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ERNA Presents The Facts On Carotenoids

29 January 2007 - Carotenoids and the health benefits of their antioxidant properties have taken the food world by storm. The more than 600 organic pigments that occur naturally in plants, some algae and fungi are rising in popularity, and substances such as B-Carotene and Lycopene are now well-recognised names in nutritional health.

Advances in scientific understanding of their benefits have led to some significant changes in the food market, and in light of the increase in consumer demand for food supplements, the European Responsible Nutrition Alliance (ERNA) recently released its updated selection of fact sheets on vitamins, minerals and other substances. The report includes three new additions: B-Carotene, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, and Lycopene.

The carotenoids have been added to the group’s original vitamin and mineral fact sheets released in 2004, which detail the general health benefits, recommended intake, absorption and metabolism, and safety of vitamins A, B, C, D and E as well as Calcium, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium and Zinc. The fact sheets were created in line with the EU Food Supplement Directive that came into being in 2002, to collate the vast amount of information available into a clear and manageable format.

“The original fact sheets were developed in support of the vast array of scientific studies showing the beneficial role of vitamins and minerals for the maintenance and improvement of health and were exceptionally well received by medical and health practitioners,” said Patrick Coppens, secretary general for ERNA. “In the light of the expansion of the Food Supplements Directive to other substances we are now developing fact sheets on a number of substances that are widely used because of their health benefits. The carotenoids are the first in a series that will be followed with another set of fact sheets later this year.”

ERNA is made up of suppliers and manufacturers of dietary supplements and functional ingredients who work mainly on scientific grounds towards ensuring that a wide range of safe, quality products reflecting the latest in supplementation research, will be accessible in the future European market.

For a free copy of the ERNA Information Fact Sheets contact Patrick Coppens on (+32) 2 218 14 70 or email


For more information contact Patrick Coppens, Secretary General, ERNA,
50 Rue del’Association, 1000 Brussels, tel: (+32) (0) 2 218 14 70.

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