September 12, 2011
PARMA, ItalyThe European Foods Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a scientific opinion stating consumption of hydroxytyrosol and related polyphenols has a cause-and-effect relationship effect on the protection of blood lipids from oxidative damage (EFSA Journal 2011;9(4):2033). EFSA issued the Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies.
The opinion said polyphenols (e.g. hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein complex) in olive (olive fruit, olive mill waste waters or olive oil, Olea europaea L. extract and leaf) can be listed with claims of protection of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles from oxidative damage, maintenance of normal blood high-density lipoprotein (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 defenses against external agents."
EFSA determined that a minimum 5 mg of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives in olive oil should be consumed daily to use a cardiovascular health claim. The EFSA document said concentrations in some olive oils may be too low to allow the consumption of the 5 mg amount hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives with a regular and balanced diet.
The Panel considers polyphenols in olive (olive fruit, olive mill waste waters or olive oil, Olea europaea L. extract and leaf) standardized by their content of hydroxytyrosol and its derivatives (e.g. oleuropein complex) are sufficiently characterized in relation to the claimed effects.
In weighing the evidence, EFSA took into account that a well-designed-and-conducted study, and two smaller-scale studies showed a dose-dependent and significant effect of olive oil hydroxytyrosol and related compounds on lowering levels of oxidized LDL (oxLDL) in blood when consumed for three weeks. These studies were supported by one short-term and one acute study showing resistance of LDL to oxidation upon consumption of hydroxytyrosol and related compounds.
"The EFSA approval on polyphenols in olive has confirmed the results of many years of research on olive science and specifically on olive polyphenols and heart health," said Carlos Peña, CEO of Genosa ID S.A., the Malaga, Spain patent-holder and manufacturer of Hytolive®, which has hydroxytyrosol as its active ingredient. P.L. Thomas is the exclusive marketer of Hytolive in the NAFTA region.
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