By: Talking Nutrition Editors
The global population of people over 60 years of age is expected to double by 2050 to more than two billion (1). Estimates suggest 5 out of the 10 most aged countries will be in Asia by 2060. An expected 371 million people in China will be over 60 years old by 2030 according to China Statistics Bureau, with the elderly population expected to exceed the younger population. With these trends, China offers the most promising market for functional foods and nutraceuticals, targeted to healthy aging, within the Asia Pacific region.
The 9th International Nutraceutical and Functional Food Event kicked off its 2019 China event in Beijing (September 18th-20th) to share market insights and innovations. One of the key discussion topics was healthy aging. More than 100 high-level key influencers, from industry companies such as Amway, Swiss, By-health, Herbalife and more, as well as institutions and government agencies, joined together to discuss the latest market trends and insights, innovations and solutions.
DSM China, together with the expert speaker Dr. Taichi Inui, DSM Nutrition Science & Advocacy APAC, presented at the event on how nutrition plays an important role in healthy aging. The presentations showcased DSM’s global expertise and capability in innovative and customer centricity solutions, and demonstrated our thought leadership with in-depth insights on healthy aging in China and beyond.
The consequences of an increasingly older population are profound, bringing new challenges as well as opportunities. Most individuals aged over 65 years will inevitably experience various health concerns at some stage. This is largely associated with the rise of NCDs and other age-related chronic diseases. Older people are often deficient in many essential micronutrients, which generates the increasing demand on functional foods and nutraceuticals among the aging population.
WHO defined healthy ageing as the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age. Non communicable health conditions are among the top health issues as well as the top consumer health concerns, including cardiovascular and metabolic health. CVD is the leading cause of death worldwide; more people die annually from this condition than any other cause in non-communicable disease. Representing 31% of all global deaths, it continues to be one of the biggest threats to human health (2). Besides the high mortality, CVD is a particular concern for Chinese population as China has the highest lifetime risk of stroke (3). Cardiovascular disease is sometimes known as a “silent killer” as one often doesn’t feel the progression until the disease is at a later phase. A Healthy diet, with support from functional ingredients, is key to managing the body’s metabolic response.
Research on the role of micronutrients indicates positive results in reducing the risks associated with CVD. EPA and DHA omega-3 consumption may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Sufficient EPA+DHA intake may reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension, a risk factor for CHD (coronary heart disease). B vitamins (vitamin B6, vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12), vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Vitamin E can all help on reducing risk of CVD by different functions.
The world needs EPA and DHA for proper nutrition, however, there is not enough fish oil to deliver this critical nutrition to everyone. DSM has developed alternative sources of Omega-3 that will help ensure current and future demand requirements are met. life’s™DHA+EPA is a vegetarian source of omega-3 from microalgae that provides important heart health benefits throughout life. life’s™DHA+EPA was the first ingredient to offer both EPA and DHA in a vegetarian capsule. This nutrition innovation is completely sustainable by being produced 100% independently of the marine environment. As a result, more people are able to get access to this critical nutrition, offsetting health care costs and associated environmental impact.
As the leader in vitamin development and manufacturing for more than 70 years, DSM has the most extensive portfolio of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins in the industry. Like all DSM solutions, our vitamins – whether as straights or in a customized premix - are of the highest quality.
Dr. Taichi Inui concluded, “Global trend on ageing will not be reversed as life expectancy is being extended worldwide. Therefore it is important to stay healthy and independent at older age. Nutrition plays an important role in overall healthy lifestyle. However nutrition is not always one size fits all, we need to understand the key health concerns for the specific region as well as nutritional gap that exists in the region in order to support the health most effectively and efficiently. Sustainable nutritional solution will have to be that is desired, required, and can be maintained.”