According to a 2017 United Nations report on “World Population Prospects,” there were an estimated 962 million people aged 60 or older worldwide in 2017, and this figure could more than double by 2050, reaching 2.1 billion. By 2100, this age group is expected to more than triple, rising to 3.1 billion.
Meanwhile, the National Council on Aging (NCOA), reported that 80% of adults aged 65 and older have at least one chronic disease; 68% have two or more, according to 2015 data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Hypertension was the leading chronic condition (58%), according to NCOA, followed by high cholesterol (47%), arthritis (31%), ischemic heart disease or coronary heart disease (29%), diabetes (27%), chronic kidney disease (18%), heart failure (14%), depression (14%), Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (11%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (11%).
Increasingly, consumers are utilizing nutritional interventions to defend against age-related health challenges. “According to the World Health Organization, healthy aging is the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age,’’ explained Shaheen Majeed, worldwide president, Sabinsa, East Windsor, NJ. “An individual’s ability to meet basic needs, to be mobile, to learn, grow and make decisions, to build and maintain relationships, and to make contributions to society are described as ‘functional ability.’”
Observant of the aging population, and associated health challenges, younger age groups are more aware today of preventive measures that can help ensure independent, active living.
Goals & Objectives
Various demographics approach the quest for healthy, graceful aging differently. For some mature consumers, the key to healthy aging revolves around maintaining mobility and self-sufficiency. “What older consumers seek in healthy aging can be distilled down to one word: independence,” stated Tom Druke, director of VitaCholine brand development, Balchem Human Nutrition and Pharma, New Hampton, NY. Citing the Natural Marketing Institute’s (NMI) 2016 Supplements/OTC/Rx Consumer Trends Report, Mr. Druke suggested the primary drivers leading consumers to take responsibility for their health include “wanting to remain independent as they age, wanting to live a long life, and avoidance of having to rely on others.”
During the natural aging process, many aspects of human health are in flux. These changes, “might have an impact on quality of life and affect lifestyle choices and daily routines,” according to Karin Hermoni, PhD, skin care expert and head of science and nutrition at Lycored, Orange, NJ. “Today’s consumers are looking to not only support their health, but really improve and maintain their quality of life, and to allow them to keep an active lifestyle and sharp mind. We see a trend of embracing the aging process and rather than focusing on anti-aging, the consumers are focused on enhancing comfort and optimizing quality of life during the aging process.”
John Deaton, PhD, vice president of science and technology for Deerland Enzymes & Probiotics, Kennesaw, GA, also noted a shift from “anti-aging,” as more people embrace the inevitability of older age, and seek ways to support lifelong health. “Today’s consumers look at healthy aging as more than just the traditional ideas of wrinkle-free faces and thick hair,” he observed. “They value the importance of whole-body health to support the best quality of life along with longevity. American adults are increasingly seeking ways to remain physically and mentally fit, and the growing number of people living longer has been a boon for innovation and product development in the healthy aging category.”
The very notion of what constitutes “old age” is changing as well, according to Guy Woodman, general manager for Bridgeville, PA-based Euromed USA. Perceptions of when old age begins has evolved in recent years, he said, thanks in part to innovative nutritional and healthcare tools that make it possible for consumers to stay active and mentally sharp later in life. “After our reproductive years, protective metabolic processes designed to ensure species survival and gene preservation start declining in function. Over time, these changes result in normal aging progression like loss of visual acuity, diminished stamina, loss of skin elasticity, and hair pigment loss.” To Mr. Woodman, “healthy aging” means experiencing these chronological changes without the onset of disease states such as cancer, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. “It is the fulfillment of our genetic potential,” he said.
Heather Arment, marketing coordinator for North America at GELITA, Sergeant Bluff, IA, suggested the key objective for most consumers is “living longer, better.” However, she underscored that this is a pressing issue for everyone, regardless of age. “Healthy aging is relevant to all consumers—independent of age—from the younger 20- and 30-somethings who are seeking to delay the negative physical impacts that accompany aging, to those 40, 50, and older who are seeking to actively manage the impacts of aging.”
