Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to selenium and maintenance of normal hair (ID 281), maintenance of normal nails (ID 281), protection against heavy metals (ID 383), maintenance of normal joints (ID 409), maintenance of normal thyroid function (ID 410, 1292), protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 410, 1292), and maintenance of the normal function of the immune system (ID 1750) 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 2010;8(10):1727 [18 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1727
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 the members of the Working Group on Claims for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion: 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.

Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2008-1068
EFSA-Q-2008-1170
EFSA-Q-2008-1196
EFSA-Q-2008-1197
EFSA-Q-2008-2030
EFSA-Q-2008-2483
Adopted
9 July 2010
Published
19 October 2010
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 selenium and maintenance of normal hair, maintenance of normal nails, protection against heavy metals, maintenance of normal joints, maintenance of normal thyroid function, protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from 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 selenium, which is a well recognised nutrient and is measurable in foods by established methods. The Panel considers that selenium is sufficiently characterised.

Maintenance of normal hair

The claimed effect is “hair and nail formation”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that maintenance of normal hair is a beneficial physiological effect.

Deficiency in selenium has been shown to result in various disorders including impairment of hair.

The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of selenium and maintenance of normal hair. However, the evidence provided does not establish that inadequate intake of selenium leading to impaired maintenance of normal hair occurs in the general EU population.

Maintenance of normal nails

The claimed effect is “hair and nail formation”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that maintenance of normal nails is a beneficial physiological effect.

Deficiency in selenium has been shown to result in various disorders including impairment of nails.

The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of selenium and maintenance of normal nails. However, the evidence provided does not establish that inadequate intake of selenium leading to impaired maintenance of normal nails occurs in the general EU population.

Protection against heavy metals

The claimed effect is “detoxification”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that protection against heavy metals is a beneficial physiological effect.

No conclusions can be drawn from the only reference provided 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 selenium and protection against heavy metals.

Maintenance of normal joints

The claimed effect is “joint function”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that maintenance of normal joints is a beneficial physiological effect.

No conclusions can be drawn from the references provided 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 selenium and maintenance of normal joints.

Maintenance of normal thyroid function

The claimed effects are “key function within metabolism (e.g. GSH-peroxidase)”, “antioxidant to prevent oxidative stress”, “proper thyroid function” and “maintenance of cellular redox status. The target population is assumed to be the general population.

A claim on selenium and normal thyroid function has already been assessed with a favourable outcome.

Protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage

The claimed effects are “key function within metabolism (e.g. GSH-peroxidase)”, “antioxidant to prevent oxidative stress”, “proper thyroid function” and “maintenance of cellular redox status”. The target population is assumed to be the general population.

A claim on selenium and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage has already been assessed with a favourable outcome.

Maintenance of the normal function of the immune system

The claimed effect is “natural defences/immune system”. The target population is assumed to be the general population.

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

Conditions and possible restrictions of use

The Panel considers that in order to bear the claims a food should be at least a source of selenium as per Annex to Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. Such amounts can be easily consumed as part of a balanced diet. The target population is the general population.

Keywords
Selenium, minerals, hair, nails, heavy metals, joints, thyroid, immune system, health claims
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Number of Pages
18