Evidence suggests a protective role for several nutrients and foods in the maintenance of skin function. Nevertheless, all the requests for authorization to use health claims under Article 13(5) in the framework of maintenance of skin function presented to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have received a negative opinion. Reasons for such failures are mainly due to an insufficient substantiation of the claimed effects, including the choice of inappropriate outcome variables (OVs) and methods of measurement (MMs). The present paper reports the results of an investigation aimed at collecting, collating and critically analyzing the information with relation to claimed effects (CEs), OVs and MMs related to skin health compliance with Regulation 1924/2006. CEs, OVs and MMs were collected from both the EFSA Guidance document and from the authorization requests of health claims under Article 13(5). The critical analysis of OVs and MMs was based on a literature review, and was aimed at defining their appropriateness (alone or in combination with others) in the context of a specific CE. The results highlight the importance of an adequate choice of OVs and MMs for an effective substantiation of the claims.
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