Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to alpha-lipoic acid and “protection of the nerve system” (ID 3157) and increase in insulin sensitivity (ID 3158) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

Tabs

Article
EFSA Journal 2011;9(6):2202 [14 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2202
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 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-2008-3889
EFSA-Q-2008-3890
Adopted
8 April 2011
Published
30 June 2011
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Article (212.09 KB)212.09 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 alpha-lipoic acid and “protection of the nerve system” and increase in insulin sensitivity. 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 alpha-lipoic acid. The Panel considers that alpha-lipoic acid is sufficiently characterised.

“Protection of the nerve system”

The claimed effect is “protection of nerve system”. The target population is assumed to be the general population.

From the references provided, which reported on the treatment of neurological complications of diabetes (i.e. diabetic polyneuropathy), the Panel considers that the claim is related to the treatment of a disease and does not comply with the criteria laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

The Panel notes that the clarifications provided by Member States mention lipid peroxidation. A claim on alpha lipoic acid and protection of body lipids from oxidative damage has already been assessed with an unfavourable outcome. The references cited for the current claim did not provide any additional scientific data which could be used to substantiate the claim.

Increase in insulin sensitivity

The claimed effect is “glucose metabolism”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. From the references provided, the Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to an increase in insulin sensitivity. The Panel considers that an increase in insulin sensitivity is a beneficial physiological effect.

No references were provided from which conclusions could be drawn for the scientific substantiation of the claim.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of alpha-lipoic acid and an increase in insulin sensitivity.

Keywords
alpha-lipoic acid, nervous system, insulin sensitivity, health claims
Print on demand
Number of Pages
14