WHY IS CUSTOMIZING DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS (DS) BY LIFE STAGE OR GENDER GUARANTEED SUCCESS?
Not only it is essential to eat a healthy and balanced diet to maintain good health, but also nutritional supplements are receiving increasing attention as a possible short and long-term solution.
Since people have easier access to information, they have become more aware of what the intake of supplements can do to enhance their health and quality of life.
However, in most cases, people ignore which supplements are preferred for them or what dosages they should intake.
This is why targeting a supplement to a specific audience is a new opportunity to guarantee your product’s success: It will make consumers feel that their requirements are precisely understood and fulfilled.
CHILDREN: Building the Future
Childhood is a critical period for brain growth and development. However, in the last years, micronutrient intake surveys among European pediatric populations reveal that a significant percentage of children have begun to show some deficiency in specific vitamins and other elements. Consequently, interest in the potential impact of malnutrition on cognition, bone growth, and immune health has recently grown, and nowadays, more than 75% of pediatricians use dietary supplements to control these health conditions in their daily medical practice:
- Early childhood is the moment when the environment has the most significant impact on the development of the central nervous system, affecting the number of neurons, myelination, and synapses.Omega-3s EPA and DHA are essential fatty acids since they are critical to our brain. They are found in high concentrations in the phospholipid membranes of the central nervous system.
- Bones grow and develop most intensively during childhood and adolescence, with up to 90% of peak bone mass acquired by 18.Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin D are necessary for children's correct development and growth and, therefore, to prevent bone problems in the future.
Vitamin K2 is needed to help calcium be appropriately used to build healthy, strong bones.
- After breastfeeding, babies have to fight off infections by themselves. A healthy lifestyle, including dietary supplements, can help to strengthen the immune system in the post-breast feeding stage.Propolis and Manuka honey have proven functional activities such as immunomodulatory, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory that support the immune system in kids and decrease cold symptoms.
PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING: Two in one
Pregnancy and breastfeeding are critical periods of life for both mother and child, making health and nutrition a top priority. Infants are expected to obtain their required nutrients from human milk or infant formula. However, in some cases, dietary supplements may be recommended.
Nevertheless, many pregnant women prefer not to take supplements in case they put at risk their gestation. That is why supporting trusted sourced products with clinical studies on this target is crucial.
- Folic acid is needed in this life stage since suboptimal levels may increase the risk of congenital fetal anomalies, such as neural tube defects.
- Lactoferrin is a natural protein found in the mother’s breast milk with a high iron-binding capacity. Iron deficiency is estimated to be present in 1 in 10 women who are pregnant and it is associated with abnormal fetal development and neurobehavioral deficits during infancy and early childhood, such as decreased attentiveness, slower speed of processing, and altered auditory and visual results.
- Human Milk Oligosaccharides are a collection of carbohydrate structures naturally occurring in breast milk. Clinical data in infants indicate that HMO supplements may help develop the desired microbiota by serving as a food source for the good bacteria in the intestine. They may help support immunity and gut health, with a potential role in cognitive development.
MEN: Boosting energy
Regarding the men's category, the primary concern is to avoid the secondary effects of testosterone decrease due to age. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and is essential to mental and physical energy levels. As men age, the amount of testosterone that their body produces naturally declines which led to low energy levels, fatigue, and excessive daytime sleepiness in men. This is why "energy" and "sleep well" are the claims with more opportunity.
- Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain in response to darkness. It is primarily responsible for regulating our body's circadian rhythm to manage our natural sleep cycle. Consequently, it is often used as a sleep aid to combat issues like insomnia.
- Vitamins work to help your body maintain its energy levels.
- Botanical extracts such as Ashwagandha or mint and green tea extract.
AGING POPULATION: Healthy aging as the top of mind
Baby boomers have passed retirement age and are passing from middle to old age. This generation tends to have higher than average disposable incomes and is also known for wanting to age gracefully and healthily. In this regard, there is considerable potential for dietary supplement brands to target this population segment with products that focus on youthfulness and the ability to remain active well into old age such as maintaining brain health (alertness, memory, and brain function), mobility (bone health, joint health, and muscle maintenance), and heart health (cholesterol, and blood pressure).
- Lutein is a dietary carotenoid that deposits in the brain tissue and provides brain health and performance.
- Collagen peptides help prevent the adverse effects of osteoarthritis and are the perfect ally to keep moving your joints, bones, and muscles.
- Vitamin K2 reduces the risk of fractures and osteoporosis and prevents the calcification of the walls of the arteries, which can lead to cardiovascular diseases.
PROBIOTICS: The top ingredient for personalization
The whole-genome sequencing and genomics era have completely transformed how we look at nutrition, specifically in the probiotic field. Probiotics are safely consumed microorganisms that act through diverse mechanisms to confer a health benefit to the host. By mapping our gut microbiome, we can know which probiotic strains are best for each person and create custom probiotics.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Available on: https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/
- Johnson BR, Klaenhammer TR. Impact of genomics on the field of probiotic research: historical perspectives to modern paradigms (2014). Springer: 106, 141-156. Available on: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10482-014-0171-y