Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to alpha linolenic acid and contribution to brain and nerve tissue development pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

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Article
Alpha-linolenic acid, ALA, infants, children, development, brain, nerve tissue, health claim
First published in the EFSA Journal
7 April 2011
Adopted
25 March 2011
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
Abstract

Following an application from HiPP GmbH & Co Vertrieb KG submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Germany, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to alpha-linolenic acid and contribution to brain and nerve tissue development. Alpha-linolenic acid is considered to be sufficiently characterised. Contribution to brain and nerve tissue development is considered to be a beneficial physiological effect. Alpha-linolenic acid is the parent fatty acid of the longer chain n 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid, which is the major structural lipid in brain tissue and the central nervous system. Deficiency of alpha-linolenic acid results in adverse clinical symptoms including neurological abnormalities and poor growth. The Panel notes that for normal brain and nerve tissue development, alpha-linolenic acid, like other essential nutrients, is needed in adequate amounts. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of alpha-linolenic acid and contribution to brain and nerve tissue development. The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “Alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid, contributes to brain and nerve tissue development.” The target population is infants and children up to three years. © European Food Safety Authority, 2011

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.
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
Contact
nda [at] efsa.europa.eu
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2130
EFSA Journal 2011;9(4):2130 [8 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
European Commission
Print on demand
Number of Pages
8