By Rajiv Tandon
When it comes to healthcare, the capital-intensive, cure-centric model has proven to be unsustainable. The need of the hour is value-based healthcare, which has brought the nutraceutical sector to the forefront. The nutraceutical industry is distinguished into three categories: herbal/natural products, dietary supplements, and functional foods. Among these, the most rapidly growing segments are herbal/natural products and dietary supplements. As nutraceuticals blur the line between food and drugs, the sector is progressing towards standardization of the compounds. In the last few years, individuals are willing to adopt a wholesome approach to healthcare.
Health Benefits of Nutraceuticals
Nutraceuticals are derived from food concentrations and sold in medicinal forms. These reduce the need for conventional medications and the adverse effects of diseases. Physiological benefits and protection against chronic disease are the two focused solutions. Further, the nutraceutical sector is playing a vital role in helping fight modern diseases such as obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, allergies, and dental problems.
Prevention Better Than Cure
Antioxidants are very essential in the treatment of select diseases. These diseases carry with them a great pact of oxidative stress, which in turn plays a chief role in neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress is accelerated by the aging process along with a lack of dietary antioxidants. Nutraceuticals are equipped to provide a variety of therapeutic actions, which are likely to help with a pathological condition. When it comes to a few auto-immune disorders and allegories, nutraceuticals’ nutrients and pharmaceutical properties provide anti-inflammatory solutions.
Health Boost with Supplements
Another factor that’s propelled the shift towards opting for nutraceuticals is the drive towards a healthier lifestyle. A spike in interest in natural food products that provide a direct therapeutic advantage. The market growth is also largely attributed to the wealth of knowledge available online. Consumer awareness of the long-term benefits of these functional ingredients has earned these products a spot on the shelves. It’s not just about keeping chronic ailments at bay but also helps boost productivity.
The Dialogue on Nutrition
Since nutrition is more than just the consumption of superfoods; to bridge nutritional gaps, end-to-end solutions are the need of the hour. Taking a cue, nutraceuticals are establishing themselves as holistic solution provider. The use of the latest technology along with the industry functioning in unison will help identify and close gaps effectively.
Scope Of Growth
The multitude of clinical applications of nutraceuticals needs to be unleashed with relevant research and clinical trials. More focused research on specific experimental models, evidence-based clinical trials, policy advocacy for regulations and approvals, and engaging in multi-stakeholder dialogues. Nutrition is more than just the consumption of superfoods; to bridge the nutritive gaps, end-to-end solutions are the need of the hour. The use of the latest technology along with the industry functioning in unison will help identify and close gaps in an effective way. India’s first summit on nutraceuticals -C-suite Summit aims to build a robust ecosystem that actively addresses gaps with effective solutions by bringing all experts across the spectrum under one roof to discuss the need to create a progressive Nutra sector across the globe.
(The author is Director, Health, RTI International India. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)