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Women's health category pregnant with possibility

Women's health category pregnant with possibility

As mothers and caregivers, women tend to be the health watchdogs of the family. So is it any wonder that the women's health category is as healthy and prosperous as the women it serves?

As mothers and caregivers, women tend to be the health watchdogs of the family. They tend to do the grocery shopping and the majority of the cooking and make most health-related decisions for the family. But women know it's just as important that they watch out for their own health. They pay attention to the latest studies about HRT, birth control methods, and how to age gracefully. 

Fi: What’s new or hot in this category in 2012?

Naturex: During the NBT awards ceremony held in Geneva, Naturex was granted a prize in the category “Most Innovative Ingredient” for Utirose. A leading panel of industry experts and scientists selected Utirose (unique hibiscus flower extract) for its excellence in criteria such as technical advancement, scientific merit, benefits to manufacturers and breadth of application.

Sarah Sullivan

Sarah Sullivan, Director, Marketing at DSM (genVida)

There are about 50 million women in menopause in the US and according to a recent MSNBC poll that asked women, “Do you take hormone replacement therapy or plan to?” Sixty (60) percent responded “No, I have too many concerns based on side effects.” 2012 marks the 10-year anniversary of the 2002 HRT study conducted by the NIH that was halted prematurely due to evidence suggesting HRTs increased the risk of certain cancers and heart disease.

Despite the scientific breakthroughs within the last decade, women are still unaware that non-HRT options exist for menopause relief and that there are non-prescription options backed by science and safety.

Dan Souza
Dan Souza

Dan Souza, Sr. Director of Sales and Marketing, Decas Botanical Synergies, LLC

Medical Claims. Recently our partner, Medical Brands, successfully registered Cranberry-Active - a cranberry-based oral capsule for urinary tract health - as a Class IIa medical device. As a registered Class IIa medical device, Cranberry-Active is the only cranberry-based product in the European Economic Area and recognized countries that can be freely marketed with a medical claim for treating and preventing urinary tract infections. The European Economic Area includes many underdeveloped cranberry markets in countries in Eastern Europe and Asia. The ability to boast these strong medical claims on product packaging and promotional material should accelerate consumer education and market penetration in these emerging and underdeveloped markets.

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

N: Cranberry is highly accepted among consumers and is well known for its health benefits, especially its association with UTI prevention. In a well-established market, the best way to stand out from the crowd is to offer an original approach like Utirose hibiscus flower extract. A supplementation of 200 mg per day with Utirose has been clinically proven to prevent recurrent cystitis and improve the quality of life of women suffering from UTIs. For example, the frequency of urinary infections reported after 6 months was reduced by 89 percent (compared to baseline). In the study, doctors evaluated the efficacy of the supplementation on the basis of the number of urinary tract infections observed during each period. Doctors considered that the supplementation of Utirose was effective in 68 percent of patients versus 22 percent for the placebo.

SS: Genistein, the primary isoflavone found in soy foods, has been shown to reduce the incidence and duration of hot flashes and night sweats. This is because genistein belongs to a class of plant compounds called phytoestrogens and phytoestrogens functionally mimic the role that estrogen plays in our body. But it’s important to use the right dosage, as not all studies looking at genistein have resulted in positive findings. A published systematic review that analyzed 11 studies with various isoflavone doses found that:

  • In five studies with more than 15 mg genistein per treatment, there was a statistically significant decrease in hot flash symptoms.
  • In six studies with less than 15 mg genistein per treatment, only one reported a statistically significant decrease in hot flash symptoms. (Williamson-Hughes et al. The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, 2006)

GeniVida is supported by clinical studies that have shown that at 30mg/day, geniVida provides relief of hot flashes and night sweats (Evans, Maturitas, 2010). And in combination with vitamins D3 and K1 and the omega-3s DHA&EPA, geniVida improves bone health (Lappe et al, Euro J Nutr, 2012).

