Winter is the peak season for colds and flus. As a supplement business owner you’ll want to offer a range of well-formulated, high-quality nutritional supplements that will help build your brand and address your customers’ winter health needs. Making profitable decisions is imperative to every successful business, but being a part of the health and wellness industry also gives you an opportunity to go beyond the obvious. One way any supplement business owner can gain patronage to their brand is by caring for their customers. So,in addition to offering your customers cutting-edge formulations at cost-effective pricing make sure you show you care for your customers by offering them a few simple tips to help them stay healthy this winter. There are plenty of ways to do this these days through your company’s social media platforms and/or printed promotional material. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can minimize your risk of getting flu by 70 percent this winter by taking a flu shot.1
• Get into the habit of washing your hands often, particularly after visiting a public place.
• Eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids, and exercise regularly. Regular exercise can also help drive stress away.
• Don’t keep your home too hot in the winter. A dry and hot environment can be a breeding house for cold viruses.
Along with the tips above, supplement business owners can give their customers additional health support through targeted nutrition, be it for immune health, weight loss, joint pain or just to drive away the winter blues. Here’s what hot this winter:
Herbal supplement usage is on the rise. Savvy consumers are researching the benefits of herbs online and checking out consumer reviews. According to HerbalGram, the sale of herbal supplement rose by nearly 8 percent in 2013 in the retail sector.
Echinacea is one of the better known herbal ingredients for building immunity against colds and flues. This herb has anti-vital and antibiotic properties. In 2012, researchers in the United Kingdom conducted what is considered to be the largest trial for Echinacea. They found Echinacea to be both safe and effective for preventing symptoms of the common cold. Echinacea contains natural compounds called alkylamides that are believed to help stimulate the immune system.2
Black elderberry extract has antimicrobial activity. There is strong evidence from research showing elderberry helps combat human pathogenic bacteria and influenza virus. Elderberry may present a natural remedy for fighting infections commonly prevalent in winter. Along with Vitamin C and zinc, elderberry helps to support recuperation.3
Vitamin C and Zinc
Clinical trials document the effects of vitamin C and zinc in ameliorating symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold. This combination is also known to shorten the duration of these infections.4
St. John’s Wort
Winter blues? About half a million people in the United States suffer from depressive symptoms related to the winter, called SAD (seasonal affective disorder). About 10 to 20 percent may suffer from mild forms of depression in the winter. St. John’s Wort has been demonstrated to have antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Most clinical studies show St. John’s Wort to be a safe and effective remedy for mild depression. St. John’s Wort is now the fifth best-selling dietary supplement in retail stores.5-7
Go herbal for weight loss, too
After Thanksgiving and all the Christmas goodies, who doesn’t want to shed off those extra pounds gained during the holiday season? Protein powders, green tea and raspberry ketones are a few good ingredients for aiding weight loss.
Natural Nutrients for Winter
EPA and DHA in Fish oil
There is an increasingly large volume of studies showing the benefits of fish oil ranging from heart health, brain health to joint health. Most of these studies suggest that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in fish oil may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular risk factors. Other studies show that EPA and DHA may have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce joint pain common in winter.8
Typically days are shorter and the nights are longer in winter. If you live in the upper latitudes these changes may be more pronounced. Since Vitamin D production in the body is dependent on an individual’s exposure to the sun, Vitamin D levels fall in winter requiring the need for supplementation. Some studies have shown that supplementation with Vitamin D may also reduce depressive symptoms in winter and strengthen the immune system.9
Vitamin D is needed for bone health but in recent years deficiency or inadequacy has also been linked to cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, as well as dementia, and infectious diseases. Adequate intake of Vitamin D is essential.10
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
A recent study conducted in Australia showed the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin was seen to reduce the amount of joint space narrowing when compared to those taking a placebo in subjects with mild radiographic osteoarthritis of the knee. The trial was conductedover a two-year period. In addition to glucosamine and chondroitin, hyaluronic acid has been seen to have beneficial effect on patients with osteoarthritis. Vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, selenium, zinc and copper have also shown to be useful in reducing oxidative stress characteristic of patients with joint pain.11-12
Formulation is extremely important and getting your supplements manufactured in a GMP-certified facility will ensure you maintain a high quality brand your customers can rely on. Suppliers of dietary supplement contract manufacturing services, like Nutricap Labs, who have been in the business for over a decade, can help you create the right formulations.