Access to information about health and nutrition, as well as the importance of exercise and value of dietary supplements, has made healthy aging more attainable, Ms. Arment added.
Carolina Ordonez, senior consumer health analyst at London-based Euromonitor International sees healthy aging as caring for “internal and external health aspects throughout the entire life span.” Rising interest in self-care, especially among younger people, is propelling growth in remedies that target healthy aging, she said. “Millennials for instance, are more conscious about health and prevention in general, and this is the generation that most values fitness as a way to age healthy and avoid what many of their parents suffer from due to lack of exercise.”
Trends & Opportunities
The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), Harleysville, PA, outlined several key consumer trends that are shaping the concept of healthy aging, highlighting an array of opportunities for brands and manufacturers in the nutritional products and dietary supplement categories.
NMI highlighted the issues of of independence and mobility as top concerns for aging consumers. Mature audiences have a strong desire to stay self-sufficient and remain in their own homes as they age, according to the firm’s Healthy Aging Database. NMI suggested products and services focused on consumer autonomy “should find success among consumers who do not feel aging means ‘old age.’”
The trend toward condition-specific products also pertains to healthy aging, according to NMI. In general, prevention of specific health conditions is of more interest to consumers than managing existing conditions. NMI indicated this is a strong opportunity for industries and products related to healthcare management, while also revealing of consumers’ anxiety and about their current state of health.
Obviously, fear of aging (and ultimately death) is an overt concern attracting consumers to healthcare products. NMI reported loss of independence (losing brain health and mobility) and running out of money reside at the top of consumers’ lists of biggest fears, even among younger demographics.
“There is a higher order benefit to using consumer packaged goods (functional foods and beverages, dietary supplements, etc.), which is that consumers desire to have control over their life,” observed Steve French, managing partner with NMI. “It’s not even driven so much by an interest in longevity, but it’s more focused on quality of life. This concept appeals to both millennials and matures. It really doesn’t matter what generational cohort they’re in now. Obviously, as consumers get older and older and we see the aging of America, this issue area may be more relevant to an 80-plus-year old than a 30-year-old, but the same need states are there.”
Investing in Health Early
When looking at the world of healthy aging, Mr. French underscored that NMI isn’t just examining the space from a geriatric standpoint. “We’re thinking about conception through the end of life. We deal with clients who work with prenatal, to millennials, up to aging consumers. Each of those age groups are interested in the concept of ‘healthy aging.’”
A defining characteristic for the millennial generation (those born between 1981 and 1996, per the Pew Research Center), is a commitment to health and wellness. Euromonitor’s Ms. Ordonez said millennials invest most in self-care and exercise compared to older generations. “They see healthy aging as a life-time process that starts early in life, not when they will become seniors. They have access to health education 24/7 and demand transparency in the products and services they buy,” she noted.
Millennials are an influential group with a unique set of values and attitudes, Mr. French said. “They’re looking at a whole realignment of their value system; and brands have to react. They’re seeking clean label and transparency with everything—foods, beverages, supplements, household cleaning, etc.—across a vast array of consumer-packaged goods.”
As millennials enter parenthood, their interest in health and wellness is being reinvigorated, as their urgency for staying fit and healthy is intensified by becoming responsible for a family. “The millennial mom is the queen in this segment. She tends to be the one making the decisions about what functional foods, beverages, and/or dietary supplements to buy at home,” noted Ms. Ordonez. “She is very concerned about traceability of ingredients and prefers products that are Fair Trade certified, organic, and B-Corp certified. In other words, she looks for companies that are transparent and fair in every aspect of the business. She also prefers to buy supplements that only have a few natural ingredients and clearly describe where these ingredients come from. In terms of health concern and ingredients, some of the trendiest ingredients are collagen for bone and joint health and beauty in general, and CBD oils for stress.”
Balchem’s Mr. Druke also suggested women entering their prime reproductive years are looking to supplements to support healthy pregnancies. “Because this demographic is thinking about their health long term, it makes sense that the message of prenatal and early childhood nutrition resonates with them,” he suggested.
