Functional Foods as the Prospective Therapeutic Option in Chronic Diseases. A Systemic Review

Anum Nazir, Nizwa Itrat, Muhammad Awais Saleem, Mahr Un Nisa, Aleena Shahid, Zain Mushtaq, Hafiz Abdul Rafey


Chronic diseases become the leading cause of more than 50% of deaths around the world. The real reason is inflammation behind all chronic diseases like chronic kidney disease, ischemic heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. There are several functional foods which involve in the management and treatment of many diseases because they provide nutrition and potential health benefits. Bioactive compounds in functional foods are responsible for all these health benefits present in them.  The nutritional, physiological, and immunological properties of Nutraceutical foods promise health-promoting as well as disease-preventing potential. Natural food commodities such as whole-grain cereals, fruits and vegetables, nuts, healthy fats, low-fat dairy products, and some other nutraceutical compounds such as herbs and spices provide health benefits by promoting wellness, protecting against the diseases and their complications, slowing, or omitting the disease progression, promote healthy gut health, prevent from deficiencies, and help in to sustain the healthy lifestyle. The purpose of this systemic review was to describe the effects and outline some promising potentials of functional foods against disease prevention and treatment.


Chronic Diseases; Functional Foods; Bioactive Compounds; Wellness; Sustain Healthy Lifestyle

Full Text:



Abete, I., D. Parra. A.B. Crujeiras, E. Goyenechea and J.A. Martin. 2008. Specific Insulin Sensitivity and Leptin Responses to a Nutritional Treatment of Obesity via a Combination of Energy Restriction and Fatty Fish Intake. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 21(6): 591-600.

Adam, O., C. Beringer. T. Kless, C. Lemmen, A. Adam, M. Wiseman, P. Adam, R. Klimmek and W. Forth. 2003. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of a Low Arachidonic Acid Diet and Fish Oil in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatology International, 23(1): 27-36.

Adefegha, S.A. 2018. Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals as Dietary Intervention in Chronic Diseases; Novel Perspectives for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 15(6): 977-1009.

Aguirre, R. and J.M. May. 2008. Inflammation in the Vascular Bed; Importance of Vitamin C. Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 119(1): 96-103.

Alipour, B., A. Homayouni‐Rad, E. Vaghef‐Mehrabany, S.K. Sharif, L. Vaghef‐Mehrabany, M. Asghari‐Jafarabadi, M.R. Nakhjavani and J. Mohtadi‐Nia. 2014. Effects of Lactobacillus Casei Supplementation on Disease Activity and Inflammatory Cytokines in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients; A Randomized Double‐Blind Clinical Trial. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, 17(5): 519-527.

Ameye, L.G. and W.S. Chee. 2006. Osteoarthritis and Nutrition. From Nutraceuticals to Functional Foods: A Systematic Review of the Scientific Evidence. Arthritis Research and Therapy, 8(4): 1-22.

Anderson, G.H. and S.E. Moore. 2004. Dietary Proteins in the Regulation of Food Intake and Body Weight in Humans. The Journal of Nutrition, 134, 974S-979S.

Andrea, D., 2021. Foods Helps to Reduce Arthritis Pain, Health Essentials. The Journal of Nutrition, 125,675S-679S.

Ankola, D.D., B. Viswanad, V. Bhardwaj, P. Ramarao and M. R. Kumar. 2007. Development of Potent Oral Nanoparticulate Formulation of Coenzyme Q10 for Treatment of Hypertension: Can the Simple Nutritional Supplements be used as First Line Therapeutic Agents for Prophylaxis/Therapy? European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 67(2): 361-369.

Asher, M.I., S. Montefort, B. Björkstén, C.K. Lai, D.P. Strachan, S.K. Weiland, H. Williams and ISAAC Phase Three Study Group. 2006. Worldwide Time Trends in the Prevalence of Symptoms of Asthma, Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis, and Eczema in Childhood: ISAAC Phases One and Three Repeat Multicountry Cross-Sectional Surveys. The Lancet, 368(9537): 733-743.

Block, G., C.D. Jensen, T.B. Dalvi, E.P. Norkus, M. Hudes, P.B. Crawford, N. Holland, E.B. Fung., L. Schumacher and P. Harmatz. 2009. Vitamin C Treatment Reduces Elevated C-Reactive Protein. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 46(1): 70-77.

Boldo, A., P. Campbell, P. Luthra and W.B. White. 2010. Should the Concentration of Vitamin D Be Measured in all Patients with Hypertension? Journal of Clinical Hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.), 12(3): 149.

Bolton-Smith, C., M. Woodward and H. Tunstall-Pedoe. 1992. The Scottish Heart Health Study. Dietary Intake by Food Frequency Questionnaire and Odds Ratios for Coronary Heart Disease Risk. II. The Antioxidant Vitamins and Fibre. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 46(2): 85-93.

