Timeline of nutritional supplements

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This is a timeline of nutritional supplements, which attempts to describe significant events in the history of dietary supplements and vitamins.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • What topics are mentioned in this timeline?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Key topic".
    • You will mostly see types of supplements.
  • What are some notable or illustrative examples of the myriad of products sold under the category of nutritional supplements, and what are some notable or illustrative companies operating in the industry?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Industry".
    • You will see launch of products, such as famous Haarlem oil, as well as some companies, like Nutrilite.
  • What are some notable scientific events involving vitamins and supplements?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Scientific development".
    • You will see notable scientific events, often discoveries of proteins and vitamins.
  • What are some illustrative policies introduced by authorities with the purpose to regulate the consumption of nutritional supplements?
    • Sort the full timeline by "Event type" and look for the group of rows with value "Policy".
    • You will see regulations on commercialization of products and labeling, as well as introdutions of special nutritive foods by governments.
  • Other events are described under the following types: "Adverse effect", "Concept development", "General consensus".

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
Before 20th century Early scientific development The concept of metabolism is already discovered in the 18th century by Antoine Lavoisier. By the early 1800s, the elements of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen, the main components of food, are isolated and soon connected to health.[1] "Dietitians and nutritionists first worked in hospitals in the late 19th century as the role of good nutrition in health began to be accepted. "[1]
20th century (first half) Era of vitamin discovery "The first half of the 20th century witnessed the identification and synthesis of many of the known essential vitamins and minerals and their use to prevent and treat nutritional deficiency related diseases including scurvy, beriberi, pellagra, rickets, xerophthalmia, and nutritional anaemias."[2] "Until the 1930’s vitamins were obtained only through food intake. The vitamin B complex and Vitamin C were the first vitamins to be sold."[3] "The first vitamin pills were marketed in the 1930s, and created a new industry around science-based health products. "[1] "In the 1920s, vitamin A and C sales surged as the public began to believe that if a supplement contained vitamins, it contained other miraculous chemical compounds as well. This let to vitamin B2 surging in the 1930s. "[4]
Mid-20th century onwards Nutritional supplement era By the mid-20th century all major vitamins have been isolated and synthesized.[2] After synthesizing and isolating all the types of vitamins our body needs to survive, clinicians begin looking to address health issues through single vitamin supplements.[5] Many multivitamins start being sold and promoted in stores to be kept on the dining table for meal times.[4] Vitamins become widely available as inexpensive food supplements and additives.[3] Supplement usage flourishes. [5] The 1960s see an explosion of bodybuilding supplements"[6] The increasing modernization of agriculture in the 1970s to 1990s, as well as the rise in commercial retail stores selling prepackaged food leads to a dramatic change in people’s diets including a lack of nutrients. To fill this gap more people turn to dietary supplements.[5][7]
21st century Recent trend The interest in supplementation significantly increases in the early 2000s, particularly the role in combating diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancers.[8]

Numerical and visual data

Google Scholar

The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar as of September 19, 2021.

Year "nutritional supplement"
1960 7
1970 12
1980 49
1990 134
2000 651
2010 2,030
2020 4,530
Nutritional supplement gsch.png

Google Trends

The chart below shows Google Trends data for nutritional supplement, from January 2004 to September 2021, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.[9]

Nutritional supplement gt.png

Google Ngram Viewer

The comparative chart below shows Google Ngram Viewer data for nutritional supplement and dietary supplement from 1900 to 2019.[10]

Nutritional supplement ngram.png

Wikipedia Views

The chart below shows pageviews of the English Wikipedia article nutritional supplement, from July 2015 to August 2021.[11]

