GVR Report cover L-carnitine Market Size, Share & Trends Report

L-carnitine Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Process (Bioprocess, Chemical Synthesis), By Product (Food & Pharmaceutical Grade, Feed Grade), By Application, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Report ID: GVR-3-68038-800-8
  • Number of Pages: 137
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global L-carnitine market size was valued at USD 185.0 million in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from 2021 to 2028. The market is witnessing a high growth owing to a rising health-conscious consumer base, increasing number of product launches consisting of L-carnitine, and increasing demand from the animal feed industry.

U.S. L-carnitine market size, by product, 2018 - 2028 (USD Million)

The market is anticipated to be driven by growing awareness regarding product benefits such as improvement in the muscle repair process, reduction in muscle soreness, and muscle gain, leading to increasing product demand for various application industries, which is expected to consequently drive the market growth. Rising use of L-carnitine supplementation for post-exercise recovery, weight management, and healthy aging is expected to drive the market over the forecast period.

The U.S. is the third-largest market for biopharmaceuticals across the globe and is among the world leader in terms of biopharmaceutical research and development. The expansion of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries in the U.S. is expected to boost the utilization of L-carnitine in medicines to control the occurrence of diabetes, thyroid, blood pressure, and coronary heart diseases.

L-carnitine is taken as a supplement by people with low levels of L-carnitine produced in their bodies. Low levels of L-carnitine in some people are attributed to numerous factors including several medical issues such as skeletal myopathies, ingestion of several drugs, and genetic disorders. Rising awareness regarding timely checkups and increasing concerns regarding health issues among the mass along with a growing number of treatments for various diseases and disorders are expected to benefit the market over the forecast period.

L-carnitine has also been found to increase lactation and improve metabolism in cows, as per data published by the National Library of Medicine (US Government). It is also used for muscle recovery, fuel efficiency, and antioxidant properties in dogs as well as horses, who reportedly experience performance benefits through L-carnitine supplements, as per data published by Oxford University Press. The benefits related to the L-carnitine supplements are expected to aid the market growth over the forecast period.

The outbreak of COVID 19 from the beginning of 2020 severely disrupted the supply chain, retail distribution, and consumer behavior for numerous products and services across the world. However, L-carnitine witnessed a surge in demand during the pandemic owing to increased consumer preference for health and wellness products, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Moreover, researchers at the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU), Bristol Medical School, U.K. have concluded that L-carnitine and its derivative such as acetyl-carnitine provide strong protective effects against severe COVID 19 patients. The study highlighted that doubling of carnitine concentration in blood reduces the risk of severe COVID-19 by 40%. The study was performed on limited samples as large, randomized trials are expensive and time-consuming. However, such a promising result of L-carnitine on severe COVID 19 patients is expected to positively impact its demand over a shorter period.

Process Insights

The bioprocess segment led the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of over 76.0% in 2020. Rising commercial demand for L-carnitine has compelled the manufacturers to improve their processes to upsurge production yield. Biological processes using microorganisms and enzymes are essentially asymmetric processes and have been offering high production yields.

The most conventional process used to produce L-carnitine with the best yield is a bioprocess based on achiral precursors’ biotransformation such as γ-butyrobetaine, crotonobetaine, and 3-dehydrocarnitine, or racemic mixtures such as D, L-carnitinamide, D, L-acyl carnitine, and D, L-carnitine. Also, various microorganisms including Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Acinetobacter lwoffii, Bacillus, Penicillium, and Rhizopus.

The chemical synthesis process is slowly gaining momentum owing to its ability to produce L-carnitine on an industrial scale. There are several chemical procedures available for the synthesis of L-carnitine namely asymmetric synthesis, chemical multi-step racemization, enzymatic techniques, resolution through diastereomeric derivatives, and synthesis using chiral materials. However, many of these procedures are not feasible for industrial-scale production as they involve numerous time-consuming steps.

Chemical multistep racemization is one of the most popular chemical synthesis processes to produce L-carnitine, from which D-carnitine racemic mixture is generated as a byproduct. The process generally starts with raw materials such as epichlorohydrin and trimethylamine, followed by the separation of the mixture by fractioned crystallization.

Product Insights

The food and pharmaceutical grade segment dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 78.0% in 2020. Food and pharmaceutical grade L-carnitine is primarily used for human consumption for numerous applications including healthy aging, male fertility, infant nutrition, weight management, and post-exercise recovery.

Though the product is found naturally in certain foods including meat, avocado, and beans, a certain level of L-carnitine is needed to maintain its adequate level in the body depending upon age, diet, and other factors. The product is consumed through various routes including oral consumption through nutritional supplements, medicines, functional food and beverages, and injections. It plays an important role in facilitating the recovery process in response to physical activity.

Feed grade L-carnitine is widely used as a key ingredient in animal pharmaceuticals and animal feed. It is an essential component for the energy metabolism of animals and offers a wide range of benefits to various species, including weight management and healthy function of the heart and liver. Feed grade is extensively used by the livestock industry, pet food manufacturers, and producers of food for racing animals. The product is used widely in dry foods and treats for cats and dogs. It is also used as an antioxidant and for muscle recovery for working dogs.

Feed grade is essentially used in pet health supplements for risks related to heart disease, especially used in the cases of dilated cardiomyopathy. It is also used as an essential supplement for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperlipidemia, and obesity which are the conditions commonly found in dogs and cats. The product is also preferred for the medication of fatty liver syndrome.

Application Insights

The healthcare products dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 34.0% in 2020. L-carnitine is widely used in numerous healthcare products including supplements for weight loss and enhanced stamina.

