Understanding Medical Nutrition and Micronutrient Deficiencies at Nutrition Integrates 2015

Thu, 04/06/2015 - 09:45

Parkacre Enteprises Ltd: Today (4th June 2015), Parkacre will be attending Nutrition Integrates 2015 and will be amongst some of the leading industry professionals. This is a great opportunity for ParkAcre to share our knowledge on some of the challenges the industry faces in the future and how we can prepare to overcome these issues.

VP Business Strategy, Eric Hilton, discusses the growing impact medical nutrition has on the industry and the questions shared amongst industry strategists in relation to global health and well-being in Nutraceuticals, while also addressing potential concerns the industry could face in trying to combat micronutrient deficiency.

How do you see innovation in product R&D contributing to medical nutrition?

Innovation in R&D relies on potential breakthrough research in nutrition and looking at disease management, with evidence-backed products delivering clear health benefits to consumers.

Parkacre’s innovations in Medical Nutrition is being developed by our new R&D centre, network of universities and food research establishments in the UK. We are looking to develop highly specialised products for special needs, enabling our clients to pass on these benefits to consumers.

Our research organisation is science-driven and consumer-led, with teams specialising in Medical Nutrition. These teams develop formulations that provide optimal growth and development as well as proven health benefits to vulnerable consumers, which include; infants, toddlers, the elderly and those requiring a little more.

"We see enormous potential in disease targeted nutrition, and focus our efforts on improving clinical outcomes by helping to delay the progression of potential disease" comments Eric Hilton VP Business Strategy.

What potential challenges can you expect in the industry in regards to regulatory and food standards?

It is well understood that proper nutrition supports health. In particular, when a patient is struck with serious disease, like cancer or heart failure, maintaining good nutrition becomes essential for recovery. Suppose that a heart drug showed better outcomes when paired with a specially designed nutrition supplement.  Suppose that the outcomes were well studied to the point of inclusion in the drugs label. If outcomes for this combination treatment were sufficiently different than those of other therapies in the same class, there would be a case for having the combination therapy before any competitive monotherapies? 

There are numerous 'what if’s' in that logic, but this is not far-fetched. Look at the bisphosphonates class of osteoporosis drugs, and the research that shows that they are more effective when taken with vitamin D, and Calcium.  In the future there may well be the sales potential of patented nutrition/pharmaceutical combinations. However, some of the challenges expected are related to the regulation of marketing. 

Regulatory groups are in two camps, Pharma and Non-pharma with both products being treated differently.  Medical, Legal and Regulatory reviewers within pharma tend to be appropriately conservative, and asking them to wear a different hat in reviewing marketing and sales materials for supplements or foods can lead to contentious review meetings and significant inconsistency in interpretation of regulations.

However, the single greatest challenge to nutraceuticals in pharma may not be internal. The industry, in particular, food giants have recognised the potential for nutraceuticals in their own portfolios. These organisations believe a push towards medical science in food is attractive for a number of reasons. They like the positive PR that can come from foods designed for health. Looking beyond PR are the profit margins possible in this category as the margin on nutraceuticals might be less than pharma is used to seeing in drug products, which is well beyond the single-digit percentages that food companies make on many of their consumer products. The challenge will be to keep the legal and regulatory departments happy within the area of compliance. The next few years will look closer at the dynamics and involve multiple agencies such as MHRA, FSA and the NHS goals in obesity being aligned with nutrition.

How could the industry prevent and control micronutrient malnutrition?

Micronutrient malnutrition is a serious threat to the health and productivity of more than 2 billion people worldwide, although it is largely preventable. Women and children, owing to their increased nutritional requirements for reproduction and growth are more prone to iron deficiency anaemia and other micronutrient deficiencies. There are two areas where the industry can help, and both are in the socio- economic status. One is in the deficient populations with little access to fortified foods where is supplementation needed. The other is in the moderately deficient population to which fortified foods are available and accessible. The industry has shown that wheat fortification is effective, yet more is required from governments, WHO and charities.

How can Parkacre help contribute to improving food fortification and biofortification?

Food fortification and biofortification is increasingly seen as an additional tool to combat micronutrient malnutrition. Eric Hilton VP Business Strategy says "Parkacre is committed to looking at R&D programs in this area by constantly assessing the costs and potential benefits and the latest research on biofortification. Globally we see that important staple food crops with pro-vitamin A, iron, and zinc for countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America is on the increase".

Additionally, we are looking into the impact of this within our R&D, which is beginning to grow. The intervention can make a significant impact on the burden of micronutrient deficiencies in the developing world in a highly cost-effective manner. Results differ by crop, micronutrient and country; and major reasons underlying these differences need to be identified so that we can base clarity and research to inform clients and policy with governments and charities, with new generation products.


About Parkacre

Parkacre is one of the UK’s largest fully integrated contract manufacturers of Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements.  Our state-of-the-art facility offers a number of services, which include tablet compression, encapsulation, powder filling, bottle and blister packaging. Parkacre specialise in bespoke custom formulations to suit clients’ specific requirements with a comprehensive portfolio consisting of 1000’s of bespoke customer formulations.

For more information on our products and services please contact us on +44 (0) 1427 666 000 or email enquiries@park-acre.co.uk.

Visit us online at www.park-acre.co.uk