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8 Emerging Trends in Nutraceuticals For Women’s Health

Posted June 29, 2023

If there is one thing for certain, the healthcare industry is constantly changing. Advances in technology, groundbreaking research, and even policy adjustments all impact the healthcare world. However, nutraceuticals have also become very popular, especially for women specifically. More and more women are seeing nutraceuticals as a way to boost their health at all stages of the lifecycle.

#1 Addressing Menopausal Issues with Nutraceuticals

As the United States population ages, more and more women are entering perimenopause and menopause. Even though menopause often has many symptoms, such as hot flashes and disrupted sleep, being menopausal does not mean that life as you know it needs to stop. In fact, most medical professionals agree that continuing to be active is one of the best ways to deal with menopause and its associated symptoms.

Keeping physically active can also help combat the risk of cardiovascular disease1 which rises in post-menopausal women. Research indicates that post-menopausal women are likely to have worse cholesterol numbers than their peer females, and cholesterol levels play a role in many cardiovascular diseases.2 Similarly, there seems to be an indication that women who experience early menopause are more likely to have heart issues than those who experienced menopause at a more traditional age.3

Often, as women move through perimenopause and menopause, they notice that it takes them longer to recover from exercise. This lingering muscle and joint pain can become an unfortunate fact of life for many. There are many factors that drive this lingering pain, including changing hormone levels, such as a drop in estrogen.4 The great news is that nutraceuticals are showing efficacy in fighting this pain and inflammation.

#2 A New Approach to Dealing with PMS

Most menstruating individuals experience Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), although there is a dramatic range in the severity of symptoms. Approximately 75% of women experience PMS, and those numbers rise even further as women move into their later childbearing years. A smaller percentage of women experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which can have a debilitating impact on a woman’s quality of life.5

For years, the only reliable treatment approach to PMS symptoms was over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and comfort measures, such as heating pads. In addition to these treatments, some women were prescribed hormonal birth control and/or a range of medications designed to treat depression.

However, in recent years, there has been a push to explore how nutraceuticals may be transformative for women with PMS.

Recent research suggests that PMS is more likely to occur in individuals deficient in various micronutrients.6 Many of the nutraceuticals introduced on the market attempt to bridge this deficiency.

More research still needs to be done to determine the efficacy of nutraceuticals in treating PMS. However, nutraceutical companies have helped mainstream the conversation around the subject of menstruation and PMS.

Fortunately, one interesting dermatological trend that has emerged in 2023 is utilizing multiple botanical extracts in combination to boost the appearance and health of the skin.7 However, more research still needs to be done to optimize what botanicals should be used together. It is important that consumers carefully look at the products' labels to see what botanicals are being used.

FloraGLO® Lutein is scientifically proven to be a valuable ingredient in maintaining the health of our skin by serving as an antioxidant and absorber of high-energy wavelengths of visible light. FloraGLO Lutein’s reputation supports valuable benefits in the skin care market. By including FloraGLO Lutein in supplements supporting skin health, manufacturers can provide products for skin that enhance: youthful-looking appearance, hydration, and elasticity.19-21

#4 A Greater Focus on Mental and Cognitive Health

For years, mental health and cognitive functioning have been taboo topics to talk about. The great news is that 2023 is bringing this important topic out of the shadows and normalizing conversations about brain health, anxiety, depression, and other issues.

Many women have noted sharp upticks in their anxiety and depression levels over the last several years8 exacerbated by issues such as the global pandemic. Some of this anxiety and depression were directly linked to COVID-19. For example, one study8 determined that women were more likely to experience fear surrounding contracting COVID and how it could affect their families. Also, many women struggled to balance work with childcare, particularly when schools were shut down. This led to many women dropping out of the workforce, either temporarily or more permanently.

Unfortunately, though, even today, much of this anxiety and depression has lingered. In the past, many of these same women felt obligated to hold it together for their families. However, 2023 has shown many people that reaching out for help is okay. People do not need to do it all or pretend they are superheroes. There is a wide range of professionals that can help women develop strategies to deal with these concerns, and medication remains an option too.