Cencic, A. and W. Chingwaru. 2010. The Role of Functional Foods, Nutraceuticals, and Food Supplements in Intestinal Health. Nutrients, 2(6): 611-625.

Chaturvedi, P. 2012. Antidiabetic Potentials of Momordica Charantia: Multiple Mechanisms behind the Effects. Journal of Medicinal Food, 15(2): 101-107.

Cortés, B., I. Núñez., M. Cofán, R. Gilabert, A. Pérez-Heras, E. Casals, R. Deulofeu and E. Ros. 2006. Acute Effects of High-Fat Meals Enriched with Walnuts or Olive Oil on Postprandial Endothelial Function. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 48(8): 1666-1671.

Engelhard, Y.N., B. Gazer and E. Paran. 2006. Natural Antioxidants from Tomato Extract Reduce Blood Pressure in Patients with Grade-1 Hypertension: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study. American Heart Journal, 151(1): 100-E6.

Fraser, G.E. 1999. Nut Consumption, Lipids, and Risk of a Coronary Event. Clinical Cardiology, 22(S3): 11-15.

Fritsche, K. 2006. Fatty Acids as Modulators of the Immune Response. Annual Review of Clinical Nutrition., 26: 45-73.

Gila-Diaz, A., G.H. Carrillo, P. Singh and D. Ramiro-Cortijo. 2021. Specialized Pro-Resolving Lipid Mediators in Neonatal Cardiovascular Physiology and Diseases. Antioxidants, 10(6): 933.

Gu, Y., S. Yu. and J.D. Lambert. 2014. Dietary Cocoa Ameliorates Obesity-Related Inflammation in High Fat-Fed Mice. European Journal of Nutrition, 53(1): 149-158.

Guilleminault, L., E.J. Williams, H.A. Scott, B.S. Berthon, M. Jensen and L.G. Wood. 2017. Diet and Asthma: is it time to adapt our message? Nutrients, 9(11): 1227.

He, J., M.J. Klag, P.K. Whelton, J.Y. Chen, M.C. Qian and G.Q. He. 1995. “Dietary Macronutrients and Blood Pressure in Southwestern China,” Journal of Hypertension, 13 (11):1267–1274.

Heber, D. 2004. Vegetables, Fruits and Phytoestrogens in the Prevention of Diseases. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 50: 145–149.

Ho, M.J., A. Bellusci and J.M. Wright. 2009. Blood Pressure Lowering Efficacy of Coenzyme Q10 for Primary Hypertension Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 4:CD007435.

Houston, M. 2013. Nutrition and Nutraceutical Supplements for the Treatment of Hypertension: Part 1. Alternative and complementary Therapies, 15:752–757.

Houston, M. 2014. The Role of Nutrition and Nutraceutical Supplements in the Treatment of Hypertension. World Journal of Cardiology, 6:38–66.

Hu, F.B. and M.J. Stampfer. 1999. Nut Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Review of Epidemiologic Evidence. Current Atherosclerosis Reports,1(3):204–209.

Huang, Y.D., N. Li and W.G. Zhang. 2011. The Effect of Oral Alpha-Lipoic Acid in Overweight/Obese Individuals on the Brachial-Ankle Pulse Wave Velocity and Supine Blood Pressure: A Randomized, Crossover, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Zhonghua liu xing bing xue za zhi= Zhonghua liuxingbingxue zazhi, 32(3): 290-296.

Jacob, K., M.J. Periago, V. Böhm and G.R. Berruezo. 2008. Influence of Lycopene and Vitamin C from Tomato Juice on Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation. British Journal of Nutrition, 99(1):137–146.

Jenkins, D.J., C.W. Kendall, C.J.C. Jackson, P.W. Connelly, T. Parker, D. Faulkner, E. Vidgen, S.C. Cunnane, L.A. Leiter and R.G. Josse. 2002. Effects of High-And Low-Isoflavone Soy foods on Blood Lipids, Oxidized LDL, Homocysteine, and Blood Pressure in Hyperlipidemic Men and Women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 76(2): 365-372.

Kafeshani, M., M.H. Entezari, J. Karimian, M. Pourmasoumi, M.R. Maracy, M.R. Amini and Hadi Aarya. 2017. Atherosclerosis 13(3): 109-116.

Keller, U. 2011. Dietary Proteins in Obesity and Diabetes. International Journal of Vitamins and Nutrition Research, 81(2): 125-133

Khan, M.I., F.M. Anjum, M. Sohaib and A. Sameen.2013. Tackling Metabolic Syndrome by Functional Foods. Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders, (3): 287-97.

