Healthy ageing is a significant concern for all, regardless of age. Like a car as it ages, some parts of the body begin to wear down and fail over time. By keeping the body well-maintained over the years, there will be less chance of developing health problems. The earlier we can address the ageing of our body, the better we can be at preventing problems in the future. This article addresses the common health concerns with regards to all whether young at heart or young in age. Here are a few statistics to drive the message home.
Primary health concerns
Chronic health conditions Four chronic diseases—heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes—cause almost two-thirds of all deaths each year[i]. Getting a jump on them is one of the leading ways the young in age can help assure a healthier life and for those of us who are young at heart, it isn’t too late to become proactive.
Cognitive health The most common cognitive health issue facing the elderly is dementia, the loss of those cognitive functions[ii]. Approximately 47.5 million people worldwide have dementia, a number that is predicted to nearly triple in size by 2050[iii]. Whether someone is in their teens or their 80s, staying sharp and focused while maintaining brain health is critical.
Mental health Considering the times, taking care of one’s mental health is imperative. Stress is not only debilitating but also linked to other health challenges such as cardiovascular disease, blood sugar issues, weight gain, hormonal imbalances and so much more. Structuring a focus on mental wellness with a focus on stress is critical for all ages.
Physical injuries Both young at heart and young in age can benefit from taking care of their structural system. Refer to my article from September for more details. The more active the lifestyle, the more prone to damage. Staying ahead of the game and supporting the body’s fight against the evils of inflammation would be a great start. Additionally, according to recent statistics from the International Osteoporosis Foundation, worldwide, one in three women over the age of 50 years and one in five men will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime.[iv] Osteoarthritis is the single most common cause of disability in older adults[v].
Skin Too often, skin health is at the top of the anti-ageing topic because our appearance shows our age. The area of skin health is one of the leading areas for both the young and older populations. The global skin care products market size is projected to reach $183.03 billion by 2025 expanding at a CAGR of 4.4%.[vi]
Regardless of age, taking an active role in your health will help avoid developing these conditions. Breaking it down with ingredients which provide a broad-brush stroke to support these areas, here are some of the key players to consider:
Omega-3s Omega-3s are probably one of the easiest and best ways to address cardiovascular health. Considering that Omega-3s are just one of the four ingredients I suggest we all consume daily as part of a foundational health program (the others are antioxidants, probiotics and a broad-spectrum multivitamin/mineral). Omega-3s support a majority of the areas of the body in which healthy ageing needs attention i.e. cardiovascular, eyes, brain, skin, joint health and every cell in the body.
Astaxanthin Astaxanthin is one of those carotenoids with clinical substantiation to show its support in most of the areas mentioned above. Whether it is active lifestyle, cardiovascular, immune or even skin health, this antioxidant is a must for formulating for success.
Black seed oil (BSO) The one BSO with compelling research is ThymoQuin (TriNutra). The attention to detail while creating this extract from the hybridisation of the seeds, farming, fresh seed/cold pressed extraction and composition patents pending help it to stand out. BSO has shown to benefit in a majority of the areas of concern with ageing including, respiratory health, blood sugar, liver, cardiovascular, immune and even cognitive health support.
Ashwagandha Ashwagandha is often referred to as the 'King of the Adaptogens' which make it a strong influence in the areas of ageing and our health concerns. By its ability to support the HPA-axis (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal) it provides benefits with sleep, stress, concentration, cardiovascular and blood sugar health just to name a few. With advances in science, the extract using both leaves and root should be of consideration due to the health benefits in both areas of the plant.
Formula for Success
In most cases, both natural and modern medicine currently address health challenges by looking at the surface or symptoms associated with the condition rather than solving the root problem. To achieve the best results, efforts should be focused on the root cause(s) of a condition and not symptomatic relief. To formulate using this technique, it is best to start by reviewing the underlying causes of the condition you are trying to help.
An example would be high blood pressure, which has several possible causes, such as being overweight, stress, sodium intake, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, diabetes, etc. Once the list of potential causes is identified, select foods or dietary ingredients which address these underlying causes. Researching the mechanisms of action and efficacy is critical to ensure a successful combination is formed.
Example: With regards to the model of hypertension above, combining ingredients such as hawthorn[vii], omega-3s[viii], magnesium[ix] and ashwagandha[x] may be a good selection. Each ingredient possesses unique mechanisms of action and has clinical substantiation.
In addition to choosing the precise ingredients, the exact dosage for each ingredient must be used based on clinical research. Using sub-therapeutic doses of nutraceutical ingredients will often lead to failure of the end product and yield consumer dissatisfaction. Finding the appropriate blend of ingredients is only helpful when they are combined in therapeutic amounts. Therapeutic dosing will increase the chance for product success, which will most likely lead to consumer loyalty. Using clinically substantiated ingredients will also allow you to make claims about your product.
