n. A pill or other pharmaceutical product that has nutritional value; a food that has had its nutritional value enhanced by pharmaceuticals.
Purists, who stick to the literal definition of nutraceuticals — a combination of nutritional and pharmaceutical product — say these are 'bio-engineered foods,' or foods altered by man for enhanced health benefits. By that definition, the market is embryonic because many such products are still in laboratories.

At the other end of the spectrum, nutraceuticals are defined as any health-enhancing product derived from nature, including some vegetables. But a natural health product packaged in dosage form is a definition becoming more accepted. 'Put it into a pill and it becomes a nutraceutical,' says Winnipeg-based consultant Brian Kelly, who says he has identified more than 25 different uses of the term. 'That's a reflection of the newness of the industry.'
—Deborah Stokes, “Natural Resistance,” The Financial Post, August 22, 1998
1990 (earliest)
The recently proposed FDA food regulations fail to support the emerging "nutraceutical" industry and a new regulatory process must be created to foster scientific research and accurate information on nutritional products with health benefits, according to medical and legal experts at a conference here.
—“Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A New Technique for Diagnostic Imaging,” Health Values, July 01, 1990
Filed Under