Supplements USA

What’s trending now? These 20 supplement categories are hot—here’s a rundown.

What’s trending now? These 20 supplement categories are hot—here’s a rundown.

Annual supplement sales in the United States are now in the billions—that’s billion with a b—with no sign of slowing down, according to market research provided by Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., 6th Edition. Supplements appeal to all ages and demographics, from millennials to seniors. And certain supplements seem to be enjoying a particularly strong rise in popularity. As consumers grow more savvy and new research and product innovations continue, there are more and better choices than ever. Here are the supplements we’ve noticed are “trending” in recent months.


Three herbs in particular have been in the spotlight lately:


Turmeric/Curcumin. “Turmeric root really is a shining star in the health market these days,” say Mary Bove, ND, a naturopath based in Columbia, NH. “Given the fact that so many chronic diseases, cancers, and aging health challenges are connected to inflammation, it’s no wonder this anti-inflammatory-acting root has found popularity.” The health benefits of turmeric have both traditional and current research data supporting its effects on healthy heart function, joint function, cell growth, immune modulation, and as an inflammatory regulator. We like:Gaia Turmeric Boost Restore powder; Plnt by The Vitamin Shoppe Turmeric

Maca. An aging population is looking to several supplements, including maca. Not only does it improve energy and stamina, but “Many women find it useful for helping with the discomforts of the menopausal transition,” says Bove. Maca can be used in recipes such as smoothies and oatmeal. We like: Sunfood Superfoods Maca powder; Paradise Herbs & Essentials Maca Up

Elderberry. Many people have concerns about getting sick during cold and flu season. After a study reported by CBS News in early 2015 showing that an elderberry extract called Sambucol could shorten the duration of flu symptoms by about three days (similar to prescription medications sold as Tamiful and Relenza), elderberry sales have soared. Says Bove, “It is easy to add to teas or sparkling water for a winter wellness beverage.” We like:Nature’s Way Sambucus Immune System Syrup; Quantum Health Elderberry Immune Defense Lozenges

Vegan Protein Powders

According to a Harris Interactive study commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group, vegans make up 2.5 percent of the U.S. population—that’s more than 7.5 million people. Plant-based protein powders such as pea and/or rice proteins, hemp, and soy appeal to vegans and vegetarians as well as those who want to avoid whey proteins because they are following a Paleo diet or are intolerant of dairy. We like:Genceutic Naturals Plant Head Protein in Chocolate and Vanilla; Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Raw Vegan Protein in Chocolate and Vanilla

Raw and Food-Grown supplements

Raw is big. Why? Raw supplements are not processed using high heat. Nutrients are food-grown, not created in a lab. The less processed, the closer to nature, the more nutrients and enzymes remain intact. This makes them more easily recognized and utilized by the body. We like: Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW One (in Men’s and Women’s formulas); Greens+ Advanced Multi Raw Superfood


Although non-GMO labeling on supplements is currently lagging behind those of foods, you can be assured that if a supplement is certified organic, it is non-GMO. Do your research and buy from companies that are committed to using organic ingredients. Natural Factors and Gaia Herbs, for example, grow their own ingredients on their own organic farms and have control over seed selection, effectively guaranteeing non-GMO ingredients. And visit for a list of non-GMO supplements.


Gluten-free food and beverage sales topped $5 billion last year, and gluten-free supplement sales are keeping pace. Also popular are products that help to mitigate the effects of gluten. And gluten-free personal care products are also hot sellers. If you are on a gluten-free diet be aware that many cheaper supplements sold in drug stores use grain-based fillers under the guise of such terms like food glaze, food starch, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and textured plant protein. So read labels carefully. We like:Bricker Labs GlutnGo; Jason Natural Cosmetics Gluten Free Body Wash



Not only are sales of fresh mushrooms growing, but so are those of mushroom supplements, including extracts, capsules, and powders that can be blended into beverages or added to food. This is an easy way to benefit from the unique glyconutrients and other compounds that make mushrooms powerhouse foods. Various mushroom species such as Lion’s mane, reishi, shiitake, maitake, and cordyceps have proven abilities to strengthen immunity (particularly maitake-d fraction), boost brain health, lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, fight cancer, and nourish hair, skin, and nails. We like:Host Defense Mushrooms MyCommunity; Mushroom Wisdom Maitake-D Fraction



They’re ubiquitous and can be found in formulas for men, women, kids, adults, and pets; in capsules, powders, liquids, gummies, refrigerated drinks, chews, drink mix packets, even baked into muffins—in different strains and varied potencies. Probiotics (often with added prebiotics, the “food” probiotics need to thrive in our digestive tracts) are cornering the market. Often depleted by antibiotic use, a healthy balance of probiotics in the gut is needed for good digestion and strong immunity. We like:Flapjacked Mighty Muffin with Probiotics; Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic Gummies

Proprietary Ingredients

Consumer trust is important, and with a proprietary ingredient in your formula, one advantage is that you know exactly what you’re getting. Moreover, proprietary ingredients are backed by numerous clinical trials. Several reputable brands feature the following proprietary ingredients: Kaneka QH Ubiquinol (a highly absorbable form of heart-healthy CoQ10, often depleted by statin drugs); EpiCor, which helps strengthen your body’s natural defenses by the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract and balances the immune system to appropriately respond when challenged; BioCell, a naturally occurring combination of type 2 collagen, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid that is used to support joint and skin health; MenaQ7, a highly bioavailable form of vitamin K2 that supports bones and joints; andMeriva, a better-absorbed form of curcumin. We like:Natrol Immune Boost with EpiCor; Life Extension Super Ubiquinol CoQ10; Doctor’s Best Natural Vitamin K2 MenaQ7; The Vitamin Shoppe BioCell Collagen II

