EFSA health claim opinion

EFSA rejects ‘poor quality’ cranberry health claim

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Urinary tract Urinary tract infection

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has dismissed a second article 14 urinary tract infection (UTI)-cranberry extract health claim.

The verdict is unlikely to ruffle too many feathers in the cranberry industry as the disease reduction dossier submitted by Czech company, Valosun, contained only eight studies EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) described as “poor”.

The product in question – Uroval – contains 300 mg of D(+)-mannose and 100mg of cranberry extract with 10 per cent proanthocyanidins for which it sought to make the claim: Cranberry extract and D-mannose, the main active ingredients of the food supplement Uroval, eliminate the adhesion of harmful bacteria to the bladder wall. The adhesion of harmful bacteria to the bladder wall is the main risk factor in the development of urinary tract infections.”

The target populations were those with​acute and/or chronic urinary tract infections.

In dismissing the claim, the NDA stated:

“The Panel notes the poor quality of the references provided and that none of the references were related to a combination of a cranberry extract and D-mannose equivalent to Uroval. The Panel considers that no scientific conclusion can be drawn from the references for the substantiation of the claim.”

One uncontrolled study did use the formula but was unclear in its methods and so was deemed inconclusive.

The Panel noted that a Cochrane review (Jepson and Craig, 2009) on cranberries and preventing UTI were referenced but none of the studies referenced in the review contained a Uroval-like formulation.

But it did acknowledge that inhibiting bacterial adhesion in the urinary tract could reduce the risk of symptomatic urinary tract infections.

The rejection came despite a request from EFSA for further information, which Valosun provided.

The opinion can be found here​.

Valosun was not available for comment by the time of publication.

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