Bone health market stable and gaining strength

Bone health market stable and gaining strength

Without healthy bones, we’re just one fall away from a broken pelvis, which usually leads to death within a year. Without any bones at all, what are we but jellyfish or Democrats? Bone-health products can at least help the former, and the category is up 6.2% in conventional food/drug/mass channels in the past year, according to SPINS data.

Bisphosphonate drugs are not the best alternative, either. Opportunities for diet-based solutions including supplements are rife. Calcium supplements took a hit in the past year in a meta-analysis, but calcium in a food matrix did not show such deleterious effects.

Greater-spectrum bone-health supplements seem to be the way to go. We like vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7 if you please) as well as magnesium, phosphorus and, of course, vitamin D (we’ll take cholecalciferol D3  over ergocalciferol D2 and don’t buy the vegetarian preference for D2 because D3 is derived from lanolin from sheared sheep wool, so the animals are actually helped by getting a cool-down in the mid-summer heat).

Innovation is still happening in the bone-health category. We checked in with Michael Jeffers, President and CEO of Helios Corp., about their efforts.

Michael Jeffers,

Fi: What are your projections for the growth of the sector for the coming year?

MJ: The issue of bone health is a challenge because of the great debate about dosage rates and safety of calcium carbonate. There is a scramble for replacing calcium carbonate but the ingredient has been around for years, thus there is the possibility that certain market segments might not want a revenue disruption even though the product might have negative attributes at 1,200mg/day.

Fi: What ingredients are showing the most promise in terms of science or consumer acceptance?

MJ: For bone health per se the market category is huge. There is nothing in the market that we see that can replace calcium carbonate for general bone health. This implies that at 1,200mg/ day the RDA values are being met, even though the RDA levels are being challenged for safety reasons. The bone health category only represents RDA targets. Certain sectors of the market might suggest bone density improvements or a stop in bone loss, but there is no ingredient in the market that can do so in a registered, unbiased, controlled, clinical environment except for NC-518 — a natural calcium derivative that increases bone density with a unique, patented, process—as represented by Helios CORP/ USA.

Fi: From what you’ve seen does recent media coverage of studies doubting the efficacy of category standbys like calcium and vitamin D threaten the bone health category?

MJ: I see no risk of vitamin D diminishing the bone health category and if anything this will increase sales for bone health as most companies are utilizing vitamin D as an add-on to calcium carbonate, which creates a new SKU, and thus, more sales. This will change with the introduction of NC-518 by Helios Corp.

Fi: Where do you see emerging opportunity in this category?

MJ: Bone health has been about meeting RDA values for years. The marketing machine of calcium carbonate is huge and today most consumers believe the calcium carbonate from the ground is not only necessary but they believe it is imperative to health. The fact is that bone loss post menopause is going to happen with or without calcium carbonate. The next, greatest game changer is NC-518, which has been proven in two separate clinical studies to increase bone density on average of 2.2 percent within 4 months—all without any special demands for diet, exercise, or supplementation. With chaos abounding in the pharma category concerning bone density, this ingredient will change the landscape within the next 24 months. A third, 12-month study will start in August at an independent, registered test site that will compare NC-518 against calcium carbonate with D3 for the second time in a row. In the first comparison NC-518 increased bone density 2.2 percent in 4 months whereas calcium carbonate with D3 lost bone density.

Condition-specific directory: Bone health


Patented KoACT

KoACT calcium collagen chelate is designed for stronger and more flexible bones. KoACT combines calcium and collagen through a process that models the natural bone structure, resulting in more direct bone absorption. KoACT research suggests its superiority in preventing and reversing bone loss over calcium. KoACT is self-affirmed GRAS. 

[email protected]

City of Industry, California

Albion Advanced Nutrition

Calcium Citrate Malate

This is a CCM of 6:2:3 molar ratio, which is the compound that has been used in many clinical studies to be very bioavailable. Additional clinical studies have shown this form of CCM to improve bone health in women of all ages: adolescents, child-bearing age, and post menopausal. EFSA approved.


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Saint Clair Shores, Michigan

Anderson Global Group LLC


Polycan is a patented, GRAS, soluble polysaccharide compound fermented from a novel strain of black yeast clinically proven to support healthy bones. Two 60-person double-blind human clinical studies exemplify Polycan research. 


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ESM Technologies

ESC (Egg Shell Calcium)

Ingredion Inc.

AQUAMIN calcified mineral source 

A unique mineral matrix that contains calcium and more than 70 trace minerals to deliver clinically proven bone health benefits in a wide range of applications. Its non-chalky, clean flavor allows for higher inclusion rates. 


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Westchester, Illinois

Maypro Industries LLC


MBP is a natural multi-functional milk protein extracted from bovine milk. Originating from New Zealand, MBP has been shown to support healthy bone growth and to help maintain bone metabolism, tissue and structure by increasing the number of osteoblasts and inhibiting the activity of osteoclasts. MBP also helps to promote collagen formation and increase calcium adherence to the bones.


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Purchase, New York

P.L. Thomas

Menaquin Gold Vitamin K2-MK7 

Stratum Nutrition


BLIS M18 is an oral probiotic providing advanced protection for teeth and gums. M18 is a strain of S. salivarius shown to resist S. mutans — harmful oral bacteria considered a leading causative of dental caries and tooth decay. M18 has unique enzyme-producing abilities that allow it to break up dental plaque and neutralize acid that can be harmful to teeth and gums.


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XSTO Solutions LLC

K2Vital — Vitamin K2MK7

K2Vital is a new vitamin K2 preparation supporting bone and heart health. Unique for its high level of purity and soy-free origin, K2Vital from Kappa Bioscience is the next generation in vitamin K2 enhancing the utilization of vitamin D for bone health and integrity. 


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Morristown, New Jersey

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