Three Predictions for the Nutraceuticals Industry in 2016
The nutraceutical industry is an interesting dichotomy between staple materials that have been purchased for decades, and the hottest new material made popular by Dr. Oz et al. Then there are industry-specific regulatory and product category trends that are worth tracking - although it’s not always clear which are the relevant trends. The following three predictions for the nutraceutical industry in 2016 will help you keep track.
1. Substantiation of claims will continue to be a primary regulatory concern in the nutraceuticals industry
If 2015 has taught us anything about the nutraceuticals industry, it's that companies are likely to get slammed if they make claims that they cannot substantiate and/or that step over the structure/function line and move into territory that makes them sound like a treatment for disease. Make sure to support your structure/function claims with human clinical research, and make sure that "pushing the envelope" with claims doesn't mean pushing the envelope right into the FDA or FTC's office.
2. Vitamin K2 will become the new Vitamin D3
Nobody is likely to argue the fact that, over the past decade, vitamin D has risen to meteoric fame in the nutraceutical industry. Once thought to function strictly as a co-factor for calcium absorption, it seemed that hardly a week passed that there wasn't some study being published attributing a new important function to vitamin D, and then pointing out that vitamin D3 was preferred over D2. Now it looks like the same thing is happening to vitamin K2.
Previously, vitamin K was recognized solely as a co-factor for blood clotting. However, newer research has led to an understanding that vitamin K, especially K2, plays important roles in bone and cardiovascular health. Human studies have shown that supplementation with vitamin K2 significantly decreased the age-related decline in bone mineral content and bone mineral density while improving bone strength. Likewise, human research indicates that vitamin K2 can reduce arterial calcification, and supplementation improved arterial stiffness. In addition, research suggests that vitamin K2 (particularly in the MK-7 form) offers greater benefits than vitamin K1. Vitamin K2 is definitely an ingredient on the rise in 2016.
3. Supplements for baby-boomers will increase in popularity
The baby-boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) created the nutraceutical industry, and for years has been the primary purchaser of dietary supplements. More than any other generation, baby-boomers have also tried to do everything possible to resist the inevitability of aging. Now, boomers seem to have accepted aging, but they don’t want take their parents’ supplements. They want supplements specific for themselves. This includes supplements to help them maintain muscle and lose body fat in the gym. They also want to maintain cognitive health and the ability to be physically active—so any nutraceuticals that help to address these issues will move front and center. In addition, they want to continue to look as young as possible for as long as possible, which means helping to stave off wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. Effective “beauty from within” products can help them to do this.