NIU’s Global Round-up: Folic acid fortification coming to the UK? India’s booming sports nutrition market, and more

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Weedezign
© Getty Images / Weedezign

Related tags: Folic acid fortification, Codonopsis, Sports nutrition

Happy New Year! The first week of 2020 was relatively quiet but there was still important news for the nutra- industry around the world: Stay on top of things with our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.


UK politicians urged to act on folic acid fortification

Leading British nutrition experts are urging the country’s politicians to introduce mandatory fortification of flour and grains with folic acid to help prevent children being born with Neural Tube Defects (NTD). The UK is expecting a final decision soon after a 12-week public consultation.

Sir Nicholas Wald, Professor at St George’s, University of London and University College London, said: “Britain’s past failure to fortify flour and grains with folic acid is a missed public health opportunity. It is like having a vaccine for polio and not using it.

“It is more than a disappointment that UK funded research published nearly 30 years ago has not been fully used in the UK to improve the health and wellbeing of its citizens who paid for the research.”

Currently, 84 countries fortify industrially milled wheat flour, maize products and/or rice with folic acid, according to data from the Food Fortification Initiative​ (FFI). A meta-analysis​ published in 2010 showed an overall 46% reduction in neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly in countries where wheat flour was fortified with this B vitamin.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed the prevention of neural tube defects through flour fortification amongst its list of 10 great health achievements in the US.

For more on this, please click HERE​.


RCT supports Codonopsis extract’s blood pressure management potential

Data from a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial from Korea indicates that an extract from Codonopsis lanceolate​ may help reduce systolic blood pressure in people with prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension.

Scientists from Korea University in Seoul reported that six weeks of supplementation with a C. lanceolate​ (CL) extract led to significant reduction in systolic blood pressure, and reductions in markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in people with stage one hypertension, compared to baseline levels and the placebo group.

“To our knowledge, the current study is the first to show that the ability of CL to prevent the development of HTN [hypertension] in prehypertensive subjects was dependent on baseline systolic BP,” ​wrote the researchers in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

For more on this, please click HERE​.


Musashi enters India’s sports nutrition market after favorable regulatory change

Australian firm Vitaco recently launched its sports nutrition brand Musashi in India. The country’s sports nutrition market is expected to double in size over the next five years.

“The market is worth about USD$200m in sports nutrition, and is the fastest growing market in the world, about 14% to 15% growth and we expect the next five years of the Indian sports nutrition market will double in size,”​ Vitaco’s CEO Craig Kearney told NutraIngredients-Asia.

He added that the Indian government was increasing its focus on sports success, which also provided good opportunities for sports nutrition firms.

In its home markets of Australia and New Zealand, Vitaco reportedly has a 30% share of the sports nutrition market.

For more on this, please click HERE​.

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