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  • Article
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Cognitive Health and Mobility Opportunities in China


  • Physical Wellbeing
  • Inner Wellbeing
  • Article
  • Mental Wellbeing
  • Nutrition and Health

Cognitive Health and Mobility Opportunities in China

Cognitive Health and Mobility Opportunities in China

Infographic: Phospholipids

Cognitive Health and Mobility Opportunities in China

Cognitive Health and Mobility Opportunities in China

Concept Card: Fortified Protein Powder

Cognitive Health and Mobility Opportunities in China

Cognitive Health and Mobility Opportunities in China

Concept Card: Protein & Phospholipids Shake

China is on the cusp of a profound demographic shift, with over 14% of its population aged 65 and above, entering what the United Nations refers to as a "deep aging society".

By 2050, the elderly population in China is projected to reach a staggering 479 million, accounting for 35.1% of the total population. This significant shift poses numerous challenges to the country, particularly in terms of nutrition and overall health for the aging population. 

In this article, we explore how our innovative protein solutions introduced at the 7th China Special Food Conference (SFIC) and Asiaceutical Expo & Summit (AAES) can help address these challenges.

The Challenges of Aging

Aging is accompanied by a decline in many bodily functions:

As China grapples with this demographic shift, addressing the nutritional needs for physicalmental, and inner wellbeing of aging consumers becomes increasingly crucial.

Exploring Phospholipids for Cognitive Support

Cognitive decline, particularly in the form of dementia, is a significant concern for the elderly population worldwide. In 2018, China had an estimated 12 million elderly individuals experiencing impaired cognitive function, accounting for approximately 5% of the elderly population. This number represents approximately 20% of the global population of elderly individuals with dementia1

Nutiani Bar Chart for Cognitive Impairment in China

These statistics are further backed by the data obtained from the 2018 China Elderly Health Influencing Factors Tracking Survey (CLHLS)². According to this survey, the overall prevalence of cognitive impairment among the elderly in China was approximately 27.96%.

The milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) holds great promise as a functional milk component that can simultaneously provide phospholipids, protein, and calcium to support cognitive function among the elderly. The milk fat globule membrane is a three-layer membrane naturally found in milk primarily consisting of lipids, including Phosphatidylserine, Phosphatidylcholine, Phosphatidylethanolamine, Phosphatidylinositol, and Sphingomyelin.

As individuals age, there is a decline in the content of phospholipids in the brain. Research indicates that healthy elderly individuals may experience a loss of 10-20% of phospholipids by the age of 80-906. However, the supplementation of milk fat globule membrane has been shown to offer a promising solution to address this decline.

Explore Nutiani's Protein & Phospholipids Shake concept made with broad-spectrum phospholipids

Potential Action Mechanism of Phospholipids

  1. Provide nutrition: Serves as an important precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain
  2. Participate in cell membrane metabolism: Phospholipids help in the formation, maintenance and repair of brain cells
  3. Hormone balance: Blocks the release of the stress hormone cortisol
  4. Neurotransmitter signalling: Phospholipids may act to improve nerve signalling and neuromuscular interactions
Balancing Protein and Calcium Intake 

The musculoskeletal system declines as individuals age, resulting in muscle atrophy and osteopenia. These can lead to weak muscle health, decreased exercise and balance abilities, ultimately compromising the elderly's ability to engage in daily activities³.

Sufficient protein and calcium intake has significant benefits for bone health4. In China, however, the protein and calcium intake among the elderly falls below the recommended standards⁵.

Milk Protein Mineral Content Chart

One valuable source of dietary calcium is milk protein, which naturally contains significant amounts of calcium and phosphorus. Functional milk protein, obtained through a membrane filtration process from fresh skim milk, retains the essential nutritional value inherent in milk protein. This specialized protein blend consists of whey protein and casein protein, providing a complete range of essential amino acids in optimal quantities and proportions. Moreover, functional milk protein offers additional advantages such as excellent flavor, thermal stability, and solubility.

Functional milk protein not only meets the nutritional needs of individuals but also caters to those with lactose intolerance. It provides a suitable alternative for those who may experience difficulties digesting lactose. By including functional milk protein in their diet, lactose-intolerant individuals can still enjoy the benefits of high-quality protein and calcium for bone health.


Explore Nutiani’s Fortified Protein Powder concept made with functional milk protein

Seizing the Opportunities: Brain & Body

China's deep aging society presents unique challenges in meeting nutritional needs of the elderly for physicalmental, and inner wellbeing. Addressing these challenges involves a careful balance of factors, considering tradeoffs between taste, convenience, cost, and nutritional quality. Moreover, the impact of aging on mobility and cognitive health should be a crucial consideration when innovating food and beverage solutions. 


Connect with one of our experts to discover how we can support the development of food and beverage products to support mobility and cognitive health, from concept to consumer.  


  1. Mintel, 中老年食品饮料消费趋势,中国 2022.
  2. Center for Healthy Aging and Development Studies, 2020, "The Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS)-Longitudinal Data(1998-2018)
  3. 运动功能维护与健康老龄化,2022.
  4. 解丹丹,中华骨质疏松和骨矿盐疾病杂志,2021.
  5. 张伋, 王惠君, 王志宏,等. 中国9省区1991-2009年50岁以上中老年居民膳食钙摄入量及变化趋势分析[J]. 中华流行病学杂志, 2012, 33(11):1119-1122.
  6. Svennerholm et al. J Neurochem 63:1802–1811


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