Top concerns among millennials, according to a recent NMI study, include sports endurance and recovery, as well support for headaches, stress, anxiety, depression/mood, and detoxification, Mr. Druke added.
According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association and Harris Interactive, millennials are more stressed than any other living age group, said Shoji Matsukawa, general manager, organic chemicals sales & marketing for Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, New York, NY. “The demands of work, social pressure, the high cost of living, information overload, and fast-paced lifestyle drive an even greater need for solutions that help improve immediate and long-term health.”
Younger consumers, he suggested, “pay great attention to their health and are increasingly driving sales in health categories, such as supplements, vitamins, and preventive care,” said Mr. Matsukawa. “There is a developing self-responsibility movement among younger consumers driving them to preventive measures to ensure they don’t have to rely on others as they age. So rather than waiting until their later years, they are exploring options for treating, supporting, and improving their physical and brain health.”
While the focus and goals may be a bit different for aging consumers, the same ingredients are relevant to younger age groups looking to make mindful choices to optimize their wellness, said Dr. Hermoni of Lycored. For example, she noted, “the younger demographic is looking to optimize cardiovascular wellness with some emphasis on energy and performance. They are concerned with brain health with less emphasis on memory, and more on sharpness and mood. The digital lifestyle highlights the importance of attending to eye health and comfort at any age; and of course, there is peak awareness to looks, driving the sales of beauty products and ingestible skin care to a younger population of any age and gender.”
This new vantage point of millennial’s interest in health is beginning to shape the marketplace, Mr. Majeed of Sabinsa suggested. “Millennials are redefining the concept of ‘healthy aging’ as they have begun to understand the impact of lifestyle choices they make.” Some of the prime health categories attracting millennials to dietary supplements and/or functional foods include mental/brain health (including sleep-related issues), weight management, joint health, and muscle health (energy and stamina), he added.
However, while millennials are definitely an important group to consider, Mr. French advised companies to balance their demands with that of baby boomers “who still dominate when it comes to spending power, accounting for the majority of packaged goods sales.”
Among the major health concerns associated with aging are osteoarthritis and joint pain, cognitive and motor decline, insomnia and other sleep-related issues, eye problems (e.g., cataract, age-related macular degeneration), and cardiovascular diseases, noted Sabinsa’s Mr. Majeed. In addition to exercise, adequate sleep, and a nutritious diet, he suggested herbs and nutritional supplements can help support efforts to stay healthy in the “golden years.”
Lycored’s Dr. Hermoni pointed to the challenge of keeping cardio-metabolic wellness intact, which she said goes hand-in-hand with energy levels and the ability to maintain an active lifestyle. “A healthy heart, circulation, metabolic response, and normal blood pressure are crucial for graceful aging. Consumers today are mindful of the importance of the holistic approach to wellness and embrace the fact that there is no ‘magic pill’; and that cardio-metabolic wellness and overall wellness are greatly affected by a combination of genetics and environmental factors.” She stressed that a healthy and active lifestyle, in conjunction with a colorful, balanced diet are key to supporting cardio-metabolic wellness.
Mental acuity is also a top concern, in addition to memory, mood, and focus. “Often, elder people struggle with their cognitive function as a result of impairments such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease,” stated Diyanah Roslan, a nutritionist with ExcelVite, Inc., Edison, NJ. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Natural, oxidative stress caused by everyday factors also impacts how people age. “This fact becomes evident when we look at how our bodies are affected by free radicals,” said Deerland’s Dr. Deaton. “Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage or ‘oxidize’ cells throughout the body in a process called oxidative stress. Many factors in our lifestyle and environment, such as diet, exercise, and air pollutants can contribute to the production of free radicals.” Over time, he said, oxidative stress can leave the body’s cells and tissues unable to function properly, accelerating the aging process. “Antioxidants are molecules that slow the cell damage that comes from free radicals and can be consumed through certain foods as well as supplements.”
The damage caused by free radicals also affects energy levels. “Free radicals cause oxidative damage to cells, particularly the mitochondria. The body produces energy in the mitochondria, where it combines food and oxygen to generate the energy molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Cumulative damage over time to the mitochondria makes them less efficient at turning fuel into energy; thus, the body’s production of energy molecules decreases with age.” As a result, Dr. Deaton explained, the body needs to function with a fraction of the energy it had in its more youthful years.
