Healthy ingredients aplenty

Peter SofroniouCardiovascular health is perhaps the greatest opportunity of all for health-care companies. With heart disease the top killer, and cholesterol-lowering statin drugs among the most profitable of pharmaceuticals, health claims for nutrients that reduce the risk of coronary heart disease are also the most numerous. So this month we bring you a comprehensive review of the nutrients, suppliers, business strategies and science that add up to successful product launches — not to mention healthier consumers.

In this month's cardio-ingredients Science Review feature), we also provide an online forum for adding your own personal list of the best cardio ingredients — either for the easiest integration into foods and supplements, or those with the most solid science.

Visit our survey to add your ideas to those of your colleagues.

And what health platform would not benefit from the addition of omega-3s? While fish oils have received most attention for their cardio benefits, flax deserves a seat at the table. We showcase some of the ways flax can be formulated into heart-healthy products.

And of course, flax is also a great source of fibre. For product developers, the health benefits in this category have expanded in recent years from digestive health and heart health to energy sustenance, weight management, diabetes, skin and bone health. From psyllium to oats, rice bran, cactus, bamboo, hops, fruits and vegetables, chicory and more, formulation options have opened up as new ingredients have reached market, sometimes after decades of research and development. There are few limits to end-product categories that include kefir, yoghurt and other dairy applications, sports products, functional waters, nutrition bars, weight-loss products, soy milk, supplements, medical foods, baked goods, chocolate and sugar confectionery, drinks, pasta and more. Read about how new opportunities are developing for savvy manufacturers and marketers.

We have a special focus on what may be the two hottest nutrients out there right now — vitamins K2 and D. Recent research has demonstrated vitamin K2's role in heart health and bone health with the savvy marketing tag of 'removing calcium from your arteries, where you don't need it, and adding it to your bones, where you do.' And vitamin D is the beneficiary of much recent research vouching for its efficacy in bone health, which is made all the more impressive with its synergy with vitamin K.

Every year at this time the industry gears up for the annual pilgrimage to California where SupplyExpo has grown rapidly into one of the industry's must-attend events, co-located as it is with Natural Products Expo West, the world's largest natural-products show. The education program this year has expanded to offer even more hands-on seminars, and the Nutracon conference offers two tracks — supplements and bioactives, and food and beverage innovation. As always, both SupplyExpo and Nutracon offer fantastic business, educational and networking opportunities. See our preview for even more reasons why you should attend!

We hope to see you all there next month.

Peter Sofroniou
Editorial Director
[email protected]

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