Please read the entire “Scientific Opinion” https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2033
Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to provide a scientific opinion on a list of health claims pursuant to Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. This opinion addresses the scientific substantiation of health claims in relation to polyphenols in olive and protection of LDL particles from oxidative damage, maintenance of normal blood HDL-cholesterol concentrations, maintenance of normal blood pressure, “anti inflammatory properties”, “contributes to the upper respiratory tract health”, “can help to maintain a normal function of gastrointestinal tract”, and “contributes to body defences against external agents”.
The scientific substantiation is based on the information provided by the Member States in the consolidated list of Article 13 health claims and references that EFSA has received from Member States or directly from stakeholders.
The food constituent, which is the subject of the health claims, is polyphenols (e.g. hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein complex) in olive (olive fruit, olive mill waste waters or olive oil, Olea europaea L. extract and leaf). The Panel considers that polyphenols in olive (olive fruit, olive mill waste waters or olive oil, Olea europaea L. extract and leaf) standardised by their content of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (e.g. oleuropein complex) are sufficiently characterised in relation to the claimed effects.
- Protection of LDL particles from oxidative damage
The claimed effects are “reduces oxidative stress”, “antioxidant properties”, “lipid metabolism”, “antioxidant activity, they protect body cells and LDL from oxidative damages”, and “antioxidant properties”. The target population is assumed to be the general population. In the context of the proposed wordings, the Panel assumes that the claimed effects refer to the protection of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) particles from oxidative damage. The Panel considers that protection of LDL particles from oxidative damage may be a beneficial physiological effect.
In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that a well conducted and powered study, and two smaller-scale studies, showed a dose dependent and significant effect of olive oil polyphenol consumption (for three weeks) on appropriate markers of LDL peroxidation (oxLDL), that these results were supported by one short-term and one acute study, and by supportive markers of LDL peroxidation (conjugated dienes, ex vivo resistance of LDL to oxidation) going in the same direction, and that evidence for a biologically plausible mechanism by which olive oil polyphenols could exert the claimed effect has been provided.
On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of olive oil polyphenols (standardised by the content of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives) and protection of LDL particles from oxidative damage.
The Panel considers that in order to bear the claim, 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (e.g. oleuropein complex and tyrosol) in olive oil should be consumed daily. These amounts, if provided by moderate amounts of olive oil, can be easily consumed in the context of a balanced diet.
The concentrations in some olive oils may be too low to allow the consumption of this amount of polyphenols in the context of a balanced diet. The target population is the general population.