Vitamins, Nutraceuticals, Food Additives, Enzymes, Anesthetic Aids, and Cosmetics

  • A. N. M. AlamgirEmail author
Part of the Progress in Drug Research book series (PDR, volume 74)


Vitamins are low-molecular-weight organic compounds, indispensable for life activity in trace amounts for essential metabolic reactions, where deficiency causes specific disease symptom and do not include other essential nutrients such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids, nor does it encompass the large number of other nutrients that promote health and do not provide cellular structural material and energy. Animals derived vitamins from plants and microorganisms. Vitaminoids are compounds with “vitamin-like” activity. Vitamins fall into two main groups: fat-soluble (e.g., A, D, E) and water-soluble (e.g., B, C, P) vitamins. Nutraceuticals include a number of substances ranging from natural diets, herbal products, biofortified crops, genetically modified, and processed food products. Nutraceuticals beyond basic nutrition provide health benefit, modulate immunity, and/or prevent and cure specific diseases. Functional foods are whole, fortified, enriched, or enhanced foods that provide health benefits beyond the provision of essential nutrients and classified into several groups on the basis of food group, the diseases it prevents or alleviates, physiological effects, etc. Food additives are antioxidants, food preservatives, food coloring agents, flavoring agents, anti-infective agents, excipients, and other similar substances used in the processing or storage of foods or animal feed. Excipients have little or no therapeutic value, but contribute largely to the performance of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and maintain the quality, efficacy, safety, etc., of the formulation and include solvents, diluting, suspending, and emulsifying agents as well as antioxidants, preservatives, pharmaceutical, coloring agents, flavoring agents, vehicles, excipients, ointment bases, etc. Proteins and peptides allow the development of antibodies and different fermentations, purification processes, and recombination technology produced potential protein drugs at acceptable cost which can be useful in various diseases through various routes like oral, transdermal, nasal, pulmonary, ocular, buccal, and rectal. Many protein pharmaceuticals are available for treating rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery thrombosis, multiple sclerosis, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Papain, a plant enzyme, is very helpful for the prevention of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease. Natural anesthetics, e.g., cocaine, methyl salicylate, capsaicin, piperine, opium, etc., have been in use since antiquity. Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic-pharmaceutical hybrid products intended to improve the health and beauty of the skin by providing a specific result, ranging from acne-control and anti-wrinkle effects to sun protection.


Vitamins Nutraceuticals Food additives Enzymes Anesthetic aids Cosmeceuticals 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyChittagong UniversityChittagongBangladesh

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