Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to whey protein and increase in satiety leading to a reduction in energy intake (ID 425), contribution to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight (ID 1683), growth or

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Article
EFSA Journal 2010;8(10):1818 [28 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1818
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.
Acknowledgement

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 Weight Management/Satiety/Glucose and Insulin Control/Physical Performance: Kees de Graaf, Joanne Harrold, Mette Hansen, Mette Kristensen, Anders Sjödin and Inge Tetens.

Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On Request From
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2008-1205
EFSA-Q-2008-1206
EFSA-Q-2008-1207
EFSA-Q-2008-1208
EFSA-Q-2008-1209
EFSA-Q-2008-1210
EFSA-Q-2008-1212
EFSA-Q-2008-1213
EFSA-Q-2008-1214
EFSA-Q-2008-1215
EFSA-Q-2008-1216
EFSA-Q-2008-1218
EFSA-Q-2008-2419
EFSA-Q-2010-00260
Adopted
10 September 2010
Published
19 October 2010
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Article (284.77 KB)284.77 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 (EC) No 1924/2006. This opinion addresses the scientific substantiation of health claims in relation to whey protein and increase in satiety leading to a reduction in energy intake, contribution to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight, growth or maintenance of muscle mass, increase in lean body mass during energy restriction and resistance training, reduction of body fat mass during energy restriction and resistance, increase in muscle strength, increase in endurance capacity during the subsequent exercise bout after strenuous exercise, skeletal muscle tissue repair and faster recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise. 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 whey protein. The Panel considers that whey protein is sufficiently characterised in relation to the claimed effects.

Increase in satiety leading to a reduction in energy intake

The claimed effect is “increases satiety”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that an increase in satiety leading to a reduction in energy intake, if sustained, might be a beneficial physiological effect.

None of the studies provided tested the sustainability of an effect of whey protein on measures of satiety and subsequent energy intake (i.e. effects were tested on a single occasion and no information was provided on the repeated consumption of the food constituent).

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of whey protein and a sustained increase in satiety leading to a reduction in energy intake.

Contribution to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight

The claimed effect is “weight management”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that contribution to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight is a beneficial physiological effect.

No references were provided from which conclusions could be drawn 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 consumption of whey protein and contribution to the maintenance or achievement of a normal body weight.

Growth or maintenance of muscle mass

The claimed effects are “promotes protein synthesis when taken after resistance exercise”, “supports an increase in lean body mass when combined with exercise and a hypercaloric diet”, “muscle mass maintenance in the elderly” and “muscle strength and body composition”. 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 growth or maintenance of muscle mass. The Panel considers that growth or maintenance of muscle mass is a beneficial physiological effect.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that only three small intervention studies in humans were pertinent to the claim, and that these studies reported conflicting results with respect to the effects of whey protein on muscle mass compared to other protein sources (i.e. casein and soy protein).

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of whey protein and growth or maintenance of muscle mass over and above the well established role of protein on the claimed effect.

Increase in lean body mass during energy restriction and resistance training

The claimed effect is “supports a gain in lean body mass during periods of energy restriction”. The target population is assumed to be adults on an energy-restricted diet performing resistance training who wish to increase their lean body mass. The Panel considers that an increase in lean body mass during energy restriction and resistance training is a beneficial physiological effect.

From all (but one) of the references provided for the scientific substantiation of this claim no conclusions could be drawn for the scientific substantiation of the claimed effect, and one human randomised controlled intervention study which compared whey protein and casein reported a significantly greater increase in lean body mass in the casein group compared to the whey protein group.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of whey protein and an increase in lean body mass during energy restriction and resistance training.

Reduction of body fat mass during energy restriction and resistance training

The claimed effect is “supports a decrease in body fat when combined with exercise and a hypocaloric diet”. The target population is assumed to be adults on an energy-restricted diet performing resistance training who wish to decrease their body fat mass. The Panel considers that a reduction in body fat mass during energy restriction and resistance training is a beneficial physiological effect.

From all (but one) of the references provided for the scientific substantiation of this claim no scientific conclusions could be drawn for the substantiation of the claimed effect, and one human randomised controlled intervention study which compared whey protein and casein reported a significantly greater decrease in body fat mass in the casein group compared to the whey protein group.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of whey protein and a reduction of body fat mass during energy restriction and resistance training.

Increase in muscle strength

The claimed effect is “muscle strength”. The target population is assumed to be active individuals who are performing resistance exercise to improve muscle strength. The Panel considers that an increase in muscle strength is a beneficial physiological effect.
In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that the results from the three small intervention studies in humans that addressed the effects of whey protein versus other protein sources (i.e. casein and soy protein) on muscle strength were conflicting.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of whey protein during resistance training and an increase in muscle strength.

Increase in endurance capacity during the subsequent exercise bout after strenuous exercise

The claimed effect is “physical performance”. The target population is assumed to be active individuals. In the context of the proposed wording, the Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to an increase in endurance capacity during the subsequent exercise bout after strenuous exercise. The Panel considers that an increase in endurance capacity during the subsequent exercise bout after strenuous exercise is a beneficial physiological effect.

No references were provided from which conclusions could be drawn 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 post exercise consumption of whey protein and increase in endurance capacity during the subsequent exercise bout after strenuous exercise.

Skeletal muscle tissue repair

The claimed effect is “physical performance”. The target population is assumed to be active individuals performing resistance exercise. In the context of the proposed wording, the Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to rebuilding of structural protein within the skeletal muscle tissue after exercise that has caused muscle damage. The Panel considers that skeletal muscle tissue repair is a beneficial physiological effect.

No references were provided from which conclusions could be drawn 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 consumption of whey protein after resistance exercise and skeletal muscle tissue repair.

Faster recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise

The claimed effects are “muscle fatigue recovery” and “muscle recovery”. The target population is assumed to be active individuals in the general population. The Panel considers that faster recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise is a beneficial physiological effect.

No references were provided from which conclusions could be drawn 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 consumption of whey protein and faster recovery from muscle fatigue recovery after exercise.

Keywords
Whey protein, satiety, energy intake, body weight, muscle, lean body mass, energy restriction, body fat mass, muscle strength, endurance capacity, exercise, tissue repair, recovery, muscle fatigue, health claims
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Number of Pages
28