Food with nutritional inputs may take care of medical requirements in future

Have you ever tried to fathom what will be the nature of drugs in the future?

Well, according to the scientific community, most of the future drugs would be in the form of nutritional food. To put it in the right perspective, right combination of nutritional food would rather be considered as drug in tomorrow's world, which is looking at ‘nutraceutical' — food with nutritional input that takes care of medical requirements.

According to Samir Brahmachari, Secretary to Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and Director-General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), people would try to take preventive care in the future by relying on nutraceuticals.

Years from now

Participating in the inaugural session of Nutra India summit — a three-day meet on nutraceuticals, functional foods and dietary supplements jointly organised by various organisations, including the CSIR — in Bangalore, Prof. Brahmachari said in a lighter vein: “If you go to a star hotel by 2025, you may have to communicate to them perhaps through your Ipad whether you have diabetes, blood pressure or other lifestyle diseases. Then they would issue a menu card that is appropriate for you. After the hotel lists the items that suit your health, you may have to indicate your body weight or your biomass index. Based on this, the hotel would indicate to you the quantum of food you can consume without affecting your health and the maximum quantum you can order.”

In the coming years, the focus would be on tackling metabolic diseases not through medicines, but through adjustment in food, he said. He expressed confidence that traditional food and nutritious crops such as ragi would become more popular and go places in future.

V. Prakash, Distinguished Scientist of the CSIR, said the nutraceuticals would have to be cost-effective in a bid to reach a majority of the population.

Terming the concept of nutraceuticals as a step above nutrition, he said there was a dire need to launch a campaign to create public awareness about this concept. There was also a need to train people on these aspects in a bid to improve public health, he said.

Herbal medicine

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, who inaugurated the summit, stressed the need for learning from Indian ancient wisdom. He called for conducting scientific research on the usefulness of herbal medicine, which is cost effective.