Conjugated linoleic acid is a geometric and positional isomer of linoleic acid and is a type of Omega-6 fatty acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, derived from mostly sunflower oil and safflower oil. There are 28 different forms of conjugated linoleic acid. Conjugated linoleic acid is naturally present in dairy products and grass-eating animals, such as lamb, grass-fed beef, turkey etc. Unlike other types of Omega-6 fatty acid, conjugated linoleic acid is anti-inflammatory and has health benefits. For instance, its aids in weight management, improves the immune system, reduces osteoclasts and leads to muscle improvement. Commercial conjugated linoleic acid products are derived mainly from natural sources, such as safflower or sunflower oil and thus, attract a large number of consumers who prefer natural products.
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Conjugated Linoleic Acid Market: Regional Overview
Western countries, such as the U.S. and European countries, are leading in the conjugated linoleic acid market and account for the majority of the market share. The global market is dominated by the U.S. where more than half the population is overweight. The maximum demand for conjugated linoleic acid in the U.S. comes from the dietary supplements market.
In the European market, conjugated linoleic acid observes high demand from the food and beverage industry. Compared to these markets, Asia Pacific holds only a minor share in the global conjugated linoleic acid market and due to the growing influence of western culture, lifestyle and food habits, it is likely to show increased demand in future.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid Market: Competitive Analysis
Conjugated linoleic acid is one of the top 10 dietary supplements used for weight loss. Glucomannan, Raspberry Ketone and Green Tea Extract are some of the other weight management products that are giving competition to the conjugated linoleic acid market.
Although conjugated linoleic acid is an important ingredient in the dietary supplements market, it is not experiencing high demand and its use is still in the developmental stage within functional foods and animal feed. Animal feed supplements are dominated by enzymes, proteins, vitamins and minerals and conjugated linoleic acid holds only a minor share because of the lack of consumer awareness.
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Conjugated Linoleic Acid Market: Dynamics
The market of conjugated linoleic acid is being primarily driven by dietary supplements and sports nutrition sector. Increasing incidences of obesity among adults and children in western countries, mostly due to sedentary lifestyle, have led to growing consumer awareness about the benefits of eating healthy. Conjugated linoleic acid presents a safe and effective solution for weight management by improving metabolic activity. It also inhibits the genes responsible for fat storage and thus, restricts adipocyte production.
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Conjugated linoleic acid finds major use in sports nutrition products as it breaks down fats faster. This fuels muscle mass and increases body energy expenditure. Due to changing lifestyle, the sports and gym culture is becoming popular in various countries, in turn, promoting the growth of the sports nutrition market. The demand for conjugated linoleic acid in sports nutrition products is thus likely to grow.
Conjugated linoleic acid also strengthens the bones by enhancing the absorption of calcium and reducing osteoclasts, which is responsible for the breakdown of bone tissues. With 8.5% of the world’s population aged 65 and above, the nutritional supplement sector related to bone health is likely to grow at a fast pace and thus, demand for conjugated linoleic acid is likely to increase during the projected period.
One of the restraints of the conjugated linoleic acid market is the side effects caused by it in some cases, such as diarrhea, stomach pain and constipation. In some studies, it was observed that consuming a large amount of synthetic conjugated linoleic acid can lead to increase in accumulation of fat in the liver, which in turn, may lead to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Currently, microbial production of synthetic conjugated linoleic acid is being considered as an alternative and is under study with bacteria, such as Propionibacterium, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, showing promising production capacities.
Conjugated linoleic acid is being studied for its cancer preventing potential, especially in case of breast cancer. Experiment results with animals, such as rats, have shown to reduce tumor cells. Improved research and development initiatives, favorable rules and regulations and effective product promotion will spur growth the of the conjugated linoleic acid market.
Stepan Specialty Product LLC, Sanmark Corp., InnoBio Ltd., BASF, Eastman Chemical Company, Nature’s Way, Cognis etc. are some of the global key players in the conjugated linoleic acid market.
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