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DSM to address micronutrient fortification, folate intake and role of omegas at 12th Asian Congress of Nutrition

Kaiseraugst, CH, 11 May 2015 10:15 CEST

DSM is to host two luncheon symposiums at the 12th Asian Congress of Nutrition, to be held in Yokohama, Japan, 14-18th May 2015, to engage with other industry experts and share the latest research and insights on food and nutrition. Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Professor for Healthy Ageing at the University Medical Center Groningen and Senior Vice President Nutrition Science & Advocacy at DSM, will participate in both luncheon symposiums, as well as present on the impact of vitamin D fortification in the plenary sessions. The presentations will aim to communicate the human health benefits of adequate nutrition and food fortification.

The first luncheon symposium on ‘Folic acid fortification – a benefit for individuals and the society’ will take place on Friday 15th May at 12:30 – 13:00, in room 303. The symposium will discuss both established and emerging functions of folate for humans as well review folate intake and status in the Asia Pacific region, with a focus on Japan. It will be chaired by Professor Toshio Okano, Kobe Pharmaceutical University and presented by Professor Eggersdorfer and Dr. Atsuo Kondo (M.D. PhD), Vice President Atsuta Rehabilitation Hospital. “The majority of neural tube defects are folic acid-preventable. Although the Japanese government has recommended that women planning pregnancy should take folic acid supplements, the incidence of neural tube defects has not decreased. Food fortification with folic acid is urgent and long overdue in Japan” says Dr. Kondo.

The second luncheon symposium on ‘Omega long chain fatty acids – required over the lifecycle’ will take place on Saturday 16th May at 12:30 – 13:30, also in room 303. The symposium is to cover the role of nutrition in early life and will focus on DHA (docosohexanoic acid) in infant development and the role of omegas. It will be chaired by Professor Eggersdorfer and presented by Dr. Yuichiro Yamashiro, Professor Emeritus, Juntendo University School of Medicine and President of the Japanese Society for Child Nutrition Research. “Breast milk DHA content of Japanese lactating women has decreased by nearly 20% in the past 20 years. This trend is clearly associated with a decline in seafood consumption in Japan, especially among young women. This change of eating habit has resulted in pregnant women receiving inappropriate nutrition, which may impact not only on the women’s health but also on their children’s development in later life (DOHaD theory)”, says Professor Yamashiro.

DSM’s Professor Eggersdorfer will also give a presentation on the ‘Impact of vitamin D fortified milk supplementation on vitamin D status of healthy school children aged 10-14 years’ at a symposium sponsored by International Life Sciences Institute Japan (ILSI) on Saturday 16th May at 16:10 – 17:40. Vitamin D provides many proven health benefits for the human body, such as muscle strength, improving immunity, reducing the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular disease (CVD), and vitamin D deficiency is associated with rickets in children and osteoporosis in elderly people. The presentation will report on a study performed by ILSI India in schoolchildren to assess efficacy of milk fortification in improving vitamin D status, which concluded that milk fortification is an effective strategy to improve vitamin D status in schoolchildren. The talk will describe the study outline and findings, including recommendations for milk fortification going forward.