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Clinically-proven ingredients for healthy ageing in the supplements market
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Active ageing: The clinically-proven ingredients for longevity that are shaping the supplements market

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Global populations are ageing, bringing both challenges and opportunities for enhancing quality of life for millions of citizens.

By 2050, it is projected that one in four people in APAC will surpass the age of 60, a demographic that will have tripled since 2010 to nearly 1.3 billion people in the region.1​ Yet while life expectancy increases, the rate of quality of life for this group has struggled to keep pace, and this can impact health and wellbeing in later years.

As we age, factors such as lack of physical activity can affect muscle strength and flexibility which in turn can decrease our ability to remain active and independent. Poor nutrition can exacerbate age-related health issues, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, which are associated with fatigue, anxiety and depression.2​ Additionally, those who experience persistent inadequate sleep are at higher risk of conditions such as depression, dementia, heart disease and falls.3

Age-related hormonal changes play a role in the health of both sexes. In men, testosterone levels naturally decline from around the age of 30, and this gradual process can lead to a range of outcomes including reduced libido, decreased muscle mass, fatigue and mood changes. As women age, a decline in oestrogen levels from the onset of perimenopause can manifest as hot flashes and night sweats, and reduced libido.

Age-associated hormonal changes in both men and women can lead to hair thinning and hair loss. While this is a natural part of ageing for many people, the emotional impact can affect self-esteem, body image and overall quality of life. Hormonal changes as we age can also affect overall sleep quality and make sleep more challenging. Spending less time in deep sleep, and more frequent awakenings during the night, can be common, and age-related health conditions, such as apnoea, can interfere with sleep quality.

Weight management is another challenge. As we age, the body’s metabolism tends to slow down, leading to a decrease in calories burned during rest; a loss of muscle mass can also decelerate the rate at which calories are burned.4

As well as changes to physical health, cognitive function can decline, with changes in neurotransmitter levels, such as dopamine, affecting cognitive processes, such as memory and attention.5​ Over prolonged periods, such health challenges can significantly decrease wellbeing and quality of life in older individuals.

The question is, what can consumers do today to maximise their potential to live an active life in their later years?

“By optimising opportunities for health, active ageing can allow individuals to associate the ageing process with physical, social and mental improvement, thereby enhancing quality of life,” says Mariko Hill, Global Innovation Manager, Gencor.

Active ageing: Optimising health

Active ageing champions the delay or prevention of age-related health challenges later in life to maintain a vibrant and engaged lifestyle. Take regular exercise, as an example. It delivers a multitude of benefits including strengthening muscles and enhancing flexibility, while improving the ability to maintain an active and independent lifestyle throughout the ageing process. Moreover, physical activity reduces the risk of health conditions, promoting longevity and vitality in later life.

Active ageing not only promotes physical health, but it also positively impacts cognitive and mental health, too. Supporting cognitive function is essential for maintaining quality of life, enabling individuals to participate in pastimes and social activities. This, in turn, has associated benefits, such as reducing age-related cognitive decline, and feelings of loneliness and isolation that can be experienced in later life.

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A targeted approach to active ageing

Addressing specific health needs that become apparent as we age requires a multifaceted, targeted approach, and one that’s backed by science. “We find that dietary supplements derived from natural and botanical ingredients appeal to those who seek the benefits of clinically-researched, plant-based ingredients for vitality and wellbeing as they move through different life stages,” says Gencor’s Hill.

Botanicals can draw inspiration from Ayurveda, an ancient holistic system of medicine that focuses on the interconnectedness of the body, mind and spirit. Derived from the Sanskrit words ‘ayur’ (life) and veda (science or knowledge), Ayurveda offers an approach to wellness that enables individuals to fulfil their health potential through natural botanicals, daily routines and seasonal adjustments.

By focussing on promoting overall wellbeing and balance within the body, supplementation with botanical ingredients can align with Ayurveda principles, incorporating traditional herbs and other natural ingredients.

“Gencor began as an Ayurvedic botanical-driven company and a lot of our ingredients started from Ayurvedic fruits,” says Hill. “When you look at Chinese traditional medicine, or Eastern medicine, it all comes from nature.

“Gencor’s broad spectrum of branded ingredients are all clinically researched. We can fine-tune a blend between Eastern medicine and Western science, leveraging technology to increase not only the bioavailability but the functionality of ingredients.”

