Nestlé outlined the value of nutritional interventions with protein and vitamin D intake, optimising functionality in the elderly which may ultimately help to reduce the cost burden on healthcare systems.
It said that sharing knowledge in nutritional science with the medical and science communities is more important than ever due to the growing aging population.
Research into the nutrient needs of the older adult and the impact that malnutrition has on patient health status was shared at the Nestlé Nutrition Institute Satellite Symposium at the 32nd ESPEN Congress in Nice in September 2010.
“It is also well known that sensory perceptions decrease with age, gastric emptying is slower and the production of intestinal hormones is altered” says Prof. Dorothee Volkert, from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany.
The symposium also outlined the importance of vitamin D deficiency. Prof. Kevin Cashman, from the University College Cork in Ireland said that there is a huge gap between the currently consumed low intake of vitamin D by older adults and the recommended intake values for the vitamin.
Whilst Prof. René Rizzoli discussed the prevalence, cause, treatment and role of nutrition in hip fractures in the older adult. He noted that osteoporotic fracture is a major risk for all older adults, especially for those older than 70 years of age.
“Nutrition, specifically protein and vitamin D, have been shown to play an important role in preventing falls and fractures through the improvement of bone mineral density” said Rizzoli, from the Division of Geneva University Hospitals.