Nutritional supplement wv.png

Full timeline

Year Event type Key topic Details Location/Researcher affiliation Nutrient/product property (when applicable)
196 AD Literature Ginseng The Shen Nong Pharmacopoeia is written in China. This is one of the first written texts covering the use of ginseng as a medicinal herb.[12] China A root commonly used today as a supplement in herbal medicine, ginseng is thought to increase energy, boost the immune system, and help manage certain health conditions.[13]
1696 Industry Haarlem oil Haarlem oil is invented by Claes Tilly and is marketed as a cure for many ailments.[14][15] It is a special blend of natural oils and sulphur.[16] Netherlands Haarlem oil is effective in preventing respiratory illness, passive and active smoking, unhealthy diets and rheumatoid arthritis.[17]
1770 Scientific development Metabolism French chemist Antoine Lavoisier discovers the concept of metabolism, which is the transfer of food and oxygen into heat and water in the body, creating energy.[1] France
1770 Scientific development Cod liver oil Cod liver oil, rich in vitamin D, is first advocated for the treatment of tuberculosis.[18] Derived from liver of cod fish (Gadidae), today it is a dietary supplement. "Cod liver oil contains vitamin A, a vital nutrient for immune system function, cellular growth, eye health, and reproduction. It's also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease blood clot formation and reduce inflammation in the body."[19]
1827 Scientific development Spirulina French botanist P.J. Turpin isolates spirulina, a genus of cyanobacteria, from a freshwater sample.[20] "Spirulina is a potent source of nutrients. It contains a powerful plant-based protein called phycocyanin. Research shows this may have antioxidant, pain-relief, anti-inflammatory, and brain-protective properties. Many antioxidants in spirulina have anti-inflammatory effects in the body"[21]
1832 Scientific development Creatine Creatine is first identified when French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul manages to isolate it from the basified water-extract of skeletal muscle. He would later name the crystallized precipitate after the Greek word for meat, κρέας (kreas).[22] France "Creatine is thought to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise."[23]
1849 Scientific development Choline German chemist Adolph Strecker becomes the first to isolate choline from pig bile.[24][25] Today, choline chloride and choline bitartrate are used in dietary supplements. Germany Choline is recognized as an essential nutrient by some institutes. It is needed for neurotransmitter synthesis (acetylcholine), cell-membrane signaling (phospholipids), lipid transport (lipoproteins), and methyl-group metabolism (homocysteine reduction).[26]
1850 Scientific development Lecithin French chemist Theodore Nicolas Gobley first identifies lecithin in brain tissue and fish eggs.[27][28] France It is a natural emollient, emulsifier, anti-oxidant, spreading agent, and contains high amounts of vitamin E.[29]
1866 Industry Infant formula English food chemist Gustav Mellin develops an infant formula for infants and invalids in Boston, Massachusetts, and establishes Mellin's Food.[30] United States
1876 Scientific development Glucosamine Glucosamine is first prepared by German surgeon Georg Ledderhose by the hydrolysis of chitin with concentrated hydrochloric acid.[31][32][33] Germany "The body uses glucosamine to build and repair cartilage."[34]
1879 Scientific development Vitamin B2 Riboflavin is originally recognized as a growth factor and named vitamin B2 according to the British nomenclature system.[35] Riboflavin, is one of eight B vitamins that are essential for human health.[36] "Riboflavin helps the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy, and it allows oxygen to be used by the body."[37]
1890 Discovery Algae (Chlorella vulgaris) Unicellular alga Chlorella vulgaris is discovered by Martinus Willem Beijerinck as the first microalga with a well-defined nucleus. It is mainly used as a dietary supplement or protein-rich food additive in Japan.[38] Japan "Chlorella is used to prevent low levels of iron in women who are pregnant. It is also used for depression, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, high cholesterol, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses."[39]
1892 Scientific development Spirulina, Arthrospira Gomont discovers the aseptate form of the Spirulina genus and the septal form of the Arthrospira genus.[20] Spirulina is a single-cell protein rich in all essential nutrients and vitamins.[40]
1897 Scientfic development Vitamin B1 Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is discovered.[41] It is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining cellular and organ functions.[42] "Thiamine enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy. It is essential for glucose metabolism, and it plays a key role in nerve, muscle, and heart function."[43]
1899 Scientfic development Genistein Genistein is first isolated from the dyer's broom, Genista tinctoria.[44] Today, it is an ingredient in dietary supplements aggressively marketed for bone health.[45] "Genistein is thought to benefit heart health through maintaining normal arterial elasticity and hence helping prevent hypertension. More specifically, genistein may help prevent cardiac hypertrophy."[46]
