Beyond the Prostate: New Opportunities in the Wider Men’s Health Market
Experts say the men’s health supplement market in general, and the prostate health supplement market in particular, aren’t just in the midst of diversifying product lines; the market is also developing a more comprehensive and holistic approach to and understanding of men’s health problems.
“I see the men’s health market becoming more comprehensive as time goes on,” Seipel says. “There are a few targeted ingredients that tend to dominate the market, and I’d like to see more innovation give way to a more multifaceted approach to men’s health.” Researching how lifestyle factors may affect prostate health is increasingly important, she adds.
At least one large-scale clinical trial is currently examining the connection between lifestyle factors and prostate health. The trial, dubbed the Men’s Eating and Living Study, is following 464 American men between the ages of 50 and 80 who have early-stage prostate cancer. The phase 3 randomized clinical trial, sponsored by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, ended last month. Preliminary results are expected soon.9
Prostate health is one of the most established realms of men’s health for supplement manufacturers to target, but new opportunities for manufacturers of men’s health supplements will likely occur both inside and outside the prostate arena. Gencor’s Luu says that the men’s health niche hasn’t seen much innovation in the last 10 years, and while this makes the niche a fairly reliable space for brands, it also means the industry is overdue for a shake-up.
Says Luu, “The men’s health supplement market has excellent growth potential, not just in prostate health, but also in healthy aging, active lifestyle, and andropause.”
Graminex’s May adds this: “The market looks different depending on whether you’re targeting older men or younger men. With older men, you’re talking prostate health ingredients. But with younger men, the products are more oriented around sports health—protein products, amino acids, etc.”
As the men’s health market continues to diversify, new opportunities will call for new formulations and products to meet evolving consumer demands. Manufacturers and brands can capitalize on growing awareness of men’s health issues with innovative formulations, strong research, and targeted marketing campaigns that reach household decision makers.
Also read: Drug-Supplement Interactions: Consumer Safety Remains a Priority
Prostate health supplements are a popular remedy for men who are facing age-related prostate difficulties. But the jury is still out on whether it is safe for men who are taking certain prescription medications to also take prostate supplements.
According to Harvard Medical School’s health publishing division, herbal remedies like saw palmetto may interact with drugs like naproxen or anticoagulants to increase the risk of bleeding in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia.10 However, many of the concerns around saw palmetto and its interactions with prescription drugs stem from isolated case reports and experimental studies of unknown clinical relevance.11 Further research is needed to clarify the mechanisms of interaction, if they exist, and to determine whether or not saw palmetto causes interactions with antiplatelets, anticoagulants, or NSAIDs.
9. Parsons JK. “The men’s eating and living (MEAL) study: A randomized trial of diet to alter disease progression in prostate cancer patients on active surveillance.” Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. Clinical Trial ID number NCT01238172.
10. Solan M. “Understanding the risks of supplements and herbal remedies for prostate cancer.” Harvard Men’s Health Watch (July 2017). Published online July 20, 2017.
11. Ge B et al. “Updates on the clinical evidenced herb-warfarin interactions.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Published online March 18, 2014.
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