Supplements shouldn't be overlooked as an option either, especially when it comes to boosting cognitive functioning. For example, Kemin provides Neumentix™ (Spearmint Extract), which can help support working memory while improving attention and reaction times for many users.9-11

The digestive health market continues to grow at an astounding rate. Digestive health supplements account for more than $50 million of whole food and superfood supplements, an increase of more than 25 percent compared with previous years.12

There is also a growing awareness that probiotics benefit more areas of the body than simply the gut microbiome. As a result, more companies have begun to market their probiotics as a way to boost vaginal health and combat UTIs.12 This will likely drive increased sales of probiotics to a more diverse customer base.

#6 CBD: A Continued Trend

Another trend that undoubtedly continues into 2023 is the number of people using Cannabidiol (CBD) and CBD-related products to help with various physical and mental health problems. Globally, the CBD market is valued at almost 5 billion USD, which is expected to skyrocket in the coming years.13 Not surprisingly, many companies have flooded the market with their own CBD products. Some of these products are great, and others are not as great. Because the industry is so loosely regulated, it falls to consumers to be savvy shoppers and compare ingredients and what they want to achieve.

As one might imagine, this creates a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and negatively affects physical and mental health and functioning the next day. The Office of Women's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that women have more sleep challenges than men, especially pregnant and perimenopausal and menopausal women.14 This can largely be attributed to growing research into the link between hormones and sleep quality and quantity.

Many nutraceutical supplements are designed to help people sleep more and get higher quality sleep through various formulations. However, not all of them are well-made, and not all of them generate demonstrably positive results.

Kemin offers an all-natural sleep ingredient, DailyZz™, that is available to manufacturers. A study showed that using this product promoted better sleep quality and how people functioned the next day.15

#8 Boosting Women’s Bone Health with Nutraceuticals

One of the recent trends in the nutraceutical sector has been a steady uptick in the sales of bone health supplements. In fact, one of the latest statistics shows an almost 10 percent sales increase in the United States.12

Many women, particularly post-menopausal women, are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Interestingly, more than 50 percent of all adult Americans have poor bone health, and these figures rise even more if we only look at women.16 Osteopenia and osteoporosis leave women at risk of traumatic fractures, including broken hips. As women age, these breaks can lead to a dramatic decline in quality of life and may make women more susceptible to even death. For example, the one-year mortality rate following hip fractures exceeds 25 percent.17

Given these concerns, it is unsurprising that more companies are introducing nutraceutical supplements to boost bone health. These nutraceuticals have incorporated diverse dietary agents to slow the development of osteoporosis while combating inflammation.18

Wrapping Up 2023 And Moving Into 2024

The last years of the global pandemic have forced many of us to re-examine our relationships with health and wellness. During this process, many women have realized they are not as healthy as they would like. Thanks to the vast amount of research in the last few years, we hope to see further progression in addressing women's health concerns.

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  9. Falcone et al, (2019). The attention-enhancing effects of spearmint extract supplementation in healthy men and women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial. Nutr Res, 64, 24-38.
  10. Falcone, et al., (2018). Efficacy of a nootropic spearmint extract on reactive agility: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 15(1), 58. 
  11. Herrlinger, et al., (2018). Spearmint Extract Improves Working Memory in Men and Women with Age-Associated Memory Impairment. J Altern Complement Med, 24(1), 37-47. 
  15. Tubbs et al., (2021) Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of a Polyphenol Botanical Blend on Sleep and Daytime Functioning. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 18(6):3044.
  19. Morganti, P., Bruno, C., Guarneri, F., et al. (2002) Role of topical and nutritional supplement to modify the oxidative stress, International J. Cosmetic Science 24, 331-339.
  20. Morganti, P., Fabrizi, G., and Bruno, C. (2004) Protective effects of oral antioxidants on skin and eye function, Skinmed 3, 310-316.
  21.  Palombo, P., Fabrizi, G., Ruocco, V., et al. (2007) Beneficial Long-Term Effects of Combined Oral/Topical Antioxidant Treatment with the Carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Human Skin: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study, Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 20, 199-210.

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