Benefits

In the U.S. alone, about 6 out of 10 consumers take some type of food supplement, and 30 to 40 percent take herbal supplements. The nutraceuticals benefits are not being oversold; in fact, the emerging field of functional medicine and the sheer number of doctors flocking to the field speak volumes about the effectiveness of nutraceuticals. In lieu of prescription meds, these physicians are prescribing nutraceuticals to help their patients pursue prevention and achieve optimal health.

The efficacy of physician-guided nutraceuticals can be observed in the outcomes of a preliminary study out of Columbia University, where researchers uncovered positive health outcomes among subjects with supplementing two herbal compounds. Columbia University’s Center for Holistic Urology tested AHCC® (active hexose correlated compound) and GCP® (genistein combined polysaccharide). During the study, researchers observed that AHCC, a mushroom extract, increases levels of natural killer cells, T cells, macrophages, and interleukin-12, while GCP revealed anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-angiogenesis activity in early bladder cancer and showing great potential in prostate cancer.

Martin G. Bloom, M.D. is an experienced cardiologist who has joined the field of functional medicine. Dr. Bloom helps his patients achieve optimal wellness through tailored treatment plans that include advanced nutraceuticals, high-quality supplements, and a healthy lifestyle regimen.

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