Nestlé launches YIYANG powder to ‘refuel senior brains’

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé has added another product to its over-50 YIYANG milk powder range, with one specially formulated with added MCT.
Nestlé has added another product to its over-50 YIYANG milk powder range, with one specially formulated with added MCT.

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Nestlé has launched ‘YIYANG Fuel for Brain’ in China, a dairy product aimed at those over 50.

Launched during the 13th China Nutrition Science Congress held by the Chinese Nutrition Society, Nestlé said the senior milk powder is specially designed to help people over 50 years old "refuel their brains and start a new smart life."

Nestlé pointed to Chinese 2010 demographic census data, which showed the population over the age of 50 accounted for 28.3% of the total population. By 2016, there were 350m people over 50, or 25% of the total population; by 2050, this proportion may reach 50%.

Ketone helps brain

The company points to research that states the human brain needs to take in glucose continuously from blood as fuel.

Decreased brain function, it said, may be partially associated with the fact that as we age, glucose intake ability and use decreases so the brain cannot get enough fuel.

Another alternative source of energy comes from ketone, which, as the metabolite of fat, can be taken as alternative energy directly for brain.

Role of MCT

Guowei Huang, brain health expert and dean of School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University said, "Compared with healthy young people, the brain of the elderly utilizes glucose at only 85-90% the rate of young people while patients with Alzheimer's disease utilize only around 75%.

“Studies have shown that medium chain triglyceride (MCT) can be converted into ketone bodies and serve as an alternative source of energy for the minds of the elderly."

Compared with long chain triglyceride, MCT (medium chain triglyceride) is easier to both take and metabolize. MCT, Nestlé said, can directly supply energy to the brain in lieu of glucose, supporting the brain's normal energy needs without being stored as fat in the body.

MCT naturally exists in lauric oils such as coconut oil, and has shown potential in research in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Added to existing powders

Marianne Tsanis, vice president of Dairy Business Unit, Nestlé Greater China, said Nestlé YIYANG Fuel for Brain senior milk powder contains MCT, which is why the milk powder is named "Fuel for Brain.”

“Nestlé YIYANG has always been committed to providing healthy ideas and nutrition programs for people above 50 years old,”​ Tsanis said.

“We advocate the middle-aged and the elderly to be more proactive in managing their own health, and we also call on everyone no matter what age to pay more attention to their nutrition and health.”

Nestlé YIYANG has three other milk powder products for the middle-aged and elderly in China: Nestlé YIYANG Jianxin Gold 2-in-1 Formula Senior milk powder, Nestlé YIYANG Omega 3:6 Jianxin Senior milk powder; and Nestlé YIYANG Protects (Yi Hu Yin Zi) Senior milk powder.

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