- Delivery method
Pill fatigue is a real thing. Paying strict attention to using innovative delivery methods and dosage forms is another way to attract and maintain consumers. A recent article broached the question, 'Is pill fatigue just a marketing ploy?'[xi] Just ask any natural health enthusiast, and they will most likely validate that pill fatigue is real. The same article also stated that pill fatigue is driving innovation in both dosage form and the use of bioactives into functional foods. [xii] Other than traditional capsules and tablets (pill fatigue), there are several different methods to deliver your formulation. Some of the more popular areas are gummies, film strips, beverages, shots, and powders (stick packs, sachets, effervescent, pods, etc.) and functional foods.
When looking at using one of these unique delivery methods, several considerations will need to be made. For instance, if you have several active ingredients:
- Serving size – example: the number of gummies to be consumed to achieve the therapeutic dose may be high
- Taste – One or more of the ingredients may be difficult to mask when flavoring is done
- Calories – The choice of a sweetener may impact calorie count (sugars) and detract a consumer with weight or blood sugar concerns
- Stability – There may be stability issues depending on the ingredient and delivery method
- Solubility – An ingredient that is not fat or water-soluble may determine what delivery methods can be used
- Packaging – Consumer convenience, package size, portability depending on the delivery method may have an impact on consumer use
- Shipping – Shipping will be impacted depending on the dosage form used. Liquids will cost more than powder of the same ingredients due to weight
- Lifestyle fit
Ask yourself this question: Does your formula and delivery method fit your demographic’s lifestyle? Having a product in which multiple doses per day may decrease compliance. Ease of use in a once per day package is a great start. Decreased compliance will impact the end efficacy of the product, reduce sales, and in the worst case, a lost customer. Using the philosophy of K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) is paramount to capture and retain a customer. If a product is difficult to use, store, or consume, it will not fit easily into the customer's lifestyle. An example of lifestyle would be to add the ingredients into food such as yogurt and create a functional food. Foods fit into most consumer's daily lifestyle and therefore make it easier for the consumer to remain compliant.
To capture and retain this growing market, efforts need to be focused on the three areas mentioned above. Who doesn't desire to live longer and/or maintain their vitality? Both of these can be obtained with careful consideration of ingredients, delivery methods i.e., foods, beverages, supplements, and by the ease in which they fit into an existing lifestyle.
[i] National Council on Aging website, https://www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/healthy-aging-facts/#intraPageNav0, Healthy Aging Facts, revised July 2018, accessed December 4, 2019
[ii] Vital Record Website, 10-Common Elderly Health Issues, https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/10-common-elderly-health-issues/ Published February 11, 2016, Accessed December 5, 2019
[iii] World Health Organization Website, https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-of-older-adults, Mental Health of older adults, December 12, 2017, accessed December 7, 2019
[iv] Sözen, T., Özışık, L., & Başaran, N. Ç. (2017). An overview and management of osteoporosis. European journal of rheumatology, 4(1), 46–56. doi:10.5152/eurjrheum.2016.048
[v] Laupattarakasem W et al. Arthroscopic debridement for knee osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev, 2008, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD005118.
[vi] Grand View Research website, https://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-skin-care-products-market Skin Care Products Market Worth $183.03 Billion By 2025 | CAGR: 4.4%, March 2019, Accessed October 5, 2020.
[vii] Walker AF, Marakis G, Simpson E, et al. Hypotensive effects of hawthorn for patients with diabetes taking prescription drugs: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Gen.Pract 2006;56:437-43
[viii] Morris, M. C., Taylor, J. O., Stampfer, M. J., Rosner, B., and Sacks, F. M. The effect of fish oil on blood pressure in mild hypertensive subjects: a randomized crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr 1993;57(1):59-64
[ix] Kass, L., Weekes, J. & Carpenter, L. Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr 66, 411–418 (2012) doi:10.1038/ejcn.2012.4
[x] Pratte, M. A., Nanavati, K. B., Young, V., & Morley, C. P. (2014). An alternative treatment for anxiety: a systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 20(12), 901–908. doi:10.1089/acm.2014.0177
[xi] NUTRAingredients U.S.A. website, https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2014/11/20/Pill-fatigue-is-driving-innovation-in-space-between-functional-foods-and-supplements-experts-say, Pill fatigue is driving innovation in space between functional foods and supplements, experts say, Last Updated December 23, 2014, accessed December 7, 2019
[xii] NUTRAingredients U.S.A. website, https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2014/11/20/Pill-fatigue-is-driving-innovation-in-space-between-functional-foods-and-supplements-experts-say, Pill fatigue is driving innovation in space between functional foods and supplements, experts say, Last Updated December 23, 2014, accessed December 7, 2019