What Are Nutraceuticals & Why Take Them? (2021)

Elite HRT

Written by Elite HRT on October 11, 2021

Medically reviewed by

Camille Frecking, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, MEDICAL ADVISOR

Nutraceuticals have been a recent buzzword that you may have heard floating around. Nutraceuticals as a product are not necessarily a new thing, but as a concept and term, it is definitely something that has become more popular in recent years. 

Keep reading to learn more about what nutraceuticals are, some examples of popular nutraceuticals, and why you should take them. 

What Is a Nutraceutical?

When you break down the word nutraceuticals you will see that it has two main parts. The first part is nutra-. This prefix means to nourish or be nutritious, such as “nutrition.” The second part of the word is –ceutical. This is not a standard suffix but is derived from the word “pharmaceutical,” which means that it has a therapeutic purpose. When you put these parts back together you will find the meaning nutritious therapy

A nutraceutical is a part of a food or substance that has health benefits. Nutraceutical products are a broad term that can be given to a wide variety of things including whole foods, dietary supplements like capsules or tablets, as well as injections. 

Nutraceuticals can refer to functional foods fortified with enhanced dietary components. These compounds may include carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, botanicals, vitamins, plant extracts, or minerals.

Nutraceuticals in this article are referring to a subset of substances that utilize powerful amino acids and vitamins to provide a healthful benefit. Each nutraceutical is unique and offers different benefits to support people with many different health and wellness goals. 

What Are Some of the Most Common Nutraceuticals?

Nutraceuticals come in all shapes and sizes, but the following seven nutraceuticals are some of the most common ones that you will see offered: Vitamin B12, MIC injections, branched-chain amino acids, L-carnitine, L-arginine, L-glutamine, and L-glutathione. 

Some of these nutrients are vitamins, while others are amino acids. Each has varying benefits, and based on your symptoms and lifestyle your healthcare provider can help to decide which nutraceutical (or nutraceuticals) may be best for you. 

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B12 is among the most well-known and popular nutraceuticals out there. Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin and is an essential vitamin needed for the body to work properly. 

Vitamin B12 deficiencies can be very common in vegetarians, vegans, and those who are lactose-intolerant since B12 is found mostly in animal and dairy products. Vitamin B12 injections can help to restore natural levels of vitamin B12 and support the body in working optimally. 

Some of the benefits you may experience with vitamin B12 injections are a boosted metabolism, more restful sleep, boosted mood and energy levels, and a supported immune system. Vitamin B12 also has a very important role in regulating the nervous system, cardiovascular system, and blood chemistry. 

MIC Injections and Lipotropic Injections

MIC injections stand for methionine, inositol, and choline injections. These three ingredients are mixed to create an injection that helps to boost the metabolism in the body. 

Methionine is an amino acid, inositol is a vitamin-like substance, and choline is an essential nutrient. Because these three ingredients boost the metabolism, it may also support you in losing weight. 

Due to its weight loss impacts, it can be classified as a lipotropic injection. Lipotropic injections are those that help to break down fats in the body and therefore support weight loss. 

MIC injections also support health in other ways, such as boosting energy levels, supporting the health of skin, hair, and nails, and supporting muscle health and functioning.

MIC injections may also have additional ingredients added to them such as L-carnitine and vitamin B12 to add additional benefits as well.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs are also known as branched-chain amino acids. These amino acids are ones that your body is not able to produce on its own and therefore must be taken in via other routes such as foods, oral supplements, or injections. The three amino acids that are present in BCAAs are isoleucine, leucine, and valine. 

What makes these three amino acids unique is where they are utilized in the body. Instead of being metabolized in the liver, they are instead metabolized by the muscles which makes them readily available to support muscle health. 

BCAAs are notable for their use in improving the results of a workout. You may have seen them offered before as a pre-workout powder. This is all because BCAAs may help you to enhance your workouts by supporting recovery, muscle growth, and reducing fatigue to allow you to work out stronger and longer. 

L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is an essential nutrient and amino acid that may also be considered a lipotropic. L-carnitine works in the body by helping to break down fat molecules for energy. This is a very important process needed for weight loss to occur, so it may also support weight loss. 

Since L-carnitine is also lipotropic it is often a great choice to combine with MIC injections to help potentiate the effects by targeting different processes in the body that aid in weight loss. 

L-carnitine also has other benefits such as supporting healthy cholesterol levels, heart health, fertility, energy levels, and more. L-carnitine is naturally found in animal products much like B12, so L-carnitine deficiencies can occur as well in vegans and vegetarians. 

L-Arginine

L-arginine is considered a semi-essential amino acid, meaning L-arginine cannot be manufactured by the body and therefore must be taken in through outside sources, but it’s not needed all the time, only in certain conditions. 

L-arginine helps build proteins in the muscles. L-arginine works through several pathways in addition to simply being an amino acid that builds proteins. One thing that L-arginine can do is support the body in producing growth hormone. Growth hormone is a hormone released by the pituitary gland that aids in the development and maintenance of body tissues such as the muscles and bones. 

When L-arginine is broken down it can also form the chemical nitric oxide which helps to dilate the blood vessels and improve circulation. 

Overall, L-arginine may have many benefits including supporting muscle strength, circulation, muscle mass, energy levels, sexual function, and more. 

L-Glutamine

L-glutamine is an amino acid, and unlike many of the other amino acids mentioned, this one can be made naturally in the body. L-glutamine is made in the muscles and therefore is close in proximity to create desirable impacts. 

This amino acid has an important job of supporting the muscles by preventing them from breaking down. L-glutamine may help you to spend less time recovering and even reduce your risk of becoming injured during a workout. 

Like L-arginine, L-glutamine also supports the body in producing human growth hormone, which helps your body to function properly as a whole, especially if there is a growth hormone deficiency. L-glutamine may be a great adjunctive therapy to growth hormone therapy

L-Glutathione

L-glutathione is a molecule in the body that is made up of the three amino acids glycine, L-glutamate, and L-cysteine. 

L-glutathione has three main jobs in the body. The first is to help the body break down nutrients so that they can be adequately utilized by the body for energy. The second job is to support the immune system to fight invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and diseases. The third job is to protect the body from oxidative stress and free radicals. By preventing the effects of free radicals it is considered an antioxidant and can work as a part of the body’s inner security guards to protect itself from damage on the inside. 

Why Should You Take Nutraceuticals?

While nutraceuticals are not for everyone, they certainly help many people. Nutraceuticals can offer a more natural way to support your health. 

You may be asking yourself why you would take a nutraceutical injection instead of a supplement. The simple answer is when you get an injection, it skips the digestive system, which can eliminate much of the ingredients, and the body is able to utilize more of the substance. Injections may also get the product closer to the muscle if that is the target so that they have less distance to travel to the site of utilization.

If you feel that your quality of life has dwindled and you are looking for a more powerful option than traditional supplements, nutraceutical injections may be for you. 

Conclusion

Nutraceuticals have earned themselves a spot at the table when it comes to alternative therapies. There are so many different types of nutraceuticals so almost everyone can find one that may be helpful to their needs. 

From vitamins, essential nutrients, to amino acids all of these play an essential role in the body, and without the proper amount in the body, you may be seeing unwanted effects. 

If you are considering nutraceuticals, Elite HRT may be able to help discover what is just right for you. Get started with a consultation by clicking here

Sources:

L-arginine | Mayo Clinic

Glutathione | NCBI

New Concepts in Nutraceuticals as Alternative for Pharmaceuticals | NCBI