Physical, mental and cognitive health: trifecta of healthy aging spurring consumer demands
09 Sep 2022 --- A study conducted by OnePoll and Great Lakes Wellness shows that 75% of respondents want to “spend less time fighting aging and more time doing things they love.” NutritionInsights speaks to Lubrizol Life Science during Healthy Aging Month on consumer preference shifts from anti-aging to healthy aging.
“COVID-19 has resulted in people re-evaluating their vulnerability to disease and illness as they have increased their levels of health consciousness,” says Isabel Gomez, global marketing manager, nutraceutical ingredients at Lubrizol Life Science.
“Consumers are not only seeking to prevent diseases but are also increasingly eyeing the ingredients they are consuming, aiming to improve their physical, mental and cognitive health. As a ‘healthy aging’ approach has come to the fore, individuals recognize that all aspects of health are interlinked, furthering demand for products that carry a variety of claims and benefits.”
Shift in aging attitude
According to the OnePoll survey that analyzed responses from 2,000 US consumers over 25 years of age, approximately eight in ten agree that society places too much value on appearing youthful.
Respondents were also concerned about getting older, fearing not having enough energy (39%) or changes in their appearance (38%). Half of those surveyed said they invested a lot of time into combating signs of aging.
Moreover, the survey found that social media contributed to the perception that age is something to fight, with 77% of respondents sharing that social media filters send the wrong message about physical appearances.
Seventy-seven percent of respondents agreed that there is a negative bias around aging or the perception of being old. Six in ten US consumers (61%) avoid sharing their age for fear of being judged.
The survey also showed that 71% of respondents claim to have seen areas of their lives improve with age, admitting that they feel more fulfilled and satisfied with their life today than when they were in their twenties. The results present a new shift in attitude that is already giving rise to a movement of embracing the natural process of growing older.
Nutraceuticals for healthy aging
A growing recognition of the interlink between the gut microbiome and overall health has been observed.
“There are a variety of ingredients that consumers seek to tap into healthy aging. Over 75% of consumers associate protein, vitamin C, iron and probiotics with aiding the immune system,” Gomez explains.
“Each nutritional ingredient is taken for different purposes, from the production and activation of key immunological pathways to directly supporting key cellular functions for a more robust immune system.”
Gomez also underscores consumers’ more significant interest in products with a higher priority on natural and trusted ingredients such as vitamins and minerals.
“There is a high demand for botanical extracts including Ayurvedic ingredients such as curcumin or micro-algae extracts like astaxanthin. These ingredients are well known to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit the skin and the immune system.”
“Zinc, for example, is a multidimensional ingredient as it plays a role in protecting cells against infections but has also been found to have an impact on age-related macular degeneration (MD) in a recent study.”
Youthful appearance from within
According to Gomez, consumers are looking beyond topical beauty products to add ingestible supplements to their daily life for skin wellness benefits.
“We think the opportunity for wellness-oriented beauty products that promote skin health from within and those supporting gut health is enormous,” she highlights.
“The probiotic beauty supplements have emerged and tap into the increased understanding of the importance of healthy gut microbiota on digestive health and skin and immune health, too.”
Mental and visual calm
With aging and increased digital presence, eyesight has been known to degenerate. As such, there is also focus on eye health.
“Lutein and zeaxanthin have become more popular and sought-after by consumers as they function as important antioxidants by protecting eyes from harmful free radicals which can impair eye health over time,” Gomez reveals.
Sleep and mental well-being are other aspects of aging that are at the forefront in terms of consumption trends. Besides the continued use of melatonin, magnesium has become a popular choice due to its muscle relaxing benefits that aids in a night of restful sleep.
“Mental wellness has become a top priority. Whether it is a nutritional supplement that addresses anxiety, stress, mood, sleep, or cognitive sharpness, many areas in cognitive health have become key focus areas,” Gomez highlights.
“The increased pursuit of solutions that deliver stress relief, sleep support and mood balancing benefits, can be leveraged with product formats that are growing in popularity with Millennials and Gen Z.”
By Radhika Sikaria
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