Probiotic health claims are ‘unproven’

Claims made by probiotic drinks and yoghurts are dismissed by EU experts for lack of evidence

Claims that probiotic drinks and yoghurts are good for your health have been dismissed by the European Union’s food agency.

The drinks and yoghurts full of ‘friendly’ bacteria are believed to aid digestion and may boost the immune system.

But the EU body says the claims cannot be proven after examining 180 claims for the supplements.

Scientists from the European Food Safety Authority threw out 10 claims and said the remaining 170 did not have enough evidence to support their supposed benefits.

The UK’s best-selling probiotic drinks Actimel and Yakult were not included in the study, because they have submitted claims that will be considered at a later date.

The findings of the review will now be voted on by an EU committee which is drawing up a list of permitted health claims for all ‘functional foods’.

The ruling could mean supplements which claim to lower blood pressure, fight high cholesterol or improve eyesight, will also have to remove their health claims from labels, reports the Daily Mail.

Professor Albert Flynn, chairman of EFSA’s expert panel said,’ ESFA’s independent scientific advice will help ensure that the health claims made on foods are accurate and helpful to consumers in making healthy diet choices.’

EFSA is reviewing all health claims made for food products following an EU law introduced in 2006. It stated that all medical-sounding marketing claims must be verified.


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