Telomere Supplements

Telomerase is an enzyme that helps to lengthen and maintain our telomeres, the protective “caps” on the ends of our chromosomes. As telomeres shorten, the aging process is accelerated. Supplements that contain broccoli extract, astragalus, and rhodiola, as well as turmeric and holy basil, have been shown to activate telomerase production in the body. We like:Enzymedica Telomere Plus

PostPartum Health

After having a baby, new moms are breast-feeding, taking on the challenges of caring for a newborn, and sometimes battling postpartum depression. They’re often depleted and fighting fatigue and exhaustion. This relatively new niche in the supplement market includes formulas that contain nutrients new moms need such as extra B vitamins, calcium, and magnesium, as well as herbal complexes for various postpartum issues. We like:New Chapter Perfect Postnatal Multivitamin

Vitamin K2 for Bone Health


Relatively “new” on the scene as a bone health nutrient, vitamin K2 is emerging as preventive measure against osteoporosis, along with vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and other bone-builders. We like:Redd Remedies Bone Health Advanced; Jarrow Formulas MK-7

Beauty Supplements

Collagen, hyaluronic acid, biotin, vitamin C (including in topical formulas) and other supplements are being marketed for their beauty benefits, helping to fight signs of aging such as wrinkles from the inside out. Formulas specifically marketed to promote healthier skin, hair, and nails include a wide variety of drink mixes, chews, capsules, and powders. We like:NeoCell Beauty Bursts Gourmet Collagen Soft Chews; Reserveage Organics Collagen Replenish

Paleo Products

The Paleo Diet has sparked a craze in high-protein/low-carb and dairy-free bars and shakes. They have popped up everywhere and make easy on-the-go snacks and even meal replacements. We like:MHP Paleo Protein Beef and Egg White Protein in Triple Chocolate

Pet Supplements

Our pets are like members of our family. Our dogs and cats benefit from supplements similar to those we take ourselves (specifically formulated for pets, of course), including daily vitamins, omegas, green foods, and mushroom powders, as well as condition-specific pet formulas for arthritis or anxiety. We like:Vital Planet Flora Dog and Flora Cat; Dr. Mercola Spirugreen Superfood for Pets

Anxiety/Stress Supplements


Stress formulas including adrenal balancers; tension-relieving herbs such as ashwagandha, holy basil, rhodiola, and lemonbalm; supplements shown to calm brain waves such as L-theanine and GABA; and magnesium powders are top sellers. We like:Yogi Tea Kava Stress Relief Tea; Enzymatic Therapy Adrenal Stress End

Enzymes for Pain


Enzymes can be taken for better digestion, but more people are discovering they are also a good alternative to traditional pain-relieving drugs, as they work to quell inflammation and promote healing. Inflammation, swelling, and pain of arthritis, muscle injuries, or other types of pain can often be relieved by taking systemic enzymes. We like: Arthur Andrew Medical Serretia; Garden of Life Wobenzym N; Innerzyme Pain &Inflammation Blend

Healthy Aging Supplements (50+)

“How concerned are you about aging?” This was one of the questions posed by the Nutrition Business Journal consumer survey in August 2015.More than 240 natural consumers responded to the survey. The youngest respondents (those 30–39) were most concerned, with 70 percent answering that they were apprehensive about aging issues, including mental and physical performance, physiological changes, changes in appearance and/or health conditions. By age 60+, this number is reduced to about 55 percent, still a majority. Natural products emerge as a solution for many consumers, particularly those targeting specific conditions. We like:Natural Factors Men’s 50+ Multistart; Megafood Women Over 55

New Brain Health Supplements

We all want to avoid experiencing a “senior moment” no matter how old we are, and Baby Boomers especially are looking to keep their minds sharp and avoid dementia. Several supplements have stepped in with a range of nutrients and brain-builders such as acetyl-L-carnitine, phosphatidylserine, and Ginkgo biloba. And mushrooms are emerging as a new way to achieve better brain health, with research showing mushrooms benefit mental acuity and support the nervous system. We like: Host Defense MycoBotanicals Brain; Wakunaga Kyolic Brain Focus

New Forms of Fish Oils


Fish oil is no longer “fishy”—fruit-flavored drink mixes, liquids, powders, and gummies ensure that you can get your omegas even if you don’t like the taste of fish oils or can’t swallow large capsules. We like:Barlean’s Omega Swirl Fish Oil in Key Lime; Rainbow Light Omegalicious Omega-3 Gummies


Hempseeds, hempseed oil, hemp protein, CBD oil (an extract from hemp oil that promotes relaxation), and beauty products enriched with hempseed oil have come on the scene in recent years. Beneficial compounds in hempseed oil include sterols, cannabidiol, and linolenic acids. Hempseed oil is also high in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Hempseeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which are anti-inflammatory. According to recent news reports, regions of China in which the greatest number of centenarians live use hempseed oil in cooking; this has helped to push sales in the United States. We like:Nutiva Organic Hemp Oil; BioNutrition CBD Oil

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