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Indian nutraceutical industry makes headway to combat malnutrition and chronic illness

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Saturday, January 15, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Indian nutraceutical market is making strategic inroads to positions itself to be able to combat malnutrition and chronic illness. Lack of awareness especially in low-and middle-income economies of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Argentina among others has resulted in underweight and malnutrition, amongst children. The ongoing pandemic with a threat of varied mutants too has led the nutraceuticals industry gain considerable traction.

Despite being the world's fastest-growing economy and the world's largest anti-malnutrition programme, India has the highest rate of child malnutrition in the world. There is need to give attention to issues such as lack of knowledge about food nutrition and the promotion of food supplements to reduce the nutritional gap among mothers and children in low-income countries, Suresh Garg, MD and founder, Zeon Lifesciences told Pharmabiz.

People also believe that becoming ill or sick indicates that they are not well. They do not believe that malnutrition or being underweight is a cause of illness or poor health. Nutraceuticals supplements are not medications for diseases; rather, they are nutrient-dense additions to our diets that we often overlooked. As a result, understanding the nutritional requirements can help the nutraceuticals industry grow at an annual growth rate of 8.9% till 2028, he added.

As a preventive disease strategy, nutraceuticals companies are working to rejuvenate health of the people across the globe. It is reported that the India medical nutrition market was valued at US$ 404.1 million in 2021.

Covid has heightened interest in nutraceuticals supplements. Over and above Covid prevention, precautions such as wearing a mask and receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, to battle such a deadly virus, our bodies require internal strength and powerful immunological support. Further, the deadly virus has wreaked people's health, causing anything from metabolic abnormalities to organ failures to mental illness. The innovative formulations of nutraceuticals are currently addressing the rising demand to manage Covid survivors. Nutraceuticals has increasingly become a part of everyone’s preventive plan, Garg stated.
The rising prevalence of chronic diseases, as well as changing consumer diet patterns are driving up demand for dietary supplements. Expensive specialty pharmaceuticals are putting a strain on the healthcare system. In order to offset increased out-of-pocket prescription expenses, the focus should be to shift towards prevention rather than intervention. There is a trend towards dietary supplements, sports nutrition, weight management and functional foods to maintain health and quality of life. Also nutraceuticals backed by scientific evidence is also proven to lower risk of certain diseases, he said.


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