DS: DBS continues to invest in PACran, a whole cranberry powder clinically shown to support urinary tract health. In 2011, we achieved the Competent and Reliable Scientific Evidence necessary to substantiate a US Structure Function Claim. As our library of science grows so does our customer base. Many domestic and international partners have launched new and unique PACran-based SKUs in 2012. Most exciting is the traction we've seen in the food market as more and more food companies are launching products fortified with PACran and its urinary tract health benefits.

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

N: Almost half of all women will experience a urinary tract infection during their lifetime, with some women being particularly susceptible to reoccurring episodes. Naturex offers a natural solution to this major women’s health concern. Utirose has been clinically proven to reduce the incidences of UTIs.

SS: The role genistein plays in bone health during menopause is an opportunity for this category. The decline of estrogen production after menopause tips the balance of bone turnover in favor of bone loss. Bone density is lost faster than it is replaced, resulting in an increased risk of osteoporosis. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of bone fractures, especially hip fractures, which occur annually in an estimated 1.5 million Americans.

But, because genistein functionally mimics the positive actions of estrogen in our bodies, supplementing with it helps to maintain bone mineral density which in turn helps to keep our bones strong.

In a study published this year, a patented formula containing pure geniVida genistein, vitamins D3 and K1 and DHA and EPA omega-3s reduced bone loss in the hip and actually increased bone mineral density (BMD) in early postmenopausal women.

In another study published in 2007, 389 postmenopausal women with measurable bone loss were given either a combination of genistein, calcium and vitamin D or a calcium/vitamin D supplement for two years. The study found that bone mineral density increased significantly in the genistein group and declined in the calcium/Vitamin D group. (Marini et al, Ann Int Med., 2007)

So not only can companies offer a product that relieves hot flashes and night sweats, but it can also increase bone mineral density which is a growing concern for women in or past menopause.

DS: Food applications. Although there is still significant growth potential for cranberry in the supplement market, the science supporting PACran has caught the attention of many leading food manufacturers. Over the next 18 months many of the PACran food based applications we have been pursuing will hit store shelves. As these new food products hit the shelves we expect even more growth in a wider range of food applications.

Fi: What is the biggest obstacle you have to overcome in this category?

N: The biggest challenge is to educate consumers. Depending on the area of the world, they do not know that hibiscus flower is a good way of preventing UTIs. That is why we have developed a complete marketing tool to boost this ingredient: dedicated website and specific branding.

SS: Education! Most women in menopause have heard that soy milk and other dietary sources of soy are good for them, but what they really need to understand is that it’s the genistein content within the soy that has the beneficial effects. Soy contains a mixture of isoflavones but genistein is the isoflavone shown in studies to offer menopause relief and bone health benefits.

Also, there has been a lot of negative press around the safety of soy due to its estrogen-like effects. And while there is nothing definitive to base this concern on, many women still may decide to stay away from foods and supplements containing soy because of what they’ve heard. Fortunately, geniVida is a soy-free source of genistein that is self-affirmed GRAS and upon request, we can provide companies with a comprehensive safety package. So, women can have peace of mind when taking supplements containing geniVida.

DS: The biggest challenge with cranberry is always defining an effective dose. Fortunately for our partners, DBS has taken the guesswork out of it. We've conducted and published clinical trials showing that PACran helps support urinary tract health at only 500 mg/day. This science was used to substantiate a Korean FDA health/functional food claim and a Class IIa medical device registration. Our product specific clinical substantiation assures customers that they are consuming an effective dose of cranberry for urinary tract health.

Condition Specific Directory: Women's Health 

Novasoy Soy Isoflavones

AGD Nutrition LLC
Vitamin D

Aker BioMarine
Superba Krill Oil
In Superba Krill Oil, the phospholipid omega-3s EPA and DHA and are highly enriched with phosphatidylcholine, essential to proper cell membrane structure and integrity in all living things. Recent human studies have shown that phospholipid omega-3s provide more benefits than triglyceride omega-3s.
Issaquah, Wash.

