Food supplements for ageing well: on which promises to innovate ?

Seniors (over 55) represent 31% of the current French population(1). Moreover, the world’s population is ageing and France is no exception! The proportion of people aged 65 and over will be 28% in 2050, compared with 21% today(2).

Moreover, 50% of seniors take food supplements to maintain good health(1). Also, 25% of consumers in the general population say they take food supplements to “age well”(3). This may reflect a desire to prevent certain pathologies that seniors in particular face.

“Ageing well” is a growing concern for the population and a real challenge for the global dietary supplements market. The market for products specifically designed for “ageing well” could reach 6 billion dollars in 2030, compared to 3.7 billion dollars in 2021(2).

Food supplements for ageing well :

Metabolic management, a public health issue.

Metabolic management: which disorders are concerned?

Metabolic disorders are often well known to seniors. The most common ones are :

  • Hypertension, which is defined as “an abnormal increase in blood pressure on the artery walls”(4). This condition is the most common in France, affecting nearly one in three adults(5).
  • Hypercholesterolemia, which corresponds to a too high level of cholesterol in the blood(6). It affects nearly 30% of the French population. And the prevalence increases with age: 55% of 65-74 year olds have hypercholesterolaemia(7).
  • Diabetes is a chronic disease, characterised by an excess of sugar in the blood (hyperglycaemia). More than 5% of the French population is being treated for diabetes in 2020(8).

The key ingredients of metabolic management

The use of certain ingredients in food supplements for “ageing well” have beneficial effects on the main metabolic disorders:

  • For high blood pressure : olive and potassium
  • For high cholesterol: red yeast rice, plant sterols, omega 3 and probiotics.
  • For diabetes and blood sugar regulation in general: fibre, which slows down the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine, polyphenols, chromium, hydrolysed milk proteins and cinnamon.

Food supplements for ageing well :

the promise of mobility, a niche market?

Mobility: junction between joints and bones

Mobility is a major concern for seniors. Indeed, there are many disorders affecting their joints and bones! As we age, our joints and bones are put to the test, with :

  • Osteoarthritis, a wear and tear or even destruction of articular cartilage in a joint(9). This pathology affects 17% of French people and 65% of those over 65(10).
  • Osteoporosis, characterised by a decrease in bone density and an alteration in bone structure. Women are the most affected: 39% suffer from it at age 65 in France and 70% of those aged 80 and over(11).

In the face of these disorders, food supplements that are positioned for joint health are on the rise! Thus, cumulative sales reached 60 million euros in 2021 with an increase of 8.08% compared to 2019(1).

The ingredients: between plant origin and natural joint components

Food supplements for joint and bone ageing include the following key ingredients:

  • Pour la santé des articulations :
    • Les substances : glucosamine, chondroïtine, acide hyaluronique et collagène, des actifs incontournables et connus des consommateurs. Ingrédient naturel et bénéfique pour les articulations, le collagène marin se fait une place dans le marché des compléments alimentaires(12).Les vitamines et minéraux : vitamine C, magnésium et cuivre.
    • Plant extracts: Harpagophytum, Boswellia, Cynorhodon or rosehip.
  • For bone health, the classic vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and D and calcium.

Food supplements for aging well :

improve cognitive health.

From improving cognitive faculties to preventing neurodegenerative diseases?

Food supplements for aging well can also help support the cognitive faculties of seniors. Among the most common pathologies are:

  • Parkinson’s disease: the dopamine neurons degenerate, resulting in motor disorders. In France, 272,550 people are treated for this neurodegenerative disease(13).
  • Alzheimer’s disease: memory disorders, orientation in time and space. 20% of people over 80 are affected in France(14).

There is also a new trend in the desire to take care of one’s cognitive health and even to improve it: “biohacking“. The objective is to become a better version of oneself by consuming products that stimulate cognitive abilities and performance.

Which ingredients for cognitive health?

Dietary supplements for aging well can play on key ingredients for cognitive health:

  • Omega 3
  • Vitamin B
  • Plant extracts: adaptogens and phytomolecules

See : Plants in food supplements: application, perception and innovation

The increasing prevalence of diseases and disorders among the elderly, and the aging of the population, are paving the way for solutions to alleviate or even prevent various ailments. The market for dietary supplements for ageing well just needs to be developed on the basis of innovation.

See : Innovative food supplements: the keys to success.

  1. Harris interactive survey for Synadiet, 2022.
  2. Actif’s n°81, 11-2022.
  3. Innova Health & Nutrition Survey 2021, Nutrition Insight, 2022.
  4. Ameli, consulted on 05/04/2023. High blood pressure
  5. Santé publique France, consulted on 05/04/2023. Hypertension in France.
  6. Ameli, consulted on 05/04/2023. Hypercholesterolemia.
  7. Santé publique France, consulted on 05/04/2023. Average LDL cholesterol and prevalence of LDL hypercholesterolemia.
  8. Ameli, consulted on 05/04/2023. What is diabetes.
  9. Ameli, consulted on 05/04/2023. Osteoarthritis of the knee: definition and contributing factors.
  10. Haute Autorité de Santé, consulted on 05/04/2023. Survey for collecting the point of view of patient-users for the evaluation of a drug.
  11. Ameli, consulted on 05/04/2023. Understanding osteoporosis.
  12. Actif’s n°76, 09-2021.
  13. Ameli, consulted on 05/04/2023. Understanding Parkinson’s disease.
  14. Ameli, consulted on 05/04/2023. Understanding Alzheimer’s disease.
  15. France Alzheimer, consulted on 05/04/2023. First reference points on Alzheimer’s disease.