“The proper production of cellular energy has an effect on all the body’s systems including the immune, digestive, metabolic, hormonal, and cardiovascular systems,” he added, suggesting that supplementation of various energy molecules and vitamins, such as ATP, NADPH, and vitamin B12 could spark the production of cellular energy.
Additionally, the body’s endogenous enzymes (which are proteins) decrease both in expression and stability with age, and protein unfolding is a major reason these enzymes lose activity, said Dr. Deaton. “Every process of the body requires enzymes, and a variety of lifestyle and environmental factors can unfold these proteins, preventing them from functioning properly. Enzyme activity loss can result in digestive discomfort and mal-absorption of vital nutrients necessary for good health. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as many of us begin to experience digestion issues as we get older that we never experienced in our younger years. Molecular chaperones are proteins produced by the body and consumed through raw foods that facilitate the folding or refolding of other proteins. They participate in the repair mechanism of the intestinal tract. Chaperones provide stability and restore function to many unfolded proteins, including the enzymes needed for a healthy digestive system.”
Compliance & Convenience
As younger audiences buy into the notion of healthy aging, and mature consumers focus on active living later in life, more companies are developing convenient nutritional products that target consumer needs.
“Consumers, especially young consumers, are looking for easy ways to incorporate the use of such products in their daily routine,” said Lycored’s Dr. Hermoni. “They are looking for solutions that are travel-friendly, easy to use, but keep the promise when it comes to bioavailability and efficacy.”
Dr. Hermoni noted particular innovation in the nutricosmetics space, where she observed unique delivery formats such as dissolvable powders and liquid shots becoming popularized.
However, efficacy and bioavailability of nutrients need to be the primary consideration when determining the product format. “Of course, there are technical limitations that may dictate the best way to deliver specific ingredients,” she said. “Different innovative technologies allow more flexibility and we will probably keep seeing significant developments in this area.”
Mr. Woodman of Euromed noted that younger consumers are gravitating toward products that more closely resemble foods, such as shakes, teas, ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, bars and snacks.
According to Lonza Consumer Health & Nutrition, Greenwood, SC, (formerly Capsugel as of July 2017) dosage delivery forms matter when it comes to nutritional products for consumers at all walks of life, as they can affect supplement usage as well as efficacy and outcomes. “If natural practitioners are aware of the benefits of dosage forms for effectiveness of ingredients, they might mention them to their patients as well as offer products with such delivery systems themselves,” said Barri Sigvertsen, marketing manager, Lonza Consumer Health & Nutrition.
Capsules can be an ideal delivery form because of their versatility, she added. “They can be cleaner (no messy packages), more convenient (slide right into purses, bags, and pockets), and easier to consume (just swallow with a swig of water).”
Hard capsule technologies can also help meet the delivery challenges “of ingredients that are often seen as helping with healthy aging, by improving stability, bioavailability, taste masking, and swallowability,” Ms. Sigvertsen said. Hard capsules can speak to healthy lifestyle values such as clean label, vegetarian, and non-GMO ingredients, as well as Kosher and Halal certifications, she added.
A known usage and compliance issue impacting older consumers is the ability to swallow pills. For those unable to swallow large tablets or capsules, Lonza offers its ConiSnaps sprinkle capsule. This format “enables ingredients to be orally administered by simply sprinkling the contents on food, for consumers who have difficulty swallowing,” explained Stan Glab, manager of product development formulations with Lonza.
The company’s capsule-in-a-capsule product DUOCAPS provides a unique two-phase release for combination formulas targeting healthy aging, “such as a prebiotic/probiotic combination supplement (for digestive and immune health and overall well-being) as well as for vitamin K2 and omega-3s in the outer capsule, and magnesium with vitamin B complex in the inner capsule for stability (for bone and heart health),” said Mr. Glab.
Lonza also offers various forms of moisture-protective Vcaps Plus capsules (regular and/or in Licaps); acid-resistant DRcaps capsules; and a variety of other clean label, plant-based, and flavor-masking delivery solutions.