With the growing consumption of dietary supplements due to the rising prevalence of obesity, increasing consumer awareness regarding personal health and wellbeing, changing lifestyle, and growing spending capacity, the dietary supplement market is expected to reach USD 272.4 billion by 2028. This rapid expansion of the dietary supplement industry is expected to offer lucrative opportunities to the manufacturers over the forecast period.

L-carnitine is an essential micronutrient required for the growth performance of various animal species, including poultry, swine, cows and cattle, horses, and companion animals. Dietary L-carnitine supplementation has beneficial effects on this animal nutrition status as it provides a sufficient amount of dietary energy and protein.

Supplementation of L-carnitine in the diet of animals significantly improves their body weight gain, feed intake, and feed conversion in broiler chicken. Supplementation of L-carnitine in feed improves energy utilization and fatty acid and therefore, live weight gain and feed conversion efficiency may be improved in poultry.

Globally, the health-conscious population has been shifting from carbonated beverages to functional beverages, which can also be witnessed by the increased introduction of functional beverages such as kombucha, relaxation beverages, botanical ingredients-based beverages, in the recent past.

Beverage manufacturers are increasingly capitalizing on such shifting consumer behavior through the introduction of new beverages fortified with substances such as L-carnitine. For instance, In March 2020, U.S.-based LIFEAID Beverage Co.'s new version of FOCUSAID beverage containing L-carnitine as a functional ingredient. The expansion of L-carnitine in the functional food and beverages market is expected to further drive the growth of the product over the forecast period.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the L-carnitine market and accounted for the largest revenue share of over 37.0% in 2020. Over the past decade, the functional food and beverages industry has seen a huge growth in North America with the expansion of a health-conscious consumer base in the region.

L-carnitine has proved to be an essential component for the treatment and prevention of various ailments, which has made it an attractive functional food and beverage ingredient. The increased level of energy and stamina including other health benefits has made consumers more biased toward functional food and beverages inclusive of L-carnitine. The increased inclination towards L-carnitine supplements by consumers in North America is expected to propel the growth of the market over the forecast period.

L-carnitine supplements are also used for weight management in the treatment of obesity. Mexico and the U.S. have the highest obese populations in the world, which has resulted in increased consumption of supplements for curbing weight gain. This is further expected to drive the market in the region over the forecast period.

The nutraceutical industry in Europe is expected to grow due to an increase in the purchase of supplements as a preventive approach to health concerns. In addition, consumers prefer herbal products over pharmaceuticals due to the latter’s side effects. The growing acceptance of nutraceuticals to improve health without causing any potential risk of health issues is expected to propel the growth of the market over the forecast period.

Global L-carnitine market share, by region, 2020 (%)

According to a report published by Farmindustria in 2016, Italy ranked first amongst all EU countries in terms of pharma exports. In addition, growth in the employment rate coupled with the investments in research and development is expected to promote the growth of the pharmaceutical industry over the forecast period. This is likely to augment the growth of the market growth in the coming years.

The consumption of functional food and beverages in the Asia Pacific region is on the rise, on account of increasing disposable incomes as well as increased awareness regarding various nutritional products and ingredients. The renewed interest in functional foods has benefitted the overall market majorly as consumers are seeking food and beverages that contain L-carnitine. The continuing research identifying its potential applications and beneficial health properties are contributing largely to the growing public interest in L-carnitine for wellness and health.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The companies are working on their branding strategies in order to appeal to the target audience respective to the specific applications. The market is highly competitive in nature. The major companies in the market compete with not only other international companies but also with local players at the regional level. The industry is highly concentrated with a handful number of players controlling the large market share. The market exhibits the presence of numerous smaller players providing customized products to end-users.

The market is expected to face pricing pressure owing to the intense competition. The industry has witnessed a trend of increasing mergers, which is expected to continue over the forecast period. The increased mergers in the market are anticipated to further boost the competition among the high-value players. The industry is expected to witness an increase in new market entrants, which is expected to drive the competition. Some of the prominent players in the L-carnitine market include:

  • Lonza

  • Northeast Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. (NEPG)

  • Biosint S.p.A.

  • Cayman Chemical

  • Merck KGaA

  • Tokyo Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.

  • Ceva

  • Kaiyuan Hengtai Nutrition Co., Ltd.

  • ChengDa PharmaCeuticals Co., Ltd.

  • Huanggang Huayang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

  • HuBeiYuancheng SaichuangTechnology Co, .Ltd.

L-carnitine Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 194.0 million

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 276.0 million

Growth Rate

CAGR of 5.1% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Volume in tons, revenue in USD thousand, CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Process, product, application, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; U.K.; France; Italy; China; India; Japan; South Korea; Brazil; Argentina; South Africa; Saudi Arabia

Key companies profiled

Lonza; Northeast Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. (NEPG); Biosint S.p.A.; Cayman Chemical; Merck KGaA; Tokyo Chemical Industry Co., Ltd.; Ceva; Kaiyuan Hengtai Nutrition Co., Ltd.; ChengDa PharmaCeuticals Co., Ltd.; Huanggang Huayang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.; HuBeiYuancheng SaichuangTechnology Co, .Ltd.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional, and segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global L-carnitine market report on the basis of process, product, application, and region:

  • Process Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand, 2017 - 2028)

    • Chemical Synthesis

    • Bioprocess

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand, 2017 - 2028)

    • Food & Pharma Grade

    • Feed Grade

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand, 2017 - 2028)

    • Animal Feed

    • Healthcare Products

    • Functional Food & Beverages

    • Medicines

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Tons; Revenue, USD Thousand, 2017 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Italy

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • MEA

      • South Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

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