Magazine article Drug Topics

Nutraceutical Future Looks Bright, Says Panel of Experts

Magazine article Drug Topics

Nutraceutical Future Looks Bright, Says Panel of Experts

Article excerpt

The race is on to develop "nutraceuticals," nutritional products with scientifically proven health benefits, according to a panel of industry, academic, and Wall Street experts convened recently in New York City by General Nutrition Companies Inc.

The market, expected to exceed $12 billion by 2001, is being driven by an aging baby boomer population, increasing health awareness, and increased concern about health-care costs and the impact of managed care on consumer choice, said Matthew W. Patsky, CFA, managing director, research, at Adams, Harkness & Hill, a market research firm.

One product to reach consumers in 1998 will offer Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid typically derived from fish that plays a health maintenance role in the heart, vision, and brain. Monsanto has partnered with OmegaTech and GNC to develop a means of extracting this fatty acid from specially grown algae into an environmentally ethical product called Seagold, said Diana L. Twyman, director of commercial development at Monsanto.

Several traditional Asian medicines containing botanicals are being introduced into the United States by companies such as Mitsubishi International Corp. of Japan. The dietary supplement Peptidase, recently marketed through GNC, contains a crude polypeptide found in the Bonito fish that helps reduce hypertension, said Makoto Endo of Mitsubishi. The same ingredient has been used as a seasoning in Japan for more than 1,000 years, he said. …

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