Demand Growing for Bone and Joint Health Supplements
“Prevention is better than cure” is an old adage that aptly characterizes bone health. Research affirms that the earlier you start taking care of your bones, the less likely you are to suffer from age-related bone health concerns. With widespread publicity and growing public awareness, the trend towards self-oriented, proactive measures for leading healthier, longer and more active lifestyles is on the rise and is helping to improve the market for bone and joint health supplements.
Scope of the Bone Health Supplements Market
Bone health has become a major public health concern across the globe. About 75 million people in the United States, Europe and Japan experience bone health concerns and the statistics are growing at alarming rates as more baby boomers enter their 60’s and early 70’s. Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA), a market research firm based in San Jose, CA predicts the market for joint health supplements will reach $9 billion by the year 2017. 1-2
Popular Ingredients for Bone and Joint Health Supplements
Age-related bone health concerns are not the only reason why people are turning to joint health supplements. The consumer base increases as we include the growing number of overweight people who require effective joint health formulas. Being overweight puts a heavy toll on the bones, causing joints to experience discomfort. Sports injuries, even repetitive forms of exercises can also wear joints. Consumer demand for joint health supplements/ingredients is, therefore, continually on the rise. While calcium obviously dominates the bone and joints supplement market, other bone health ingredients were projected to grow at 6% during the analysis period (2011 through 2017). 3
If you’re interested in manufacturing effective joint health supplements, here are a few bone health ingredients that you may want to consider including:
Vitamin D and Calcium – Calcium forms the main building structure of bones but the body cannot absorb calcium without the help of Vitamin D. A double-blind study showed improved bone mineral density (BMD) in older women through the supplementation of 1400 IU of vitamin D (as cholecalciferol) in addition to sufficient calcium. Researchers demonstrated that this was more effective in improving BMD than 200 IU of vitamin D alone. 4
Magnesium – A report on magnesium from the National Institute of Medicine’s Office of Dietary Supplements states that magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism. A 1999 research paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed greater intake of magnesium was seen to maintain better bone mineral density than a lower intake of magnesium. 5-6
Non-Radio Active Strontium – Strontium has been shown to improve bone mineral density and may be used with calcium and other bone health nutrients. Boron and other trace minerals have demonstrated their efficacy in improving calcium absorption. 7
Vitamin K2 – Vitamin K2’s plays an important role in maintaining bone health. Its active proteins are believed to be responsible for the utilization of calcium in the bones. 8
Fish Oil – A pilot study reports that a daily intake of fish oil supplements may help to support joint comfort. 9
Trends towards Proactive Bone and Joint Care
According to a recent report from GIA, several factors are encouraging consumers to adopt proactive lifestyles:
Growing consumer awareness of bone and joint health. In 2004, the Surgeon General’s Report on Osteoporosis and Bone Health marked bone health as a major public health concern for the United States and encouraged Americans to change their diets and lifestyle to avoid age-related bone health concerns. 10 Since then, bone health education through various associations and organizations has helped motivate consumers to adopt healthier lifestyles and become aware of the proper nutrition, exercise and medical attention needed to maintain healthy bones.
As a result, consumers are realizing that joint discomfort is not an inevitable process of aging. Women may be the key drivers of the bone health market, since 80% of the 10 million who suffer from bone and joint health concerns are women. 11 Women, in particular, are increasingly recognizing the need for bone health supplements as they enter menopause. Younger women are growing more aware of the importance of achieving peak bone mass in the early years of life. Peak bone mass at this stage has been shown to improve bone density and decrease age-related bone problems.
Older adults prefer taking supplements. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 percent of Americans are taking some type of dietary supplement. The findings from a 2003 nationwide Government survey indicate the highest usage is among people between the ages of 50-59. The survey conducted by AARP/NCCAM identified herbal or dietary supplements as the most popular products amongst this age group, reporting a 37 percent usage. 12
Busy lifestyles and the desire to live healthy, independent lifestyles are trends that are further driving the growth of the bone health supplements market.
New Trends in Bone Health Supplement Manufacturing
GIA reports that the market for specialty dietary supplements is expanding fast. Products supported by strong scientific research should have high consumer appeal. Trends include:
Vegetarian-Based Glucosamine. Glucosamine is typically derived from shellfish and other animal sources but consumers are showing keen interest in an alternative vegetarian source of glucosamine catering to the needs of the vegetarian population, environmental conservationists, those allergic to shellfish, and those who follow a kosher diet. A mixture of glucosamine with other bone health components such as chondroitin (known to promote cartilage health) is also being recognized by consumers. 13
Bone health supplements in liquid or powder form are perceived by consumers to have higher bio-availability and quicker absorption rate. Convenience and easy delivery of nutrients are still driving factors and trends are moving towards functional foods and beverages fortified with calcium and other bone health ingredients.
Customize or Private Label Your Own Brand of Bone and Joint Health Supplements
Bone health is becoming a key health priority as people are living longer, working beyond retirement age and want to live active, independent lives for as long as they can. Supplement companies can make a difference by including key bone health ingredients in the formulation of their joint health supplements. Call (855) 492-7388 to speak to one of our Production Specialists and learn how you can offer your customers a well-formulated nutritional product that supports the health of their bones and joints! You may also submit a request to receive a free product quote in 48 hours or less!
12. AARP and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Survey Report, April 2011.
13. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:R117 doi:10.1186/ar2325