Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Sunday, August 19, 2018 03:57:25 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Functional foods, Japanese FOSHU foods for specified health us

photo by

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Weekend Plus Desk :
Hippocrates, the father of medicine included food as a part of treatment to cure disease. Food as medicine is not something new to a nation like ours with a rich heritage of 5,000 years. The fundamentals of using edible herbs, barks, seeds, stems, leaves and other food items to treat illnesses are well documented in our ancient records including texts like Charaka Samhita. They are an integral part of our ancient healing system of Ayurvedic medicine. The system, however, suffers from a lack or inadequate research and controlled clinical trials. This often leads to conflict with the concept of 'evidence-based' medicine fundamental to modern western medicine.
Modern medicine and food science recognise that food serves a primary function of providing energy and nutrients. It is also established that secondary function of food is that it must be good to taste.
It is the tertiary function that deals with the regulation of physical condition of the body that was recognised later. This led to the formulation of special category of foods called functional foods.
Functional foods are defined as foods that provide special health benefits, which go beyond their nutritional components like energy, vitamins, minerals etc. They are natural or formulated foods that enhance physiological performance or prevent diseases. Functional foods have emerged when limitations of modern medicines have been felt and consumer interest in diet and health is at an all-time high.
Taken from many cultures, herbs and plants commonly used for treatments for specific disorders have been carefully identified. By now, modern analytical methods have identified more than 10,000 physiologically active constituents provided by the human diet, some of which have been developed into medicines.
It was the Japanese in the 80s who developed and commercialised the concept of functional foods. Their Ministry of Health and Welfare initiated a regulatory system to approve certain foods with documented health benefits. Thus, was born FOSHU - Foods For Specified Health Use. This was the first time food could legitimately be labelled and categorised as possessing specific health promoting or disease preventing properties. The government's would provide FOSHU status.
This sort of regulation, backed by scientific clinical trials, unifies the gap that exists between medical, nutrition, food sciences and traditions. The FOSHU system was introduced to encourage the maintenance of health, prevention of lifestyle-related diseases based on the consumption of functional foods with scientific evidence. To secure FOSHU status, there must be adequate evidence of effectiveness of the products; there must be identification of active constituents and guarantee of its safety. There are over 700 products in the Japanese food market that carry FOSHU status.
Benefits of FOSHU food range from cholesterol lowering, blood pressure regulating foods, to those that improve bowel and gastro-intestinal health.
Interestingly, the positive health correlations of functional foods are not on the basis of nutrient content. Non-nutrient constituents contribute beneficial physiological effects that either retard or prevent disease. Some of these include allyl sulfides in garlic and onions that prevent heart disease, phytates in grains and legumes protect against cancer and heart disease, lignans in flaxseeds too have protective effect against cancers, isoflavones in soy protect against osteoporosis.
In India, a wealth of knowledge lies in our ancient texts. Many people have been consuming a majority of these foods for thousands of years to prevent and treat specific health conditions. As there is little recorded history of actual outcomes, their dose controls or identification of possible contaminants, this has put them under uncontrolled and questionable categories.
The average consumer remains unclear, unsure and often under-confident about the usage of foods as medicine, worsened by doubts created by mainstream physicians. It's time that we too establish and put in place a regulatory system for such food, something similar to the Japanese (It's not a coincidence that their average life span is 87 years for women and 78 years for men) or else we may lose out not only patents on haldi and neem but also their health benefits. n

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Sanctions by USA and European Union are welcome but more effective measures will be needed

IN the latest development, the US Treasury on Friday slapped sanctions on four Myanmar military and police commanders and two army units for involvement in "ethnic cleansing" and other human rights abuses against the country's Rohingya minority. In response to Myanmar's crackdown on the Rohingyas, the sanctions are so far ...

Sports »

Bolt arrives in Australia on football quest

Usain Bolt says he's deadly serious about becoming a professional footballer and plans to show the world what he's capable of after arriving in Australia Saturday for a trial stint with an A-League club.The superstar athlete has been given the chance to prove his worth by the Central Coast Mariners, ...

