Malaysia has witnessed a surge in the consumption of health supplements, driven by many factors, including online purchases and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many Malaysians have started consuming health supplements in their daily routines, believing in their potential to boost overall health and vitality.
In this article, we explore the growing trend of health supplement usage in Malaysia, and online purchases post Covid-19.
A Growing Trend
Aisha Amaya Ihsan, a 42-year-old private-sector employee, is among a growing number of Malaysians who have turned to health supplements as part of their daily regimen.
Over the past decade, she has tried various multivitamins and supplements, starting with vitamin C and later adding other products to her diet.
Her motivation is to enhance her health, boost her energy levels, and achieve a better skin complexion.
Aisha’s story is not unique. Many Malaysians have become avid consumers of health supplements, investing significant amounts of money in their well-being.
Aisha’s most recent purchase, a RM70 bottle of tablets aimed at treating acne effectively, was influenced by an advertisement she saw on TikTok.
The Health Supplement Market in Malaysia
Malaysia’s health supplement market has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. According to Vodus.com, an online market research and analytics company, 71% of Malaysians were using supplements in 2021.
The nation’s health supplement market expanded from RM2.07 billion in 2014 to RM3.1 billion in 2019 and is projected to continue growing.
The rise of online sales platforms has played a significant role in the accessibility and popularity of health supplements.
Social media platforms, in particular, have become effective channels for marketing and selling these products. Online merchants have even introduced ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes, attracting more customers to their websites.
While many consumers believe that health supplements are safe due to their registration and approval by relevant authorities, experts caution against complacency.
Excessive consumption of supplements can potentially harm one’s health, particularly by overloading the kidneys.
Consultant nephrologist Dr. Nor Fadhlina Zakaria warns that excessive intake of vitamins and minerals through supplements, especially when the body already receives adequate nutrients from a regular diet, can strain the kidneys.
Kidney functions may decline, limiting the body’s ability to eliminate excess vitamins and minerals, which can eventually become harmful.
Dr. Nor Fadhlina emphasises that supplements should only be taken under the guidance of a doctor, highlighting the concerning trend of consumers self-prescribing health products without medical consultation.
Supplement Dependency Post-COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of health supplement consumption in Malaysia. People have become more health-conscious, aiming to bolster their immune systems and overall well-being.
However, experts like Dr. Shazli Ezzat Ghazali, a senior lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Behavioural Health, express concern about the growing dependency on supplements.
Dr. Shazli explains that the desire to remain healthy and look good has led many individuals to believe that taking multiple vitamins and supplements is necessary.
He underscores the importance of self-confidence in resisting the allure of supplements and highlights that not everyone needs these products.
The effectiveness of advertised products may vary from person to person, making it essential to consult a doctor before making a decision.
All in all, the use of health supplements has accelerated post Covid-19, and is typically recommended for specific groups, such as senior citizens, pregnant women, and children with nutrient deficiencies.
Healthy individuals can generally obtain the necessary nutrients through a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
However, for individuals with a hectic lifestyle, where the consumption of a balanced diet can be difficult at certain times, health supplements come in handy.
For individuals or businesses looking to establish their own branded health supplement products, please feel free to get in touch with our OEM dietary supplement specialists for a full consultation.