Understanding Nutraceuticals: Unlocking the Power of Essential Oils

February 9, 2022

From Roseman Medical Group’s Health Monthly.

Nutraceutical products can be considered non-therapeutic dietary supplements used to promote general well-being.

The term “nutraceutical” combines the two words of “nutrient,” which is a nourishing food component, and “pharmaceutical,” which is a medical drug. The name was coined in 1989 by Stephen DeFelice, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine, an American organization located in Cranford, New Jersey.

Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, said, “Let food be our medicine” – or, as it is in one area of nutraceuticals, let natural substances like essential oils assist in maintaining health.  While essential oils are not food, they can be applied topically, ingested orally, or inhaled through a diffuser, a nebulizer, or by simply being breathed in.

The global Nutraceutical market has exploded, expected to reach $441.7 B market cap by 2026. In 2021, the US reached $104.5B market cap while accounting for a 34.57% share in the global market. Increasingly, Americans are turning to what they consider to be “natural” products, with nearly every consumer category offering “natural” alternatives. COVID-19 has helped drive this in part, with consumers looking for natural alternatives, vitamins and supplements to increase immune health and wellness.

Meet Tim Le, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences in Roseman University’s College of Pharmacy. Dr. Le’s life work as a researcher has been in the diagnoses and treatment of cancers. How does a cancer researcher end up interested in the rosemary bushes that line the hedges outside of his office window? Dr. Le became increasingly interested in the potential of essential oils to improve health when dōTERRA, a leading manufacturer of essential oils, founded in 2008 and headquartered in Pleasant Grove UT, tapped Roseman University to evaluate the biochemical efficacy of its oils. dōTERRA’s ethos is centered on bringing an exceptional standard of quality oils to market. From its sourcing, manufacturing, bottling, packaging and quality control practices, dōTERRA set out to provide only the highest quality and purest essential oils. Roseman’s patented technology analyzes the oils in what Dr. Le calls a “physiological lie detector test” to ensure their quality.

At the same time, Dr. Le was working on his own projects and discovering new innovations in testing and evaluating compounds that fight or prevent metabolic disease and cancer.  Together, Dr. Le’s team and the dōTERRA team are looking at new ways to unlock the potential therapeutic benefits of these oils.

Dr. Le’s lab is an olfactory treat for any visitor, as he joyfully shares some of his favorite essences of rosemary, orange, lavender, and cinnamon. He reminds us however that while Mother Nature has created these oils, they are not to be underestimated. Powerful, pure, and even potentially dangerous if not handled correctly, essential oils benefit in ways we are just beginning to understand.  Dr. Le’s research will hopefully lead to new discoveries in the detection and prevention of disease. Roseman Medical Group patients, a part of Roseman’s College of Medicine, benefit from being part of an academic health practice associated with a university conducting this kind of groundbreaking research.

About Dr. Tim Le

Dr. Le specializes in novel molecular imaging and proteomics technologies for clinical diagnosis of breast cancer and fatty liver disease. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and his Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Chicago. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship with a Ruth L. Kirschtein National Research Service Award at Purdue University. He serves as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Roseman University of Health Sciences. Dr. Le has co-authored publications on fatty liver disease, breast cancer, and essential oils. He was awarded with multiple dōTERRA research grants to study the biological activities of essential oils. He is a member of the Society for Molecular Imaging and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Prior to joining Roseman University, he served as a faculty member at the Nevada Cancer Institute and the Desert Research Institute.

About dōTERRA

dōTERRA International is an integrative health and wellness company and the world leader in the Global Aromatherapy and Essential Oils market. dōTERRA sources, tests, manufactures, and distributes CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade® essential oils and essential oil products to over nine million dōTERRA Wellness Advocates and customers. Through industry leading responsible sourcing practices, dōTERRA maintains the highest levels of quality, purity and sustainability in partnership with local growers around the world through Cō-Impact Sourcing®. The dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation®, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, offers resources and tools to global sourcing communities and charitable organizations for self-reliance, healthcare, education, sanitation, and the fight against human trafficking. Through the life-enhancing benefits of essential oils, dōTERRA is changing the world one drop, one person, one community at a time.