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Herbal supplement sales increasing, study says

May 21, 2009 by  

Herbal supplement sales increasing, study says According to a newly released report, dietary supplement sales in the U.S. increased in 2008, reaching an estimated $4.8 billion.

The report, published in the nonprofit American Botanical Council’s quarterly journal HerbalGram, found the five top-selling herbal supplements of 2008 were flaxseed oil, wheat and barley grass, stevia, aloe vera and milk thistle.

Meanwhile, the top-selling herbal singles of 2008 were cranberry, soy, garlic, saw palmetto and ginkgo.

Mary Ellen Lynch, director of consumer insights for SPINS, a market research firm, and a co-author of the report, suggests there is an opportunity for herbal products to move outside the category and into the mainstream food and beverage market.

"For example, the antioxidant turmeric has this potential due to its link to multiple health benefits that align well to the mainstream consumer’s growing interest in health and wellness," she says.

Others have suggested the escalating costs of health insurance and deteriorating quality of mainstream healthcare are also prompting people to turn to nutritional supplements to manage their health.

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  • s c

    If supplements are made with the highest standards, it will be hard for the FDA to prevent consumer access. The FDA says supplement quality is subjective. Let them try to deny that natural products tend to be safer than drugs. How can the FDA claim to be scientific when they hold a prescription drug to a lower standard than a natural supplement? Make them PROVE that dangerous drugs and their side-effects are safer. No one pays higher drug prices than Americans (why?). In effect, we have had a drug monopoly for years. All monopolies are illegal (supposedly). Why drool over health reform as long as government is for sale?

    It pays to be suspicious when “experts” expect supplements to be held to a higher standard than dangerous drugs.

  • Leonard Dabydeen

    Family doctors are like symtomologists. They attend to symptoms only described by their patients. Being very good at what they do ( hopefully ), they resort to prescribing medicines with endless side-effects to their patients and have them keep going back for more ( the fill your prescrirption protocol ).
    It’s time for awareness or recognition that natural nutritional supplements are playing a significant part in our everyday lives. Even family doctors agree, but are regulated in their domain not to bring this to anyone’s attention.
    Indeed Sales are climbing for natural products. One company. Herbalife is a testimony to this ( read the annual report, 2008).
    And if it makes you happy, visit my website:

  • s c

    Recently, I came across some feedback that said stevia can have side-effects. This is news to me. Even if an article is written by an MD, I would be suspicious of the findings. If that MD does not work with supplements on a routine basis, odds are that the results will be flawed and negative by default. There’s true science, and then there’s
    $cience-for-hire. One keeps you healthy. The other maintains and protects America’s medical monopoly. For me, stevia is an improvement over what passes for sugar and chemical sweeteners.
    $cience that specializes in man-made solutions is bad for your health.


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