Celebrity Selfies and No Oversight Means Big Money for Supplements

The nutraceutical market has teamed up with celebrities to market their products to consumers. The Kardashians and QuickTrim had a long marketing relationship. And other celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Larry King continue to endorse nutraceuticals.  But celebrities aren’t the only ones getting in on this newest health craze. Global pharmaceutical giants and startups are also infusing the market with hundreds of millions of dollars, pushing out products to consumers that have undergone little to no federal oversight. This reality has made many consumer health advocates nervous.

Nestle is one of the major companies working to push products into the nutraceutical market. Currently, they are developing a nutraceutical to help patients with early Alzheimer’s disease.The company is taking part in the development of a shake that used fatty acids to supplement memory for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients. Food and Drug Administration rules, bar nutraceutical manufacturers from claiming their products can treat or cure diseases. So companies like Nestle must be very careful with language and can only claim their pending Alzheimer’s drug can “boost memory.” Nestle is also creating other nutraceuticals to target other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. As with their Alzheimer’s nutraceutical supplement, any other supplement Nestle manufactures must also not explicitly claim to prevent, treat, or cure any ailments.

Still, dancing around language may not be enough to protect consumers. Many nutraceutical products are labeled “all natural,” but have some dangerous consequences. A 2014 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed at least 23,000 emergencyroom visits in the United States each year related to dietary supplements. Most complaints were allergic reactions, chest pains, heart palpitations, and choking. Until the FDA or some other federal entity create stricter guidelines for nutraceutical companies, consumers will have to exercise due diligence when selecting products to try; ignoring the lure of health miracles and celebrity endorsements.

The nutraceutical market is grossing billions each year. The industry is ripe for bold independent merchants to create a nutraceutical merchant account. Entrepreneurs have their pick of new markets to invest in. Contact to learn how you can take advantage of this booming industry.


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