Nutrition’s New Alphabet

By Alan Richman, Contributing Writer | January 2, 2012

There’s more than A, B, C to watch—and watch out for—in the vitamin category.

If recent research results are to be believed, your mother was wrong when she told you to take your vitamins. On two days in October 2011, disquieting reports suggested that taking vitamins might do more harm than good.
The first study, published October 10, 2011 in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Archives of Internal Medicine, indicated that women who took supplements had, on average, a 2.4% increased risk of dying over the course of the 19-year study compared to women who didn’t take supplements. The researchers analyzed data from nearly 39,000 older women who participated in the Iowa Women’s Health Study and adjusted for factors including age and calorie intake.
Subjects were questioned about their use of multivitamins, vitamins A, C, D and E, beta-carotene, B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, selenium and zinc.
Lead author Jaakko Mursu, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, said, “I would conclude that supplements are not protective against chronic diseases. In some cases they may be harmful, especially if used for a long time.”
Two days later, the October 12, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) offered an article in which researchers concluded, “Dietary supplementation with vitamin E significantly increased the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men.”
The report covering the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) purportedly followed more than 30,000 men randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups. According to the researchers, 529 men taking placebo developed prostate cancer, compared with 620 taking vitamin E alone, 575 taking selenium alone and 555 taking both nutrients. Compared with placebo, the absolute increase in risk of prostate cancer per 1000 person-years was 1.6 for vitamin E, 0.8 for selenium and 0.4 for the combination.
Exacerbating vitamin E concerns, prices for natural vitamin E ingredients have risen sharply in recent months. Dan Richard, general sales manager for Bloomingdale, IL-based NOW Foods, said, “As of today, vitamin E is a huge market problem. There is a [dearth] of raw material, and it has led to serious shortages and drastic price hikes. NOW is buying bulk vitamin E at about double what it was a few months ago, and is still unable to get normal shipments. Chinese suppliers seem to control the market and have greatly influenced the problem.”
Industry Reaction
While industry members may have to wait for market forces to sort out the pricing issue, there has been no delay in their response to the research allegations. Referencing the women’s study, Cara Welch, PhD, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Natural Products Association (NPA), Washington, D.C., stated, “This study…is quite limited in scope; the data is observational and self-reported, so contributing factors are not addressed. Subsequently, the authors cannot conclude any cause and effect and there is no reason why women should change what they’re doing based on this report.”
She added, “There are plenty of studies published that demonstrate the benefit of supplementation and fortification. This specific study should not dissuade the general public from the benefits of addressing a vitamin or mineral deficiency with dietary supplements.”
Duffy MacKay, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), also in Washington, D.C., said, “It’s important to keep in mind that this is an associative—not a cause-and-effect—study. [It] attempts to tease out one piece of the healthy equation for good health—dietary supplements. CRN maintains that nutrients may be robbed of their beneficial effects when viewed as if they were pharmaceutical agents, with scientists looking to isolate those effects, good or bad.”
Addressing the SELECT report, Ms. Welch called for “additional research into the link of vitamin E and prostate cancer, specifically clarifying the mechanism of action, before anyone can draw conclusions.” Meanwhile, she emphasized, this is only “one of several studies demonstrating the effects of vitamin E, many of which are positive. Even the authors mention the reported benefit of vitamin E with Alzheimer’s disease and age-related macular degeneration.”
“What the researchers and editors seemed to miss is that older women (or men) have a greater risk of death simply because of their age, their greater likelihood of having serious diseases and their use of multiple drugs—a common cause of illness (from side effects),” said Jack Challem, The Nutrition Reporter, headquartered in Tucson, AZ.
Supplements—The Bright Side
The women’s multi-nutrient story, as well as the vitamin E tale, have already captured significant media attention and may collect even more in the short-term. But there is also a more encouraging view of both the present and future for vitamin use. And this is good news for ingredient suppliers, product manufacturers, retailers and consumers.
Specifically, this is the great public acceptance and trust vitamins and vitamin-like compounds have earned over the past century. Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ), Boulder, CO, estimated U.S. consumer sales of vitamins reached $9.6 billion in 2010 on nearly 5% growth. The vitamin D category once again saw very strong growth—up 30% to $550 million. The vitamin A/carotenoids category was up about 3% to $350 million. Among specialty supplements, CoQ10 sales grew nearly 7% to $480 million.
