SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - North AmericaEU edition

News > Markets

Read more breaking news

 

 
VITAMINS: A CENTENARY OF ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS

Global population demands, ‘confusing’ media coverage and the 100 year old vitamin

1 comment

By Stephen Daniells+

19-Nov-2012
Last updated on 28-Nov-2012 at 11:41 GMT2012-11-28T11:41:27Z

Global population demands, ‘confusing’ media coverage and the 100 year old vitamin

It’s 100 years since Casimir Funk came up with the term ‘vitamin’, but with an ever-increasing global population and negative reports in the media of their ‘ineffectiveness’ for select health conditions, what does the future hold for the humble vitamin?

Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent SupplySide West show in Las Vegas, Dr Deshanie Rai, senior scientific leader, human nutrition & health, DSM Nutritional Products, answered questions on vitamin supply, understanding the benefits and limitations of the nutrients, and whether the vitamin family will be extended to include some emerging nutrients.

“Our global population is increasing in size, but other factors need to be taken into account in addressing the adequacy of our vitamin supply,” she said.

“For example, global food production needs to increase in order to feed all these people. Additionally, the incidence of chronic disease is increasing developed and developing countries. Likewise, the prevalence of hidden hunger is increasing, and people are living longer.

“Given all these points, yes I do believe that we have an adequate vitamin supply. This is where we need to depend on the manufacturers and suppliers of vitamins who, through the use of science and technology, provide vitamins for use in dietary supplements, and food and beverages through fortification and enrichment.”

So are the negative reports in the media, with a little help from the medical journals, confusing consumers?

“The mixed messages in the media can be confusing to consumers,” said Dr Rai. “This is where we as scientists, healthcare profession, and journalists can help to educate consumers about the value of vitamins. They are essential nutrients that help to support basic physiological functions from the time of conception throughout our life cycle.

“We should also realize that vitamins cannot do everything, including curing and preventing a plethora of diseases.

“We should recognize the successes and achievements of vitamins in terms of actual human health outcomes, like reducing the incidence of neural tube defects. Likewise, the use of vitamins to help ensure our nutritional adequacy, and narrow nutrient gaps.”

Talking about neural tube defects (NTDs), the main vitamin for that – folate/folic acid – was identified only in 1941. With calls from some quarters for other nutrients to join the ‘vitamin’ family, can we expect to see new nutrients named ‘vitamins’ or is the list closed?

“It depends on the strength of the overall science,” said Dr Rai. “As the science on nutrients and nutrition in general evolves, I believe these advances will help to drive new insights and perspectives on this topic.”

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Need for Vitamins Still

Dr. Deshanie Rai presents an excellent scientific validation of the needs for vitamins especially in the US where children are staying home on their computers or video games and not getting enough Vitamin D. The need for vitamins is especially essential as she pointed out for pregnant mothers so congenital defects in their newborn can be prevented. Excellent discussion by the scientist.

Report abuse

Posted by Jean Chow, MD
04 December 2012 | 17h242012-12-04T17:24:20Z

Related products

Vox Pop: Consumers had this to say about GMO labeling...

Vox Pop: Consumers had this to say about GMO labeling...

On the heels of President Barack Obama signing into law a federal bill requiring...

DNA barcoding is still a science project: BI Chief

DNA barcoding is still a science project: BI Chief

The dietary supplements industry has done a great job coming together to address raw...

What’s hot in functional beverages? Omega-3s, prebiotics and probiotics

What’s hot in functional beverages? Omega-3s, prebiotics and probiotics

Interest in probiotics is skyrocketing and the friendly bugs are increasingly turning up in...

Edible insects beyond whole cricket powder at IFT

Will the edible insects market move beyond whole cricket powder?

Milled whole cricket powder is probably the best known bug-derived food ingredient aside from...

It's time to put whey and casein back together, exec says

It's time to put whey and casein back together, exec says

Cutting milk proteins apart has been all the rage in recent years. But Benoit...

Consumer vox pop on anti-aging ‘beauty from within’ supplements

Vox Pop: What does ‘beauty from within’ mean to consumers?

Stopping several unsuspecting passers-by in downtown Chicago, we gathered some consumer thoughts on the...

Personalised nutrition: Listening to the gut microbiome

Personalised nutrition: Listening to the gut microbiome

Tal Korem

Professor, Weizmann Institute of Science

Personalised nutrition held back by ‘lack of trust and transparency’

Personalised nutrition held back by ‘lack of trust and transparency’

Nard Clabbers

senior business developer, personalised nutrition and health , TNO

Lallemand’s Lafti L10 may aid URTI symptoms in elite athletes

Probiotics in sports nutrition? Lallemand’s Lafti L10 studied for immune support in athletes

A double-blind, placebo controlled study on elite athletes found that the dairy-derived Lactobacillus helveticus...

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

Overcoming the taboo of vaginal health – the next frontier of probiotics

A paradigm shift is needed to force delicate women’s health issues like vaginal infections...

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

Lab meat, plant proteins and insects: Which alternative proteins will feed the world?

The quest for alternatives to animal-derived proteins has led to a huge amount of...

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

African probiotic project reaching 10,000 infants a day

Professor Gregor Reid

Chair , University of Western Ontario & Human Microbiology and...

UK researcher backs supplements for omega-3 intakes

UK researcher backs supplements for boosting omega-3 intakes

Philip Calder

Professor, University of Southamption

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’

‘You think Red Bull’s just gonna roll over? It’s not gonna happen!’ Expert warns wannabes

Beverage brand development guru James Tonkin has warned wannabe entrepreneurs that going up against...

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Coffee may hydrate athletes just like water: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher, Loughborough University

Caffeine in small doses and during training may boost performance

Caffeine taken during training and even in small doses may boost sports performance: Researcher

Sophie Killer

Doctoral researcher in exercise metabolism and performance nutrition

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Psychobiotics can feed gut-brain health axis: 'It’s really an exciting frontier,' says professor

Professor John Cryan

Chair and head of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience,...

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Algatech: Functional food on astaxanthin horizon

Israeli firm Algatechnologies will work towards gaining approval for its astaxanthin as a novel...

Key Industry Events