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Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to live yoghurt cultures and improved lactose digestion (ID 1143, 2976) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

EFSA Journal 2010;8(10):1763 [18 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1763
  EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) Panel Members 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. One members of the Panel did not participate in the discussion on the subject referred to above because of potential conflicts of interest identified in accordance with the EFSA policy on declarations of interests. Acknowledgment 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. The members of the Claims Sub-Working Group on Gut/Immune: Jean-Louis Bresson, Maria Carmen Collado, Miguel Gueimonde, Daisy Jonkers, Martinus Løvik, Bevan Moseley, Maria Saarela, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Stephan Strobel, Daniel Tomé and Hendrik van Loveren . Contact nda@efsa.europa.eu
Type: Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel On request from: European Commission Question number: EFSA-Q-2008-1882 , EFSA-Q-2008-3708 Adopted: 09 July 2010 Published: 19 October 2010 Last updated: 12 January 2011. This version replaces the previous one/s. Affiliation: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Abstract

No abstract available

Summary

This scientific output, published on 12 January 2011, replaces the earlier version published on 19 October 2010.

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 live yoghurt cultures and improved lactose digestion. 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 “yoghurt cultures (live)”, which contain the starter micro-organisms “Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus” as specified by Codex Alimentarius Standard No. 243/2003. The Panel considers that live yoghurt cultures which are the subject of the health claim are sufficiently characterised in relation to the claimed effect.

The claimed effect is “lactose digestion”. The target population is individuals with lactose maldigestion. The Panel considers that improved lactose digestion is a beneficial physiological effect for individuals with lactose maldigestion.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into consideration that thirteen of fourteen human studies showed enhanced lactose digestion in lactose maldigesters, when live yoghurt starter cultures were ingested in yoghurt, that the one study which did not show such effect reported reduced symptoms and that there was strong evidence for the biological plausibility of the effect.

The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of live yoghurt cultures in yoghurt and improved lactose digestion in individuals with lactose maldigestion.

In order to bear the claim, the yoghurt should contain at least 108 CFU per serving live starter microorganisms (i.e. Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus). The target population is individuals with lactose maldigestion.

Keywords

Yoghurt cultures, live, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, lactose, digestion, maldigestion, health claims