Nutraceuticals, the term, is a combination of nutrition and pharmaceuticals. Nutraceuticals are made of natural nutrients and medicinally active food. It comprises for tified food products that supplement regular diet and helps prevent diseases. This industry has opened up a new segment of health care and medicine. (1)
A UK based scholar, Dr. Stephen De Felice first coined the term Nutraceuticals in 1989. Initially, nutraceutical products were only used in developed countries. Now, it is globally accepted and highly used to curb the usage of medicines. Nutraceuticals are also approved as safe to intake by law and regulatory systems. (2)
It covers multiple therapeutic areas, including:
- Cold and cough.
- Sleeping disorders.
- Protection from cancer.
- Blood pressure control.
- Cholesterol control.
- Mental Health Disorders.
Segments of the Nutraceutical Industry
The three main segments of the nutraceutical industry are:
- Herbal or natural products.
- Dietary Supplements.
- Functional foods and beverages.
Based on food sources, chemical nature, and mechanism of action it can be classified as follows: (3)
- Dietary Fiber – It is mainly food materials derived from plants and digested by the microflora present in our gut. Enzymes excreted by our digestive tract cannot hydrolyze these products. E.g. cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin gum and pectin, resistant dextrin, and resistant starch.
- Probiotics – This includes microbial food supplements to enhance the intestinal microbial balance. E.g. Lactobacilli, Gram-positive cocci, and Bifidobacterium.
- Prebiotics – There are short-chain polysaccharides with a unique chemical structure that accelerates the metabolism in the gut. It improves lactose tolerance, neutralizes toxins, and stimulates the intestinal immune system. E.g. oligosaccharides in fruits and vegetables.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids – These are essential fatty acids regulating many vital body functions. E.g. Omega fatty acid.
- Antioxidant vitamins –Vitamin C & E are the antioxidant vitamins. It prevents oxidative reactions, reducing the possibilities of degenerative diseases.
- Polyphenols – This is a group of photochemical derived from plants as secondary metabolic. g. Dietary polyphenols including flavonoids and phenolic acid, which promote cellular process in our body.
- Spices – Dietary spices have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and immune modulatory effects. Asian countries are the power house of exclusive spices with diversified effects.
Difference between Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceutical
Pharmaceutical includes active drugs and other chemical substances, which are approved by law, WHO, and FDA. It can be advised by authorized medical practitioners and sold only from licensed medical counters against a doctor’s prescription. It has a proven impact and high efficacy. These are patented products.
Nutraceuticals are health products that don’t need any authorized practitioner’s prescription to buy; they are all OTC. It has an array of health benefits and miraculous effects on aging, immunity, as well as prohibiting many diseases. However, efficacy and safety are not as prominent as in pharmaceuticals.
With the growing prices, side effects, and myths related to the mainstream medicine, i.e., pharmaceuticals, people are looking for an alternative way to stay healthy. This caused a surge in the global awareness and demand of the nutraceutical industry. (4)
What is the Product Range of Nutraceuticals?
Nutraceuticals products are available in the market as dietary supplements, beverages, and foods. The food segment includes infant products, dairy products, bakery, confectioneries, and snacks. Beverages comprise juice, health drinks, and energy drinks. Under the dietary supplements segment, there are tablets, liquids, powders, soft gels, and chewable gums. This industry aims to provide health benefits to the people in a tasty and fascinating mode of consumption. Hence, making it interesting and feasible for all, while providing medicinal health benefits. (5)
Nutraceuticals Market in India
It is estimated that by 2023, the global market of the nutraceutical industry will reach $336 billion; it was $247 in 2019 with a CAGR of 8%. It was initially only concentrated in developed countries. Presently, Europe, Japan, and USA are the top market players in this industry and are making the majority (90%) contribution to it.
Nutraceutical companies in India are working hard and catering to a large population. In 2017, India had a market share of 2% in the global market. It is expected to hold 3.5%, reaching $11 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 21%. (6)
Since the regulations for nutraceutical products aren’t as strict as pharmaceuticals, there are numerous counterfeits or ineffective products in the market. However, if you buy from a trusted brand or one that has clinical evidence for their products, then the products are absolutely safe to use and commercially affordable. As a food supplement or energy booster, you may include these in your daily diet.
Anzen Exports blog posts are based just on our research from cited websites. To be best informed, we advise you to consult your doctor about an ingredient or medicine prior to taking it.
Date – Sept 2020
Date – 26th Feb 2011
- AES Laboratories (P) Ltd.
Date – 2019
- Neutraceuticals Product Market
Date – Aug 2019
Date – 6th March 2020