EPA and “reduces AA/EPA ratio in blood in children with ADHD”


Eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA, arachidonic acid, AA/EPA ratio, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, health claims
First published in the EFSA Journal
8 aprile 2013
21 marzo 2013
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel

Following an application from Minami Nutrition Health BVBA, submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Belgium, 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 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and “reduces the AA/EPA ratio in blood. A high AA/EPA level is a risk factor in the development of attention difficulties in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like symptoms”. The food constituent, EPA, which is the subject of the health claim, is sufficiently characterised. The claimed effect proposed by the applicant is “reduces the AA/EPA ratio in blood. A high AA/EPA level is a risk factor in the development of attention difficulties in children with ADHD-like symptoms. These children are also characterised by less hyperactivity and/or coexisting oppositional behaviour”. Upon a request by EFSA for clarification, the applicant indicated that the disease was ADHD, which is classified as such in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), that the risk factor for the disease was an elevated AA/EPA ratio in blood, and that the target population for the claim was children with diagnosis of ADHD. The Panel considers that the evidence provided does not establish that reducing the AA/EPA ratio reduces the risk of ADHD in children, and considers that the target population is a diseased population (i.e. children with ADHD). The Panel concludes that the claimed effect relates to the treatment of a disease, and that therefore the health claim does not comply with the criteria laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Sébastien La Vieille, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck and Hans Verhagen
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
nda [at] efsa.europa.eu
EFSA Journal 2013;11(4):3161 [10 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
Competent Authority of Belgium following an application by Minami Nutrition Health BVBA
Print on demand
Number of Pages