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Posts Tagged nutrition

Nutrient metabolism

Certain nutrients are essential for basic bodily functions, and a wide range of health claims have been authorised by the EU in this area. They include:

Health claim ‘contributes to normal…’VitaminMineralOther
Macronutrient metabolismBiotinChromium, Zinc
*Homocysteine metabolismFolate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6Betaine, Choline
Energy-yielding metabolismPantothenic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin CCalcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus
Lipid metabolismCholine
Sulphur amino acid metabolismMolybdenum
Synthesis and metabolism of steroid hormones, vitamin D and some neurotransmittersPantothenic acid
Metabolism of ironVitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin C
Protein and glycogen metabolismVitamin B6
Acid-base metabolismZinc
Carbohydrate metabolismZinc
Fatty acid metabolismZinc
Vitamin A metabolismZinc

*The homocysteine metabolism claims are of special interest as this involves the metabolism of homocysteine, seen as a marker for chronic illnesses such as heart disease, to methionine, a beneficial amino-acid. Vitamin B12 is necessary for this metabolism but is only present in animal products such as meat and milk, and is missing from strict vegetarian or vegan diets. This should be corrected by supplementation or foods fortified with vitamin B12.

Vitamin C enhances iron absorption by the body, and this is again important for vegetarians as plant iron is less absorbable than haem iron, which comes in the main from meat. Thus a vegetarian diet should include vitamin C rich foods.

The claims may be made for a single nutrient or several nutrients.

The EU Health Claims Register is dynamic in nature and should be checked for updates.

Nutrition claims & conditions governing their use

LOW ENERGY

ENERGY-REDUCED

ENERGY-FREE

LOW FAT

FAT-FREE

LOW SATURATED FAT

SATURATED FAT-FREE

LOW SUGAR

SUGAR-FREE

WITH NO ADDED SUGARS

LOW SODIUM/SALT

VERY LOW SODIUM/SALT

SODIUM-FREE or SALT-FREE

SOURCE OF FIBRE

HIGH FIBRE

SOURCE OF PROTEIN

HIGH PROTEIN

SOURCE OF (NAME OF VITAMIN/S) and/or (NAME OF MINERAL/S)

HIGH (NAME OF VITAMIN/S) and/or (NAME OF MINERAL/S)

CONTAINS (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT OR OTHER SUBSTANCE)

INCREASED (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT)

REDUCED (NAME OF THE NUTRIENT)

LIGHT/LITE

NATURALLY/NATURAL

SOURCE OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

HIGH OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

HIGH MONOUNSATURATED FAT

HIGH POLYUNSATURATED FAT

HIGH UNSATURATED FAT