According to Sam Wright IV, CEO of The Wright Group, Crowley, LA, “The letter vitamins have been and continue to be core ingredients in most fortified foods and beverages. Vitamin products account for about 34% of dietary supplement sales [not to mention their role in animal nutrition].” Mr. Wright said vitamins C, D, and E are the major products, especially in single-entity dosage forms. In the food arena, vitamin C is by far the most important element, followed by vitamin D, niacin, thiamine and folic acid. New applications for the B vitamins include energy, stress and heart health formulas.
Now in its 57th year, The Wright Group supplies a wide array of value added vitamins, carotenoids, minerals, amino acids, omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, probiotics, botanicals, CoQ10 and other nutraceuticals and food/beverage additives, as well as proprietary microencapsulated ingredients and custom premixes under the Supercoat and SuperBlend brands.
Microencapsulation is also high on the list of advantages claimed by Blue California, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Cecilia McCollum, vice president of sales and marketing, said the process improves bioavailability. Microencapsulation is also suitable for taste and odor masking, flavor retention, enhanced chemical stability, ease of cleaning for colored ingredients and sustaining release. Blue California’s website declares, “This new technology can be applied to food products, cosmetics, functional foods (nutritional bars, confectionary, etc.), beverages, effervescent tablets, [and] dietary supplements.”
Pre-mixes lead the charge at West Haven, CT-based Watson, Inc. Michael Weibel, vice president of research and development, said the company specializes in custom formulations. “Our most important value-added distinction is that we certify and guarantee the content and potency of everything we make. And we back it up by accepting legal responsibility if we fail. On my watch we have never failed.”
The Watson executive sees vitamin D as very hot right now. Has the recession hurt vitamin volume? If so, not by much, said Mr. Weibel. “I’ve read that some people are cutting back a bit on proactive nutrition, but there has been no dramatic drop in sales.”
Kathy Lund, director of business development and marketing, AIDP, Inc., City of Industry, CA, said the letter vitamin market has stabilized overall, while at the same time diversifying into line extensions, such as pure forms, kosher options, water-soluble solutions and oils. Some compounds have seen particularly strong growth, such as vitamins E and K.
“Media behind new research influences the market greatly,” she said. For example, “vitamin D being promoted as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ helped to boost sales, and recent studies on vitamin K for bone and cardiovascular health have made it more of a focus.” Meanwhile, she noted, “The vitamin C market has been subject to heavy competition and lower demand, which has resulted in prices falling.”
Ms. Lund said AIDP offers several letter vitamins in micoencapsulation form that makes them highly soluble, offers better stability and helps them appear clear in liquids. This proprietary process is known as enVantec.
Clear formulas are also making news at Watson. Mr. Weibel said his company’s Beta-Clear is a color-free powder of encapsulated beta-carotene. When dissolved in water, it forms a colloidal crystalline dispersion. Clear-E is another clear product made possible by micellar technology that allows fat-soluble vitamins to be placed in water without turning the water opaque. Mr. Weibel described Clear-E as a “fine, free-flowing form of vitamin E spray dried within a modified starch matrix. When mixed into a solution, Clear-E forms a micellar dispersion, producing a clear solution.” It is intended for beverage applications where optically clear products are desired—bottled water, flavored seltzers and soft drinks, for example.
Two Standout Vitamins
According to Paula Nurnberger, marketing manager for PL Thomas, Morristown, NJ, “Two letter vitamins stand out as increasing in velocity and media exposure during the past two years: vitamin D and vitamin K.” The strength of these two nutrients has largely been driven by recent research disseminated in mass media, she added.
“Recent epidemiological findings indicate there may be an additional rationale in supplementing postmenopausal women to prevent osteoporosis with calcium in synergistic combination with vitamins K2 and D,” Ms. Nurnberger noted. A study published recently in the British Medical Journal showed that increased calcium use to strengthen bones—but without such necessary co-factors as vitamins K2 and vitamin D—may actually lead to increased risk of cardiovascular events.
MenaquinGold is PL Thomas’ version of menaquinone-7 (MK-7), a highly specific vitamin K. Since its discovery in 1929, vitamin K has been best known for its role in promoting coagulation; it’s the anti-bleeding vitamin. As early as the 1930s, however, researchers have known that vitamin K can be found in two forms—vitamin K1 or phylloquinone (found in green and leafy vegetables and algae), and vitamin K2, which has been shown to be more bioavailable. Further breaking this down, K2 is known to occur in two forms—menaquinone 4, typically sourced from meat and menaquinone 7 (MK-7), sourced from natto (Japanese fermented soy food) and cheeses.
