Following an application from IDACE, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of France, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to magnesium and contribution to normal development of bone.
The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim referring to children’s development and health.
The food constituent that is the subject of the health claim is magnesium, which is a well recognised nutrient and is measurable in foods by established methods. The Panel considers that magnesium is sufficiently characterised.
The claimed effect proposed by the applicant is “supports the development of healthy and strong bone in children”. The target population proposed by the applicant is “infants (from birth onwards) and young children (until three years of age)”. The Panel considers that contribution to normal development of bone is a beneficial physiological effect for infants and young children.
A claim on magnesium and maintenance of normal bone in the general population has already been assessed with a favourable outcome. Some 50 to 60 % of the total body magnesium content in normal adults resides in bone as a surface constituent of the hydroxyapatite mineral component of bone. The magnesium in bone is readily exchangeable with serum, and therefore it may serve as a reservoir for maintaining a normal extracellular magnesium concentration. Magnesium deficiency in animals results in decreased bone strength and volume, and impaired bone development.
The Panel notes that the role of magnesium on bone mineralisation and homeostasis applies to all ages, including infants and young children (from birth to three years).
The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between dietary intake of magnesium and contribution to normal development of bone.
The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “Magnesium contributes to normal development of bone”.
The Panel considers that, in order to bear the claim, follow-on formulae should comply with the criteria of composition of follow-on formulae as laid down in Directive 2006/141/EC; nutritionally complete foods for special medical purposes intended for use by infants and nutritionally complete foods for special medical purposes other than those intended for use by infants should comply with the criteria of composition of these foods as laid down in Directive 1999/21/EC; processed cereal-based foods for infants and young children should comply with the criteria of composition of these foods as laid down in Directive 2006/125/EC; other foodstuffs intended for infants and young children should provide at least 15 % of the reference values for nutrition labelling for foods intended for infants and young children as laid down in Directive 2006/141/EC. Such amounts can be easily consumed as part of a balanced diet. The target population is infants and children up to three years. No Tolerable Upper Intake Level has been established for magnesium in this age group.