Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to vitamin C and reduction of tiredness and fatigue (ID 139, 2622), contribution to normal psychological functions (ID 140), regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E (ID 202), contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism (ID 2334, 3196), maintenance of the normal function of the immune system (ID 4321) and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (ID 3331) 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):1815 [20 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1815
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 Claims: 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 Mental/Nervous System: Jacques Rigo, Astrid Schloerscheidt, Barbara Stewart-Knox, Sean (J.J.) Strain, and Peter Willatts.

Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2008-926
EFSA-Q-2008-927
EFSA-Q-2008-989
EFSA-Q-2008-3067
EFSA-Q-2008-3355
EFSA-Q-2008-3928
EFSA-Q-2008-4062
EFSA-Q-2010-00274
Adopted
10 September 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 vitamin C and reduction of tiredness and fatigue, contribution to normal psychological functions, regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E, contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism, maintenance of the normal function of the immune system and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage. 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 vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid, ascorbate). The Panel considers that vitamin C is sufficiently characterised.

Reduction of tiredness and fatigue

The claimed effect is “vitamin/mineral supplementation to reduce fatigue and tiredness in situations of inadequate micronutrient status”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that the reduction of tiredness and fatigue is a beneficial physiological effect.

The symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include weakness and fatigue.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of vitamin C and reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

Contribution to normal psychological functions

The claimed effect is “the role of vitamins and minerals in mental performance (where mental performance stands for those aspects of brain and nerve functions which determine aspects like concentration, learning, memory and reasoning)”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that contribution to normal psychological functions, which encompass cognitive and affective domains, is a beneficial physiological effect.

Advanced vitamin C deficiency results in scurvy. The symptoms of scurvy include listlessness and general malaise, sometimes associated with personality changes and psychomotor performance. Depression is one of the symptoms associated with scurvy.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of vitamin C and contribution to normal psychological functions.

Regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E

The claimed effect is “regeneration of vitamin E, have synergistic effects”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. In the context of the clarifications provided by Member States, the Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to the regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E. The Panel considers that the regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E is a beneficial physiological effect.

Vitamin C as a water-soluble antioxidant can regenerate reduced alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) as a lipid-soluble antioxidant added to liposomes in vitro.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of vitamin C and the regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E.

Contribution to normal energy-yielding metabolism

The claimed effect is “invigoration of the body” and “physical health”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. In the context of the proposed wording and clarifications provided by Member States, the Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to energy-yielding metabolism.

A claim on vitamin C and energy-yielding metabolism has already been assessed with a favourable outcome.

Maintenance of the normal function of the immune system

The claimed effect is “is a rich source of vitamin C that has immunostimulating activities”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. In the context of the proposed wording, the Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to the normal function of the immune system.

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

Protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage

The claimed effect is “anti oxydant, par sa teneur en vitamine C”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to the protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage.

A claim on vitamin C and protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage 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 vitamin C 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
Vitamin C, tiredness, fatigue, immune system, energy, oxidative damage, mental, psychological, regeneration, health claims
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Number of Pages
20