Our bodies are made up of cells and it is therefore essential for cells to develop normally and remain healthy to ensure overall health.

Health claims are now authorised across the EU for nutrients which have a role in cell division and specialisation, protection of cells from oxidative stress, and normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin, which resides in the cell. All of the nutrients for which these health claims have been approved are either vitamins or minerals, notably:

Health claimVitamin or mineral
Role in cell divisionCalcium, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, Zinc
Role in cell specialisationCalcium, vitamin A
Protects cell from oxidative stressCalcium, Copper, Magnesium, vitamin B2, Selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zinc
Formation of  red blood cellsIron, vitamin B12, vitamin B6
Maintenance of normal blood cellsVitamin B2
Formation of haemoglobinIron

A separate health claim has also been authorised for vitamin C and its role in improving iron absorption, which is important for vegetarians – as plant iron is less easy to absorb than iron from meat – and also those who may be on a low intake of meat, which is often the case in the elderly and people on special diets.

A claim 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

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