Looking ahead to the 5th International Vitamin Conference

MEDICAL NUTRITION , INDUSTRY NEWS , EVENT , SENIOR MANAGEMENT , ESSENTIALS FOR HEALTHY AGING , VITAMINS , MARKETING 06/08/2018

4 min read

By: Dr. Femke Hannes, Director Nutrition Science & Advocacy APAC

Summary

  • People are living longer than ever before; however, it is important to ensure that these additional years are lived well – particularly given the prevalence of chronic and infectious diseases in later life
  • Hidden hunger in the elderly is prevalent and puts them at greater risk for developing NCDs and other age-related chronic conditions.
  • Public health strategies addressing hidden hunger in the elderly can be effective in ensuring quality of life and reducing health care costs.
  • Discover more about the latest research in senior healthcare at DSM’s Lunch Symposium at the 5th International Vitamin Conference, which will be held on 8-10 August.

Nutritional solutions for healthy aging

Vitamin specialists the world over, from nutritionists to chemists, epidemiologists and geneticists, will come together during the conference to recognize the importance of vitamins in human health. At DSM’s Lunch Symposium, visitors will also have the opportunity to hear from leading experts on the latest topics in healthy aging, including: 

  • Dr. Peter van Dael, SVP Nutrition Science & Advocacy at DSM Nutritional Products, who will be discussing how to manage the nutritional needs of an aging population;
  • Prof. Helene McNulty of Ulster University, who will be leading a discussion on the early results from the BrainHOP trial;
  • Prof. Michael Fenech, from the University of South Australia, in a conversation about why DNA damage leads to inflammation and accelerated aging, and how nutrition can help to prevent this.

Where are we now?

It is no longer as easy as it once was to define an ‘older’ person.
Some 80-year-olds have the mental and physical capabilities of somebody much
younger, while others of the same age are dependent on everyday care. Over
recent decades, extensive research has explored the question of why some
people age healthier than others, with a growing number of studies suggesting
that certain individuals have a faster innate aging rate.[2] While knowledge
gaps still exist among both healthcare practitioners and the wider scientific
community, evidence increasingly indicates that nutrition may play an
important role in the risk reduction of age-related chronic diseases.

Low nutritional status and decreased physical activity are prevalent among the
elderly, and put this population at an increased risk of developing NCDs and
other age-related conditions. The concept of healthy aging should therefore
be a priority for public health officials and governmental bodies, in order
to support health in later life. Indeed, research suggests that greater
public investment in senior healthcare — for instance, introducing routine
screening measures and regular nutritional evaluations as part of a long-term
preventative approach — could help to minimize the effects of these
conditions. Public health strategies addressing hidden hunger in the elderly
can be effective in not only ensuring quality of life, but also reducing
health care costs. This topic will be discussed in more detail in Manfred
Eggersdorfer’s presentation on ‘Hidden hunger in the elderly and
socioeconomic burden’ at this year’s International Vitamin Conference.

Nutritional status and quality of life

In addition to implementing practices to help healthcare practitioners
better support older adults, a growing body of evidence also suggests that
encouraging the elderly to increase their intake of micronutrients, such as
vitamins A, C, D and E, B vitamins and omega-3s, may help to maintain health as
they age. Extensive research highlights that healthy, nutrient-rich diets are
associated with superior nutritional status, quality of life and survival among
older adults, with some studies indicating that nutrients may play a valuable
role in the risk reduction of age-related chronic conditions.

To find out more about the current understanding of senior healthcare and ways to promote healthier aging, join DSM at our lunch symposium at the 5th International Vitamin Conference on 9 August 2018, from 12:30 – 13:15 at the InterContinental Hotel in Sydney, Australia.  Here, you will be able to discover the latest research on age-related disease prevention in older adults and how nutrition can be better utilized to support health as we age. Meet DSM there, or email info.nutritionscience@dsm.com to book an appointment with the experts in advance.

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Find out more

Download our new whitepaper, The future of senior healthcare: nutritional solutions for healthy aging, for more insights on the evidence, role and mechanism of key micronutrients in overcoming the barriers to healthy aging.

References

1. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, ‘World population ageing 2013’, [report], 2013.

2. B. Chen et al., ‘DNA methylation-based measures of biological age: meta-analysis predicting time to death’, Aging, vol. 8, no. 9, 2017, 1844-1865.

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