Ms. Nurnberger said vitamin K2 provides a positive impact in three key areas: liver (promoting clotting factors II, VII, IX, X, C, S, Z), bones (encouraging increased osteocalcin formation and activity) and arteries (promoting the activity of MGP-protein). “Very key and compelling,” she emphasized, “is that MK-7 has recently been clinically demonstrated as having a fundamentally important role in calcium utilization in both bones and the cardiovascular system.”
In addition, she said, “MK-7 has been shown to have a positive effect on muscle cramping, opening up new doors for cutting-edge formulas addressing healthy mobility in elderly populations.”
As might be expected, natto is also the source of K2 produced by Oslo, Norway-based NattoPharma. In a July interview with The Tan Sheet, CEO Peter Carlsson noted that in 2009 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved vitamin K2 as a novel ingredient with a claim that it is good for bones. At the same time, Mr. Carlsson said, EFSA rejected an application for a similar claim about heart health. But, he added, “This year…we are resubmitting the request with new clinical data to support it, and we hope to achieve heart health claims after the EFSA evaluation period.”
Mr. Carlsson also told The Tan Sheet that, although K2 is not yet a household term, awareness is growing. “It is still very new if you compare it to other vitamins,” he said. “In fact, I almost tend to say that the vitamin K2 is not a vitamin. It is, of course, but I treat it more like a substance, more like an omega 3, because it has such unique effects.”
He continued, “There are two important things with vitamin K2 as I see it from the industry perspective. One is, of course, to make it very reliable in the area of business-to-business, so people understand what it is, how it works, etc. And the other important step is to take the message out to the consumers as well. [There we] have some work to do.”
K2Vital, a branded version of vitamin K2 MK-7, also is part of the line carried by Xsto Solutions, Morristown, NJ. Other branded ingredients Xsto offers include: PepZin GI (zinc-carnosine for digestive support); NiaXtend (extended-release niacin for heart health); Algatrium (SN2 position DHA clear, water-soluble omega 3 fatty acids); Bioenergy Ribose (for energy support and sports performance); and CarnoLife (L-carnitine for anti-aging needs).
Dan Murray, vice president of business development for Xsto, said, “Letter vitamins still account for huge dollars and a significant portion of supplementation and fortification. Typically, A and E are far and away the biggest revenue vitamins. The B vitamins tend to be lumped together, which is a shame because each has an important role to play in metabolic functions. One of my favorite B vitamins is niacin (B3). It has a rich history of cardiovascular support and yet it is very economical to supplement. It’s not often we have a physical manifestation of absorption as we do with the flushing (vasodilation) of niacin just a few minutes after consumption.”
Mr. Murray said vitamin B12 is another critical nutrient for nerve function, as it helps people with pernicious anemia, a debilitating loss of dexterity and digital function.
Discussing vitamin D, Mr. Murray said, “We are now seeing tremendous growth at levels that would never have been considered—upward of 2000 IUs per day. Vitamin D has multiple benefits, but the two hottest are bone health and heart health.”
Vitamin K falls into the category of “everything old is new again,” Mr. Murray commented, adding that it is making waves on the production line as well as in the research lab. “New processes are bringing costs down and making fortification and supplementation very economical. These production developments are wonderfully timed, as new studies are showing positive benefits from vitamin K use, in the form of K2 MK-7. [In general] I think the recent uptick in letter vitamin demand is based on basic research that has been ongoing for decades. We are taking well-established metabolic processes and new benefits are being revealed with modern research. The opportunity to actually ‘reduce the risk of something’ is far more interesting than treating a full blown deficiency condition.”
The big news about K2 at Blue California is a fermentation process that enables the company to produce vitamin K2 in a 1% concentration as opposed to the more commonly found 0.1% concentration. According to the company’s Ms. McCollum, this presents the user with a formulation that is 10 times stronger for about half the price.
“Overall,” according to Dean Mosca, president of Kearny, NJ-based Proprietary Nutritionals Inc. (PNI), “we see high interest in vitamin D, a long overshadowed and often misunderstood vitamin.” Mr. Mosca said the vitamin D surge began about two years ago when research emerged “showing its many actions in the body to promote health and wellness, notably in light of the modern trend of slathering on sunscreens and staying out of direct sunlight.”
