SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - North America EU edition | APAC 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: What do you think of nootropics?

Vox Pop: What do you think of nootropics?

What’s the public perception of nootropics? Some are curious, most are suspect, our person-on-the-street...

Defining dietary fiber at the 2017 IFT show

VIDEO: Should we define dietary fiber on the basis of what it is or what it does?

Which ingredients should be classified as dietary fibers and why? Elaine Watson caught up...

Navigating disease claim currents especially tricky for probiotics, expert says

Navigating disease claim currents especially tricky for probiotics, expert says

Regulatory hurdles must be kept in mind when designing studies to support products. This...

Research sheds light on nature of ancient microbiome

Research sheds light on nature of ancient microbiome

Is there a goal to shoot for when trying to alter consumers’ microbiomes?  Researcher...

Prebiotic corn fiber boosts calcium absorption among adolescent girls, study finds

Prebiotic corn fiber boosts calcium absorption among adolescent girls, study finds

The research of Corrie Whisner, PhD, has helped solidify a new application for prebiotics—their...

DuPont: There's opportunity in new probiotic enumeration technology

There's opportunity in new probiotic enumeration technology, says expert

Analyzing and identifying probiotic strains in a finished product is becoming increasingly crucial as...

Prebiotics promote satiety, but it's hard to make the claim, expert says

Prebiotics promote satiety, but it's hard to make the claim, expert says

Satiety is one of the best-supported effects of prebiotic supplementation, an expert says.  But...

DuPont Nutrition and Health explains study backing Howaru Shape

Blend of probiotics and prebiotics has weight management benefits, DuPont research finds

Study participants who consumed a combination of two ingredients—a prebiotic and probiotic—experienced more body...

Science builds for probiotics' effects on depression symptoms

Lallemand furthers study on probiotic intervention among individuals newly diagnosed with depression

More studies looking at the link between a human’s microbiome and depression are underway....

Vox Pop: In sports nutrition, 'usually just protein'

Vox Pop: 'Protein, and that's pretty much it actually'

Sports nutrition is a booming industry, with Euromonitor estimating a value of $7.4bn in...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Agency enforcement and litigation targets

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: FDA & FTC move forward with enforcement even with some regulations in limbo

New regulations and draft guidances may be on hold at many federal agencies until...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Americans’ love affair with protein shows no signs of cooling in the coming years...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction with probiotics

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction when formulating with probiotics

Once restricted to a handful of products, such as yogurt, probiotics are enjoying unprecedented...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: 5 trends driving growth in natural & organic

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: 5 trends driving growth in natural & organic

As US consumers embrace a healthier lifestyle focused on prevention rather than treatment, they...

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

Promotional Features