Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to foods with reduced amounts of sodium and maintenance of normal blood pressure (ID 336, 705, 1148, 1178, 1185, 1420) 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 2011;9(6):2237 [16 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2237
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 Cardiovascular Health/Oxidative Stress: Antti Aro, Marianne Geleijnse, Marina Heinonen, Ambroise Martin, Wilhelm Stahl and Henk van den Berg.

Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2008-1123
EFSA-Q-2008-1492
EFSA-Q-2008-1887
EFSA-Q-2008-1917
EFSA-Q-2008-1924
EFSA-Q-2008-2157
Adopted
25 March 2011
Published
30 June 2011
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 foods with reduced amounts of sodium and maintenance of normal blood pressure. 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 constituents that are the subjects of the health claims are “sodium/salt”, “low sodium/salt and/or increased potassium”, “food reduced/low in/free of sodium/salt and/or increased potassium”, “breads with salt content of <0.7 %”, and “natural berries/sodium”. From the information provided, the Panel assumes that the food constituent that is the subject of the health claims is sodium, which should be reduced in foods in order to obtain the claimed effect. The Panel considers that the food constituent, sodium, which is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterised.

The claimed effects are “effects on blood pressure”, “heart health”, “blood pressure, heart health”, and “cardiovascular system”. The Panel assumes that the target population is the general population. In the context of the proposed wordings, the Panel notes that the claimed effect relates to the maintenance of normal blood pressure. The Panel considers that maintenance of normal blood pressure is a beneficial physiological effect.

The evidence provided by consensus opinions/reports from authoritative bodies and reviews shows that there is good consensus on the effect of sodium intake on blood pressure in normotensive and hypertensive human subjects.

The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between high dietary sodium intakes and increased blood pressure, and that the reduction of dietary sodium intake helps maintain a normal blood pressure.

To establish conditions of use, sodium/salt nutrition claims as per Annex of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 should be considered. The target population is the general population.

Keywords
Sodium, blood pressure, health claims
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Number of Pages
16