1890s Industry Dried milk Plasmon emerges in England. A proprietary dried milk, it is considered a nutritional supplement par excellence.[6]
1905 Scientific development Carnitine Carnitine is first extracted from meat extracts.[47] It is a hydrophilic amino acid derivative that is critical for energy production.[48] Carnitine is used by athletes for improvement of exercise performance, inhibit muscle cramps, or enhance recovery from physical training.[47]
1910 Scientific development Curcumin Curcumin is first described.[28] It is a biologically active polyphenolic compound found in turmeric[49], a spice derived from the rhizomes of the plant Curcuma longa Linn.[50][51] Curcumin is a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound with a broad range of favourable biological functions, including anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.[52]
1911 Industry Milk formula Nurse Laura Smith in Glasgow establishes Sister Laura's Infant Food Company to market a special milk formula of her own invention.[53] United Kingdom
1911 Industry Protein drink Sandow’s Health and Strength Cocoa is introduced. Similar to Plasmon, it is seen as a rudimentary protein drink. It used by gym goers, the general public and even doctors to treat illnesses, until the company's bankrupcy in 2016.[6][54][55]
1912 Scientific development Vitamin Scientists discover that food contains more than three nutrients. Originally, these are called “accessory substances” which later would change to the term “vitamine” on scientific papers.[4]
1912 Scientific development Vitamin Polish biochemist Casimir Funk coins the term “vitamine” in a scientific paper, as essential factors in the diet. The word later becomes “vitamin.” Funk, who is credited with discovering vitamins, proposes the idea that various diseases could be cured with nutrients and during the next few decades.[56][56][1]
1916 Industry Vitamin Mastin’s Yeast Vitamon Tablets are introduced by Francis B. Mastin. Containing all three known vitamins along with iron, calcium, and phosphorus, this is perhaps the first multiple vitamin-and-mineral tablet on the market.[57][4]
1919 Policy Dietitians After World War I, the United States Public Health Service begins including dietitians in PHS Hospital staffs, to help monitor and improve the health of war veterans. Dietitians become increasingly involved in the nation’s health care system and beyond, into the private sector.[1] United States
1922 Scientific development Vitamin E Vitamin E is first described by American anatomists Herbert McLean Evans and Katherine Bishop.[58][59] It is recognized as an essential nutrient for reproduction.[60] United States Vitamin E is an antioxidant with the power to reduce inflammation.[61]
1922 Industry Multivitamin By this time, multivitamin-type products are advertised for relief from pimples, blackheads, boils, constipation, malnutrition, nervous deficiency, physical breakdown, brain fog, general debility, run-down conditions, to “loosen up the slime and accumulated bile and clean the system,” to improve energy and digestion, and help weak, malnourished people gain weight.[4]
1926 Scientific development Vitamin B1 Thiamine becomes the first vitamin to be isolated and chemically defined, by Dutch chemist Barend Coenraad Petrus Jansen.[56][2][59] Netherlands "Thiamine is a heat-labile and water-soluble essential vitamin, belonging to the vitamin B family, with antioxidant, erythropoietic, mood modulating, and glucose-regulating activities."[62]
1927 Industry Energy drink Lucozade Energy is originally introduced by Newcastle pharmacist William Walker Hunter, as a hospital drink for "aiding the recovery." Later, in the early 1980s, it would be promoted as an energy drink for "replenishing lost energy."[63] United Kingdom
1928–1932 Scientific development Vitamin C Hungarian biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi isolates Vitamin C and definitively documents, for the first time, this vitamin as a protection against scurvy.[2].[59][8] Hungary "Vitamin-C has different properties such as anti-aging, anti scurvy, antiviral and antibacterial, enhancing immunity, involved in detoxification process."[64]
1929 Scientific development Vitamin K Danish biochemist Carl Peter Henrik Dam discovers Vitamin K and its association with blood coagulation.[59] Denmark Vitamin K helps to make various proteins that are needed for blood clotting and the building of bones.[65]
1933 Scientific development Vitamin C British chemist Norman Haworth manages to deduce completely the chemical structure of Vitamin C.[59] is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues.[66] United Kingdom
1934 Industry Malted powder product Australian industrial chemist and inventor Thomas Mayne develops Milo, while working at Nestlé.[67] Milo is a powder based drink of chocolate and malt.[68] Australia
1934 Industry Vitamin, supplement Vitamin and supplement company Nutrilite is founded by Carl Rehnborg.[69] Today, Nutrilite is a vitamin, mineral and dietary supplement brand.[70] United States
1934 Scientific development Vitamin B Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is first isolated from egg whites.[59][35]
