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DSM Concludes Only One Fifth Of Global Population Gets Sufficient Vitamin E
DSM Nutritional Products highlights a study published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research <http://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/pdf/10.1024/0300-9831/a000281> , which established that just 21% of the studies of the examined populations globally reach a serum α-tocopherol concentration of ≥30 µmol/L. This is the vitamin E threshold that several studies suggest has fundamental effects on human health in multiple areas. The research is unique, and the first of its kind to review over 170 existing papers worldwide on studies into vitamin E intake levels and serum concentrations. The findings conclude that vitamin E status is inadequate in a substantial part of the reviewed populations. DSM has been involved in numerous workshops on the importance of vitamin E, emphasizing the latest science confirming its essentiality and different health benefits.
Vitamin E is an essential micronutrient that protects cell membranes from oxidative damage, including those rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The higher the level of PUFA intake, the more vitamin E is required. This study finds vitamin E status to be alarmingly low globally. Modern changes in diet may be a contributing factor. Vitamin E status can be increased by eating more foods high in vitamin E, such as vegetable oils, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grain bread; fortified foods and beverages, and dietary supplements.
Dr. Simin Meydani, Director of Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University comments: “This global assessment of vitamin E status – the first of its kind – is an important step to generate awareness because so many people around the world do not consume recommended amounts of vitamin E. An adequate vitamin E intake is needed to maintain the immune system, cognitive function, cardiovascular health and liver function. The findings of the publication suggest that health authorities need to dedicate more attention to the intake, status and role of vitamin E in human health.”
Applying a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 15 mg/day and Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) of 12 mg/day to all populations with a minimum age of 14 years, 82% and 61% of data points were below the RDA and EAR respectively. The new paper further reveals that globally 13% of the scientific publications indicated serum concentrations below the suggested deficiency threshold concentration of 12 µmol/L, mostly in new-borns and children.
Szabolcs Péter, MD, PhD, Senior Scientist at DSM, and one of the co-authors says: “This comprehensive review of vitamin E dietary intake and serum concentrations demonstrates that the majority of the reported intake values worldwide are below recommended levels. Similarly, it shows that a considerable proportion of the global population do not reach the proposed optimal serum concentration for vitamin E. This study should help stimulate needed research to understand the complex field of vitamin E and its impact on human health.”
The study found that vitamin E intake differed regionally. People living in the Middle East and Africa (27%) were more likely to be consuming below the RDA, but the prevalence was also relatively high in Asia Pacific (16%) and Europe (8%). Considering a threshold concentration of 30 µmol/L recommended by experts, 27% of the American, 80% of the Middle East/African, 62% of the Asian, and 19% of the European populations are below this serum value. On the other hand only 21% of the total data points included in this global review reach a desirable mean serum concentration of 30 µmol/L or higher. This can be explained by varying diets and nutrient availability across the world.
Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice President, Nutrition Science & Advocacy at DSM and Professor for Healthy Ageing at Groningen University concludes: “This review is an important step to drive awareness and education on the implications of suboptimal vitamin E status on individual as well as public health, and for the large part of the populations for which data is even lacking. There is a strong case for health authorities to dedicate more attention to the role of vitamin E in health care systems and to review recommendations”
Big Four Supermarkets Retain Shoppers Despite Strong Growth From Competitors
The latest grocery share figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending 22 May, show the market to be essentially flat, posting value growth of just 0.1%.
With food price deflation remaining at 1.5% this period this is a positive performance for the overall market, though the major retailers are continuing to see sales decline across the board.
Edward Garner, director at Kantar Worldpanel, comments: “While the big four are struggling to keep their market share what’s clear is that consumers aren’t flocking away from their stores – their combined shopper numbers have dropped only 0.2% in the latest 12 weeks. In fact, 94% of Aldi and Lidl shoppers still visit at least one of the four major retailers every four weeks. However, consumers’ spend is increasingly being shared with other growing outlets which also include Waitrose, the Co-operative and Iceland and average household spend for the big four has dropped by 2.9%.”
The big four continue to be under pressure with sales declining at each retailer this period. Tesco saw signs of stabilising in comparison to historic declines over the past two years, showing the smallest drop in sales of 1.0%.
Edward Garner continues: “Sainsbury’s 1.2% sales decline – which has led to a drop in its market share to 16.2% – has been driven by a decline in pack sales, which is the short-term result of shifting its promotional emphasis from multi-pack deals to straightforward price cuts. Asda’s low-price positioning continues to feel the targeted effect of Aldi and Lidl’s growth – sales fell 5.1% on last year giving it a 15.8% share of the market, while Morrisons continues to be affected by store disposals.”
Waitrose has achieved a record share of the grocery market of 5.3%, growing sales by 2.1%. The Co-operative has continued its recent strong run, posting sales growth of 3.3% for the second period in a row to achieve a market share of 6.2%.
Lidl and Aldi remain the fastest growing retailers – up 14.2% and 11.4% respectively. This is not just about low prices – coupled with Waitrose’s strong performance this period the discounters are contributing to premiumisation. Aldi’s premium own label Specially Selected has grown by 15% while Lidl’s Deluxe range has grown by an impressive 65%.
This week is British Sandwich Week (8 to 14 May) and we in the UK absolutely love sarnies. We spent £7.85bn on them last year and www.lovesarnies.com has compiled the 10 biggest reasons why we all love the ultimate food to go – the sandwich.
1. Convenience – It is the easiest thing in the world to buy for lunch. Independent shops, cafés, and supermarkets – everyone, it seems, sells sandwiches. 2. Content – Whatever you want to eat, whatever style of cuisine, flavours, meat/veggie, and diary/vegan – you name it there’s a sandwich to suit. 3. Portion size – the classic wedge sandwich pack is ideal for a busy lunch, a sub or baguette great for larger appetites – there’s always one to suit you. 4. Fibre – Bread has fibre, vegetables, too and it all helps our digestive health. Better digestion means better absorption of all the other nutrients, too. 5. Nutrients – while we’re on the topic, are packed in with salad ingredients etc. Be honest, you’d leave a side salad but we tend to eat it inside a sandwich! 6. Lifestyle – whatever your goals there’s a sandwich for you. Supermarkets alone sell over 150 different varieties – plus seasonal specials and then there’s the independent sandwich shops where you build your own. 7. Price – the average UK sandwich costs just £2.25 – just great value. 8. Cake – yes, why not? When we buy something to accompany our sarnies, 2 in 5 of us choose cake! 9. Bread – It’s the new coffee - everyone now has their favourite. Focaccia, baguette, barm, cob, panini, wrap, pitta or a good old doorstep! 10. It’s a great British invention – yes, last but by no means least we love sarnies because it’s our gift to global cuisine. And it woven into our culinary DNA!