Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to beta carotene and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 19, 197, 1262, 1460), protection of the skin from UV-induced (including photo-oxidative) damage (ID 178, 197, 1263, 1461, 1968, 2320) and maintenance of the normal function of the immune system (ID 200, 1462) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

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Article
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2011;9(4):2021 [22 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2021
Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Hannu Korhonen, Pagona Lagiou, Martinus Løvik, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Bevan Moseley, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Stephan Strobel, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen
Acknowledgements

The Panel wishes to thank for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion the members of the Working Group on Claim : Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Martinus Løvik, Ambroise Martin, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen. The members of the Claims Sub-Working Group on Cardiovascular Health/Oxidative Stress: Antti Aro, Marianne Geleijnse, Marina Heinonen, Ambroise Martin, Wilhelm Stahl and Henk van den Berg.

Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2008-806
EFSA-Q-2008-965
EFSA-Q-2008-984
EFSA-Q-2008-987
EFSA-Q-2008-2000
EFSA-Q-2008-2001
EFSA-Q-2008-2197
EFSA-Q-2008-2198
EFSA-Q-2008-2199
EFSA-Q-2008-2701
EFSA-Q-2008-3053
Adopted
12. November 2010
Published
8. April 2011
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
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Abstract

No abstract available

Summary

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to provide a scientific opinion on a list of health claims pursuant to Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. This opinion addresses the scientific substantiation of health claims in relation to beta-carotene and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage, protection of the skin from UV-induced (including photo-oxidative) damage and maintenance of the normal function of the immune system. The scientific substantiation is based on the information provided by the Member States in the consolidated list of Article 13 health claims and references that EFSA has received from Member States or directly from stakeholders.

The food constituent that is the subject of the health claims is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A and is a well recognised dietary constituent, which is measurable in foods by established methods. The Panel considers that beta carotene is sufficiently characterised.

Protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage

The claimed effects are “antioxidants and aging”, “protection of tissues and skin against oxidant agents (sun rays exposure)”, “antioxidant activity” and “protection of DNA”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. In the context of the proposed wordings, the Panel assumes that the claimed effects refer to the protection of body cells and molecules from oxidative damage. The Panel considers that protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage may be a beneficial physiological effect.

No references were provided from which conclusions could be drawn for the scientific substantiation of the claimed effect.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the dietary intake of beta-carotene and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage.

Protection of the skin from UV-induced (including photo-oxidative) damage

The claimed effects are “skin health”, “peau”, “skin aging” and “protection of tissues and skin against oxidant agents (sun rays exposure), antioxidant activity”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that the protection of the skin from UV-induced (including photo-oxidative) damage is a beneficial physiological effect.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that most of the human intervention studies provided were either uncontrolled or used inappropriate measures of UV-damage to the skin, and that the studies which assessed UV-induced damage to the skin did not find a significant effect of beta carotene supplementation as compared to placebo.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the dietary intake of beta-carotene and protection of the skin from UV-induced (including photo-oxidative) damage.

Maintenance of the normal function of the immune system

The claimed effects are “immune health/immune function” and “immune health”. The target population is assumed to be the general population.

A claim on vitamin A and normal function of the immune system has already been assessed with a favourable outcome.

Keywords
Beta-carotene, vitamin A, oxidative damage, UV-induced damage, immune system, health claims
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Number of Pages
22