Probiotic yogurt health claims can not be proven, say EU scientists
Posted: October 2nd, 2009 - 2:56pm
Source: Mail Online
Claims that probiotic yogurt drinks packed with so-called 'good bacteria' improve your health can not be proven, the EU's food agency has ruled.
The UK's £220 million-a-year probiotics industry claims that the small sweetened yogurt drinks help kill harmful organisms in the gut or boost the immune system.
But a team of experts from the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) threw out 180 claims made about probiotic ingredients.
Ten claims were rejected outright while the remaining 170 could not be assessed becaue there was 'insufficient' evidence to measure the claims.
The official ruling means that producers of many probiotic supplements, yoghurts and drinks will no longer be able to make claims about their products.
A whole raft of ingredients in food products and supplements claim to have probiotic qualities.
However, EFSA's panel of experts said there was insufficient evidence to show 'cause and effect'.
Other vitamins and minerals which claim to improve sight, lower blood pressure or combat cholesterol will also have to remove these from their labels.
In all about two-thirds of 523 health claims could not be substantiated with meaningful evidence, the European Food Standards Authority said.
On probiotics an Efsa spokeswoman said: 'They have been assessed but the outcome was negative or our scientists said they didn't have sufficient evidence to evaluate them.'