Claims of health benefits by food manufacturers, notably that dairy products promote good teeth and healthy body weight in children have been disputed by the EU food safety agency.
"A cause and effect relationship is not established between the consumption of milk or cheese and dental health in children (or) a healthy body weight in children and adolescents," the European Food Safety Agency said on its website.
Issuing its first eight preliminary opinions on a total of 228 product claims submitted for testing, EFSA cast doubt on commercial claims made for specific drugs.
The claim that "regulat®.pro.kid IMMUN" strengthens children's immune systems could not be verified by the evidence provided, EFSA said.
The agency, based in Parma, Italy, also found "no significant effect" of "NeOpuntia®" on blood lipid parameters (fatty acid or oil absorption) and no direct effect of "Femarelle®" on post-menopausal women's bone density.
The drug "Elancyl Global Silhouette®" has no demonstrable effect on body weight, body shape or body fat or water in humans, EFSA also concluded.
The panel further found insufficient evidence to back the claim that a-linolenic acid and linoleic acid promote children's normal growth and development.
One product, plant sterols used for lowering blood cholesterol, received a partial nod from EFSA, which proposed wording that "reflects the available scientific evidence: 'Plant sterols have been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol'."
However it said the product should be used only by those "who need and want to lower their blood cholesterol and that patients on cholesterol-lowering medication should only consume the product under medical supervision."