My career didn't start in nutrition, but my work and interests have always been rooted in innovation and discovery, no matter the job and no matter the continent on which I found myself. It's taken me on an exciting journey that began in mechanical engineering (and work in robotics) and pivoted to exploration in pharmaceutical solutions for health issues. Ultimately, that passion for discovery and having a positive impact led to the role I have now: leading Nestlé Health Science.
With a focus on how the right nutrition can positively affect health, our teams work to bring solutions to challenges that have been with us for ages. It's that culture of innovation and facing hurdles head-on that helps us look at long-standing dynamics in health and nutrition with a new lens. Take sugar, for instance. People need sugar for energy, but it leads to high levels of glucose and then a big insulin response. What if we could develop a new sugar that provides energy without the glucose that leads to a 'crash'? That's the kind of challenge our teams take on regularly.
Our teams work to bring solutions to challenges that have been with us for ages.Greg
Three areas of ongoing discovery provide a glimpse of how creative thinking and science-based exploration can lead to nutritional and pharmaceutical products designed to improve quality of life for families:
Improving gut health: Fascinating research has helped us gain an understanding of the gut microbiome - the trillions of tiny bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in our guts. We're learning how we can support the microbiome, to improve health outcomes in multiple ways.
Take for example clostridium difficile, a bacteria often called C. diff. Those bacteria attack the gut, causing a painful condition with severe diarrhea that can damage the colon. It is particularly threatening for the elderly population and people with weakened immune systems. Roughly 20,000 people in the United States alone die each year from C. diff, and 16% of people who come down with the disease will get it again within two months.
We are collaborating with Seres Therapeutics to prepare to offer a pharmaceutical treatment for this condition that is focused on the patient's microbiome. It's an investigational therapeutic that is a potentially fast-acting intervention that can provide relief from recurrent infections when administered to vulnerable patients. This is just one area in which new innovation can unlock the potential of the gut microbiome for health.
Preventing cellular decline during aging: Global life expectancy is now 72 years. People on every continent now live twice as long as their ancestors did 200 years ago. One of our goals at Nestlé Health Science is to ensure people can embrace life in their later years.
That's why our teams developed Celltrient, a nutritional supplement that provides nutrition to the body's cells and helps to address age-related changes, working directly on the mitochondria. Age-associated cellular decline can reduce a person's energy level, muscle function, immune response, and overall health. More than 20 clinical trials have studied the cellular nutrients in Celltrient, which work inside cells to help renew and restore cells' natural processes, targeting the age-related changes and helping prevent a decline to support ongoing cellular health.
1 in 6 people suffer from memory loss
Supporting brain health: One in six people suffer from memory loss, including forgetting words, a slower ability to think and a lack of attention that exceeds the level expected with normal aging.
To address this, our teams developed BrainXpert Energy Complex - a breakthrough innovation for memory loss and cognition. This powder contains medium chain triglycerides can be mixed into water, milk, or yogurt. The liver transforms the triglycerides into ketones, which can help fuel brain activity. A clinical study found that people with mild cognitive impairment who had a specialized ketogenic drink (BrainXpert) at breakfast and lunch for six months experienced improved memory, word recall, and a greater ability to multitask.
On the back of these innovations across cellular decline and brain health, we're looking forward to introducing more innovative nutritional products to support strong health and quality of life.
The next innovation is never far away, and for me, that's what makes this work so exciting, important, and fulfilling.Greg
Those breakthroughs are ultimately grounded in the needs of our consumers. In fact, as a part of our work, our teams across Nestlé Health Science regularly meet with families who use our products every day. They motivate us, inspire us, and show us the real-world impacts of innovation. When a family facing a medical challenge asks "Can you do this?" my colleagues at Nestlé Health Science unflinchingly look for the path to get to "yes." That's the culture where we thrive, and it's the way we've been able to make discoveries - and bring them to market - to help people live healthier, longer lives. The next innovation is never far away, and for me, that's what makes this work so exciting, important, and fulfilling.