Albion Advanced Nutrition
Ferrochel iron
Ferrochel, ferrous bisglycinate chelate, has been shown in clinical studies to be a superior performing iron form. Easy to tolerate, gentle on the system, so that it is an ideal iron form to incorporate into prenatals, as well as postmenopausal women's formulations. EFSA approved, GRAS, kosher/halal and vegetarian-vegan friendly.
Saint Clair Shores, Mich.

Oliggo-Fiber chicory root inulin
Oliggo-Fiber is a naturally occurring fructan extracted from chicory root that can be incorporated in most foods or beverages without affecting taste or texture. It may boost calcium absorption in teens and postmenopausal women.
Minneapolis, Minn.

Croda Inc.
Incromega E1070

Decas Botanical Synergies LLC

EPAX 1050
International experts, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids, have published recommendations for a 300 mg daily intake of DHA for pregnant and lactating women. Ultra-pure EPAX 1050, with its high DHA content, is an ideal choice for supplements supporting pre- and post-natal health.
+47 70 13 59 60
Alesund, Norway

Gencor Nutrients Inc.
Genopause is a herbal and totally non-estrogenic formula intended for a healthy menopausal experience. This innovative formulation, developed after years of research by physicians at the top Ayurvedic University in India, is clinically tested and proven.
Anaheim, Calif.

Institut Rosell-Lallemand
Fermalac Vaginal

Lallemand Health Ingredients
PACran Whole Cranberry Powder
Cysbiotic - combination of cranberry and probiotics

Naturex Inc.
This unique ingredient is designed to aid urinary tract health and combat Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).Backed by a published clinical study, Utirose™ demonstrates a positive impact on reducing the incidences of UTIs among women who are particularly susceptible to reoccurring episodes. A 200 mg supplementation per day has been clinically proven to prevent recurrent cystitis and to improve the quality of life of women suffering from UTIs. Extracted from hibiscus flower, Utirose™ has a unique profile due to its patented process of extraction.
South Hackensack, N.J.

Nutraceuticals International Group
Maca OSS

NutraGenesis LLC
Sendara is the award winning, anti-aging nutraceutical that keeps women feeling and looking their best by nourishing both mind and body. Patent-pending Sendara contains Sensoril and Capros, multi-patented, standardized extracts of the revered Ayurvedic botanicals ashwagandha and Indian gooseberry.
Brattleboro, Vt.

NP Nutra
CranPhyto, freeze-dried, whole cranberry powder

Ocean Spray Ingredient Technology Group
Cranberry fruits, concentrates, purees, powders

Pharmachem Laboratories Inc.
Cran-Max is unique because it is a whole-berry concentrate. It is made with a proprietary process that utilizes all the vital parts of the cranberry: skin, seeds, pulp, juice and fiber. It is the only cranberry concentrate made using the patented Bio-Shield technology that protects the cranberry from destruction by gastric acid. A study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy showed Cran-Max was comparable to the commonly prescribed antibiotic, trimethoprim, for the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in older women.
Kearny, N.J.

Pharmline Inc.
UTI Rose

Soft Gel Technologies Inc.
Femalgen softgels contain a proprietary blend of pumpkin seed extract and soy germ isoflavones, and has been clinically proven to decrease urinary incontinence and symptoms of nocturia and overactive bladder.
Commerce, Calif.

UAS Laboratories Inc.
DDS Probiotic Blend 005

XSTO Solutions LLC
Algatrium DHA
A patented preparation of DHA from Brudy Technology. DHA is a critically important omega-3 fatty acid for prenatal care and nursing mothers. Human studies support superior bioavailability of Algatrium’s novel “SN2” or second position DHA structure. Algatrium provides antioxidant characteristics and a unique consumable SN2 human-like DHA.
Morristown, N.J.

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