Men’s health products depend on strong evidence-based ingredients for growth.
According to the Men’s Health Network, there is a deterioration of the health of American men attributable to a lack of awareness, weak health education, unhealthy work and personal lifestyles.
Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that women are 33 percent more likely than men to seek medical help, although the gap narrows over 50 years of age.
Like asking for directions, for many men, going to the doctor signals, “I need help.”
But most men’s health threats are largely preventable and in their control. Good lifestyle choices—a healthy diet, plenty of physical activity and sound sleep—top off what’s desirable.
As for dietary supplements, ingredients geared to men are focused on prostate and heart health, male aphrodisiac formulations, mood and sports nutrition. Scientific research-backed ingredients are moving the category forward.
“The men’s health market seems to be stable and consistent,” said Golan Raz, PhD, head of the Global Health Division with New Jersey-based Lycored. “There is limited innovation and as men’s products are mainly the type of product one consumes for the long term, leading technologies as well as leading finished products seem to be able to maintain their position for longer periods than in other categories.”
Raz continued, “At the same time, we did see some new approaches in formulation of prostate and urine function products based on new research that shows how specific ingredients at a specific ratio can be very synergistic and therefore more effective than others.”
Dr. Paul Clayton, fellow with the Institute of Food Brain and Behaviour, Oxford and chief scientific officer with California-based Gencor, said that the state of the market is “variable.”
“Some sectors are growing, including fitness wearables, and medium to high fat foods (as the fear of fat has been replaced by the fear of sugar, and as the impact of fats on endurance performance has become better known),” he explained. “Other sectors such as high-carb workout and ‘energy’ bars are losing ground, for the same reasons.
“Natural products designed to support mental health are gaining ground, as social feelings about mental conditions such as depression, low mood states and anxiety have changed, partly because these conditions have become so prevalent, Clayton added. “The introduction of Affron, the standardized saffron extract, which gives almost immediate improvements in mood and anxiety, is growing the market dramatically in those trial cities in the United States where it has been launched.”
For New Jersey-based Cepham Inc., the men’s market is strong. Debasis Bagchi, PhD, MACN, CNS, MAIChE, the company’s chief scientific officer, said, “The men’s health ingredient market is booming … a significant number of products have been launched and introduced to date, although, a significant amount of research and claim substantiation is still pending.”
Looking forward, a change in the men’s health category is tied to strong scientific evidence. “To start, prostate and urine function nutrition technologies and finished products are becoming a central part of the quality of life of elderly men,” Raz said. “This isn’t going to change without the interference of external forces, like a change in regulations. The growing body of scientific evidence clearly shows that with the consumption of the right natural ingredients, some of the related symptoms can be managed and quality of life can be directly improved.”
Clayton agreed, noting, “An important trend is the increasing move toward EBN (evidence-based nutrition), which together with the concept of full traceability, places the emphasis squarely on those companies that approach natural products with all the discipline (and science) of the pharma sector.”
Bagchi added, “The future prospect is very bright, because the market demand is uproaring, so this needs essentially to match the delivery and supply end.”
The areas of research, innovation and product launching for men are moving on in the areas of prostate health, male aphrodisiac novelty formulations and sports nutrition in a comparatively faster speed, as compared to the other areas, noted Bagchi. “Another reason is that no remarkable development has happened to date in the areas of prostate health. Also, good encouraging developments are going on in the areas of general health and wellness and other areas.”
Cardio health is a perennial concern, as are concerns about cancer, Clayton added. “These are obviously conditions which affect both sexes, and then there are other leading therapeutic segments including erectile dysfunction, BPH, male hypogonadism, premature ejaculation and, most recently, low sperm counts (which have had so much publicity in the last year or so). This sector overlaps with the physical performance sector, where products like Testofen are doing so well. As the relationship between low testosterone and poor health has become better understood, Testofen has provided a nutritional alternative to men concerned by both sexual and physical well being.
“As alluded to above, mental health issues are common among men in the U.S., he said. “Natural products, which can assist in low mood states and anxiety, are taking off and will become a major sector.”
“As mentioned, a key condition is urinary function, added Raz. “This is crucial to the quality of life of many men. Another related condition has to do with sleeping disorders. We can see that when it comes to the human body (not only to men) and as much as we chose to look at the different categories, at the end of the day, it is an holistic system in which one cause affects the other and symptoms are closely related.”
He added, “Prostate, sexual life, urine function, sleeping quality—these are all one matrix of the same phenomena and therefore can be looked at together and in some cases with the right approach can also be positively managed together.”
There are multiple ingredients used in men’s formulations, and one interesting discovery has to do with the potential in combining lycopene for tomatoes with curcumin, Raz said. “Quality pre-clinical scientific research discovered that these two ingredients when combined together at a specific ration become very potent due to high synergistic reaction.
“The study that was done specifically on prostate cells is showing us how important it is to invest in the discovery phase when developing a new product. We should always remember that the only way to really know how different ingredients are working together is to test the formulation using the relevant systems.”
