Continued from Yesterday
Biglow added, “There is a groundswell of consumer interest for natural food products (products that do not contain artificial ingredients), and this interest could ‘naturally’ be extended into the medical-foods area.”
Kronlage said natural options for medicinal purposes are growing for several reasons: “many times [they] equate to better safety and tolerability profile, [they] may be able to address inborn errors of metabolism better than a synthetic option, many clinical conditions are associated with a nutritional deficiency that may not be able to be corrected by a normal diet, and addressing a disease with a natural product may mean the underlying disease could be corrected or modified instead of masking symptoms with a synthetic drug.”
While many consumers are more aware of natural options, the same isn’t true for medical foods. In a 2009 white paper from Frost & Sullivan, “The Promise of Medical Foods,” the global research organization noted general awareness of medical foods, even in the medical community, is low. This may be due to a dearth of clinical studies or because physicians are often skeptical of new fields. Unfortunately, as Kronlage noted, a big struggle in this market is many health-care providers and patients don’t consider medical foods a legitimate treatment option.