To that end, Cargill announced an opportunity for food and beverage formulators to use glucosamine in products targeted to Generation Y This opportunity is based on recent consumer studies about functional foods and glucosamine from the Natural Health Institute (NHI), and new science being conducted at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, regarding glucosamine’s role in maintaining joint health.
"The NMI study details that 59% of current Gen Y users of glucosamine use it to maintain general health," said Chuck Ray, technical services manager, Cargill Corn Milling. "Emerging science supports an opportunity for glucosamine to appeal to younger consumers, especially when incorporated into great-tasting foods and beverages."
In addition, Cargill is currently supporting novel research at The Scripps Research Institute to better understand the science behind glucosamine's role in joint health. Preliminary findings indicate that glucosamine may help to support healthy aging in the joints through the activation of autophagy, one of the main cellular "housekeeping" mechanisms. Autophagy is a critical mechanism in maintaining cellular health in joints and other tissues throughout the body, and while more research is needed, initial results show that glucosamine activates autophagy in cell culture and animal models.
"Gen Y, with an estimated $3.4 trillion in buying power by 2018, tends to be very proactive when it comes to their health," said Ray. "This science is helping us understand how glucosamine may play a role in maintaining healthy joints.”