As we’ve seen over the summer, Olympic athletes continue to prove that age is no barrier to being the best. Take for instance Oksana Chusovitina, a gymnast from Uzbekistan, who recently competed in her eighth Olympic Games. At the age of 46, she has defied the odds of a sport that rarely sees athletes over 20 competing, and she’s not alone. Today, we are seeing more female athletes over the age of 40 competing at high levels. For manufacturers of sports nutrition products and dietary supplements, the women’s health market offers great potential, especially for this growing demographic of athletes who are seeking out products to aid in healthy aging.
Our desire for healthy aging, regardless of current age, is nearly universal. As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), healthy aging is “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age.” This broad concept implies functional ability as being able to do what you value and to move about independently. Social and health behaviors across the life course—such as diet, exercise, and engagement in the community, as well as the physical environment where we live, work, and obtain health care—all play a role in the development and progression of chronic diseases. For the majority of older adults, being able to do the things that they want at home and in the community is a primary component of healthy aging.
One major key to healthy aging is exercise, but exercise-induced pain caused by the loss of cartilage is one of the leading reasons consumers stop physical activity.
In the session “CTX-II: A Future Biomarker of Healthy Aging,” given at the Naturally Informed virtual event Healthy Aging: Mastering the Market, Alexis Collins, Product Manager at Stratum Nutrition, will discuss why CTX-II could be the new future biomarker for healthy aging and how a recent study utilized a unique, patented trial design that looked at changes in a cartilage degradation biomarker (CTX-II) in healthy exercising postmenopausal women.
The body uses type II collagen as a support framework for the cells that produce cartilage, known as chondrocytes. When cartilage breaks down, fragments of type II collagen are formed and can be found in the joint, bloodstream, and urine. One of the most extensively researched of these collagen fragments is known as CTX-II. CTX-II can serve as an excellent biomarker for joint health and particularly for cartilage breakdown. The use of this biomarker to determine the effects of a dietary supplement ingredient provides an additional level of confidence in the potential benefits derived from that ingredient. What is even more interesting is the relationship between CTX-II and hormonal changes that occur in women approaching menopause.
More and more women are exercising with programs geared towards building muscle and improving overall fitness, which in return, has opened up a new area in the bone/joint supplement category. Women are looking for more targeted performance-enhancing supplements that cater to them specifically. They are seeking personalized products that are convenient, healthy, and that take their special needs into account.
While many are not pursing Olympic goals, women are staying more active in their 40s and 50s, and we are seeing that age is no barrier to achieving any goal, especially if we know how to best to care for ourselves and our bodies. As we saw this past summer, the Olympic Games featured a number of dynamic, influential, and record-setting Olympic female athletes whose stories stand as a victory for longevity and proof that age is no barrier to achieving any goal.