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Links between nutrition and the effects of air pollution at Nutrition and Food Science, Valencia

Kaiseraugst, CH, 20 Aug 2014 13:00 CEST

DSM is to highlight the need for further research to explore the benefits of advanced nutrition on the health of urban populations at the 3rd International Conference on Nutrition & Food Science, taking place 23-25 September 2014 in Valencia, Spain. The theme of this year’s conference, which is sponsored by DSM, will be the ‘importance of nutrition in daily life and advancing towards the better and healthier future’. Leading scientific experts will discuss the role of nutrients in addressing significant global threats, such as air pollution.  

DSM will be among the contributors joining the conference to discuss the importance of micronutrients, such as vitamin E and omega-3s, in reducing the impact of urban pollution on human health. Through communication of cutting edge research, supported by DSM, the conference will demonstrate that nutrition associated solutions can play a major role in tackling a number of global health concerns.

“With 80% of the global population now living in regions that exceed WHO air quality guidelines, air pollution needs to be the central focus of government regulation and environmental reform,” explains Dr Daniel Raederstorff, principal scientist, DSM. “Recent research has highlighted the potential of targeted nutrition to combat the decreased antioxidant capability, respiratory inflammation and neurological symptoms associated with certain pollutants.”

“The rising exposure to pollutants is associated with increased rates of cardiovascular and respiratory afflictions worldwide. The variation in associated risk between different pollutants provides huge challenges to the legislation and development of adequate industrial production regulation. Therefore, protection strategies for people who are more vulnerable and most highly exposed must be highlighted as a necessary target,” comments Dr Fernando Holguin, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Allergy and Critical Care – University of Pittsburgh.

“Nowadays diets are characterized by an increasing intake of prepackaged foods. This dietary pattern results in a nutrient profile that is low in beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs),” agrees Professor Lisa Wood, Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, University of Newcastle, Australia. “As these nutrients protect against inflammation, populations are thus more susceptible to the damaging effects of pollutants, which can trigger chronic diseases such as asthma. Increasing the intake of antioxidants and PUFAs may reduce inflammation, providing opportunities for asthma management.”

“In recent months, there have been a number of assessments by different research groups to indicate that insufficient intake of micronutrients has the potential to have severe long term effects on the health of urban populations,” summarizes Professor Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice-President, Nutrition Science & Advocacy at DSM and Professor for Healthy Ageing at the University of Groningen. “The associated healthcare costs are significant and the meeting in Valencia will serve as an important bridge between academic research and industry, to drive progress in the field of nutrition and food science.”

Speakers at the conference include Professor Lisa Wood – University of Newcastle, Australia – ‘Nutritional modulation of inflammation in airways diseases’; Dr Fernando Holguin, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Allergy and Critical Care – University of Pittsburgh – ‘Impact of air pollution on human health’; Dr Daniel Raederstorff, Principal Scientist and Professor Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice-President, Nutrition Science & Advocacy – DSM – ‘Nutritional solutions to counteract impact of air pollution’; and Professor Jane Ellen Clougherty – University of Pittsburgh – ‘Variance in chemical mixture of air pollution –impact of nutritional interventions’.