Healthy Aging Ingredients
A wide range of clinically validated nutritional ingredients offer support for many of the health concerns associated with aging.
According to data from Euromonitor International the leading ingredient within the bone and joint health space is collagen; probiotics lead in the digestive health category; and lutein is the primary ingredient consumers seek for eye health. For heart health, omega-3s stand out as the leader, with Ms. Ordonez suggesting “plant-based omega-3s are especially trendy.”
In terms of global sales, according to Euromonitor International, all dietary supplements positioned toward bone, joint, digestive, eye, heart, and cognitive health reached $22 billion in 2017. Ms. Ordonez predicted further demand for these types of supplements will continue to grow.
Joint, Bone, & Muscle Health
To promote healthy muscle mass, GELITA has developed a brand of Bioactive Collagen Peptides called BODYBALANCE, which consists of highly specialized collagen peptides proven effective for body toning in young and middle-aged people, and for counteracting age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia) (British Journal of Nutrition, 2015).
To support joint health and mobility, the company’s FORTIGEL is an ingredient for the regeneration of joint cartilage. “The optimized specific collagen peptides of FORTIGEL have been proven to activate the growth of new cartilage by stimulating cells helping to make the joints smooth and mobile,” explained Ms. Arment. “Rather than addressing only the symptoms, FORTIGEL has been proven to protect and repair cartilage. The effectiveness of FORTIGEL in joint cartilage recovery has been scientifically proven by GELITA in several clinical and pre-clinical studies according to good clinical practice standards.”
Mr. Druke of Balchem suggested consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the specific health benefits of vitamins and minerals, particularly with regard to bone and joint health. “There are strong associations between calcium and vitamin D for bone health, for example, and the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin is well-established in the joint health segment,” he explained.
While arthritis can be a significant issue in older age, more general joint aches and pains can also impact mobility in mature adults, leading them to consider nutritional supplements for support. “Consumers are still taking glucosamine and chondroitin, but they’ve started to add some of the newer joint-support ingredients,” noted Deanne Dolnick, science director, TR Nutritionals, Alpharetta, GA. “Turmeric extract tops the list. I personally had a back surgeon tell me that I should be taking turmeric every day. That was pleasantly shocking.”
Tim Hammond, vice president of sales and marketing, Bergstrom Nutrition, Vancouver, WA, said the wide range of benefits associated with the company’s OptiMSM ingredient may be due to its ability to donate sulfur. “Research demonstrates MSM reduces oxidative stress, increases levels of glutathione, and mitigates the production of inflammatory cytokines,” Mr. Hammond noted. “Double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies show the oral use of MSM improves WOMAC scores, and SF-36 quality-of-life scores demonstrate its ability to support joint health (Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 2006; The International Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing, 2014).” OptiMSM is also synergistic with other ingredients, he added. “Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies also show its ability to reduce muscle soreness following exercise, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.”
Tocotrienols have been used in research on cholesterol reduction and arterial compliance, noted Ms. Roslan of ExcelVite. A 2011 study published in Functional Foods in Health and Disease showed that supplementation of 300 mg of tocotrienols (EVNol SupraBio) daily for six months lowered the serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol of hypercholesterolemic subjects. In addition, she noted that supplementation of 30 mg of tocotrienols (EVNol) with 270 mg polymethoxyflavones also displayed a reduction in total cholesterol (20-30%), LDL (19-27%), apolipoprotein B (21%), and triglycerides (24-34%), based on a study conducted in 2008 published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.
“With regard to arterial compliance, the assessment of artery by augmentation index (AI) for groups of subjects receiving 50, 100, and 200 mg of tocotrienols (EVNol SupraBio) all showed reductions in AI compared to baseline,” added Ms. Roslan. “There were also significant reductions in carotid femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) after two months of treatment with tocotrienols (EVNol SupraBio) compared to baseline for the 100 and 200 mg group (Archives of Pharmacal Research, 2008).”
Understanding and interest in heart health has led to increased usage of CoQ10, according to Ms. Dolnick, with resveratrol “also taking hold of the mainstream” heart health category.
