Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to oat beta glucan and lowering blood cholesterol and reduced risk of (coronary) heart disease pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006
Following an application from CreaNutrition AG submitted pursuant to Article 14 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 a health claim related to oat beta glucan and lowering of blood LDL and total cholesterol. Oat beta-glucan is sufficiently characterised. Lowering blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations is a beneficial physiological effect by decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease. The applicant identified a total of 22 references, which included three meta-analyses and 19 randomised controlled trials, as being pertinent to the health claim. In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that most of the trials investigating the effects of oat beta-glucan at doses of at least 3 g/d have shown a statistically significant decrease in LDL-cholesterol concentrations, and that there was strong evidence supporting the biological plausibility of the effect. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of oat beta-glucan and lowering of blood LDL-cholesterol concentrations. The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “Oat beta-glucan has been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. Blood cholesterol lowering may reduce the risk of (coronary) heart disease”. The Panel considers that, in order to bear the claim, foods should provide at least 3 g of oat beta-glucan per day. This amount can reasonably be consumed as part of a balanced diet. The target population is adults who want to lower their blood cholesterol concentrations.