Korantzopoulos, P., T.M. Kolettis, E. Kountouris, V. Dimitroula, P. Karanikis, E. Pappa, K. Siogas and Goudevenos. 2005. Oral Vitamin C Administration Reduces Early Recurrence Rates After Electrical Cardioversion of Persistent Atrial Fibrillation and Attenuates Associated Inflammation. International Journal of Cardiology, 102(2): 321–326.

Lee, K.P., J.E. Kim, H. Kim, H.R. Chang, D.W. Lee and W.H. Park. 2016. Bo-Gan-Whan regulates proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16(1): 1-8.

Lekaki, J., L.S. Rallidis, I. Andreadou, G. Vamvakou, G. Kazantzoglou, P. Magiatis, A.L. Skaltsounis and D.T. Kremastinos. 2005. Polyphenolic Compounds from Red Grapes Acutely Improve Endothelial Function in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention Rehabilitation, 12: 596–600.

Lind, L., A. Hänni, H. Lithell, A. Hvarfner, O.H. Sörensen and S. Ljunghall. 1995. Vitamin D is Related to Blood Pressure and Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Middle-Aged Men. American Journal of Hypertension, 8(9): 894-901.

Liu, S., J.E. Manson, I.M. Lee, S.R. Cole, C.H. Hennekens, W.C. Willett and J.E. Buring. 2000. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: The Women's Health Study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72: 922–928.

Matsunaga, S., K. Azuma, M. Watanabe, T. Tsuka, T. Imagawa, T. Osaki and Y. Okamoto. 2014. Onion Peel Tea Ameliorates Obesity and Affects Blood Parameters in A Mouse Model of High-Fat-Diet-Induced Obesity. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 7, 379-382.

Medjakovic, S. and A. Jungbauer. 2013. Pomegranate: A Fruit That Ameliorates Metabolic Syndrome. Food and Function, 4, 19-39.

Mikhin, V.P., A.V. Kharchenko, E.A. Rosliakova and M.A. Cherniatina. 2011. Application of Coenzyme Q (10) in Combination Therapy of Arterial Hypertension. Kardiologiia, 51:26–31.

Miller, R.L. and S.M. Ho. 2008. Environmental Epigenetics and Asthma: Current Concepts and Call for Studies. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 177(6): 567–573.

Mirmiran, P., Z. Bahadoran and F. Azizi. 2014. Functional Foods-Based Diet as a Novel Dietary Approach for Management of Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications: A Review. World Journal of Diabetes, 5(3):267-281.

Morcos, M., V. Borcea and B. Isermann. 2001. Effect of Alpha-Lipoic Acid on the Progression of Endothelial Cell Damage and Albuminuria in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus: An Exploratory Study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 52: 175–183.

Mozaffarian, D. 2008. Fish and N–3 Fatty Acids for the Prevention of Fatal Coronary Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Death. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 87: 1991S–1996S.

Nestel, P., P. Clifton, D. Colquhoun, M. Noakes, T.A. Mori, D. Sullivan and B. Thomas. 2015.. Indications for omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Heart, Lung and Circulation, 24(8): 769-779.

Ogden, C.L., M.D. Carroll, B.K. Kit and K.M. Flegal. 2014. Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. JAMA, 311: 806-814

Okarter, N. and R.H. Liu. 2010. Health Benefits of Whole Grain Phytochemicals. Critical Reviews in Food Science Nutrition. 50: 193–208.

Paran, E., C. Novac, Y.N. Engelhard and I. Hazan-Halevy. 2009. The Effects of Natural Antioxidants Form Tomato Extract in Treated but Uncontrolled Hypertensive Patients. Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy, 23:145–151.

Perez-Herrera, A., J. Delgado-Lista, L. Torres-Sanchez, O. Rangel-Zuñiga, A. Camargo, J. Moreno-Navarrete and C. Muñozlopez. 2012. The Postprandial Inflammatory Response after Ingestion of Heated Oils in Obese Persons is Reduced by the Presence of Phenol Compounds. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 56, 510-514.

Prior, R.L., S.E. Wilkes, T.R. Rogers, R.C. Khanal, X. Wu and L.R. Howard. 2010. Purified Blueberry Anthocyanins and Blueberry Juice Alter Development of Obesity in Mice Fed an Obesogenic High Fat Diet. Journal of agriculture and food Chemistry, 58(7): 3970-3976.

Puglisi, M.J., U. Vaishnav, S. Shrestha, M. Torres-Gonzalez, R.J. Wood, J.S. Volek and M.L. Fernandez. 2008. Raisins and Additional Walking have Distinct Effects on Plasma Lipids and Inflammatory Cytokines. Lipids in Health and Disease, 7:14.

Rahman, S.T., N. Merchant, T. Haque, J. Wahi, S. Bhaheetharan, K.C. Ferdinand and B.V. Khan. 2012. The impact of lipoic acid on endothelial function and proteinuria in quinapril-treated diabetic patients with stage I hypertension: results from the QUALITY study. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 17(2): 139-145.

