To get an idea of the supplement landscape in 2012 it’s necessary to move past whey protein and trendy energy drinks and cut right to the heart of what people actually want to get out of their supplements.
Gummies and Chewables
Pills are a turn off for a lot of people-- it’s not just kids who struggle with them. So, in what’s something of a head-slapping innovation, many more products are now being marketed to adults in gummy, chewable, quick-dissolve and beverage additives. All of these options make it easy to supplement your diet with the unpleasantness of popping a pill.
One constant with those who use supplements is that they have no desire to get sick. This is where immune boosting supplements come into play. Vitamin C supplements have always been popular and will continue to be in 2012. This particular vitamin is necessary for collagen formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. It can help treat or prevent everything from the common cold to cardiovascular disease.
Speaking of colds, when those winter months roll around and the sniffles crop up, there are few natural supplements more adept at staving off the illness and boosting immunity than Echinacea. This all natural supplement derives from an herb commonly found throughout the U.S. and Canada. And with 21 million in sales in 2011, it’s safe to say this supplement will maintain its popularity in the coming months.
Antioxidants are always popular for those interested in improving their overall health. And while most health nuts are happy to ingest antioxidants, many don’t precisely understand their function. Antioxidants protect cells against the negative effects of free radicals – molecules produced when the body breaks down food. Free radicals can even be produced by environmental factors, such as radiation, smog and tobacco smoke. Over time free radicals can damage cells and have even been linked to serious illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.
Antioxidants are found in various fruits and vegetables, including the ever-popular acai berry. Acai supplements will continue to be popular in 2012 because this Brazilian fruit contains mass amounts of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Acai supplements are touted with neutralizing harmful agents in the body, maintaining heart health and promoting good digestion and liver health.
Green tea supplements are also purported to have a number of health benefits. These include: preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, promoting weight loss and lowering blood pressure. Obviously people can reap the benefits of green tea supplements simply by drinking green tea, but supplements may be convenient for those without the time or inclination to drink multiple cups of this tea per day.
Skin and Hair Care
Maintaining a healthy and attractive appearance is always a high priority for most people, and this is where fatty acid supplements, such as omega-3, 6 and 9 supplements, can help. These fatty acids are oftentimes derived from fish oil and indeed many of the omega supplements may carry this particular label. These fatty acids are primarily used to prevent skin from drying out. Not only do these supplements keep skin looking young but studies have shown they can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease as well.
Hair care is also important to many health-oriented consumers, and supplements can help in this area, too. Vitamin D supplements, in particular, help keep the scalp and hair healthy, adding a youthful sheen. Certain oils, such as fish oil and coconut, can also keep the hair and scalp healthy.
Because weight loss supplements are so popular, it can be difficult sifting through the hundreds of products to find the ones that are most effective. Interestingly, calcium supplements are becoming more and more popular as a weight loss tool. While most know calcium as important to bone health, it can also help people lose fat while maintaining muscle.
Fiber supplements are also going to continue to be popular in 2012. While fiber has long been known as an effective weight loss supplement, its general effectiveness leads many to the conclusion: if it aint broke, don’t fix it. Fiber supplements work by keeping a person feeling full. And in simple cause and effect -- the more full one feels the less likely they are to eat.
In the end, there are many supplements on the market that address all kinds of issues. Some of these are blasts from the past, while others are modern trends, developed from new scientific research, that are capturing the imaginations of all those interested in health and fitness.
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Alena writes extensively about the best supplements online and bodybuilding supplements. She is a personal trainer and nutritional consultant in the San Diego area.