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Non-Communicable Diseases

Too much tragedy

Non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, are now the leading cause of death around the world, causing 40 million people to die every year (the equivalent of 70% of all deaths worldwide). Not only are these deaths tragic, they’re also an increasing social and economic burden (the cumulative cost to society of the top five NCDs in 2025 is an estimated $46.8 trillion). However, in many cases, they could be avoided – and bright science has an important role to play.
Non-Communicable Diseases

About NCDs

NCDs, also known as chronic and non-communicable diseases, or not transferable between people, are generally long-lasting, and they fall into four categories: cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke); cancers; chronic respiratory diseases (like asthma) and diabetes (with diabetes type-2 linked to obesity). NCDs are linked to genetics, lifestyle, age group, activity level, behavior, and social environment. These include unhealthy diets, inadequate physical activity, smoking, and alcohol – as well as the increasing effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution.

The importance of healthy diets

Unbalanced diets are a major factor in the prevalence of NCDs. Indicators that are linked to NCDs include increased blood pressure, a raised Body Mass Index (BMI) and high blood glucose. Balanced nutrition plays a key role in keeping these indicators at healthy levels and reducing the risks of NCDs. Of course, nutrition alone can’t prevent people from developing NCDs… but we can reasonably expect it to help reduce them.

Reducing sugar, salt and saturated fat

At DSM, we’re helping our customers to reduce sugar in food and beverages – take our Maxilact® enzyme, for example. Its natural sweetness enables sugar reduction in all dairy products by up to 20% with no compromise on flavor, which benefits everyone. Meanwhile, in savory foods, our yeast extract ingredients like Maxarome® pack flavor into products like soups and sauces, while reducing the salt content by up to 50%. And for our customers looking for the rich, indulgent flavor in foods with low salt or saturated fats, such as milkshakes and snack food, our ModuMax® taste modulator helps to create tasty food with an excellent mouthfeel.

On the way to protecting heart health

Our OatWell® nutritional product harnesses the scientifically proven health benefits of oat beta-glucan to reduce cholesterol levels, thus helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, our life’s™OMEGA supplement is a vegetarian source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)/docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 from algae that provides important heart health benefits throughout life.

Tackling air pollution

Did you know that better nutrition can help reduce the negative effects of air pollution, especially heart and respiratory conditions? Vitamins C, D, E and Omega-3s could all play a role here.