Health functional food, knowing properly



What is health functional food?

Health functional food as defined by the Health Functional Food Act refers to products manufactured using ingredients or ingredients that have useful functions for the human body. Although it is not a medicine that treats diseases, it is a food consumed by humans, so it must be recognized as functional through clinical trials and safety must be reviewed to qualify as a health functional food.


The reason why health functional food can help health is because it is made of functional ingredients. The functional substances used in manufacturing health functional foods are 1) functional raw materials, 2) nutrients, and 3) other raw materials. The functional raw materials are divided into two types: raw materials and individually recognized raw materials. Raw materials such as vitamins and minerals are materials that can be sold and distributed without prior approval by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. Individually recognized raw materials are raw materials with new health functions that have not been previously known, including probiotics for gut health, glucosamine for joint health, and soy isoflavones for menopausal woman's health. Individually recognized raw materials can only be sold and distributed after being approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

Despite the safety evaluation by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety for health functional foods, side effects may occur due to misuse by the user, incorporation and contamination of hazardous components, and individual reactions. In a study of health functional food buyers, most of them did not experience side effects after eating health functional food, but they suffered from anorexia, constipation, itching, hives, acne, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, anemia, fever, and tremor. An estimated side effect has been reported. If side effects occur after taking health functional foods, stop taking the health functional foods immediately and report it to the health functional food side effects report center after diagnosis and confirmation by a doctor.