Vitamin D claim opens elderly target market

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fall prevention has important psychological benefits to seniors
Fall prevention has important psychological benefits to seniors

Related tags: Nutrition

Food businesses can more easily target elderly consumers who are prone to falling, following the authorisation of a vitamin D health claim by the European Commission (EC).

DSM, the largest manufacturer of vitamin D, has secured an Article 14 health claim 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 general health status of older people,” ​said DSM.

Recommended daily intake

A recommended daily intake of 20 micrograms of vitamin D from various sources, including supplementation, is required to obtain the beneficial effect, DSM added.

The claim can be used for food supplements that provide at least 15 micrograms of vitamin D per daily portion, said the EC.

Wouter Claerhout, head of global marketing, human nutrition and health at DSM, said: “We have been working 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.

“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,” ​he added.

Wider role of vitamins

The approval has followed the publication of several recent studies on the wider role vitamins play in supporting human health, particularly in the older population, claimed Claerhout.

“The needs of the ageing global population represent a significant opportunity and DSM continues to support nutrition science in this key area,” ​he said.

Meanwhile, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey revealed in May that 23% of adults received less than their recommended daily intake​ of vitamin D.

Following its publication, UK and European scientists lambasted public health bodies​ for not reacting quickly enough to the issue.

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