Nutritional Products: Are Multiple Benefits Better Than One?
Our immune systems face challenges daily. From the stress of everyday living to the impact of not getting enough sleep, effects on immune health can be felt in many ways. Interest in maintaining overall health with natural ingredients like elderberry, ashwagandha and turmeric to support need states directly related to immune health continues to soar.
While these ingredients can be beneficial on their own, combining them with a well researched immune health ingredient, can help manufacturers create products that provide the overall wellness support consumers seek. When choosing ingredients to formulate products, it’s absolutely critical that manufacturers source ingredients validated by research to be safe and efficacious in providing the multi-benefit products consumers demand.
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How does addressing multi-need states help support immune health?
As the pandemic made clear, immune health is top of mind for consumers. In research from July 2020, FMCG Gurus found that 60% of consumers globally had become more conscious of their immunity, with immune health their second most common concern (behind only overall health and wellness). Because supporting a healthy immune system is closely linked with addressing complementary need states (stress, sleep support, overall wellness), ingredients shown to meet consumer demands for supporting their specific needs in a multi-benefit product are gaining significant interest across many different groups.
Support for healthy aging.
When it comes to immune health, some populations are at greater risk from threats – especially older adults. A recent report from the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute highlights aging’s effects on immune health, noting that growing older leads to marked changes in the composition, function and competence of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Taking steps to support immune health is part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
Multi-benefit ingredients: Curcumin and ashwagandha are well-known for their antioxidant properties, which are often associated with helping to support health, especially among older populations. Creating products for older adults that combines these benefits with functional ingredients for immune health can further enhance a product’s offering and better meet older adults’ desires to proactively support their health.
Formulation opportunity: NumNum’s Herbimune™ (India) curcumin and ashwagandha, antioxidants that can help repair cellular damage, paired with Wellmune for immune support. Because Wellmune has been shown to help support the immune health of older adults by facilitating more healthy days, it provides added benefits that can help older adults be well and stay well.
Not surprisingly, immune function can be affected by lifestyle factors like stress. When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to respond to a pathogen is reduced, largely because stress impacts nearly every part of the body—from heart rate to hormone release to the digestive system—where, coincidentally, over 70% of the body’s immune system resides. That is why we are more susceptible to infections—because our body is too busy attending to the stress response to devote attention to fully responding to an infection.
Sometimes quantifying the root cause of an underperforming immune response isn’t so clear, because there are many interrelated factors. It’s well-known that not getting proper sleep, or enough nutrients, for example, has an effect on immune health. But it’s hard to tease apart whether the cause is any one or a number of these factors, or whether these factors contribute to the stress response itself. Managing all of those need states, though, can help improve outcomes for overall wellbeing.
Multi-benefit ingredients: Ashwagandha’s stress-reduction properties have been touted to help promote healthy sleep. Combining immune health support alongside ingredients for healthy sleep may help protect a critical component in overall wellness.
Formulation opportunity: Proper Sleep + Immunity (USA) with ashwagandha for sleep support and Wellmune to help maintain health in times of lifestyle stress.
Supporting children’s and teens’ immune health.
Kids and teens face their own challenges when it comes to immune health. A young child’s immune system is is still developing and a byproduct of building immune health is oftentimes getting sick. As well, teens are generally very active, and sometimes don’t get the nutrients they need in their everyday diet. Taking steps to help support their immune health can help keep them on track for more healthy days to enjoy activities like schoolwork and sports.
Multi-benefit ingredients: Research has shown that probiotics can help maintain gut health—an essential part of the immune system. Formulating a product that uses functional ingredients for immune health (like beta glucans) alongside digestive health support can meet the call for having more healthy days as a family.
Formulation opportunity: RenewLife® Organic Kids Daily Complete Probiotics + Organic Prebiotics (USA) Probiotics and prebiotics from plant-based sources with Wellmune to support kids’ and teens’ immune health, in a sachet formulated for inclusion in their preferred foods and beverages.
Support for active lifestyles.
“Active” can be a code word not only for physically active exercisers but also for overscheduled people who are constantly running from one thing to the next – which can certainly be stressful. Trying to maintain this active lifestyle can lead to burnout mentally and physically. Supporting the immune system multiple ways, with nutrition, exercise and sleep, as well as targeted benefits from immune-supporting ingredients helps diversify your immune support portfolio to reduce the risk to your immune response if you miss out on one critical element, like sleep or exercise.
Multi-benefit ingredients: Ingredients like zinc, vitamin C, and elderberry have consumer recognition for supporting wellness. Adding the immune support of yeast beta glucans can help meet active consumers’ needs for staying active and having more healthy days.
Formulation opportunity: TB12™ (USA) features zinc, vitamin C and elderberry with Wellmune to provide support for recovery and performance, key goals for active consumers.
Maintaining an investment in immune health
In essence, our immune health is like an investment portfolio. Of course, the investment is in our own health, and it’s important to diversify that portfolio. In addition to making positive lifestyle choices, one of the ways we can help protect our wellness is by looking for ingredients that provide multiple benefits complementary to supporting immune health.
What makes Wellmune® a good fit?
With a long history of research demonstrating efficacy, Wellmune comes with the scientific backing that many functional ingredients do not. Over a dozen published, peer-reviewed clinical studies demonstrate that Wellmune can:
- Improve general immune health
- Support year-round health and wellness
- Protect against the harmful effects of stress
- Promote healthy energy levels and mental clarity
In addition to its research support, Wellmune’s stability and efficacy make it an ideal formulation partner in a variety of products that support overall wellbeing in populations, from children to seniors, with a variety of need states.
1 FMCG Gurus, COVID-19 Survey, July 2020
2 Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute, Introduction to the Ageing Immune System, 2020
3 EcoWatch, How Good Gut Health Can Boost Your Immune System, accessed November 2020
4 Mayo Clinic, Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?, accessed November 2020
5 Harvard School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source: Nutrition and Immunity, accessed November 2020
6 Study: Ashwagandha may lower stress, improve sleep, Nutrition Insight, 11 October 2019