Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to taurine and “immune system protection” (ID 611), “metabolism processes” (ID 613), contribution to normal cognitive function (ID 1659), maintenance of normal cardiac function (ID 1661),

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Article
EFSA Journal 2011;9(4):2035 [19 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2035
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 Cardiovascular Health/Oxidative Stress: Antti Aro, Marianne Geleijnse, Marina Heinonen, Ambroise Martin, Wilhelm Stahl and Henk van den Berg. 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. 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-2008-1398
EFSA-Q-2008-1400
EFSA-Q-2008-2395
EFSA-Q-2008-2397
EFSA-Q-2008-2682
EFSA-Q-2008-2691
Adopted
12 November 2010
Published
8 April 2011
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Article (250.62 KB)250.62 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 a health claim in relation to taurine and “immune system protection”, “metabolism processes”, contribution to normal cognitive function, maintenance of normal cardiac function, maintenance of normal muscle function and delay in the onset of physical fatigue during 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 taurine. The Panel considers that taurine is sufficiently characterised.

“Immune system protection”

The claimed effect is “for immune system protection”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The claimed effect is not sufficiently defined and no further details were provided in the proposed wording or the clarifications provided by Member States.

The Panel considers that the claimed effect is general and non-specific, and does not refer to any specific health claim as required by Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

“Metabolism processes”

The claimed effect is “for metabolism processes (glucose/caffeine uptake)”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The claimed effect is not sufficiently defined and no further details were provided in the proposed wording or the clarifications provided by Member States.

The Panel considers that the claimed effect is general and non-specific, and does not refer to any specific health claim as required by Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

Contribution to normal cognitive function

The claimed effect is “cognitive function/mental health”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel considers that contribution to normal cognitive function 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 taurine and contribution to normal cognitive function.

Maintenance of normal cardiac function

The claimed effect is “for cardiovascular system health”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. In the context of the proposed wording and the clarifications provided by Member States, the Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to the maintenance of normal cardiac function. The Panel considers that maintenance of normal cardiac function is a beneficial physiological effect.

No human studies 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 taurine and maintenance of normal cardiac function.

Maintenance of normal muscle function

The claimed effect is “fonctionnement musculaire”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. The Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to the maintenance of normal muscle function. The Panel notes that from the information provided it is unclear which aspect of muscle function is the subject of the health claim, and that none of the references provided for this claim addressed any aspect of muscle function.

The Panel considers that the claimed effect is general and non-specific, and does not refer to any specific health claim as required by Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

Delay in the onset of physical fatigue during exercise

The claimed effect is “tonus/vitality”. The target population is assumed to be active individuals in the general population. In the context of the proposed wordings and clarifications provided by Member States, and in the context of the references provided, the Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to a delay in the onset of physical fatigue during exercise. The Panel considers that a delay in the onset of physical fatigue during 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 taurine and a delay in the onset of physical fatigue during exercise.

Keywords
Taurine, immune system, metabolism, cognitive function, heart, muscle, fatigue, exercise, health claims
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Number of Pages
19