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Non-Communicable Diseases

Today, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have emerged as the leading cause of death around the world; 40 million people every year, equivalent to 70% of all deaths worldwide. More people die from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) than from any other single cause, while cancer is the second leading cause of death, accounting for 1 in 6 fatalities. NCDs are considered not only a social burden, the economic costs are also accelerating worldwide. The cumulative costs to society of the top 5 NCDs to 2025 have been estimated at $46.8 trillion. Against this background the World Health Oranization (WHO) formulated NCD targets for their member states, with specific emphasis on the reduction of salt intake, hypertension, obesity and diabetes.
Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases, also known as chronic diseases, are generally long-lasting and progress slowly. There are four types: cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke); cancers; chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes (of which diabetes-2 is highly correlated with obesity).

Risk factors

NCDs are linked to many factors, varying from genetics to behavioral factors, personal choices as well as social and cultural contexts, but also unhealthy diets, inadequate physical activity, smoking, and alcohol. The WHO also pointed out that also indoor and outdoor air pollution are a future risk factor. Contrary to popular misconception, obesity is not only related to food intake but also strongly related to gender, genetics, physical activity and nutrition in the first 1000 days of life.

NCDs and nutrition

Unbalanced diets are one of the factors that can be related to NCDs. Intermediate indicators that can be related to an increased risk of NCDs are elevated levels of markers such as increased blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI) and high blood glucose. Balanced nutrition plays a role keeping these indicators at healthy levels, hence contributing to reducing the risks of NCDs. Nutrition can never prevent people from developing NCDs, but it is expected they help to reduce them.

Reduction of sugar content

  • Enabling the reduction of sugar intake, DSM actively supports customers who wish to reduce sugar levels in food and beverages. An example is Maxilact®, an enzyme that helps to reduce sugar levels in dairy.

Reducing sodium levels

  • Currently people typically consume 12 grams of salt a day. WHO recommends 5.6 grams a day. DSM enables customers to reduce salt levels in food whilst remaining tasty. By reducing salt in food, this has an effect on the blood pressure. A co-study with Unilever demonstrated the positive health effects of salt reduction specifically on reduced blood pressure. Maxarome®, a yeast extract, replaces up to 50% of salt in soups and sauces.
  • DSM’s ModuMax® is a taste enhancer for foods with less sugar, salt and fat.

Contributing to good heart health

Reducing detrimental effects of air pollution

  • Around the world air pollution increasingly poses threat to human health. Heart and respiratory diseases peak. Nutrition can play a role to reduce negative effects of air pollution, notably vitamins C, D, E and Omega-3s.