Declaration of healthy foods, to study

The Technical Commission for Dietary Products, Nutrition and Allergies of the European Union has recently ruled about health claims of eight products. As it should have always been, this commission will not accept any health claims unless it is backed by scientific studies.

According to this commission, the the only ones that have demonstrated their beneficial properties for health are sterols, chemical compounds added to many foods that have been proven to help reduce blood cholesterol levels and, therefore, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. To make it clear, we talk about products like Benecol or Danacol, which are recommended to take after the main meal of the day, one container a day (I take them daily, recommended by my doctor).

The rest, according to these experts, have not scientifically proven their health benefits, so they will not be allowed to advertise with those supposedly healthy effects. Among these products of unproven efficacy are the fatty acids "alpha linolenic and linoleic acid" as "essential fatty acids necessary for the normal growth and development of children" (between 1 and 12 years old). The necessary amount of these compounds is considered to be so low that no additional input is necessary.

Another product in doubtful efficacy is the "Femarelle®", combined with phytoestrogens derived from soybeans (isoflavones) and flaxseeds (lignans and cumestans) which according to the manufacturer "induces bone formation and increases bone mineral density reducing the risk of osteoporosis and other bone disorders".

Nor is the announcement that the consumption of dairy, cheese and milk, "promote dental health"helping to reduce tooth decay. Or the product "Elancyl World Silhouette ®" which, according to its manufacturer, allows "regulation of body composition in people with light to moderate overweight."

And, according to a study by the Spanish OCU, many times we get carried away more by the advertising of brands than by the real properties of food, at the time of purchase. If they tell us on the packaging and advertising that a food is good for health, whether they have proof or not, whether true or not, we will buy it before other products, even if they are more expensive.