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 green lipped mussel or green lipped mussel extract and the maintenance of joints, bone and muscles. 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 claim is green lipped mussel or green lipped mussel extract. The New Zealand green lipped mussel, Perna canaliculus, is a bivalve native marine mussel from the mollusc family Mytilidae distinguishable from other bivalve species. Green lipped mussel extract is a lipid rich freeze dried powder extract of this mollusc. Multiple factors account for differences in the lipid content and composition of mussels (and their extracts), which could influence their physiological effects. The Panel considers that green lipped mussel or green lipped mussel extract are not sufficiently characterised.
The claimed effect is “joint and musculoskeletal system health”. In the context of the proposed wordings, the Panel notes that the claimed effect relates to the maintenance of normal joints, bone and muscles. The Panel considers that the maintenance of normal joints, bone and muscles is beneficial to human health.
In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that the food constituent that is the subject of the health claim is not sufficiently characterised, that the evidence provided does not establish that patients with osteoarthritis are representative of the general population with regard to the status of joint tissues, or that results obtained in studies on subjects with osteoarthritis can be extrapolated to maintenance of normal joints in the general population. The Panel also took into account that the evidence provided in the animal studies submitted does not predict the occurrence of an effect of either green lipped mussel or green lipped mussel extract intake on maintenance of normal joints in humans, and that no data were presented in relation to the effects of green lipped mussel or green lipped mussel extract on maintenance of normal bone and muscles.
On the basis of the data available, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of green lipped mussel or green lipped mussel extract and the maintenance of normal joints, bone or muscles.