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Claimed effects, outcome variables and methods of measurement for health claims proposed under regulation (EC) 1924/2006 and related to cognitive function in adults

D. Martini, A. Innocenti, C. Cosentino, G. Bedogni, I. Zavaroni, M. Ventura, D. Galli, P. Mirandola, M. Vitale, A. Dei Cas, R. C. Bonadonna, G. Passeri, C. Pruneti, D. Del Rio


Some food/food components have been the object of request of authorization to the use of health claims related to cognitive function in adults and compliant with the Regulation (EC) 1924/2006. Most of the requests have received a negative opinion by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also because of the choice of not appropriate outcome variables (OVs) and methods of measurement (MMs) selected in the trials used to substantiate the claim. This manuscript referes to the collection, collation and critical analysis of OVs and MMs related to cognitive function in adults. OVs and MMs were collected from the EFSA Guidance document and the applications for authorization of health claims pursuant to the Articles 13(5). The critical analysis of OVs and MMs, performed by a literature review, was aimed at defining their appropriateness in the context of a specific claimed effect. The results highlight the importance of an adequate choice of OVs and MMs for an effective substantiation of the claims related to cognitive functioning.

The information provided in this document may serve to EFSA for updating the guidance on the scientific requirements for health claims related to cognitive functions, but also for a better design of randomized controlled trials aimed at substantiating such health claims.

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