The Heart of the Matter: Ingredients for Heart Health
By James J. Gormley
Heart health as a category has changed over the last 20 years. Years ago, health and nutrition magazines would tout the benefits of single vitamins, herbs or minerals: vitamins A, C and E; hawthorn, cayenne and garlic; and selenium. With the exception of hawthorn, these continue to be popular for cardiovascular health formulations.
In recent years, while other standalones that pack a punch for heart health have risen to greater prominence — coenzyme Q10, green coffee extract, fish oil, and recently magnesium — science has moved in the direction of much more sophisticated formulations, often featuring proprietary extracts or premium standalones with active ingredients produced via patented processes, a few examples of which are:
- AmealPeptide for heart health and blood pressure (milk-derived bioactive tripeptides that are extracted from milk proteins during a patented production process);
- Blueberry flavonoids;
- Citri-Z for heart health (proprietary blend that exclusively provides polymethoxylated flavones [PMF] and other bioflavonoids;
- Curcumin for heart health;
- Green coffee bean extracts for cholesterol and blood pressure;
- Resveratrol for cholesterol;
- Sytrinol for cholesterol (patented and proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts); and
- Vitamin K2 (MK-7) (promotes heart health via help with arterial elasticity).
Part of the reason for this is that nutritional and botanical science has become more advanced, and part of the reason is that companies want to have unique formulations using one or more premium, patented ingredients or blends in order to differentiate their products from the rest of the ticker-boosting supplements that are out there.
That being said, promotion of heart-health products as part of a healthy lifestyle is becoming increasingly important to manufacturers and marketers, not only because that is more FDA/FTC friendly and more responsible for consumers, but because Americans are sick and tired of being told by Big Pharma to take pills to address health problems without addressing some of the most critical underlying causes of heart un-health: chronically poor food choices and sedentary ways.
Consumers are not thrilled with just taking more pills, whether they are supplements or pharmaceuticals, and they are not thrilled with the idea of having to devote many hours per week on heavy-duty exercise.
While anybody can capture a wallet, at least for a day, if marketers can encourage consumers to incorporate sensible supplementation into a by-and-large healthy diet with a reasonable amount of exercise, then these products (and their ingredients) will have a chance to truly capture hearts and minds, a concept Kevin Thomson rightly outlines in his book, Emotional Capital. Then you will have the consumer for a lifetime.
[Note: Adapted from an article which originally appeared in Natural Products INSIDER Supplement Perspectives]