Active ageing with targeted science-backed ingredients

Understanding health need states associated with active ageing is essential for supporting adults in maintaining independence and quality of life as they age. One such ingredient promoting active ageing for women’s health is Libifem®​, Gencor’s award-winning standardised extract of fenugreek.6​ 

“Clinical studies show that Libifem®​ supports libido in younger women, as well as reducing menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats in older women,” says Hill.

Testofen®​ is Gencor’s standardised extract of fenugreek targeted for men’s health, clinically shown to significantly increase testosterone levels, as well as lean muscle mass and strength, symptoms typically related to male andropause, or loss of libido. 

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 54 subjects were administered Testofen®​ combined with magnesium, elemental zinc and pyridoxine.7​ Results showed statistically significant improvements in overall male sexual health in all four domains: sexual cognition; sexual arousal; sexual experience; and orgasm.

Turning to cognitive function, Levagen®​+ is a bioavailable form of Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), a naturally occurring compound in the body. Essentially the body's own natural defence system in response to pain, inflammation and stress, Levagen®​+ is backed by over 13 clinical studies in the areas of cognitive function, as well as pain, joint health, immunity, and sleep, all key health challenges associated with ageing. Also promoting cognitive function is HydroCurc®​, a clinically proven bioavailable form of Curcuma longa extract (curcumin), a well-established anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. 

For weight management and longevity, ActivAMP®​ has been shown to activate AMPK, an enzyme involved in energy metabolism, fat burning and longevity. As a standardised extract of Gynostemma pentyphyllum, also known as jiaogulan, ActivAMP®​ has been shown in clinical studies to reduce body fat significantly, improve metabolic markers and enhance endurance. Also supporting weight management is Slimaluma®​, Gencor’s standardised extract of Caralluma fimbriata. 

“We have a number of clinical studies showing that Slimaluma®​ significantly reduces body weight and stress, thanks to its unique mechanisms of action on serotonin receptors that suppresses appetite and support mood,” explains Hill. 

And to address hair loss and hair thinning, HairAge Vitae®​ has been proven to promote hair growth, including improved appearance of receding hairline, and prevent hair fall, says Hill. “Our brand-new ingredient of Ageratum conyzoides is designed for inside-outside beauty, supporting beauty from within and active ageing. We have clinical studies for both oral and topical use in reducing hair fall and increasing hair growth.”

In a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 66 adult men and women reporting hair loss, intervention of 250mg/day HairAge Vitae®​ found significant increase (advancement) of hairline in comparison to the placebo (p ​< 0.05). It also found significant reduction in total prostaglandins in comparison to the placebo (p ​< 0.05), indicating that HairAge Vitae®​ supports a balanced inflammatory response, which may in part explain its beneficial effects on hair health.

Embracing active ageing, unlocking market opportunities

As ageing populations reshape societal demographics, harnessing the power of natural and botanical ingredients in dietary supplementation presents opportunities for manufacturers to tap into a rapidly expanding sector and differentiate in a crowded market. By embracing active ageing, individuals can unlock the potential of their later years, enjoying independence, vitality and fulfilment for years to come.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This material is educational in nature and is not intended to serve as regulatory and/or legal advice.

References

1.​ Asian Development Bank. Social Development and Poverty.
2.​ Fekete, M.; Szarvas, Z.; Fazekas-Pongor, V.; et al. (2022). Nutrition Strategies Promoting Healthy Aging: From Improvement of Cardiovascular and Brain Health to Prevention of Age-Associated Diseases.​ Nutrients, 15(1), 47.
3.​ Age UK. Sleep and brain health.
4.​ Healthline. Why Your Metabolism Slows Down With Age.
5.​ Peters R. (2006). Ageing and the brain.​ Postgraduate medical journal, 82(964), 84–88.
6.​ Steels, E.; Steele, M. L.; Harold, M.; & et al. (2017). Efficacy of a Proprietary Trigonella foenum-graecumL​. De-Husked Seed Extract in Reducing Menopausal Symptoms in Otherwise Healthy Women: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study.​ Phytotherapy research : PTR, 31(9), 1316–1322.
7.​ Steels E.; Rao A.; and Vitetta L. Physiological aspects of male libido enhanced by standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum extract and mineral formulation​. Phytother Res. 2011 Sep;25(9):1294-300. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3360. Epub 2011 Feb 10. PMID: 21312304.

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