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Reviews of food-health relationships for high level health claims

(July 2017)

Standard 1.2.7 – Nutrition, health and related claims includes requirements for making high level health claims. High level health claims must be based on a food-health relationship pre-approved by FSANZ. These relationships are listed in Schedule 4 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code).

New food-health relationships for high level health claims can only be included in Schedule 4 following assessment of a proposal to change the Code, which would include a systematic review of the evidence supporting the relationship and subsequent consideration by the High Level Health Claims Committee.

Reviews of existing high level health claims in Schedule 4

FSANZ is periodically updating the reviews on which the current high level health claims are based. The Health Claims Scientific Advisory Group provides scientific and technical advice about the reviews to FSANZ.

The outcomes of our consideration of existing high level health claims are given in the table below.​​

 

Health Claim



Date and outcome of systematic review



FSANZ decision on maintaining the claim

Food, component, ingredient, constituent or other feature of food

Health effect

Sodium or salt

Reduces blood pressure

Review completed: August 2014

Reduced sodium or salt intake reduces blood pressure in normotensive and hypertensive adults (‘High’ degree of certainty for each group).

Read the systematic review

Food-health relationship is current. Refer to  section S4—4 of the Code for conditions.

Phytosterols, phytostanols and their esters

Reduces blood cholesterol

Review completed: September 2014

Intake of phytosterols, phytostanols and their esters reduces blood total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in normocholesterolaemic adults1 and hypercholesterolaemic adults2.

Read the systematic review

Food-health relationship is current. Refer to  section S4—4 of the Code for conditions.

Saturated fatty acids

Reduces total blood cholesterol or blood LDL cholesterol

Review completed: July 2016

There was a ‘high’ degree of certainty in the relationship.

Read the systematic review

Food-health relationship is current. Refer to section  S4—4 of the Code for conditions.

Saturated and trans fatty acids

 

Reduces total blood cholesterol or blood LDL cholesterol

Saturated fatty acid component:  

Review completed: July 2016

There was a ‘high’ degree of certainty in the relationship.

Read the systematic review

Trans fatty acid component:

Review completed: July 2014

Additional commentary completed: August 2015

There was a ‘high’ degree of certainty in the relationship.

Read the systematic review and the additional commentary

Food-health relationship is current. Refer to section  S4—4 of the Code for conditions.

Beta-glucan

Reduces blood cholesterol

Review completed: August 2015

The relationship for dietary intake of beta-glucan from oats or barley reduces blood cholesterol concentration was not assessable.

Dietary intake of wholegrain oats or oat bran reduces blood total and LDL cholesterol concentrations (‘High’ degree of certainty).

Dietary intake of wholegrain barley reduces blood total and LDL cholesterol concentrations (‘moderate’ degree of certainty).

Read the systematic review

See consultation paper

 

1 ‘hypercholesterolaemic adults’ refers to adults with blood total cholesterol levels ≥ 5.5 mmol/l 
2 ‘normocholesterolaemic adults’ refers to adults with blood total cholesterol levels < 5.5 mmol/l

Read about FSANZ assessments of EU-authorised claims.

Original consideration of food-health relationships for high level health claims

There are currently 13 pre-approved food-health relationships for high level health claims listed in Schedule 4.  

They were based on a series of commissioned reviews carried out in 2004-05 and considered by the former Scientific Advisory Group, or on subsequent scientific evaluations. Copies of the reviews considered by the former Scientific Advisory Group are available below, including two (#6 and #7 below) that were assessed as not being established.

 

Food-health relationship

Review report

1. Sodium (with or without potassium) AND hypertension

The relationship between dietary sodium intake, alone or in combination with potassium intake, and risk of hypertension in adults
Download as a PDF (181kb)

2. Fruit & vegetables AND coronary heart disease

Dietary fruit and vegetable intake and risk of coronary heart disease
Download as a PDF (689kb)

3. Saturated fat and/or trans fat AND elevated serum cholesterol or heart disease

The relationship between saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and LDL-cholesterol and coronary heart disease.
Download as a PDF (912kb)

4. Calcium (with or without Vitamin D) AND osteoporosis

The relationship between dietary calcium intake, alone or in association with Vitamin D status, and risk of developing osteoporosis
Download as a PDF (318kb)

5. Folic acid AND neural tube defects

The relationship between dietary folate intake of women of childbearing age and risk of neural tube defects
Download as a PDF (287kb)

6. Wholegrains AND coronary heart disease

Relationship between wholegrain intake and risk of coronary heart disease
Download as a PDF (383kb)
Download the FSANZ consideration of review PDF (114kb)

7. Omega-3 fatty acids AND cardiovascular disease

The relationship between omega -3 fatty acid intake and risk of cardiovascular disease
Download as a PDF (563kb)
Download the FSANZ consideration of review PDF (79kb)

 

 

 

 

 

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