PNI’s key letter vitamin ingredient is Sytrinol, which combines vitamin E tocotrienols and citrus-derived antioxidants (polymethoxylated flavones, or PMFs). Mr. Mosca cited three major studies in which use of Sytrinol was associated with significant reductions in high LDL cholesterol.
Going back to vitamin D, here’s the biggest question of all: can it help people live longer? A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests it might. The research showed that consuming higher levels of vitamin D (about 50 nanograms per milliliter—ng/ml) was associated with as many as five additional years of life thanks to telomere preservation.
Telomeres are the end caps of DNA strands in chromosomes. With each cell replication, the telomeres get shorter, and when the telomeres get too short, the cell dies. But, if vitamin D can keep the telomeres viable, then the mortality rate associated with vitamin D-sensitive diseases might be reduced by an estimated 20%, according to new research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Other Voices, Other Products
Sometimes it seems there is no end to the variety of products in the vitamin category. When one includes blends, multis and vitamin-like compounds, such as CoQ10 and carotenoids, the total is enormous.
Dawn Jarvis, director of product support and education for Garden of Life, West Palm Beach, FL, said vitamins D and K continue to grow consistently, while vitamin E has become an issue, owing to price hikes experienced last summer. All three nutrients are part of the company’s Vitamin Code line, which utilizes raw ingredients for maximum nutrient content.
Vitamin D is also on the “hits” list for American Health, Ronkonkoma, NY. Marketing director Dorie Greenblatt is high on a blend of D3 with the firm’s Ester-C flagship product. In addition, she said, Ester-C has been linked with probiotics, with cranberry and with antioxidants.
Vitamin D’s fame has also reached the Middle East. A July 25, 2011 article in the Saudi Medical Journal stated, “Vitamin D is important for growth and development of bones and teeth in infants and children. Vitamin D has been used in the treatment of rickets, psoriasis, osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease, and has been found to reduce the incidence of breast cancer and type 1 diabetes.”
One study on which the article was based included 100 children with type 1 diabetes and 100 healthy control children. Researchers measured and compared serum levels of vitamin D, parathyroid hormone, calcium, phosphate and alkaline phosphatase in each of the participants. It was found that vitamin D levels were significantly lower in the children with type 1 diabetes compared with the control subjects. Overall, 84% of children with type 1 diabetes and 59% of the control children were vitamin D deficient.
Bob Barrows, vice president of sales and marketing for Bluebonnet Nutrition Corporation, Sugar Land, TX, sees vitamin C as “still very strong,” vitamin K as providing “lots of action,” and vitamin D as “probably the hottest of all the letter vitamins, thanks to the excellent research being done.” CoQ10, which he thinks is an ideal product for an aging population, also is selling well, “particularly the ubiquinol format.” Vitamin E is the only nutrient he singles out as “somewhat flat.”
It’s not content, but delivery mechanism, that excites Daniel O’Brien, director of sales for Nutrition Now, Vancouver, WA. His company’s offerings are presented as gummy vitamins, not the more common tablets or capsules. Mr. O’Brien claimed that gummies are the fastest growing vitamin format at present—and not just for kids. As the Baby Boomer generation reaches 60 years of age, there will be potentially millions of people who have difficulty swallowing pills. He said gummy nutrients are a viable alternative for these senior adults.
Introduced last September at the Vitafoods Asia trade show in Hong Kong, Think Newtrition is a global market initiative from BASF Nutrition & Health, a German firm with North American offices in Florham Park, NJ. Through a dialogue with “key players in the market,” it is intended to “strengthen the company’s position as a partner and driving force in the food, beverages and dietary supplement market segments, while aligning nutrition products with the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.” It is seen by the firm as having evolved from Cognis’ former business approach since BASF acquired that company in December 2010. BASF’s spotlighted products include: fat-soluble vitamins like A, D3, E and K1; water-soluble vitamins such as B2, B5 and B12; dry n-3 powder omega 3 fatty acids; Betatene natural beta-carotene; and Tonalin conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
“Vitamin research is alive and well,” according to Michael McBurney, PhD, head of scientific affairs, DSM Nutritional Products, Parsippany, NJ. “There is a constant supply of new research studies on vitamins, carotenoids, omega 3 and other specialty nutritionals.”
