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DSM gains new EU health claim confirming the links between vitamin D and a reduced risk of falling in elderly

Kaiseraugst, CH, 25 Nov 2014 10:15 CET

The European Commission has authorized an Article 14 EFSA health claim, submitted by DSM, stating that vitamin D helps to lower the risk of falling associated with postural instability and muscle weakness. The decision allows brand owners to market a scientifically proven, cost effective and safe way of reducing bone fractures and thereby significantly improving the general health status of older people.

A daily intake of 20 µg of vitamin D from all sources is required to obtain the beneficial effect. The claim can only be used for food supplements that provide at least 15 µg (or 600 IU (international units)) of vitamin D per daily portion. It is estimated that more than a third of the global population may suffer from low vitamin D status1. Supplementation can address nutritional shortfalls in individuals who are unable to achieve sufficient intake of vitamin D through diet or exposure to sunlight alone.

“We have been working closely with the scientific community on the preparation of the dossier to meet the strict requirements of the European Commission - a process of more than four years,” said Wouter Claerhout, Head Global Marketing, Human Nutrition & Health at DSM Nutritional Products. “We are proud to have been able to contribute in such a meaningful way to public health – fall prevention has important psychological benefits to seniors and it helps to reduce osteoporotic fractures.”

The new claim follows the publication of a number of recent studies on the wider role that vitamins play in supporting human health, particularly for the older population. "The needs of the aging global population represent a significant opportunity and DSM continues to support nutrition science in this key area,” adds Claerhout.

1 Hilger J, Friedel A, Herr R, Rausch T, Roos F, Wahl DA, Pierroz DD, Weber P, Hoffman K. A systematic review of vitamin D status in populations worldwide. Br J Nutr 2013