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Natural Products Still Trump Other Complementary Health Approaches

<p>Use of natural products, or dietary supplements other than vitamins and minerals, remains the most common complementary health approach in the United States, according to a recent report by the National Institute of Health (NIH).</p>

Use of natural products, or dietary supplements other than vitamins and minerals, remains the most common complementary health approach in the United States, according to a recent report by the National Institute of Health (NIH). However, data shows that natural product use has shifted since 2007.

The complementary health questionnaire was developed by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). It was administered to tens of thousands of Americans to find out more about their health- and illness-related experiences. To identify trends in Americans’ use of certain supplements, 2012 survey data were compared with versions of the survey fielded in 2002 and 2007.

Survey highlights include the following:

  • Fish oil was the top natural product among adults.
  • Adults’ use of fish oil, probiotics or prebiotics, and melatonin increased between 2007 and 2012.
  • Adults’ use of glucosamine/chondroitin, echinacea and garlic decreased between 2007 and 2012.
  • Fish oil was the top natural product among children. This is a change from 2007, when echinacea was first.
  • Melatonin was the second most used natural product by children in 2012. Its use increased substantially from 2007 to 2012.

While data from NIH shows glucosamine/chondroitin’s popularity appears to be dwindling in the United States, predictions by Grand View Research Inc. indicate much different results on a global scale. A study released in September 2014 revealed the international glucosamine market is expected to reach USD $1,246.4 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 14 percent from 2014 to 2020. Researchers found the growing geriatric population will likely boost demand for glucosamine in coming years.

Another recent report from BCC Research revealed the global nutraceutical market continues to grow; data shows it is expected to reach a market share of USD $241.1 billion in 2019, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7 percent.

Though preferences shift and different products may rise to the top, data shows the natural products industry continues to boom as consumers look toward functional foods and supplements to improve health.

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