Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to glucosamine alone or in combination with chondroitin sulphate and maintenance of joints (ID 1561, 1562, 1563, 1564, 1565) and reduction of inflammation (ID 1869) pursuant to Article 13(1

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Article
EFSA Journal 2009; 7(9):1264 [17 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2009.1264
EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)
Panel Members
Jean-Louis Bresson, Albert Flynn, Marina Heinonen, Karin Hulshof, Hannu Korhonen, Pagona Lagiou, Martinus Løvik, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Bevan Moseley, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Stephan Strobel, Inge Tetens, Henk van den Berg, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen
Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On Request From
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2008-2298
EFSA-Q-2008-2299
EFSA-Q-2008-2300
EFSA-Q-2008-2301
EFSA-Q-2008-2302
EFSA-Q-2008-2602
Adopted
2 July 2009
Published
1 October 2009
Last Updated
24 November 2009. This version replaces the previous one/s.
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Article (210.67 KB)210.67 KB
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 1924/2006. This opinion addresses the scientific substantiation of health claims in relation to glucosamine, either as glucosamine hydrochloride or as glucosamine sulphate, either alone or in various combinations with chondroitin sulphate and the following claimed effects: maintenance of joints and reduction of inflammation. 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 glucosamine, either as glucosamine hydrochloride or as glucosamine sulphate, either alone or in various combinations with chondroitin sulphate. The Panel considers that glucosamine, either as glucosamine hydrochloride or as glucosamine sulphate, either alone or in various combinations with chondroitin sulphate, is sufficiently characterised.

Maintenance of joints

The claimed effect is “joints health”. The Panel assumes that the target population is the general population. The Panel considers that the maintenance of normal joints is beneficial to human health.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that the evidence provided does not establish that patients with osteoarthritis are representative of the general population with respect to the status of joint tissues, or that results obtained in studies on subjects with osteoarthritis can be extrapolated to the maintenance of normal joints in the general population. The Panel also took into account that the evidence provided in the animal and in vitro studies submitted does not predict the occurrence of an effect of glucosamine intake, either as glucosamine hydrochloride or as glucosamine sulphate, either alone or in various combinations with chondroitin sulphate, on the maintenance of normal joints in humans.

On the basis of the data available, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of glucosamine, either as glucosamine hydrochloride or as glucosamine sulphate, either alone or in combination with chondroitin sulphate and maintenance of normal joints in the general population.

Reduction of inflammation

The claimed effect is “immune system”. The Panel assumes that the target population is the general population. In the context of the proposed wordings, the Panel notes that the claimed effect relates to the reduction of inflammation. The Panel considers that under certain circumstances the reduction of inflammation might be beneficial to human health.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that the evidence provided does not establish that patients with osteoarthritis are representative of the general population with regard to the inflammatory status of the joint tissues, and that the evidence provided in the animal studies does not establish the occurrence of an effect of glucosamine sulphate intake on inflammation in humans

On the basis of the data available, the Panel concludes that cause and effect relationship has not been established between the dietary intake of glucosamine sulphate and reduction of inflammation in the general population.

Keywords
Glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, joints, inflammation, health claims.
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Number of Pages
17