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Nestle Launches New Research Program on the Specific Nutritional Needs of Athletes

NEW YORK, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- In the wake of the findings of its 5th International Nutrition Symposium, which explored scientific advances in nutrition and its importance in elite physical performance, Nestle has launched a new research program on the specific nutritional needs of athletes engaged in different kinds of sports. The program will provide data to help support a more personalized approach to sports nutrition in the future, which should lead to a new generation of personalized sports nutrition products for leading, and aspiring athletes.

"The new research program further strengthens Nestle's commitment to promoting sporting integrity through nutrition," said Richard Laube, Nestle Nutrition CEO. "Since 2004, we have sponsored nutrition-focused international symposia that address consumer needs, ranging from weight management, healthy recovery, and now helping athletes optimize performance."

At a special conference for the media, Nestle announced the key research findings from the 2008 International Nutrition Symposium and provided a forum for discussion. Among the findings:

    -- A good diet has a much greater potential than previously recognized to
       improve physical performance;
    -- Exercise/physical activity is highly beneficial to human health at all
       ages; inactivity is devastating to human health at all ages;
    -- Muscle development and degradation are active processes; muscle cell
       requires stimulation -- use it or lose it;
         -- Muscle metabolism is, in part, mediated by nuclear receptors
         -- Exercise turns the nuclear receptors on -- and drugs targeting
            these receptors mimic exercise in animal models
    -- Nutritional status and exercise are critical to build and retain bones
       through life
    -- Nutrition can enhance the benefits of exercise, but, its ability to
       prevent the damage of inactivity is limited.

Werner Bauer, Chief Technology Officer, outlined Nestle's competitive advantages in food and nutrition sciences research and development, citing the wealth of consumer and safety research supporting billions of unique products. He also touted Nestle's goal of creating foods that better meet consumer needs for nutrition, health and wellness such as by reducing trans fat content and adding whole grains.

Dr. Bruce German, a Professor at the Department of Food Sciences and Technology at the University of California-Davis, and Senior Scientific Advisor at Nestle explained the mission of the International Nutrition Symposia and the challenge of bringing leading scientists together. "The idea of having an annual scientific event was a bold one. Among the many scientists, eight Nobel laureates have stood here. We want these scientists to come into this room and then challenge them to think broadly on how their science can be translated into improvements in the human condition through diet."

Highlighting the media conference was a public debate between two elite athletes. Gunn-Rita Dahle, eight-time world champion mountain biker, and Faris Al-Sultan, five-time Ironman winner and former Ironman world champion -- together with Dr. Samantha Stear, Head of Nutrition at the English Institute of Sport -- debated the proper use of nutrition during training, performance and recovery.

"Nestle is playing its part, with top quality products, adding nutritional integrity to the health and well-being of young people," said David Hemery, a former Olympic champion and founder of the 21st Legacy Project, in his keynote speech. Hemery underlined the importance of athletes achieving elite performances through talent, hard work and determination as role models for youth.

Separate Web casts of these different discussions can be watched on

About Nestle Nutrition

Through science-based nutrition products and services, Nestle Nutrition helps enhance the quality of people's lives by supporting health and providing care for consumers with special needs -- at every stage of life. Nestle Nutrition is a part of Nestle S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland -- the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company, with 2007 sales of $90 billion.

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