1935 Scientific development Vitamin B Riboflavin is first synthesized.[35]
1936 Scientific development Vitamin E Vitamin E is biochemically characterized and named tocopherol.[58][59]
1936 Scientific development Vitamin B German-Dutch Biochemist Fritz Kogl and his graduate student Benno Tonnis at Ultrecht University identify vitamin B7 (biotin).[59] Netherlands
1936 Scientific development Dietary flavonoids Dietary flavonoids are first discovered by Albert Szent-Györgyi. These would be widely recognized for their potential beneficial effects on human health.[20]
1936 Scientific development Vitamin B1 Thiamine is synthesized to vitamin B1.[8][71]
1937 Scientific development Vitamin B3 American biochemist Conrad Elvehjem identifies nicotinic acid in fresh meat and yeast. This compound, now known as niacin, is vitamin B3.[59] United States
1937 Research Vitamin B3 Clinical trials confirm that niacin rapidly cures pellagra in people.[59]
1938 Promotion Hemp Popular Mechanics magazine notes the economic value of hemp, one member of the Cannabis sativa taxon, as the "new billion-dollar crop of the era".[20] Hemp seeds are considered to be very nutritious.[72] United States
1938 Scientific development Vitamin B6 Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is isolated by Samuel Lepkovsky.[59] United States
1939 Scientific development Vitamin K Vitamin K is isolated by E.A. Doisy from hexane extracts.[59] Vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels.[73]
1941 Program launch National Nutrition Conference for Defense In response to United States soldiers suffering disabilities from poor nutrition, President Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the National Nutrition Conference for Defense. From this, the first set of government-sponsored recommendation of daily allowances for six vitamins and two minerals is issued.[4] United States
1941 Scientific development Vitamin B9 Vitamin B9 (Folate) is extracted and isolated by Mitchell et al. from 4 tons of spinach.[74][59] Folate is critical in the metabolism of nucleic acid precursors and several amino acids, as well as in methylation reactions.[75]
1941 Policy Vitamin By this time, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, D, calcium & iron are considered to be essential in the United States.[4]
1943 Industry Multivitamin The first one-a-day multivitamin is introduced.[4]
1948 Scientific development Vitamin B Vitamin B12 is isolated by two teams working independently in the United States and United Kingdom, from a substance in the liver named cobalamin.[59] United States, United Kingdom
1950 Industry Geritol Geritol is introduced as an alcohol-based, iron and B vitamin tonic by Pharmaceuticals, Inc.[76] Today, it is a United States trademarked name for various dietary supplements.[77] United States
1951 Industry Bodybuilding supplement Irving Johnson begins advertising his own Hi-Protein supplement in the pages of Hoffman’s Strength and Health magazine.[6] It is arguably the first bodybuilding protein powder.[78] United States
1952 Policy General Japan introduces special nutritive foods into its policy, which consists in two categories: "foods that supply certain nutrients" and "foods that are suitable for a particular purpose".[20] Japan
1952 Scientific development S-Adenosyl methionine Italian pharmacologist Giulio Cantoni first discovers S-Adenosyl methionine (SAM-e), an amino acid that is naturally produced by the body.[79] Since then, it is sold as a dietary supplement.[80][81]
1957 Scientific development Coenzyme Q10 Coenzyme Q10 is discovered by Dr. Frederick Crane and his team.[59] It is an important vitamin-like substance required for the proper function of many organs and chemical reactions in the body.[82]
1958 Industry Sports drink Bengal Punch is introduced as a sports drink created for the Louisiana State University football team.[83][84] United States
1963 Scientific development Thymoquinone Thymoquinone (TQ) is first isolated by El-Dakhakhny from black seeds using thin-layer chromatography.[20] With many properties, TQ is a major bioactive compound present in the black seeds of the Nigella sativa (NS) plant.[85]
1965 Industry Sports drink, energy bar, protein drink Sports-themed beverage and food Gatorade is introduced.[86] United States
1967 General consensus Arthrospira Arthrospira is established as a “wonderful future food source” for the world. Because no microorganism fulfills its promise of being inexpensive protein, Arthrospira would continue to give rise to research and increasing production, reflecting its perceived nutritional assets.[20] It has a high protein content (60%–70% of dry weight, depending on culture conditions) and is a rich source of vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and provitamin A (β-carotene), minerals, especially iron, and is a natural source of γ-linolenic acid.[87]
1968 General consensus Essential nutrient By this time, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, D, calcium & iron, E, B6, and B12 & magnesium are considered to be essential in the United States.[4] United States
1968 General consensus Choline Choline is mentioned as an important nutrient in the 7th edition of the Recommended Dietary Allowances.[28]
