Lutein is a commonly referred as Xanthophyll and is a carotenoid and naturally occurring organic, yellow & orange pigment. Lutein is found in several fruits and vegetables including mangoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, carrots, tomatoes, and leafy greens such as kale and collards. Molecular formula of lutein is C40H56O2. Lutein is a carotenoid which absorb excess light energy to prevent damage to plants from extreme sunlight, especially from high-energy light rays, which are known as blue light. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2010, lutein was used in several infant formulas across the U.S.
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Lutein has several health benefits such as it helps to prevent eye diseases including Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa, and cataracts. Such health benefits associated with lutein are driving growth of the global lutein market. Lutein and zeaxanthin filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and help protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. Therefore, lutein acts as a light filter for eyes to protect it from damage caused by extreme sunlight. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet are associated with a lower incidence of AMD.
However, lutien is also associated with side effect such as stomach cramp, rash, difficulty in breathing, and facial swelling in cases with allergy of plant material. Furthermore, high dosages of lutein over a long period of time may cause yellowing of the skin. Such side effects are expected to hinder growth of the global lutein market.
Among end use industry, pharmaceutical industry held significant market share in the global lutein market in 2017. This is owing to several advantages offered by lutein such as reduction in eye fatigue and glare sensitivity, strengthening eye tissue and supporting visual acuity. Moreover, lutein is considered as the eye vitamin as it prevents eye diseases including AMD. According to National Institute of Health (NIH), in 2016, around 11 million individuals are affected with AMD in the U.S with around 170 million cases of AMD registered worldwide and AMD is the leading cause of visual disability in the industrialized world and the third leading cause globally.
North America accounted for the largest share in the global lutein market in 2017, owing to increasing consumer awareness about the health benefits of lutein. Lutein has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties and helps to reduce the risk of developing colon or rectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), in 2017, around 95,520 new cases of colon cancer and 39,910 cases of rectal cancer were diagnosed in the US. Therefore, high prevalence of colon and rectal cancer is expected to propel growth of the lutein market in North America over the forecast period.
Europe accounted for a significant market share in the global lutein market in 2017, owing to increasing awareness of health benefits offered by lutein such as antioxidant and inflammatory properties. Dietary intake of lutein is inversely associated with prevalence of diabetic retinopathy due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and its location within the retina. According to World Health Organization (WHO), around 60 million people in Europe suffer from diabetes and 10.3% of men and 9.6% of women aged 25 years and over.
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Key players operating in the global lutein market include, DSM, BASF, Solaray, Sundown, Iorrow, Allied Biotech Corporation, Tianjin Pharmaland, Nature’s Bounty, Chr. Hansen Holding A/S, Kemin Industries, Inc., and DDW The Colour House.
Key players are focused on mergers and acquisitions to enhance their market share and retain dominant position in the market. For instance, in 2015, DDW The Colour House acquired the KleurCraft’s portfolio of coloring foods for business expansion and product development.
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