EFSA article 14: positive opinion for oat beta-glucan

A scientific panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its positive opinion on a disease risk reduction health claim dossier for oat beta-glucan on 8. December 2010, following an application from CreaNutrition AG submitted pursuant to Article 14 of the EC regulation on nutrition and health claims.

According to the positive opinion of the EFSA panel for dietetic products, nutrition and allergies (NDA), foods providing 3g of oat beta-glucan per day can bear the health claim: “Oat beta-glucan has been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. Blood cholesterol lowering may reduce the risk of heart disease.” The health claim still needs to be approved by the EU Commission.

The Nutrition and Health Claim Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 stipulates that only approved health claims can be used in the marketing of foods throughout Europe. The regulation aims to build confidence among European consumers based on strong scientific evidence and protect against misleading claims.

Bioactive oat beta-glucan is the cholesterol-lowering constituent of CreaNutrition’s OatWell® oat bran ingredients. CreaNutrition is pleased about the positive opinion published by EFSA, with its acknowledgment of a strong scientific approach: “The evidence presented indicates that the cholesterol-lowering effect of oat beta-glucan may depend on the increased viscosity in the small intestine that reduces the reabsorption of bile acids, increases the synthesis of bile acids from cholesterol, and reduces circulating (LDL) cholesterol concentrations. Viscosity in the small intestine is determined by the concentration, molecular weight (MW) and solubility of oat beta-glucan.”(EFSA Journal 2010;8(12):1885)

A daily intake of 3g of bioactive oat beta-glucan in foods that can be reasonably consumed is recommended as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

The eligible natural oat sources contain not only beta-glucan, but also insoluble fibres, protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and plant sterols. Healthy eaters have enjoyed oats for decades; the first scientific report linking oat consumption to cholesterol reduction was published in the early 1960s.

This EFSA statement concerning the naturally occurring oat beta-glucan found in oat bran is the first positive cereal-based, disease-risk reduction opinion.

CreaNutrition is a pioneering company with leading expertise in bioactive oat beta-glucan solutions. Sizeably funded clinical research conducted extensively over the past twenty years, as well as specific scientific dossiers submitted by CreaNutrition, have resulted in several health claim approvals being granted in the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands and France.

OatWell® oat bran ingredients are marketed by CreaNutrition and appear in many health food products around the globe.

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