1969 Industry Vitamin (effervescent) Berocca is first launched in Switzerland. It is a brand of effervescent drink and vitamin tablets containing B vitamins and vitamin C.[88] Switzerland
1971 Industry Dietary supplement California–based dietary supplements company Pharmavite is founded.[89] Its "Nature Made" vitamin brand is launched in the following year.[90] United States
1973 Industry Ready-to-drink shake Ensure is introduced by Abbott Laboratories as its first ready-to-drink shake. Ensure would later become the name of the company's line of nutritional supplements and meal replacements.[91][92] United States
1973 Policy Standard of identity The United States FDA issues regulations that prohibit certain representations on vitamin and mineral supplement labels, establishing standards of identity for vitamin and mineral supplements, and establishing that preparations containing more than 150 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (U.S. RDA) per serving are drugs.[7] United States
1973 Industry Vitamin United States health & wellness company MegaFood is founded, and starts making vitamins from real food. Others begin using plant-based ingredients rather than synthetic ingredients and artificial additives.[4][93] United States
1975 Industry Sports drink Sqwincher is introduced.[94] It is an electrolyte supplement containing sodium, potassium, and Vitamin C.[95] United States
1977 Industry Sports drink Isostar is first intriduced in Switzerland as an isotonic sports drink designed especially for athletes.[96] Switzerland
1977 Industry Diet shake SlimFast is founded and launches its original line of diet shakes. Today, the SlimFast diet is a weight loss plan centered on meal-replacement shakes and snack bars formulated by the company.[97]
1978 Industry Multivitamin (drink mix) The Emergen-C product line is introduced.[98] It is a nutritional supplement that contains vitamin C and other nutrients designed to boost the immune system and increase energy.[99] United States
1980 Industry Dietary supplement Herbalife Nutrition is founded by Mark R. Hughes. Today, it is a global multi-level marketing (MLM) corporation that develops and sells dietary supplements.[100] United States
1980 Industry Health drink Pocari Sweat launches in Japan.[101] It is a health drink that contains a balance of ions (electrolytes) that resembles the natural fluid balance in the human body. Japan
1983 Industry Energy bar CalorieMate is introduced in Japan, and launches its first nutritional energy bar. Produced by Otsuka Pharmaceutical, the brand would later expand offering energy gel.[102] Japan
1983 Industry Microalgae Cyanotech is founded.[103] It is a micro-algae producing company leasing land in the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii on the Kona Coast of the island of Hawaii. The company produces Astaxanthin and Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica.[104] United States
1984 Concept development Functional food The Japanese academia proposes the concept of functional food[20], which would develop as a convenient and inexpensive solution to chronic health problems, and would become influential in numerous branches of science and policy.[105] Japan
1985 Industry Atmit The LDS Church begins producing Atmit, a specific formula for malnourished children and others who cannot digest regular food. ATMIT, taken from the Ethiopian word for "nourishing porridge," consists of oat flour, powdered milk and sugar, is fortified with vitamins and minerals.[106]
1985 Scientific development Alpha-tocopherol Handelman et al. discover that supplementation with alpha-tocopherol, reduces the plasma concentration of gamma-tocopherol, which would later show its superiority over alpha-tocopherol when detoxifying nitrogen dioxide.[60]
1986 Industry Energy gel Sports energy gels emerge in the United Kingdom as a "convenient, prewrapped, portable" way to deliver carbohydrates during endurance events. United Kingdom
1988 Industry Soft drink Fibe Mini is launched.[107] It is a Japanese soft drink with added dietary fiber produced by Otsuka Pharmaceutical.[108] Japan
1988 Industry Sports drink Powerade is first introduced in the United States. It is commonly used by many athletes for the electrolytes and carbohydrates their body need to perform well and keep their body hydrated at the same time.[109] United States
1989 Industry AHCC Amino Up Chemical Co. and Dr. Toshihiko Okamoto at the University of Tokyo develop AHCC, the brand name of an alpha-glucan rich nutritional supplement produced from the mycelia of shiitake (Lentinula edodes) of the basidiomycete family of mushrooms.[110] AHCC helps boost immunity.[111] It also has measurable anti-inflammatory properties.[112] Japan
1989 Concept development Nutraceutical American researcher Stephen DeFelice coins the term nutraceutical from the words nutrition and pharmaceutical and defines it as “a food (or part of a food) that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a disease.”.[20] United States
1989 Adverse effect Tryptophan Widespread reports during this time state that some L-tryptophan supplements are associated with eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome.[7] Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is necessary for making proteins.[113]
