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Blood-sugar supplement sales grow 50% over 4 years

These are dire times. Unemployment. Global warming. Gridlock.

Oh, and then there’s diabesity—the insidious nexus of obesity and diabetes. At its core, these twin pillars of modern disease and heartbreak (literally) are diet-related conditions.

“Metabolic syndrome is driver for the next 25 years that I can see, specifically adiposity,” said Systems Biosciences’ Tim Avila. “Everyone’s got it. If it was cancer they’d say it was end of the world. That’s the driver. It’s bankrupting governments so that’s what needs to be fixed.”

The diabetes supplements market has seen impressive growth lately. In 2006, Nutrition Business Journal put diabetes supplement sales at $670 million. By 2010 that number reached $1 billion— that’s 50 percent growth in four years.

According to data from product purchase market researcher SPINS, in the natural channel sales of blood-sugar support products have risen 20 percent in the last year, which followed up on 8 percent sales growth the year prior.

For much deeper insights into the state of the market and opportunities available therein, including diabesity and three other health conditions that are ripe for the picking (and I bet you can’t guess them all), check out our Ingredient Market 4Cast report.

It’s part of our burgeoning premium content suite of products here (read: $$). But I’ll let you in on a secret: Use this code (Forecast25) and you’ll get 25 percent off. And that’s the second-to-last thing I’ll say as far as shameless self-promotion goes, ahem.

New science

Much of the sales of these functional ingredients are driven, of course, by science. This summer alone, two studies on two different polyphenolic ingredients demonstrate the efficacy of natural bioactives.

In one study, conducted in Thailand, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial gave curcumin to 240 pre-diabetic people (read: metabolic syndrome, a.k.a., Syndrome X). After 9 months, 16 percent of the subjects in the placebo group were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, compared to not a single person in the curcumin group. Not only that, but the study also looked at biomarkers, which showed the curcumin-treated group had better overall function of beta-cellsthese store and release insulin, which controls the amount of sugar in the blood.

In another study, a three-month, open-label, controlled trial, researchers enrolled 62 patients with type 2 diabetes who were already taking standard oral anti-diabetes medications. The intervention group received 250mg/day resveratrol along with their diabetic meds, while the control group took only their meds. Turns out the resveratrol group showed significant improvement in blood-sugar control as evidenced by improved hemoglobin A1c levelsthis is basically a measure of how much sugar is floating around your bloodstream.

Referencing that aforementioned Ingredient Market 4Cast, I will say that we cover 10 specific research-backed ingredients with the highest value for diabetes, as well as savvy wisdom on marketing and making claims that won’t run afoul of the FTC. All this boffo legal and marketing advice comes as part of the cost of the report. Check it out.

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