From libido boosters to hot-flash soothers, options that target women’s health issues are growing. So are sales. Nutrition Business Journal estimates products addressing menopause alone will reach $491 million in sales for 2014, way up from just five years ago, when sales reached $401 million. Two experts offer insight: Gameil Fouad, PhD., president of Biotron Laboratories, and Jith Veeravalli, president of Gencor Nutrients.
Fi: Where do you see opportunities emerging?
GF: Biotron is focused primarily on mineral amino acid chelates and complexes. Many women fail to meet the daily required intake of certain essential elements and, as a group, women tend to be well-informed, active and motivated consumers. These qualities bring certain nutritional shortcomings into sharp focus. Where minerals are concerned, the elements calcium and iron are key. Calcium is a challenge because the daily requirement is relatively large and in today’s hurried world, smart dietary choices are often overlooked in favor of convenience. Moreover, many of the best choices for calcium – things such as dairy products, broccoli, salmon and sardines for example – are of limited appeal to some. For these consumers, supplementation makes good sense. In the case of iron, the same is true.
Fi: What’s the latest on calcium and women?
GF: There had been hints that there may be a link between calcium supplementation and increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, an expert panel review of the literature concluded that not only does the available data not indicate increased CVD risk with calcium supplementation, but that calcium supplements can safely be used by those who fail to get adequate calcium through diet alone. This conclusion was recently published in Advances in Nutrition (Nov 2012 Vol 3 (6) 763-771).
Fi: What’s the market like for libido support products for women?
JV: There is a strong market need for supporting female loss of libido. Though it affects one in every four women, there are no approved medical treatments. Consumer interest in natural solutions for menopause continues to be strong. Eighty-four percent of perimenopausal and menopausal women report experiencing hot flashes, and more than 50 percent report mood swings and night sweats.
Fi: What’s going on with science in this category?
MJ: Almost all of the research into natural ingredients for sexual health applies to men. The reputation of sexuality products has been marred by product recalls and they have risen to the top of the FDA’s most-watched list.
In 2011 and 2012, Gencor commissioned an eight-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial of the effectiveness of Libifem for supporting female sexual desire, libido, hormone levels and metabolism. The aim of the clinical trial was to evaluate the effect of a specific extract of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) on libido, hormonal profile and metabolism in healthy, menstruating women with regular menstrual cycles. The study found that subjects taking Libifem showed a statistically significant increase in four of the five domains of sexual function, including Sexual Cognition, Sexual Arousal, Sexual Experience and Orgasm. Subjects also perceived a reduction in fatigue, maintained consistent metabolic activity, and experienced a perceived boost in mood. Study participants described the effects as “truly remarkable.”
When it comes to menopauase, concerns about the dangers of hormone replacement therapy have led many women to investigate natural options. A 156-patient, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted using Genopause showing reduced hot flashes, insomnia, mood, fatigue and nervousness.
Albion’s flagship patented ingredient, Ferrochel, or ferrous bisglycinate chelate, is a highly bioavailable and gentle form of iron. Backed by many clinical studies, Ferrochel has been demonstrated to be safe and effective iron for applications. EFSA approved, GRAS, kosher/halal, and vegetarian-vegan friendly.
Flavex Naturextrakte GmbH
Pomegranate Seed CO2-Extract
Diets rich in phytosterols are known to protect against breast, prostate and colon cancers as well as cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis. Punicic acid is a phytosterol in the pomegranate seed CO2-extract. It inhibits other estrogens from binding with receptor sites in a manner similar to the anticancer drug tamoxifen.
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Cran Naturelle Organic
Libifem, a proprietary fenugreek extract, has been clinically proven to promote a woman’s healthy libido, sexual vitality and desire. A placebo-controlled study showed Libifem enhances libido in healthy menstruating women, including sexual cognition, arousal, experience, orgasm and drive.
Genopause is a non-estrogenic formula of four herbs, each with a long history of use as dietary ingredients. Together, they help temper a range of symptoms associated with menopause. A DBRPC human clinical trial showed reduced hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue and nervousness.
Gnosis USA Inc.
and glucosamine salt (Quatrefolic ®)
An innovative folate derivative made up of (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate and glucosamine salt. With high water solubility, improved bioavailability, lasting stability, established safety and higher formulation flexibility, Quatrefolic meets key requirements of the nutraceutical industry, creating new application prospects for vitamin and mineral formulations.
Pycnogenol provides significant benefits for menstrual discomfort including soothing of menstrual pain, natural anti-inflammatory activity, fewer days with menstrual pain, improvement of endometriosis and unaffected oestrogen levels. Also has benefits for menopause and perimenopause such as helping reduce hot flashes, night sweats and heart palpitations.
Lallemand Health Solutions
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