July 18, 2024

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7 in 10 Indians opt for nutraceuticals; most don’t consult doctors: Survey | Health News

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A recent survey by LocalCircles revealed that seven out of ten consumers surveyed confirmed the regular intake of various nutraceuticals, ranging from vitamins to dietary supplements. Approximately 71 per cent of Indian households consume nutraceuticals like vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements regularly. However, nearly 69 per cent of these consumers take these supplements without consulting a doctor.


The survey also highlighted the purchasing habits of nutraceutical consumers in India. The majority, 68 per cent, purchase these products from local medical or general stores, while 25 per cent of consumers purchasing nutraceuticals are turning to online platforms. Out of them, only 31 per cent rely solely on doctor-prescribed options. This trend indicates a potential lack of awareness about the potential risks associated with unsupervised consumption of nutraceuticals.


Furthermore, the survey results emphasise the public’s demand for government intervention in regulating the nutraceutical market. Almost 78 per cent of respondents expressed their desire for the government to cap the prices of essential nutraceuticals like Vitamin A and C, highlighting concerns about affordability.


The findings of this survey come amidst the reported proposal by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to bring nutraceuticals and health supplements under the supervision of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). This move aims to address the growing concerns regarding the unregulated nature of this sector and ensure better quality control. Currently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) only regulates the quality of these products, leaving their usage and marketing uncontrolled.


To address this issue, the health ministry proposes forming a committee, including representatives from key entities such as FSSAI, CDSCO, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Ministry of Ayush, and the Department of Pharmaceuticals. This committee would address concerns and regulate the growing nutraceutical sector. If implemented, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) could play a role in making nutraceuticals more affordable for the general public.


The rising demand for functional foods, supplements, and nutraceuticals has seen the consumer health products market reach Rs 1.03 trillion in financial year 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14 per cent over the last three years. The dietary supplements market alone is estimated at Rs 33,100 crore.


However, concerns have been raised about the mislabelling and substandard quality of nutraceuticals in the market. In the financial year 2022-23, over 40,000 cases were filed against the sale of unsafe protein powders and dietary supplements that did not meet food safety standards.

The LocalCircles survey, conducted with over 47,000 responses from citizens residing in 318 districts of India, found that 62 per cent of respondents were men, while 38 per cent were women.


The nutraceuticals that you regularly consume, what percentage of them were prescribed by a doctor?

 

 

 

 

All of them were prescribed by a doctor

31%

 

 

50-100% of them

27%

 

 

None of them, I decided o take them

23%

 

 

0-10% of them

14%

 

 

10-20% of them

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responses – 10,873

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source – LocalCircles data

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should the government cap prices of vital nutraceuticals like Vitamin A,Vitamin C and other immunity boosters?

 

 

 

 

Yes, absoulutely

78%

 

 

No, not necessary

17%

 

 

Can’t Say

5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responses – 11,935

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source – LocalCircles data

 


First Published: Feb 26 2024 | 12:29 PM IST

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