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Women have always been the driving force behind supplement buying decisions, but it’s been an uphill climb to fully understand the best health care practices and supplement products for females when nearly all the relevant clinical data collected comes from men. Inventive formulators, however, are discovering that menopause and other female-adjacent categories are quality-of-life plays for consumers, creating an extraordinarily vibrant market for new product development.
August 10, 2023
Going through menopause has become accepted as a “normal” part of womanhood, which is having a profound impact on the supplement market. Most women begin to feel the symptoms of perimenopause from eight to 10 years prior to actual menopause, so more female consumers are focused on creating a balance between menopausal symptom relief and related categories like long-term cardiovascular and bone health, vaginal health, sleep performance, mood and depression, and more.
The importance of prenatal nutrition has been well established among medical professionals, researchers and consumers, but a knowledge gap exists when it comes to recommended amounts of key ingredients. Children’s health is another category that naturally lines up with the women’s segment as well.
Read all about the women and family nutrition sectors by downloading this free digital magazine. The articles include:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) follows a policy of only funding trials that include both men and women when the conditions studied affect both genders. Yet a gap still exists in the inclusion of females in clinical research trials and in the complete understanding of health and disease conditions and treatments, consultant Susan Kleiner shares in this guest Viewpoint column.
The most notorious symptom of menopause is the hot flash, writes Lisa Schofield. But thankfully, several ingredients may help women manage these aggravating incidences, as well as mood swings, difficulty concentrating and depression. Also explored is vaginal wall thinning and reduced lubrication, as well as natural vaginal support solutions like hyaluronan.
Rachel Adams connects with experts who weigh in on the latest ingredient science behind omega-3s, choline, folate and creatine, and give their top tips for formulating comprehensive and effective prenatal supplements. Specific to omega-3s, DHA has risen to fame within prenatal supplements because omega-3s—and, particularly, DHA—are critical for an infant’s developing brain.
The biochemistry and nutritional needs of children aren’t just a lighter version than that of their parents, explains Blake Ebersole. Kids of all ages are growing, developing and rapidly changing at different rates, making kids supplement formulation a complicated prospect. An area where formulators can really intervene is calcium, and relatedly, K2. With efficacious doses in only micrograms, K2 can easily be formulated into kids’ supplements as a means of properly placing calcium in the body.
The menopause category has captured the attention of both consumers and key industry players, who are not only responding with new launches but also with adjacent products and awareness campaigns, according to PharmaLinea’s Matevž Ambrožič. Companies such as i-Health (DSM), Womaness, Pharmavite and PharmaCare all own supplement brands exclusively dedicated to menopause, he notes.
While the natural products industry is growing at a steady pace, focusing on bringing in diverse viewpoints and talents could accelerate business growth, creating more opportunity for everyone, Heather Granato surmises. Women In Nutraceuticals (WIN), founded in 2022 by a group of industry colleagues who saw a need and opportunity to support gender equity across the nutraceuticals space, hopes to achieve economic and societal equity to change the global nutraceutical industry.
Examples of women and family health takeaways for your business include:
All forms of folates, natural or synthetic, must be converted to the biologically active form (5-methyltetrahydrofolate [5-MTHF]) to exert their biological activity.
Enduring repetitive motion is destructive to weight-bearing joints—and in active, healthy menopausal women, it can be a sore issue. Joint discomfort also affects healthy sedentary women.
GRAS (generally recognized as safe) food ingredients are the ideal set of ingredients to choose from for kids’ formulations. These include essential vitamins and minerals, most amino acids and some botanicals.
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