The nutraceutical market is reliant on employees to continue to develop a new generation of nutraceuticals. These employees are to ensure there are the quality control levels of safety testing and the way they manufacture them. Employees have the responsibility to collect evidence to support health claims and manage the complexity of the evolving health environment. Without the science and medical talent, the nutraceutical market would not be what it is today.
Hello Plant Sterols, Goodbye Statins
One of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America are statins, which are medications used to reduce cholesterol. A recent discovery found that plant sterols, substances found naturally in fats, oils, whole grain bread and cereals, fruits, vegetables and nuts, have the ability to partially block the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines into the bloodstream. It is nearly impossible to consume the recommended amount of 2 grams daily with an average diet. Consuming 2 grams daily has an additive effect for people with high cholesterol, similar to doubling the dose of the statin.
To gain the upper hand advantage in the marketplace the food giant Unilever, developed a light margarine spread that incorporates plant sterols, creating an alternative for taking statins. The health claim states, “it has been clinically proven to significantly reduce cholesterol,” which is a part of a healthy diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
Creating a functional food like this one requires a lot of hard work and outside the box thinking. The team behind this margarine spread includes employees with expertise in chemistry, biology, product safety testing and much more. To excel in a constantly evolving market like this one, the innovation and growth of the team are crucial.
Vitamin D Fortified Foods
With growing knowledge about skin cancer, people are searching for other ways to get their dose of vitamin D without sun exposure. Although it is only proven to help maintain healthy bones, it is also needed for many other body processes. Since only very small amounts of this vitamin are found in fatty fish, beef liver and egg yolks it is nearly impossible to receive the amount of vitamin D consumers needs just from unfortified foods.
A common condition in children in the 1920’s was a soft bone condition, often known as rickets. A solution to this condition scientists discovered was to add vitamin D to dairy milk, which transitioned this common condition to a rare disease. Today, Vitamin D levels are the main focus for older adults to reduce the risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.
There is an ongoing controversy between the National Institutes of Health and Vitamin D Council about the levels of vitamin D Americans consume. The National Institutes of Health believe that most Americans do get enough vitamin D, while Vitamin D Council argues that most Americans do not get enough. Regardless, there is an increasing demand of Vitamin D due to recent health studies linking deficiency with heart disease, cancer, depression, autoimmune diseases and more.
Experts such as nutrition researchers and product development scientists at nutraceutical companies must closely follow the constant scientific research and updates food regulatory rules. This research is important to employers as medical and science professionals continue to develop new products in order to stay up to date with the most current health claims in demand.