The global vitamin D therapy market was estimated at USD 1,850 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at 11.5% CAGR during the forecast period.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin present in limited foods like eggs and meat and is absorbed as a dietary supplement by the body. Exposure to the sun meets the vitamin D body requirements, though certain body-synthesis or hydroxylation is a prerequisite for vitamin D activation.
Vitamin D aids the body to utilize calcium from the diet and is essential for healthy bones. Inadequate vitamin D can lead to rickets, a disease caused by bone weakening and softening due to improper bone mineralization. According to the article published in ‘Mercy Medical Center’, about 42% of the U.S population is vitamin D deficient with some populations having even higher levels of deficiency, including premenopausal women, those with poor nutrition habits, people over age 65.
According to the article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, prevalence rates of severe vitamin D deficiency, defined as 25(OH)D <30 nmol/L (or 12 ng/ml), of 5.9% (the U.S.), 7.4% (Canada), and 13% (Europe) have been reported. Estimates of the prevalence of 25(OH) D levels <50 nmol/L (or 20 ng/ml) have been reported as 24% (the U.S.), 37% (Canada), and 40% (Europe).
Lack of exposure to sunlight, increased skin pigmentation, obesity, and poor dietary habits are key factors causing vitamin D deficiency. A recent study of 23 case studies has found that obese subjects have 35% higher vitamin D deficiency rates compared to average weight subjects and 24% higher levels compared to overweight subjects.
Vitamin D plays an essential role in calcium absorption and bone metabolism. In the elderly, the skin produces less vitamin D when exposed to the sun as compared to younger people. The increasing aging population is highly prone to develop bone-related disorders owing to low bone mineral density and lack of calcium intake. According to the data provided by the WHO, it is predicted that the global population aged 60 years and above will reach 2 billion by 2050. The number of aged people suffering from vitamin D deficiency has gradually risen and continues to grow.
Moreover, lack of physical activity, increasing prevalence of diabetes and obesity, unhealthy diet and excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking tobacco are vital factors affecting bone health. Consequently, several research studies are currently discovering the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation in preventing and treating common co-morbidities in the aged population. Thus, the rising geriatric population base can create a high demand for vitamin D supplements which is expected to propel the market growth.
Based on the route of administration, the oral segment is projected to record the largest share and highest CAGR during the forecast period. Benefits such as ease of treatment, superior pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic functions, lessened risk of exposure, and augmented patient compliance are contributing to the segmental growth. The preference for the oral route owing to availability in various forms like chewing gums and tablets drives its adoption. The oral route is the most convenient, and usually the safest and least expensive method.
Based on application, the osteoporosis segment is expected to record the highest growth during the forecast period. This can be attributed to a rise in the aging population, increased falls incidence and fractures, elevated levels of parathyroid hormones, and the poor absorption of calcium from their diets. These factors introduce a demand for Vitamin D therapy to enhance calcium absorption as they can lead to dangerous situations that can have damaging consequences on the patient's life.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, out of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about 8 million or 80% are women. Nonetheless, the disorder requires care, including the use of vitamin D supplements which, in turn, leads to segmental growth.
North America’s vitamin D demand owes to the elevated cases of orthopedic and bone-related disorders.
According to a report by the US Bone and Joint Health Initiative, every 1 in 2 American adults (approximately 126.6 million population), has a musculoskeletal disease corresponding total number of Americans living with a chronic lung or heart disease, costing an estimated USD 213 billion annually in lost wages treatment and care. The statistics exhibit a massive burden on healthcare and consumer spending for the treatment of bone-related diseases, leading to a rise in vitamin D supplementation intake.
Furthermore, North American consumers often choose customized vitamin D2 supplements and not vitamin D3. It is due to the growing pattern of veganism in the world, as the former does not derive from an animal source. In the United States, vitamin D2 is used for milk fortification purposes. Vitamin D shortage has a significant effect on the North American population, causing rickets, leading to demand for vitamin D supplements.
Collaborative approaches to boost market competition are being implemented by market participants. Manufacturers are investing in R&D to bring new products to the industry. For instance, researchers from the University of Augusta at the Medical College of Georgia have cited, based on randomized tests, that large doses of vitamin D quickly reduce arterial stiffness. A new product - 5000 IU Vitamin D3 Drops that can be easily consumed with juice, water, or any drink - was introduced by the US-based Pure Mountain Botanicals.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to witness the fastest growing vitamin D supplement market in countries, such as India and China. This is due to rising consumer perception of vitamin D deficiency and the rising incidences of diseases, such as osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and rickets. As dietary fortification lacks in India, the only means for vitamin D deficiency treatment is supplementation with medications. However, owing to a lack of understanding of the recommended daily dose, an effective vitamin D supplement in the Asia-Pacific region needs to be promoted and rationally administered.
In March 2018, FSSAI launched a Vitamin D awareness campaign to spread awareness among school-going children about the use of vitamin D through natural sunlight and the consumption of fortified foods. In partnership with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), and private company Kwality Ltd, the regulator said in a statement, the campaign — Project Dhoop — will be implemented. With the "Get On My Level" challenge, Organic & Natural Health has re-launched the PowerofD.org website. The website offers certified vitamin D health information, informational resources to be shared on social media, and an easy-to-use vitamin D calculator to track and boost the vitamin D level.
Also, increasing income levels and customer needs for nutritious and healthy products are expected to provide considerable advantages for the growth and differentiation of functional food and beverage products in the region. It contributes to an increase in the consumption of vitamin-infused products and thus drives the regional market growth.
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