1990 Industry Dietary supplement Dietary supplement Beano is developed by Alan Kligerman of AkPharma Inc. after research into gas-causing vegetables.[114]
1990 Policy Labeling The United States Congress introduces the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) to address the increase of unsubstantiated claims of disease cure and erroneous advice despite medical and scientific knowledge of effects of certain substances on the human body.[115] United States
1991 Policy General The Food for Specified Health Uses (FoSHU) system is created in Japan by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare with the purpose to encompass functional foods.[20] FOSHU refers to foods containing ingredient with functions for health and officially approved to claim its physiological effects on the human body.[116] Japan
1992 Industry Energy bar The Balance Bar is introduced. It is the brand name of a nutritional energy bar based on the 40-30-30 dietary principle, that is, a diet containing 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein and 30% dietary fat.[117][118] United States
1992 Scientific development Amino acid Roger Harris and his colleagues discover that exogenous creatine administration enhances muscle and phosphocreatine content. Since then, creatine has becomes the most popular dietary supplement in the field of sport and exercise physiology.[119][120]
1992 Adverse effect Herbal remedies (Chinese herbology) An outbreak of rapidly progressive renal fibrosis in Belgium involves at least 100 patients who were undergoing a weight-loss regimen that included the use of aristolochic acid-containing Chinese herbs. Approximately half of these patients end up requiring renal replacement therapy.[20] Belgium
1992 Industry Nutrition bar Clif Bar is founded.[121] Its flagship product, the Clif bar, is a soft and chewy energy bar made with wholesome organic rolled oats.[122] United States
1993 Industry Fruit and vegetable juice extracts Juice Plus is introduced by San Marcos, California–based Natural Alternatives International. It is a branded line of dietary supplements containing concentrated fruit and vegetable juice extracts fortified with added vitamins and nutrients.[123] United States
1994 Industry Energy gel GU Energy Labs is founded.[124] Based in Berkeley, California, it produces performance sports nutrition products, most notably energy gels. United States
1994 Policy Dietary supplement The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act is passed into law in the United States. The term dietary supplement is formally defined as a product (other than tobacco) intended to supplement the diet to enhance health that bears or contains one or more of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin; a mineral; an amino acid; an herb or other botanical; a dietary substance for use to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any ingredient described in this list. "Dietary supplements are further defined as products that are labeled as dietary supplements and are intended for ingestion in the form of a capsule, powder, soft gel, or gel cap, and not represented as a conventional food or as a sole item of a meal or the diet."[20][5] This Act provides that consumers have the right to know all dietary information contained in any food supplements before they purchase it.[56] United States
1994 Concept development Medical nutrition therapy The concept of Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is introduced by the American Dietetic Association.[125] MNT refers to the therapeutic approach to treating medical conditions and their associated symptoms with specific diets, monitored by trained medical professionals.[126] United States
1994 Industry Milk formula Action Against Hunger / Action Contre la Faim (ACF) pioneers the use of milk formula F-100 for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition.[127]
1994–2001 Market trend Herbal products The demand for herbal products worldwide increases at an annual rate of 8% in this period. However, this growth would slow in subsequent years.[71] Worldwide
1995 Industry Weight loss/nutrition supplements Canadian weight loss and nutrition company Herbal Magic is founded.[128] Canada
1996 Policy Labeling Japan introduces its nutrition labeling standards system.[20] Japan
1997–2003 Market trend Multivitamin/mineral preparations Sales of multivitamin/mineral preparations in the United States increase from US$2.64 billion in 1997 to US$3.68 billion in 2003.[71] United States
1998 Scientific development Medicinal plants The United States National Toxicology Program (NTP) holds an international workshop to evaluate research needs for the use and safety of medicinal herbs.[20] United States
1998 Industry Sports nutrition CytoSport is founded. Based in Benicia, California, it manufactures sports-oriented nutritional products.[129]
1998 Policy New resource foods The Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China announces a category of food source called “new resource foods” (NRF), which includes purified ingredients or extracts of plants or animals that can be added to foods.[20] China