Entertainment »

Sonali Bendre`s son posts an emotional message

Family and close friends of Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre have come out as the biggest support in her journey of fighting cancer. The actress who has been diagnosed with high-grade cancer is undergoing her treatment in New York. Being a true fighter, Sonali has not shied away from sharing her ...

Entertainment »

Poet Shamsur Rahman's 12th death anniversary observed

Entertainment Desk : The 12th death anniversary of Shamsur Rahman, one of the major poets in modern Bengali literature, was observed on Friday in a befitting manner.Marking the anniversary, different socio-cultural organisations placed wreaths at the grave of the poet at Banani graveyard and arranged Doa Mahfil.Jatiya Kabita Parishad and Kabi ...

City »

BNP Vice-Chairman Advocate Khondkar Mahbub Hossain speaking at a discussion on 'Next National Election Under Interrogation Without Reform of Election Commission' organised by 'Chetona Bangladesh' at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.

International »

Ex-CIA directors issue unprecedented Trump condemnation

AFP, Washington :Former CIA directors and another half dozen of America's most senior spies have issued an unprecedented condemnation of President Donald Trump, after his decision to blacklist their colleague John Brennan.In a statement, ex-CIA bosses appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents - including Robert Gates, George Tenet, Porter Goss, ...

Editorial »

US editors slam Trump for exerting power over free press and strength of democracy

THE rebuke of the US President Donald Trump by over 350 US dailies and other media outlets in their editorials on Thursday has come as a coordinated response to Trump's dirty war against the media and in defense of the press freedom. His sustained attack on free media as 'fake ...

Sports »

Serena learned just before Konta loss that half-sister's killer had been freed

Serena Williams says she discovered just minutes before her match against Johanna Konta last month that the man convicted of killing her half-sister had been released on parole.Briton Konta inflicted the worst defeat of Williams' career by winning 6-1 6-0 in the first round of the Silicon Valley Classic in ...

City »

Convenor of Jatiya Oikya Prokriya Dr Kamal Hossain, among others, at a solidarity meeting organised by prokriya at the Jatiya Press Club on Friday demanding unconditional release of students who were arrested during quota reform movement.

Entertainment »

Radhika Apte gears up for her upcoming project in Mumbai

Radhika Apte who has been juggling multiple projects efficiently is in Mumbai currently promoting her upcoming series on an OTT.  The actress has a lot on her plate as she's currently promoting her upcoming Netflix original Ghoul which is her third project with Netflix followed by the success of her ...

Chittagong »

PSC Chairman expresses dissatisfaction

Sarwaruddin, Chattogram Bureau :Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Ministry of Railway ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury MP expressed dissatisfaction over the irregularities, corruptions and mismanagement in Railway East Zone . The dissatisfaction over the activities in East Zone office was expressed on Thursday while exchanging views with the ...

International »

Chinese bombers likely training for US strikes: Pentagon

AFP, Washington :Chinese bombers are likely training for strikes against US and allied targets in the Pacific, according to a new Pentagon report that also details how Beijing is transforming its ground forces to "fight and win."The annual report to Congress, released Thursday, highlights China's growing military, economic and diplomatic ...

International »

Ex-Trump aide releases recording of $15,000 job offer to "buy silence"

AFP, Washington  :Former "Apprentice" and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman released an audio recording Thursday which appeared to show President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law trying to buy her silence.The disgruntled former Trump champion gave a recording to NBC, featuring Lara Trump-wife of the president's son Eric-saying the offer of a ...

Life »

New cure for migraine

Life Desk  :The first drug to prevent migraine has been approved by European health officials. According to a report in The Guardian, the drug Erenumab will now be examined by English and Scottish health agencies to determine if it is viable to be used by officials of National Health Service. ...

Business & Economy »

Erdogan, Macron vow to foster trade ties

AFP, Ankara :Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron agreed in a phone call Thursday to foster trade ties, a Turkish presidential source said, after the lira's dramatic fall in the wake of escalating tensions with the US."Both leaders emphasised the importance of fostering economic and ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news