Mr. McBurney cited two studies published in the late summer of 2011. Funded by the International Life Sciences Institute, these emphasized the importance of fortified foods and dietary supplements in meeting the vitamin and mineral intakes of Americans. The authors found so few foods and beverages were fortified with vitamins E, D, and to a lesser extent vitamin A, that most Americans need to use dietary supplements to meet recommended daily intakes (RDIs). “It is just not possible for most people to consume adequate amounts from natural and organic foods,” Mr. McBurney said.
In another study, vitamin B12 was linked with cognition and memory. People over 65 years of age living in Chicago with low blood vitamin B12 levels were at greater risk of brain shrinkage and lower cognitive test scores. Since B12 cannot be stored in the body, Mr. McBurney said, “We need to regularly consume vitamin B12.”
Kevin Owen, PhD, NAFTA head of technical marketing and scientific affairs for Allendale, NJ-based Lonza Inc., described the company as “the world’s leading producer of niacin/niacinamide (vitamin B3) with three B3 plants in Europe and Asia. Since 1971, Lonza has supplied more than half the world’s demand for vitamin B3 in the human and animal health nutrition industries. Currently, Mr. Owen said, niacinamide is found in functional foods and beverages, as well as dietary supplements.
According to Mr. Owen, “The term niacin, or vitamin B3, describes both nicotinic acid and nicotinamide (niacinamide), both of which have vitamin activity. Niacin can be found in all living cells, but as it is not produced naturally in the body, it must be supplied to the body through diet or supplementation. Therefore, niacin is an essential vitamin widely used in the food industry as well as supplements.”
Kristine Lukasik, PhD, manager of scientific and regulatory affairs for food and nutritional ingredients sold by New Hampton, NY-based Balchem Corporation, said her company produces USP-grade water-soluble forms of choline under the VitaCholine and Memor-C brands. Often classed in the vitamin B complex, choline is an essential nutrient.
According to Ms. Lukasik, choline “is important for the healthy structure and function of the human body, acting as a biochemical building block, an agent of cell-to-cell communication and transportation, and part of a regulatory system for gene expression. Choline’s functionality lies in necessity for the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, membrane phospholipids, cellular osmolytes, as well as its value in methyl-group donation. Its role in cell structure and function, lipid metabolism, cell signaling and genetic regulation underlie its contribution to cognitive, cardiovascular and hepatic health, as well as maintenance of vigor during strenuous exercise.”
Despite this long list of functions, however, Ms. Lukasik acknowledged that awareness of choline and its benefits has historically been low among U.S. consumers. In the past five years, though, this has begun to change, as numerous national brands have incorporated choline into food, beverage and supplement formulas for children, active adults and pregnant women.
Beyond Vitamins
In addition to the letter vitamins, this category also boasts such vitamin-like compounds as CoQ10, carotenoids and more.
Product offerings from Los Angeles, CA-based Soft Gel Technologies, Inc. include astaxanthin, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and tocotrienols. The company also has a strong presence in the CoQ10 market. Steve Holtby, president and CEO, described the company’s CoQsol as “an all-natural, enhanced absorption, soft gel formulation of coenzyme Q10 that includes other valuable antioxidant ingredients such as natural beta-carotene and mixed tocopherols.”
CoQsol-CF, a crystal-free soft gel formulation of CoQ10, was developed in an effort to improve the nutrient yield of CoQ10 and build upon the existing reputation of its original CoQ10 formula.
And CoQH-CF was created under a patent-pending formula to protect ubiquinol from being oxidized. The soft gels contain a liquid inner fill of Kaneka QH, alpha-lipoic acid, d-limonene, and capric and caprylic acid. Mr. Holtby said, “This unique soft gel delivery system with Kaneka QH allows individuals who are unable to process CoQ10 effectively on their own (primarily Baby Boomers and those with disorders of elevated oxidative stress) to increase plasma levels of CoQ10 in its reduced form.”