1998 Promotion Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo biloba leaf extract is nominated by the National Cancer Institute to the National Toxicology Program for a 2-year chronic carcinogenicity bioassay, due to ginkgo being a welldefined product and for it or its active ingredients having demonstrated biological activities.[20] Today, Ginkgo biloba is used to improve or stabilize mental function, improve memory, and to improve cerebral and peripheral disease.[130] United States
2000–2017 Market trend Vitamin In the United States, retail sales of nutritional vitamins more than double in this period, from US$17 billion to over US$36 billion.[4] United States
2002 Industry Sports nutrition American sports nutrition brand Cellucor is introduced. It specializes in dietary supplements, bodybuilding supplements, and energy drinks.[131][132] United States
2004 Market trend Dietary supplement Global sales of dietary supplements represent a significant business, with worldwide sales being estimated at US$70–250 billion.[71] Worldwide
2005 Industry Ultra Rice Ultra Rice is first made generally available. It is a grain product made to resemble rice and fortified with vitamins and nutrients.[133]
2008 Industry Relaxation drink Slow Cow is introduced. It is a relaxation drink dubbed an "anti-energy" drink.[134][135] Canada
2009 Industry Sports nutrition Toronto–based BioSteel Sports Nutrition is founded.[136] It produces nutrition products for athletes and exercise enthusiasts.[137] Canada
2009 Industry Nutraceutical Ateronon is launched by British company Cambridge Theranostics.[138] It is a nutraceutical composed of lactolycopene, a combination of lycopene from tomato oleoresin and a whey protein matrix which increases the absorption / bioavailability of lycopene.[139][140] United Kingdom
2009 Scientific development Multivitamin A study conducted in 161,808 postmenopausal women from the Women's Health Initiative clinical trials concludes that after eight years of follow-up "multivitamin use has little or no influence on the risk of common cancers, cardiovascular disease, or total mortality".[141]
2010 Scientific development Multivitamin A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that multivitamin use during {{w|chemotherapy]] for stage III colon cancer has no effect on the outcomes of treatment.[142]
2010 Promotion Spirulina The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announces that algae cake called “dihé” may one day be significant to the fight against malnutrition in the world. Dihé is a nutrient-rich indigenous variety of the blue-green algae spirulina harvested on the edges of Lake Chad.[143] It is a rich source of protein, iron and betacarotene.[144] Chad
2011 Scientific development Multivitamin A very large prospective cohort study including more than 180,000 participants, finds no significant association between multivitamin use and mortality from all causes. The study also finds no impact of multivitamin use on the risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer.[145]
2013 Industry Triterpene Cycloastragenol is launched by Geron Corporation.[146][147] United States
2014 Industry Nutritional bars, supplements, meal-replacement shakes Huel is founded in England. It provides nutritional bars, supplements and meal-replacement shakes.[148] United Kingdom
2014 Industry Meal replacement Dutch meal replacement company Jimmy Joy is founded.[149] It produces Joylent, a vegan, powdered food replacement.[150] Netherlands
2015 Market trend Dietary supplement The supplement industry in the United States is estimated at US$37 billion with more than 50,000 supplements on the local market.[8] United States
2017 Market growth Energy drink Global energy drink sales are about 44 billion euros in this year.[151] Worldwide
2018 Market trend Nutritional supplement The New York Times estimates that in the United States alone, the nutritional supplement industry is worth roughly US$133 billion.[6] United States
2018 Market trend Tablet Tablets are the most popular method for supplement ingestion in North America, producing a revenue of around US$13.30 billion.[152] North America
2019 Market trend Vitamin, supplement By this time, the vitamin and supplement industry in the United States is worth US$35 billion annually. Globally it is estimated to exceed US$128 billion in the year.[152] United States
2019 Scientific development Sports drink A study by University College London finds that sports drinks cause high amount of tooth decay in professional athletes because of high sugar content.[153] United Kingdom
2026 Market trend Dietary supplement Projections estimate the dietary supplements market to be valued at US$349 billion by this year.[5][154]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Read How Nutrition Careers Have Evolved Over Time". Natural Healers. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2021. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mozaffarian, Dariush; Rosenberg, Irwin; Uauy, Ricardo (13 June 2018). "History of modern nutrition science—implications for current research, dietary guidelines, and food policy". BMJ: k2392. doi:10.1136/bmj.k2392. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The History of Vitamins in the 20th Century Relating to Life Extension". Kaizen. 29 May 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2021. 
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