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Overview of Women's Health Ingredients

Women’s health has historically been focused on keeping in shape and taking a general multivitamin. To a certain extent this is still the case but now we need to include a trending diet. More recently, however, the focus has shifted in the supplement and functional food sectors to help create specialised products helping with specific symptoms.

Targeted products focusing on a variety of bothersome symptoms to increase a woman’s overall quality of life are becoming more mainstream. For women, the majority of these products so far have been advertised to address urinary health, bone and joint support and beauty concerns.

In women’s urinary health there is always the concern of urinary tract infections that may actually includes the kidneys, bladder and urethra. An infection can often times include one or all three of these areas being infected. Women are at a greater risk of developing a UTI then men.1 These infections may cause a whole list of symptoms that would be considered to affect quality of life. There are a few ingredients in this category that make up the bulk of what is sold in the market to consumers. Including probiotics, cranberry extract, d-mannose and flower pollen extract that have been proven to help with UTI symptoms. Here, women are most likely to go to the ‘tried and true’ ingredients that were always associated with UTI treatments recommend from doctors—and there is now evidence to show why drinking a lot of cranberry juice may have worked. As more ingredients are scientifically backed, newer products should enter the market to specifically address the different form of urinary tract infections and their reoccurrence.

For women concerned with bone or joint health there are few new ingredients in the market from known suppliers. The main ingredients are glucosamine, chondroitin and various forms of collagen.2 The marketing focus with these joint and bone products does not seem to be on different ingredients, but rather the source and place of origin for the raw materials. Women typically buy their own supplement products, so in addition to the basic what is for and does it work, questions about purity, origins and sustainability are all called into question. Bone products also tend to be more unisex rather than specifically geared towards women. This sector has room for more products specifically tailored to women.

Women are typically more attuned to health and beauty care than men in general. In the beauty category there are plenty of supplements for women to choose from, whether for skin appearance, hair and nail growth, or a variety of other cosmetic applications. Here the focus is still primarily in the topical area with functional ingredients crossing over from nutraceuticals into cosmetics. However, there are a few companies that have been successful in entering the supplement market from cosmetics by offering complete beauty packages with a combination of oral and topical ingredients. The bulk of nutraceuticals for beauty contain ingredients for hair skin and nails or just weight loss. There seems to be a missing connection between the marketing of these products and the scientific substantiation of the ingredients effectiveness—more growth in category should eventually lead to more science-based systems that actually demonstrate proven synergies.



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