The Present and Future of Nutraceuticals

Nutrition: "You've come a long way, baby"
Nutrition: “You’ve come a long way, baby”

With the rising costs of healthcare and a growing awareness of nutrition, nutraceuticals have become a practical option in preventative health. The portmanteau, “nutraceutical”, refers to dietary supplements, nutrients, and balanced diets that can prevent illness and poor health. Market research firm Frost & Sullivan believes that nutraceutical manufacturers can ensure maximum impact of their products by serving the needs of three distinct sectors: children’s health, aging health, and heart health.

1. Childhood obesity is a growing concern in the United States and China, while child malnutrition remains ever-present across the African continent. As the health needs of children run rampant and vary widely, nutraceuticals have the potential to address a diverse range of concerns in the children’s health.

2. Aging presents a plethora of health problems. With rising life expectancies comes an extensive and growing list of associated illnesses, ailments, and general discomforts. In time, nutraceuticals can potentially help standards of health catch up with standards of longevity.

3. Adverse heart conditions are often caused by bad diets, high cholesterol, and unhealthy lifestyles – all of which nutraceuticals can tackle head-on. Heart disease claims millions of lives each year and most of the time it can be prevented. Some nutraceuticals shown to be helpful in promoting heart health include omega-3 and beta-glucan oat.

There are still far more specific issues to explore within each of these sectors. For example, the needs of the aging poor differ greatly from the needs of the aging wealthy. As the health problems of the aging poor stem from malnutrition and limited access to medical care, the health problems of the aging rich are often the result of overeating and stagnant lifestyles. Factors such as social class, ethnicity, lifestyle, dietary choice, and exercise habits will likely assume greater prominence in the conversation as nutraceuticals evolve. More on Frost & Sullivan’s recent report can be seen here.