Progressive loss of functional neurons is typically characterized as neurodegeneration. This is particularly pronounced during aging and results in debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms appear typically after 70–80% neuronal loss, resulting in irreversible damage. Several drugs have been clinically approved but they only alleviate symptoms and additionally lead to undesirable side effects. Hence there is a dire need for drugs and/or supplements which address this lacuna. Functional foods are known to offer health benefits beyond their attributed nutritional values. Unlike dietary supplements which are made from foods or food-like substances with enriched nutritional value, functional foods are foods that are modified for greater nutritional value. Conceptually, as an expansion of dietary supplements, functional foods are known to be neuroprotective. Here we discuss functional foods which can potentially be used as adjunctive therapy, with a note on the regulatory compliance.
Part of the book: Functional Foods