• Open Access

Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to alpha linolenic acid and contribution to brain and nerve tissue development pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

Authors

  • EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA)


  • Panel members: Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Hannu Korhonen, Pagona Lagiou, Martinus Løvik, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Bevan Moseley, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Stephan Strobel, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen.
  • Correspondence: nda@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Claims: Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Martinus Løvik, Ambroise Martin, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.
  • Adoption date: 25 March 2011
  • Published date: 7 April 2011
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2009-00197
  • On request from: European Commission

Abstract

Following an application from HiPP GmbH & Co Vertrieb KG submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Germany, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to alpha-linolenic acid and contribution to brain and nerve tissue development. Alpha-linolenic acid is considered to be sufficiently characterised. Contribution to brain and nerve tissue development is considered to be a beneficial physiological effect. Alpha-linolenic acid is the parent fatty acid of the longer chain n 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid, which is the major structural lipid in brain tissue and the central nervous system. Deficiency of alpha-linolenic acid results in adverse clinical symptoms including neurological abnormalities and poor growth. The Panel notes that for normal brain and nerve tissue development, alpha-linolenic acid, like other essential nutrients, is needed in adequate amounts. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of alpha-linolenic acid and contribution to brain and nerve tissue development. The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “Alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid, contributes to brain and nerve tissue development.” The target population is infants and children up to three years. © European Food Safety Authority, 2011

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