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Formulating healthy aging products

Supplement and functional food formulators should focus on the specifics of healthy aging for all age demographics.

The desire to stay young is baked into the human psyche. As most things in life, it can boil down to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs for survival. In a stark and scary sense, getting older means getting closer to death, and consumers will pay attention to products that can help them stay heathier to prolong the lives they find so precious.

Aging results from the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This damage leads to a gradual decrease in physical and mental capacity, a growing risk of disease and ultimately, death. Researchers have characterized aging as a progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to death (Cell. 2013;153[6]:1194-217). This deterioration is the primary risk factor for major human pathologies, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Proportionally, more people are facing advanced ages. According to data from 2019 World Population Prospects, in 2018, for the first time in history, people aged 65 or above outnumbered children under five years of age globally.  By 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65 (16%), up from one in 11 in 2019 (9%). By 2050, one in four people living in Europe and North America could be aged 65 or over. The number of people aged 80 years or over is projected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050.

The deep desire to look better and healthy presents ample opportunity to the natural products sector to offer products that satisfy consumer demands. However, it’s important that brand formulators undertake this responsibility with great care by ensuring they use tested, efficacious doses of ingredients that have proven track records of success.

Considerations for healthy aging product developers:

  1. Brands should not be creating products for “healthy aging” specifically.
  2. Don’t think “anti-aging.”
  3. Pay attention to all demographics.
  4. Healthy aging of the planet matters, too.
  5. A personalized nutrition approach to healthy aging products may pay dividends.

Learn more about each of these considerations in the full article in Natural Products Insider’s Healthy aging: Outward vitality – digital magazine.

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