Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to DHA and contribution to normal brain development pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006
Following an application from DSM Nutritional Products, submitted for authorisation of a health claim pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of the United Kingdom, 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 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and contribution to normal brain development. The Panel considers that DHA is sufficiently characterised, and that contribution to normal brain development is a beneficial physiological effect for infants and children. The Panel has already assessed a claim on DHA and maintenance of normal brain function with a favourable outcome. The Panel noted the well-established role of DHA in brain function. The Panel considers that the role of DHA in normal brain function applies to all ages, including brain development in infants and children. The Panel also notes that the developing brain accumulates large amounts of DHA, particularly during the first two years of life, but also later and throughout childhood. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of DHA and contribution to normal brain development. The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “DHA contributes to normal brain development”. In order to bear the claim, foods for older infants and young children below the age of 24 months should provide a daily intake of 100 mg DHA in one or more servings, while foods for children from 2 to 18 years should provide a daily intake of 250 mg DHA in one or more servings.