Recent US government statements that the economic downturn is officially over could spell good news for most people, but vitamin supplement manufacturers might want the recession to last a little longer.

According to an October 29 article in Slate magazine, hard economic times have been a period of economic growth for the makers of vitamins, minerals and supplements, which represent a $25 billion industry. Vitamin retail stores like the Vitamin Shoppe, Nature's Bounty, and GNC are poised for growth, and retailers like WalMart, Walgreen's and Whole Foods have reported strong sales in vitamins.

The reasons for the growth are threefold:

1.  Americans are becoming more focused on their health and are adopting healthier lifestyles by cutting back on bad habits, such as smoking, drinking sodas and consuming high-calorie treats. They are increasingly incorporating vitamins and mineral supplements into their diets.

2. As Americans are losing many of their health insurance benefits they are looking at vitamins and mineral supplements as affordable alternatives or substitutes to costly prescription medications.

3. Baby Boomers, who have become an undeniable economic force in recent history, are becoming more obsessed with their health and wellness, accounting for a 4.9 percent increase in supplements sales between 2001-2008, and the figures are likely to rise, according to the Nutrition Business Journal.