Vascular function naturally deteriorates during the normal aging process, explained Michael Chernyak, president of CK Nutraceuticals, Glendale, NY, and is also impacted by oxidative stress. “A recent study (published in Frontiers in Physiology, 2017) showed that Deep Ocean Minerals (DOM) have great promise for improving the delivery of blood to the brain, and supporting post-exercise recovery, particularly in middle-aged men,” he said.
DOM uses a patented extraction system to concentrate high levels of magnesium from deep sea water. “The ingredient delivers a combination of magnesium, chloride, sodium, calcium, and potassium that mimics the body’s natural mineral composition, while supporting a healthy balance of hydration,” Mr. Chernyak explained.
Lycored’s mission in supporting cardiovascular wellness began with its flagship proprietary tomato extract Lycomato, noted Dr. Hermoni. “Lycomato contains a synergistic blend of tomato phytonutrients that work together to provide cardiovascular benefits. Moreover, within the last few years, Lycored has launched its second-generation solution, which is a cardio-optimized and strictly standardized tomato nutrient complex called Cardiomato. The proven synergy between phytonutrients allows it to harness and elevate the power of nature and foster improved cardio-metabolic wellness over time.”
Lycopene, the carotenoid that gives tomato its bright red color, was found to have synergy with other tomato phytonutrients such as vitamin E, contributing to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, Dr. Hermoni noted. Other tomato carotenoids and phytosterols also help induce a synergistic effect.
In recent years, Lycored invested in its cardiovascular research program, which culminated in the publication of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with 150 healthy subjects addressing the beneficial effect of Cardiomato on cardio-metabolic wellness. “Following only two weeks of supplementation, a reduction in the oxidized low-density lipoprotein, a form of cholesterol known to be most impactful on cardiovascular wellness was evident (Food Nutrition & Research, 2016).”
Memory loss and cognitive decline are front-of-mind health concerns for many aging seniors.
“For brain health, we’re seeing more products turning toward Ayurvedic ingredients,” observed Ms. Dolnick. “Bacopa extract with 20% bacosides has shown that it has an anti-inflammatory effect and may repair damaged neurons. Of course, ginkgo biloba extract is still a best-seller. Ginkgo has been shown to work by increasing cerebral blood flow in conjunction with anti-inflammatory effects.”
Researchers in Malaysia conducted a large human clinical trial involving 121 volunteers on EVNol SupraBio in white matter lesions (WMLs) induced by TIA (transient ischemic attack). “This double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study (published in Stroke in 2011) showed tocotrienols (EVNol SupraBio) attenuate the progression of brain white matter lesion load in humans, which is linked to development of neurodegenerative diseases and to an increased stroke risk,” explained Ms. Roslan of ExcelVite.
The cognitive ingredient BioPQQ is naturally derived from fermentation using proprietary technology. “It has been fully characterized and widely tested in animals and humans to support its efficacy and safety,” said Mr. Matsukawa with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical.
A series of clinical studies have suggested that BioPQQ supports cognitive health by promoting nerve growth factor in the brain as well as the creation of mitochondria, the powerhouse of cells that are critical to brain and heart function. “By potentially stimulating Nerve Growth Factor, BioPQQ may help nerves in the brain and other organs grow or recover even after being damaged,” explained Mr. Matsukawa. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo clinical studies and trials suggest that BioPQQ may have significant anti-oxidative and neurogenerative benefits for heart and brain health. “By potentially stimulating Nerve Growth Factor, BioPQQ may protect neurons in the brain that are susceptible to lethal damage from oxidative stress. BioPQQ has been shown to inhibit neurotoxicity and promote ‘mitochondrial biogenesis’ to energize cells, particularly in the brain.”
Choline is also an essential nutrient that offers considerable benefits for cognitive function and memory. “As a precursor of the vital neurotransmitter acetylcholine, choline assists the brain in sending messages throughout the body via the nervous system,” noted Mr. Druke of Balchem.
