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The Editor’s Take: Probiotics set to dominate women’s health supplements

Prebiotics—today’s “it” ingredient—show up in natural products that address menopause and mood, vaginal health, and skin, hair and nail health. Learn more.

Robyn Lawrence

February 7, 2024

2 Min Read
Robyn Lawrence, associate editor, Nutrition Business Journal

To make inroads in the exploding women’s health category, formulating with probiotics would be a great place to start. Showing up in supplements addressing everything from vaginal health to menopause and mood to hair, skin and nail health, probiotics are showing the highest growth projections of any ingredient within the women’s health category, according to Nutrition Business Journal's market-sizing analysis published in the recently released Women’s Health Report.

Women instinctively understood the efficacy of probiotics for vaginal health long before supplement brands began incorporating them into their products. In the 1970s, desperately seeking relief from UTIs at a time when “drink cranberry juice” seemed to be the only advice they could find, women would soak tampons in plain yogurt and insert them into their vaginas to deliver probiotic healing. Thankfully, we now have a much cleaner and more convenient solution as probiotics have become a staple in vaginal health products—and influencers are spreading the word.

 

Kourtney Kardashian’s supplement brand Lemme includes Purr vaginal health gummies containing probiotics “to support freshness,” and Dr. Josh Axe’s Ancient Nutrition Women’s Vitality supplements contain 2 billion CFU of the probiotic strain Bacillus coagulans. With its Private Party supplement, Hum Nutrition is educating female consumers about the importance of probiotics in maintaining a healthy vaginal microbiome.

Meanwhile, Dr. William Davis, cardiologist and author of the bestselling Wheat Belly book series, is educating the female-dominated customer base for his Gut to Glow oral skincare supplements about using probiotics to maintain a healthy microbiome, which can contribute to healthier skin. Nutrition and formulation consultant Paula Simpson, author of Good Bacteria for Healthy Skin: Nurture Your Skin Microbiome with Pre- and probiotics for Clear and Luminous Skin (Ulysses Press, 2019), says her book is getting more attention now than when it was first published and predicts the market for gut-skin axis products is about to explode.

About a third of women across all generations, except Gen Z, are already using probiotics, according to an NBJ survey conducted late last year. Gen Z women present a big opportunity within this space, as more than three-quarters of them are not yet incorporating probiotics into their health regimens—and all it takes is one viral TikTok campaign.

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Full results of the wide-ranging consumer survey mentioned above and more data are available in the NBJ Women’s Health Report. For more industry insights, sign up for the NBJ Analyst's Take newsletter.

About the Author(s)

Robyn Lawrence

Senior Editor, New Hope Network

The author of four books, Robyn Lawrence has written in the natural lifestyle, food and wellness space since she helped launch Natural Home magazine in 1999. She was Natural Home’s editor-in-chief for 11 years and has been an editor for several national magazines, including Mother Earth News and Herb Companion. As senior editor for NBJ, she writes articles and contributes to report content.  

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