Health Supplements-Growing Demand and Credibility

A growing number of consumers are turning to health supplements as an alternative or addition to mainstream medicine. Today’s consumers are savvy and understand the benefits of the ingredients found in health supplements for good health and well-being. While they are apprehensive of nutritional products, they value brands that offer manufacturing credibility and prefer products formulated under doctor supervision.As more consumers place priority on their health, health supplements are fast becoming a popular choice.This focus is reflected in the booming growth of the U.S. dietary supplement market, presently estimated to be valued at $24-25 billion. In spite of prevailing doubts about the integrity of health supplement manufacturers, the rising cost of raw materials and new regulations, the health supplement industry is projected to rise by 4-6% in the next year. By the year 2010 growth in the global nutraceuticals industry is projected to reach $187 billion.According to NMI’s 2007 Health & Wellness Trends Survey, the top health categories for supplements are weight loss, cardiovascular support, digestion, arthritis or joint pain relief, seasonal allergy relief, vision and eye health, and diabetes.”Customers believe in the industry. A recent study found that 34% of consumers looking to lose weight first turn to a dietary supplement as their adjunct in the battle against obesity,” says Douglas S. Kalman, director of nutrition and applied clinical research at Miami Research Associates and chair of the Nutrition in Complementary Care Dietetic Practice Group (NCC-DPG).According to an annual survey conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), Washington, D.C. “Consumers’ use of dietary supplements remained fairly consistent in 2007, with 68% of American adults saying that they take dietary supplements.”Consider these statistics by the Office of Dietary Supplements:* 31.8% of American children use dietary supplements (18 and younger).* 47% of American men use dietary supplements.* 57% of American women use dietary supplements.The most commonly used dietary supplements are multivitamins and minerals (18.3%). A recent study conducted by the NCAAM, shows a list of why people use dietary supplements, the most common reasons are general health, arthritis, memory improvement, to prevent osteoporosis, for energy, recommended by physician, friend, family or through media, for immune health, to prevent colds/influenza, and as sleep aids.Health supplements most commonly purchased are:* 40% vitamins* 29% herbals & botanicals (ginkgo, echinacea, St. John’s Wort, ginseng, garlic)* 10% sports nutrition* 8% minerals* 8% specialty supplements (melatonin, fish oil, amino acids, etc.)( top supplements used by consumers in 2007, in order of frequency are multivitamins, calcium, vitamin C, fish oil, vitamin E, antioxidants, vitamin B/B complex and omega 3s. (NMI survey).Why are Health Supplements Gaining Credibility?There are more than 20,000 products on the market. Many consumers believe that health supplements can support their bodies to fight disease or improve health. Exactly why are health supplements gaining credibility?One of the reasons is the advances in science and technology. Most credible health supplement manufacturers use strict manufacturing policies combined with a professional team of researchers who develop products based on evidence based scientific research.Through clinical studies and systematic reviews scientist evaluate the health benefits and safety risks of health supplements. This has built consumer confidence.An example of this is omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. There is strong evidence from epidemiologic and clinical trials indicating the consumption of omega-3 fatty acid as being beneficial to people who are at risk of coronary heart disease. The American Heart Association validates this: “Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of – or who have – cardiovascular disease”Consumer interest in health supplements is now reinforced by doctors and healthcare professionals.A report from CRN’s Healthcare Professionals Impact Study states that “more than three-quarters of U.S. physicians (79%) and nurses (82%) recommend dietary supplements to their patients.” As dietary supplements receive more support from clinical trials, there will be a rise in the number of recommendations of health supplements by healthcare professionals to their patients.Another factor which will boost future sales is the recent finalization of U.S. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) rules and requirements for the manufacture of dietary supplements and the new Adverse Event Reporting (AER) law. “The burden of compliance is really key for consumer confidence,” says Daniel Fabricant, vice president of scientific affairs, Natural Products Association (NPA), Washington, D.C. Health supplements are the future in preventive medicine. With DNA diagnostics becoming more common, and the role of nutrition against disease gaining surer footing, the health supplement industry is poised to meet the challenges of the future health industry.

Weight Loss Nutrition – How To Determine If Your Diet Is Right For You

With 50,000 results coming from searching “diet books” on, it’s not surprising that so many people are confused about what they should be eating to lose weight and get healthy. Many people embark on fad diets without knowing how to tell if a diet plan is right for them or not. In this post, I’m going to share with you the principles that I believe all good nutrition programs should follow.So let’s get to it…1. Good Nutrition Controls ‘Calories In’ Versus ‘Calories Out’This is not just a dietary rule but a fundamental law of nature. Known in the physics world as the First Law of Thermodynamics, it states that that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred. How does this apply to what you eat? If you eat more calories than you use, you gain weight. Or if you take in less calories than you use, you lose weight. And if you take in as many calories as you burn, you will remain the same weight.In reality all calories aren’t made equally and severe calorie-restricted diets can waste away your muscles which can end up making you gain the weight back. However, calories are an important factor and can be the sole determinant of whether you are losing or gaining weight.2. Good Nutrition Improves The Way You Look And Your HealthNot only should you look better from a good nutrition plan but your blood chemistry should improve as well. You should take before and after pictures along with measurements to measure your change in appearance but going to the your doctor to have your blood work done is the way to tell if your health is improving. This way you make sure that your nutrition plan is also improving your health as well as your aesthetics.3. Good Nutrition Provides Results”I don’t understand. I eat we but I’m still gaining weight.” I have news for you: you are not following an appropriate nutrition plan if you are not losing weight. Maybe your diet isn’t right for you, maybe your diet is good but you are not following it well or maybe your diet isn’t right for anyone. The fact of the matter is that a good nutrition program is one that provides results.4. Good Nutrition Has FlexibilityI call this the 90/10 rule. I eat a pretty strict diet about 90% of the time, but the other 10% I cheat. Never having ice cream, or drinking alcohol, or eating pizza is not my idea of a good time. Let’s face it: some of the things that are “bad” for you are also pretty tasty!I encourage my clients to reward themselves every week with “cheat” meals. Knowing that you will eventually be able to eat something that you want helps with adhering to your nutrition plan. There’s also evidence that cheat meals can help with your results via a hormone called leptin.WARNING! You might have to be really strict for several weeks (or maybe even months) to get yourself started so you can develop the new behaviors that that will put you on the track to success. Another problem that I see is that people think they’re cheating 10% of the time when they are actually cheating more. Don’t do that! Like I mentioned above, if you aren’t getting results, then most likely that you are not sticking to your program or your program isn’t good for you. Using a food diary is one way to be sure you know exactly what you are eating. No need to weigh your food, just start writing things down.The Take AwayThe big take away here is that your nutritional plan should be getting you results, improving the way you look and your health and allow you some room to have some treats in the process. If it isn’t, then something needs to change!