Lactobacillus fermentum CECT 5716 and a reduction of the Staphylococcus load in breast milk which reduces the risk of infectious mastitis: evaluation of a health claim pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

Lactobacillus fermentum CECT 5716, Staphylococcus, breast milk, infectious mastitis,health claim
First published in the EFSA Journal
24 July 2017
27 June 2017
Scientific Opinion

Competing interests: In line with EFSA's policy on declarations of interest, Panel member Anders Sjödin did not participate in the development and adoption of this scientific opinion.


Following an application from Biosearch Life, 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 Lactobacillus fermentum CECT 5716 and decreases the Staphylococcus load in breast milk. High Staphylococcus load in breast milk is a risk factor for infectious mastitis. The scope of the application was proposed to fall under a health claim referring to disease risk reduction. The Panel considers that Lactobacillus fermentum CECT 5716 is sufficiently characterised. In the context of this application, the Staphylococcus load in breast milk can be considered a risk factor for the development of infectious mastitis, as long as evidence is provided that the consumption of Lactobacillus fermentum CECT 5716 reduces the Staphylococcus load in breast milk as well as the incidence of infectious mastitis. Three human intervention studies investigated the effect of Lactobacillus fermentum CECT 5716 on the Staphylococcus load of breast milk in lactating women. One of these studies was conducted in lactating women free of infectious mastitis at baseline. The Panel considers that no conclusions can be drawn from this study for the scientific substantiation of the claim owing to important methodological limitations. The other two studies were conducted in lactating women with infectious mastitis and, therefore, the effect of the intervention on the incidence of infectious mastitis cannot be assessed. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of Lactobacillus fermentum CECT 5716 and a reduction of the Staphylococcus load in breast milk which reduces the risk of infectious mastitis.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Jean-Louis Bresson, Barbara Burlingame, Tara Dean, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Karen Ildico Hirsch-Ernst, Inge Mangelsdorf, Harry J. McArdle, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Kristina Pentieva, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Martin Stern, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck, Hendrik Van Loveren, Marco Vinceti and Peter Willatts.
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
nda [at]
EFSA Journal 2017;15(7):4917
Question Number
On request from
Competent Authority of France following an application by Biosearch Life