A growing amount of consumers are turning to natural supplements alternatively or addition to mainstream medicine. Today’s consumers are savvy and understand the advantages of the ingredients found in natural supplements for good health insurance and well-being. While they are apprehensive of nutritional products, they value brands offering 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. supplement market, presently estimated to be valued at $24-25 billion. Regardless of prevailing doubts concerning the integrity of product manufacturers, the rising cost of recycleables and new regulations, the health supplement industry is projected to go up by 4-6% within the next year. By the year 2010 growth in the global nutraceuticals industry is projected to reach $187 billion.

In accordance with NMI’s 2007 Health & Wellness Trends Survey, the most notable 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 have confidence in the industry. A recent study found that 34% of consumers looking to shed weight first turn to a 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).

In accordance with an annual survey conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), Washington, D.C. “Consumers’ usage of health supplements remained fairly consistent in 2007, with 68% of American adults saying they take dietary supplements.”Consider these statistics by any office of Dietary Supplements:

* 31.8% of American children use health 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 health supplements, the most frequent reasons are general health, arthritis, memory improvement, to prevent osteoporosis, for energy, recommended by physician, friend, family or through media, for immune health, to avoid colds/influenza, so when sleep aids.Health supplements most commonly purchased are:

* 40% vitamins

* 29% herbals & botanicals (ginkgo, echinacea, St. Read More , ginseng, garlic)

* 10% sports nutrition

* 8% minerals

* 8% specialty supplements (melatonin, fish oil, proteins, etc.)


The top supplements used by consumers in 2007, to be able 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 available. Many consumers believe that health supplements can support their bodies to fight disease or improve health. Exactly why are health supplements gaining credibility?Among the reasons is the advances in science and technology. Most credible health supplement manufacturers use strict manufacturing policies combined with a specialist 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.A good example of that 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 find themselves at risk of cardiovascular system disease. The American Heart Association validates this: “Omega-3 essential fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and the ones at risky of – or who have – cardiovascular disease”Consumer fascination with health supplements is now reinforced by doctors and healthcare professionals.

A report from CRN’s Healthcare Professionals Impact Study states that “over three-quarters of U.S. physicians (79%) and nurses (82%) recommend health supplements with their patients.” As health supplements receive more support from clinical trials, you will have a rise in the amount of recommendations of health supplements by healthcare professionals with their patients.

Another factor which will boost future sales may be 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 responsibility of compliance is actually key for consumer confidence,” says Daniel Fabricant, vice president of scientific affairs, Natural Products Association (NPA), Washington, D.C. Natural supplements are the future in preventive medicine. With DNA diagnostics becoming more common, and the role of nutrition against disease gaining surer footing, medical supplement industry is poised to meet the challenges of the future health industry.