The past understanding of wellness used to be: “I take a vitamin or mineral supplement for overall wellness, and then I take condition-specific supplements for issues such as joint pain, eye health, etc.” However, over the past decade, this paradigm has been changing. Scientists and consumers alike have learned that overall wellness is much more than just vitamins and minerals – which, in fact, you can mostly get from eating the right foods.
Let’s start at the question: “What is overall wellness?” The modern paradigm for overall wellness does not mean no sick days or targeting issues in an isolated way. Instead, it means a healthy, active lifestyle in which we consume nutritious foods and find a balance in our family, work, and social life – one in which we strive to treat our bodies well through a more holistic approach to health. So, what are the elements of overall wellness as they relate to the role of supplements? Most experts would agree at least on the following:
What Kinds of Ingredients Should We Consider?
If we focus our attention on supplement strategies to improve these five elements of overall wellness, we would be in great shape. So, let’s take a look at ingredient options to address these five elements.
There are many supplement strategies for improved digestion – prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, fiber, enzymes, and more! All of these different types of ingredients help us achieve digestive equilibrium. And, as studies are showing, a healthy microbiome doesn’t just mean a healthy gut – it also means healthy skin, enhanced mental performance, improved immune function, and overall wellness. Ingredients like Sunfiber® and ButyraGen® support the production of key Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) like butyrate that help to support a healthy microbiome and gut-organ axes.
Many different supplements can help us reduce stress, increase calm and relaxation, and improve sleep. A large component of stress reduction is getting a full night of restful, restorative sleep. Ingredients in this category range from minerals such as magnesium (NutriGP® Mg) to herbal supplements such as ashwagandha (Shoden®).
Immune and Heart Health
There are a number of immune-supporting supplements, from zinc (SunActive® Zn) to elderberry (ElderMune®), that can help with this critical wellness element. For heart health, the old standbys (such as fish oil and CoQ10) are still as effective as ever.
By no means is this an exhaustive list in each of these categories. There are many ingredients, new and old, that are continuing to come out with new science and claim areas. So, how do consumers choose the right supplements in each, and how do brands make their case?
To start, there is no “right” supplement. A better way to consider this is to look at think about the questions: What does the science say about the ingredients in the supplement? Are there supporting clinical studies? Is there a history of use through traditional medicine and/or modern usage? Are the ingredients formulated at their clinical dosages? Do the combinations of ingredients make sense?
Helping the Consumer
Brands must help consumers make the best choices and find quality supplements in these categories within their brand portfolio. Communicating the benefits and the science in consumer-friendly language is key to developing a connection with the consumer. Brands have used experts (MDs and PhDs) to communicate these messages, but this doesn’t work well if the messages or the messaging is complex. Today, the pendulum has swung hard in a new direction – TikTok influencers who have better communication skills, but less science skills, are doing the communicating. Brands that are able to swing that pendulum back to the middle and find a combination of good science and good communication will be able to better meet the overall wellness consumer need.
NutriScience Innovations develops and markets innovative ingredients for the dietary supplement and functional food markets. NutriScience’s ingredients are used in supplements offered by many well recognized and consumer trusted brands. NutriScience offers many ingredients which fit into these basic elements of overall wellness. For more information on our company and our ingredients, contact us at [email protected].