Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to 3 g/day plant sterols/stanols and lowering blood LDL-cholesterol and reduced risk of (coronary) heart disease pursuant to Article 19 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

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Article
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2012;10(5):2693 [15 pp.].
Possible conflict of interest
Two members of the Panel did not participate in the discussion on the subject referred to above because of potential conflicts of interest identified in accordance with the EFSA policy on declarations of interests.
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2693
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 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, Hans Verhagen and EFSA’s staff member Wolfgang Gelbmann for the preparatory work for this scientific opinion.

Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
Competent Authority of the United Kingdom following an application by Unilever PLC
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2011-01241
Adopted
26 April 2012
Published in the EFSA Journal
16 May 2012
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Abstract

Following an application from Unilever PLC and Unilever NV, submitted pursuant to Article 19 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of the United Kingdom, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of an application to modify the conditions of use of an authorised Article 14 claim related to 1.5 - 3.0 g plant sterols/stanols per day and lowering blood LDL-cholesterol by 7 - 12 % and reduced risk of (coronary) heart disease. The applicant has further requested that the minimum duration to obtain the effect be one to two weeks. The applicant provided a published systematic review and meta-analysis that evaluated the comparative efficacy of plant sterols and plant stanols for lowering blood LDL-cholesterol in healthy and hypercholesterolaemic subjects and an unpublished meta-analysis on 27 randomised controlled human studies on the LDL-lowering efficacy at a dose range between 2.6 and 3.4 g per day. On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that plant sterols and stanol esters at daily intakes ranging from 1.5 to 3.0 g plant sterols/stanols in matrices approved by Regulation (EC) No 376/2010 (yellow fat spreads, dairy products, mayonnaise and salad dressings) have a similar efficacy on blood LDL-cholesterol lowering, that plant sterols and stanol esters at a daily intake of 3 g (range 2.6 g to 3.4 g) plant sterols/stanols in matrices approved by Regulation (EC) No 376/2010 lower LDL-cholesterol by 11.3 % (95 % CI: 10.0 - 12.5), and that the minimum duration required to achieve the maximum effect of plant sterols and stanols on LDL-cholesterol lowering is two to three weeks.

Keywords
Plant stanols, plant sterols, phytosterols, coronary heart disease, LDL-cholesterol
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Number of Pages
15