Research indicates that choline is an important factor in maintaining brain health and memory. “In a sizeable, community-based study of almost 1,400 adults with a mean age of 60 years, a positive association between higher choline intakes and improvement in both verbal and visual memory was recognized,” he said. “When the patients underwent brain scans, researchers found that higher choline intakes were inversely associated with increased white matter hyperactivity, a factor associated with dementia and decline in cognitive function.”
In recent years, skin wellness has gained attention as a major interest point for consumers as they age, according to Dr. Hermoni of Lycored. “There is a growing understanding that nutrition and overall wellness play a key role in skin wellness and beauty. The industry and consumers are embracing the concept that nutrition and ingestible skin care are as much a part of their skin care routine as topical beauty products and that true beauty starts from the inside. As a result, the ingestible skin care category is on its way from niche to mainstream, embracing natural phytonutrients as a major solution for enhancing our natural beauty.”
Inspired by the Mediterranean diet, the company’s Lycoderm combines colorful fruits, vegetables, and spices. “This Lycored Nutrient Complex for skin combines a highly standardized tomato extract balanced to specific ratios between several important tomato phytonutrients,” including lycopene, vitamin A, and vitamin E. These nutrients are complemented by carnosic acid from rosemary leaf extract, which Dr. Hermoni said enhances synergistic activations in skin. “Carefully calibrated to maximize the synergy of these ingredients, this composition supports skin health and appearance at any age and is extremely beneficial in replenishing the antioxidant reservoir in the skin that plays an important part in protection from a number of different environmental challenges such as UV exposure and air pollution.”
GELITA’s VERISOL ingredient contains pure collagen peptides that have been specifically developed and scientifically researched to provide “the highest possible efficacy in improved skin elasticity, wrinkle reduction, and even in cellulite reduction, as well as improved nail growth,” noted the company’s Ms. Arment. “Recently, three clinical studies have been published proving the effects of VERISOL on skin elasticity, wrinkle reduction, and even cellulite [Skin Pharmacology & Physiology, August 2013; Skin Pharmacology & Physiology, December 2013; Journal of Medicinal Food, 2015].”
Jocelyn Bérubé, executive vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, for innoVactiv Inc., Rimouski (Quebec) Canada, discussed the company’s ingredient line Myoceram, a range of plant-derived ceramides, which are designed to support maintenance of optimal skin hydration. “Myoceram has been clinically shown to support skin hydration in both healthy and severely dry skin, while preserving optimal barrier function everywhere on the body, a feat that hydrating creams simply cannot achieve,” she said. “Who wants to apply cream to their scalp, or can reach their mid-back section? When taken orally, Myoceram stimulates the production of ceramides by the skin, a type of waxy substance that prevents water from escaping through the epidermis.
Myoceram is especially suited for use by elderly, with its low effective daily dose in the 20-40 mg range allowing use of smaller capsule sizes or liquid delivery systems.” Myoceram is derived from rice or corn, without any wheat or gluten or any need for allergen declaration on the label.
Women have unique challenges in aging, particularly in the stages of peri-menopause and menopause. These stages are often accompanied by unpleasant effects including issues with mood, sleep, vaginal dryness, numbness, nervousness, dizziness, tiredness, and hot flashes. Many women experiencing menopausal symptoms are looking for natural solutions that are both effective and backed by science.
CK Nutraceuticals’ Mr. Chernyak pointed to the benefits of three botanicals, which have been used for centuries in Asia to support peri-menopausal and menopausal women—Cynanchum wilfordii, Phlomis umbrosa, and Angelica gigas. “Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of EstroG-100—a standardized, patented combination of these botanicals—in reducing the symptoms of menopause. It has been the focus of three well-designed human clinical studies that continue to validate its effectiveness.”
Choline deficiency is an issue for many women at various stages of life, which has particularly significant consequences during pregnancy. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the adequate choline intake for pregnant women is 450 mg per day. Unfortunately, the average daily intake for women aged 19-50 is closer to 264 mg—just over 60% of the recommended amount,” noted Mr. Druke of Balchem.
