NIU’s Global Round-up: Vitamin D concerns for the UK, probiotics in LATAM, and more

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / scanrail
© Getty Images / scanrail
What's happened this week around the Nutra-Verse? Stay on top of things with our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.


Vitamin D requirements among UK children

A new survey by scientists at Leeds Beckett University shows that there’s a lot of confusion around vitamin D in the UK, with parents unaware of its importance for health, and intake recommendations not being me.

According to an article by NutraIngredients-Europe​, a national campaign is needed to change current practices around vitamin D.

Data from the survey found that about 50% of parents reported receiving no information about vitamin D during pregnancy and breastfeeding or for their child. Furthermore, vitamin D recommendations were not being followed by pregnant or breastfeeding women or parents, as evidenced by low levels of vitamin D supplementation.

“The willingness of parents to purchase products fortified with vitamin D suggests a potential role for these products to contribute to increasing the intake of vitamin D in children,” ​the study report stated.


Asahi heat-inactivated bacterium may reduce fatigue and stress in athletes

Daily supplementation with Lactobacillus gasseri​ CP2305 may alleviate fatigue and stress-related symptoms in long-distance male runners, according to a Japanese study published in the Journal of Functional Foods​.

Consumption of Asahi’s heat-inactivated, enteric-colonizing strain was found to reduce post-exercise anxiety levels, and decrease fatigue scores, compared to the placebo group.

“[T]he present clinical trial demonstrates that daily CP2305 intake was effective in recovering from fatigue and in relieving anxiety and depressive mood during the vigorous training period,” ​wrote the researchers.

“Furthermore, administration of CP2305 improved the richness and evenness of the gut microbial ecosystem and prevented the stress-induced changes in gene expression of peripheral blood leucocytes. Despite these beneficial effects, however, we could not detect any significant difference in physical performance between the CP2305 and placebo group.”

For more on this, please click HERE​.


Skin health claims surging for probiotics in Brazil & Mexico: Lumina data

Probiotics © Getty Images image_jungle
© Getty Images / image_jungle

Skin health leads the way for probiotic appeal and uptake among probiotic supplements, probiotic juice, probiotic cosmetics and Kombucha in both Brazil and Mexico, according to data from Lumina Intelligence.

Lumina Intelligence​, operated by NutraIngredients’ parent company William Reed Business Media, offers granular data on products and ingredients, including online engagement data for probiotic products in 20 countries.

“Of all probiotics captured, those positioned to benefit skin health saw the highest average number of reviews per product in Brazil and Mexico in December 2018 (93 reviews), driven by probiotics cosmetics,”​ Emer Mackle, Market Analyst, Lumina Intelligence, told NutraIngredients-LATAM​.

Indeed, online engagement relating to the associated benefits of all other probiotic categories in Brazil and Mexico trailed behind. Cardiovascular health, immunity, digestion, weight management and wellbeing all had less than an average of 20 reviews each in December 2018.

These review figures demonstrate consumers’ interest in, and perceived demand for, skin health in probiotics, along with showing the overlap between nutrition ingredients and cosmetics in both Brazil and Mexico.

Label claims

Free from and ethical claims achieved higher average star ratings in December 2018 — free from claim(s) at 4.72 at ethical claim(s) at 4.77 — than those without those respective label claims. Data shows that probiotics with no free from claim stood at 4.58 out of 5 and no ethical claim(s) at 4.61.

Commenting on the potential for continued success in Latin America, Mackle believes the future is positive: “The LATAM region offers many opportunities for further growth in online customer engagement. With the population gravitating towards the natural concept of probiotics, label claims, particularly free from and ethical claims, this creates highly attractive positioning for customers.”

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