Rayalam, S., M.A. Della-Fera and C.A. Baile. 2008. Phytochemicals and Regulation of the Adipocyte Life Cycle. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 19 (11): 717-726

Reid, K., O.R. Frank and N.P. Stocks. 2009. Dark Chocolate or Tomato Extract for Prehypertension: A Randomized Controlled Trial. BMC Complement Alternative Medicine, 9(1): 1-12.

Riegsecker, S., D. Wiczynski, M.J. Kaplan and S. Ahmed. 2013. Potential Benefits of Green Tea Polyphenol EGCG in the Prevention and Treatment of Vascular Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Life Science, 93 (8): 307-12.

Rissanen, T.H., S. Voutilainen, J.K. Virtanen, B. Venho, M. Vanharanta, J. Mursu and J.T. Salonen. 2003. Low Intake of Fruits, Berries and Vegetables is Associated with Excess Mortality in Men: The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study. The Journal of Nutrition, 133(1):199–204.

Ros, E., I. Núñez, A. Pérez-Heras, M. Serra, R. Gilabert, E. Casals and R. Deulofeu. 2004. A Walnut Diet Improves Endothelial Function in Hypercholesterolemic Subjects: A Randomized Crossover Trial. Circulation, 1099(13):1609–1614.

Sackesen, C., H. Ercan, E. Dizdar, O. Soyer, P. Gumus, B.N. Tosun, Z. Buyuktuncer, E. Karabulut, T. Besler and O. Kalayci. 2008. Comprehensive Evaluation of the Enzymatic and Nonenzymatic Antioxidant Systems in Childhood Asthma. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,122(1): 78–85.

Salinthone, S., R.V. Schillace, C.T. Sang, J.W. Regan, D.N. Bourdette and D.W. Carr. 2011. Lipoic Acid Stimulates cAMP Production Via G Protein-Coupled Receptor-Dependent and -Independent Mechanisms. The Journal of Nutrition and Biochemistry, 22 (7): 681–690.

Savica, V., G. Bellinghieri and J.D. Kopple. 2010. The Effect of Nutrition on Blood Pressure. Annual Review of Nutrition, 30: 365-401.

Scribner, K.B., D.B. Pawlak, C.M. Aubin, J.A. Majzoub and D.S. Ludwig. 2008. Long-Term Effects of Dietary Glycemic Index on Adiposity, Energy Metabolism, and Physical Activity in Mice. American Journal of Physiology endocrinology and Metabolism, 295 (5), E1126-E1131.

Shaikh, S.R. and M. Edidin. 2008. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Membrane Organization: Elucidating Mechanisms to Balance Immunotherapy and Susceptibility to Infection. Chemistry Physics Lipids,153(1): 24–33a

Singh, U., S. Devaraj and I. Jialal. 2005. Vitamin E, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation. Annual Review of Nutrition., 25: 151-174.

Skoczyńska. M. and J. Świerkot. 2018. The Role of Diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Reumatologia. 56(4): 259-267. Doi:10.5114/Reum.2018.77979

Thies, F., J.M. Garry, P. Yaqoob, K. Rerkasem, J. Williams, C.P. Shearman, P.J. Gallagher, P.C. Calder and R.F. Grimble. 2003. Association of N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids with Stability of Atherosclerotic Plaques: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Lancet 361(9356): 477–485.

Tsai, K.L., C.L. Kao, C.H. Hung, Y.H. Cheng, H.C. Lin and P.M. Chu. 2017. Chicoric Acid is a Potent Anti-Atherosclerotic Ingredient by Anti-Oxidant Action and Anti-Inflammation Capacity. Oncotarget, 8(18): 29600.

Ueeda, M., T. Doumei, Y. Takaya, R. Shinohata, Y. Katayama, N. Ohnishi, A. Takaishi, T. Miyoshi, S. Hirohata and S. Kusachi. 2008. Serum N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Levels Correlate with the Extent of Coronary Plaques and Calcifications in Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction. Circulation Journal, 72 (11): 1836–1843.

Wiseman, H., J.D. O'Reilly, H. Adlercreutz, A.I. Mallet, E.A. Bowey, I.R. Rowland and T.A. Sanders. 2000. Isoflavone Phytoestrogens Consumed in Soy Decrease F2-Isoprostane Concentrations and Increase Resistance of Low-Density Lipoprotein to Oxidation in Humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72(2): 395-400.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Anum Nazir, Nizwa Itrat, Muhammad Awais Saleem, Mahr Un Nisa, Aleena Shahid, Zain Mushtaq

Journal of Plant and Environment
ISSN: 2710-1665 (Online), 2710-1657 (Print)
© EScience Press. All Rights Reserved.