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EFSA health claim opinions

EFSA delivers sports market blow: Consultant

By Shane Starling , 06-Jul-2011
Last updated on 06-Jul-2011 at 16:04 GMT2011-07-06T16:04:33Z

EFSA delivers sports market blow: Consultant

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) rejection last week of health claims for sports nutrients like L-carnitine, acetyl of L-carnitine, glutamine or tyrosine may have a devastating effect on the European market, warns French consultancy, Nutraveris.

The opinions, “would make us think that they might put an end to the existence of sport foods” said CEO Cedric Bourges.

“This wide market particularly includes dietary products for sportsmen like cereal bars, proteins powder or drinks as well as food supplements with plants, vitamins and minerals or some other various substances like carnitine, taurine, creatine and of course proteins,” Bourges said.

While EFSA approved carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drinks to enhance water absorption during exercise and maintain endurance performance it found there was not strong data backing L-carnitine, acetyl of L-carnitine, glutamine or tyrosine in muscle recovery and muscle mass maintenance.

“Even if the sport nutrition market is quite prosperous now, those two opinions might be the actors of the market whose possibilities to formulate seem to be thinner,” Bourges observed.

“Furthermore, two weeks ago, the European Commission published a proposed substitute text for the Directive 2009/39/CE regarding PARNUTS, in which the category intended for sport foods wouldn’t exist.”

ANSES and amino acids

He added that the French Food Safety Agency (ANSES) had also recently questioned amino acids.

“The agency seems to be doubtful concerning the benefits of fortifying food with amino acids, considering that the daily intake of the diet of the general population as 'well above to the advised-recommended nutritional values'."

“Even if the metabolic complexity and physiology of amino acids is considered as an obstacle for the application of the toxicological studies. The agency points out that it is important to define the border between the intake level that brings health benefits and the emergence of toxicity.”

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