In addition, “Testofen has been and will continue to be a major player in the sexual/physical performance/well-being and anti-ageing sectors,” said Clayton. “Joining it is ActivAMP, a relatively new addition to the well-being and performance sectors which has been shown to activate the AMP kinase metabolic pathway. Up-regulating AMP-kinase can trigger increased physical fitness, increased loss of abdominal fat and enhanced insulin sensitivity. The funorans are coming of age also, and can be considered as natural ‘anti-stick’ coatings for the body. They inhibit the adherence of bacteria to the teeth, thus reducing gum disease. This is significant, in that gum disease is linked to both heart disease and pancreatic cancer. There is some evidence they may also inhibit the adherence of bacteria to prostheses, so this is a potentially major area where Americans with prosthetic implants may be able to protect themselves.”
According to Bagchi, a significant number of novel ingredients are coming into the marketplace. There are three significant additions in the last year from Cepham, Bagchi said, which are:
• Blamus, a novel standardized Curculigo orchioides root extract standardized to 30 percent curculigosides. It is a novel, safety-affirmed, state-of-the-art adaptogenic and aphrodisiac supplement.
• Oleano 85, a one-of-a-kind vasorelaxant enriched in superior levels of oleanolic acid (85 to 90 percent) plus maslinic acid (2 to 5 percent). This unique olive leaf extract has well demonstrated to provide enhanced antioxidant support, promote cellular health including healthy cellular apoptosis, support vascular health and muscular integrity and healthy immune support.
• Furosap, a novel fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seed extract, clinically proven to boost healthy testosterone levels in male athletes.
Hairstyles, sunglasses, sneakers—men are interested in what’s trendy, even at times with supplements.
“There are potential trends for the innovation and development of safe and efficacious ingredients for developing and launching men’s health ingredients, including efficacious supplements for prostate health, safe and efficacious healthy testosterone, state-of-the art supplements for vasorelaxation, cardiovascular support, wellness and vitality,” Bagchi said.
Clayton added that the growing awareness of the importance of the microbiome (or holobiome, as it is increasingly known), is boosting the pro- and prebiotic markets. “This has implications for both sexes, of course,” he noted, “but there are certain potential indications that are very relevant to men. These include physical performance and stamina, and low mood/anxiety. The market in men’s cosmeceuticals is also showing growth, where brands that were initially launched for women are in some cases being re-packaged specifically for men.”
However, the classic men’s category is less exposed to “trends” mainly as a result of the age of the target population and the long-term use of the products, Raz said. But, when it comes to sport nutrition, there are multiple trends and new concepts that are being introduced frequently, he added.
As for evidence-based ingredients, Bagchi said manufacturers are looking at novel and proprietary ingredients for promoting and boosting men’s health to fulfill circulatory support, athletic performance and recovery, metabolic support, sustained energy, healthy aphrodisiac wellness, vitality and vigor.
“We continue to scour PubMed, Google Scholar and all the usual data bases for information concerning either potentially new natural products, new applications for old products, or novel mechanisms which can be cross-referenced against our understanding of the pharmacology of the natural products we already have, or are developing,” Clayton added. “The best manufacturers (such as Gencor) also have a network of contacts in the global university system, and maintain contacts with lead scientists researching in the natural products area.”
For tackling prostate health, “The changes in the actual prostate,” added Raz, “require long-term studies that are in most cases beyond the reach of dietary supplements manufacturers. However, quality of life studies, short-term biomarkers studies and pre-clinical studies are all used to better understand the safety and efficacy of ingredients.”
Overall, the goal for health is to achieve maximum well-being, where everything is functioning the very best that is possible.
“It is recommended that all ingredient suppliers as well as manufacturers of finished products and brands promote the importance of healthy a holistic lifestyle,” Raz concluded. “While dietary supplements and functional foods can be beneficial for men’s health, it is the overall approach to lifestyle that will make the difference. Healthy lifestyle has to do with both mental, emotional and physical wellness and should be looked at as a whole.” NIE
Patent Awarded to Enovate Biolife for Men’s Health Ingredient
Recently awarded, U.S. patent 9,486,482B2, covers an ingredient containing shilajit, ashwagadha, tribulus, mucuna, safed and kali musli. Enovate’s HeezOn is proven safe and effective in a published, well-designed, human study on 148 men collecting 11,650 data points. One of the authors, acclaimed botanical drug researcher Richard Rosenbloom explained that HeezOn was studied using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Index for Premature Ejaculation (IPE), same gold standard tools as used by Viagra. It is the only men’s health study to demonstrate female partner satisfaction, according to the company. As high as 91 percent men using HeezOn in this study confirmed, “Desire to continue.” HeezOn can help decrease dependency on synthetic products and boost libido when taken with physician-prescribed Sildenafil and similar drugs which can only work in the presence of good libido.
“HeezOn is special as it is well suited for diabetics, as well as men taking nitrates or alpha blocker drugs where Sildenafil is contraindicated,” said Mark JS Miller, a key opinion leader and principal at Kaiviti Consulting. “Consumers are always seeking natural options for enhanced sexual health as they have grown weary of pharmaceuticals. With this successful patent, HeezOn truly stands out as a safe, effective, substantiated and unique option for sexual health.” Enovate added that HeezOn is already being used in multiple CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands in North America with and without other ingredients.
Being a chemical-free, safe and holistic solution, HeezOn benefits typically build slowly, showing results in three weeks.
For More Information:
Enovate Biolife, www.enovatebiolife.com
GE Nutrients, Inc. (Gencor), www.gencorpacific.com