Choline, he explained, is a key component in various molecules, which help to strengthen cell membranes, help nerve cells communicate with one another, and regulate genetic expression. “Given choline’s role in cell development, and how quickly cells grow during fetal development, choline’s many prenatal benefits become apparent. Choline is essential in the healthy development of the fetus, chiefly the central nervous system. The body uses large amounts of choline to make a variety of structural and functional molecules. It contributes its methyl groups to energy substrates, hormones, and neurotransmitters, DNA, and proteins. Choline is a necessary structural element of the phospholipid membranes of all brain cells, along with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).”
A range of antioxidant herbs and botanicals offer benefits for healthy aging. Deerland’s newest branded product, Solarplast, uses the power of chloroplasts to support healthy aging by optimizing the body’s processes through natural energy and repair mechanisms. “Solarplast is an extract of organic dark leafy greens, which is enzymatically enhanced by a proprietary manufacturing process,” explained Dr. Deaton. “The isolated chloroplasts from dark leafy greens contain organelles that convert light to energy, working at a cellular level to assist in healthy aging. Solarplast contains massive natural concentrations of antioxidants, energy molecules, and molecular chaperones.”
Sabinsa offers a range of phytonutrients that have been scientifically validated for their antioxidant/free radical scavenging properties and/or anti-glycation activity.
Curcumin C3 Complex is obtained from the dried rhizomes of Curcuma longa (turmeric) standardized for 95% curcuminoids. This is a patented and clinically proven “bioprotectant” that prevents free radical formation and quenches formed free radicals.
The company’s Saberry is a powdered extract obtained from the fruits of amla (Emblica officinalis) and is standardized to a minimum of 10% β-Glucogallin. This ORAC-dense phytonutrient is known to be a potent free radical scavenger, and thus regarded as “one of the best rejuvenating herbs,” according to Mr. Majeed.
He added that amla extract is also known to help protect the skin from the damaging effects of heavy-metal-induced oxidative stress. “As it is believed to be helpful in improving the mitochondrial activity of human skin fibroblasts and promoting procollagen production, amla is considered an effective anti-aging ingredient.”
Silbinol is obtained from the dried heartwood of Pterocarpus marsupium and standardized for minimum 90% pterostilbene, a structural analog of resveratrol known to offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support. “Pterostilbene effectively regulates sugar levels in the bloodstream by acting on β-cells of the pancreas to release insulin,” stated Mr. Majeed. “Since an increased blood sugar level is linked to skin aging (as sugar binds to proteins via glycation to produce AGEs) pterostilbene may be helpful as an anti-glycation agent.”
Resvenox is a standardized extract from Polygonum cuspidatum, containing 95% resveratrol. It has potent antioxidant and anti-aging properties, according to Mr. Majeed. “Regarding anti-aging potential of resveratrol, studies on yeast, roundworms, and fruit flies as well as in human cell cultures have shown that resveratrol turns on genes that make sirtuins (specifically Sir2 genes), ancient proteins found in virtually all species. During times of extreme stress, these genes are believed to confer a survival advantage. Hence, activating sirtuins is believed to be helpful in fighting against diseases and prolonging the lifespan.”
According to 2017 data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 86 million people have prediabetes, or 30% of all adults in the U.S. Elevated blood sugar over time can lead to diabetes and serious health problems like nerve and kidney disease, loss of vision, heart disease, and stroke.
As an antidote to the consumption of added sugar in the diet, Euromed has developed a product called ABAlife derived from fig fruit. This ingredient is standardized to a substance called abscisic acid or ABA. “ABA is produced in our bodies in the metabolic pathway to make vitamin A and also found in fruits and vegetables,” said Mr. Woodman. The challenge, he added, is that only 10% of Americans consume enough daily servings of fruits and vegetables to get their ABA needs. “In response to blood sugar levels, ABA is released by cells in the brain’s hypothalamus, pancreas beta cells, and immune cells and initiates release of a glucose transport protein to uptake glucose from the blood and get it out of the blood stream.”
ABAlife is a highly concentrated 50-60:1 extract standardized to ABA from fig fruit, one of the richest natural sources. A dose of 100 mg of extract as ABAlife, taken two times per day, fills the daily need for ABA, Mr. Woodman said.