• Open Access

Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of a health claim related to increasing maternal folate status by supplemental folate intake and reduced risk of neural tube defects pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

Authors

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


  • Panel members: 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
  • 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, Marina Heinonen, Ambroise Martin, Hildegard Przyrembel, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Hendrik Van Loveren, Hans Verhagen and Peter Willatts for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.
  • Adoption date: 10 July 2013
  • Published date: 26 July 2013
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2013-00265
  • On request from: Competent Authority of the United Kingdom following an application by Rank Nutrition Ltd

Abstract

Following an application from Rank Nutrition Ltd, 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 increasing maternal folate status by supplemental folate intake and reduced risk of neural tube defects. The Panel considers that the food constituent, supplemental folate, which is the subject of the claim, is sufficiently characterised. Increasing maternal folate status by supplemental folate intake is a beneficial physiological effect in the context of reducing the risk of neural tube defects. In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that the association between low maternal folate intakes and an increased risk of neural tube defects is well established, and that a recent systematic review showed an effect of maternal folic acid intakes on the risk of neural tube defects. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between increasing maternal folate status by supplemental folate intake and a reduced risk of neural tube defects.

Ancillary