At a SupplySide West presentation sponsored by Morristown, NJ-based OmniActive Health Technologies, Tufts University researcher Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, discussed the ways in which lutein and zeaxanthin isomers contribute to eye health. Ms. Johnson noted these ingredients are potent antioxidants that may help protect eyes by fighting off free radical damage caused by environmental stress. She also said they filter out potentially damaging light before it hits the eye.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are also the principal ingredients in FloraGLO Lutein, produced by Kemin Health, Des Moines, IA. Corey Jansen, product manager, noted this combination of nutrients is not only good for the eye, but also confers skin health benefits. He said two significant factors bode well for FloraGLO in the near future. One is Kemin’s launch of a direct-to-consumer public relations campaign to help educate the public on the benefits of these ingredients for healthy eyes and skin. The other is the nearing date when results from the National Eye Institute’s Second Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS2) become public. This study focuses on the eye health benefits of lutein and is using 10 mg of FloraGLO Lutein.
Like the better-known CoQ10, pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a quinone that functions as an oxidoreductase coenzyme in microorganisms. Purchase, NY-based Maypro Industries cited a placebo-controlled, double-blinded human study in which Japanese subjects between 50 and 70 years old, and with self-identified forgetfulness or forgetfulness identified by a family member, colleague or acquaintance, were given PQQ alone or with CoQ10 for 24 weeks. PQQ was found to improve not only immediate memory, but also other higher brain functions such as spatial awareness. The effects of PQQ were enhanced when the substance was used with CoQ10. Effects were more pronounced in subjects with poorer baseline total scores.
Never Boring
With so much going on in the world of vitamins and vitamin-like compounds, it’s clear that this category, albeit basic, is far from boring. New research has cut both ways—both negative and positive. One thing is definite, however: you can’t spell “nutrition” without A, B, C—not to mention D, E, K, CoQ10 and more.                       
New Jersey-based freelance writer Alan Richman is the former editor/associate publisher of Whole Foods Magazine and a regular contributor to Nutraceuticals World. He can be contacted at arkr@optonline.net.
Global Vitamin Market to Exceed $3 Billion by 2017
Wide range of applications in varying markets to propel growth.
The global market for vitamins is forecast to reach $3.2 billion by the year 2017, primarily driven by the positive outlook in the cosmetics and pharmaceuticals end-use markets. Furthermore, evolution of the innovative food concepts and increased importance of sports nutrition are also contributing to the market growth, according to a new report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA) titled, “Vitamins: A Global Strategic Business Report.”
Vitamins find application in foods, feed additives, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Changing lifestyles are triggering demand for nutraceuticals or beneficial health products, while increased demand for performance enhancers in the feed industry has given rise to eubiotics, a high-potential offshoot; and growing demand for innovative “cosmeceuticals” is fueling growth in the cosmetics industry.
Overall, the vitamins market is slated for steady growth, driven by the positive outlook in the end-use sectors, primarily cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. A decade ago, production of vitamins was confined to the West, and only a few chemical-based companies dominated the market. But presently, a significant quantity is produced in China and India. Increasing competition has brought a change in the product and marketing concepts, paving the way for increased customer focus, manufacture of value-added products and improved services.
According to the new market research report, Europe represents the largest regional market, although the U.S. constitutes the single largest market globally. Asia-Pacific is likely to emerge as the fastest growing market, with a CAGR of about 4% over the analysis period.
Vitamin E represents the largest segment, owing to the extensive use of these vitamins in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food end-use applications. The animal feed additives market represents the largest end-user segment, while the food fortification market, driven by the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status of vitamins, is also on an upswing. The cosmetics industry, though relatively small in terms of the percentage share, is emerging as a key end-user with a CAGR of 4.6% over the analysis period.
With a wide range of applications in the cosmetics industry, such as a key ingredient in skin care lotions, sunscreens and anti-aging creams, vitamin E is in wide use due to its varied functionality related to the skin. As such, its use in the cosmetics industry is potentially beneficial, and there are comparatively fewer regulatory hurdles for cosmetic manufacturers in comparison to food manufacturers.
In recent years, the antioxidants industry has grown considerably, due in part to the increasing use of vitamin E. Lower-dosage of vitamin E is exceedingly being sought by an aging population for improving heart health. People are increasingly aware of the role of good nutrition in reducing the risk of diseases, including osteoporosis, cancer, coronary heart diseases and other infections.
The animal feed additives market is influenced by a host of diverse factors, including variations in income, population, exports and meat consuming preferences. As the global population continues to increase, demand for food will experience dramatic growth. This, coupled with the rising affluence in developing nations, is expected to shape the eating habits of the global population. The consumption of protein rich foods, particularly meat, rises when disposable incomes rise. Consequently, the animal industry and its allied sectors, such as feed additives, are set to experience significant growth, according to GIA.