Following an application from Biocodex, submitted pursuant to Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of Belgium, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to citrulline-malate and faster recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise. Citrulline-malate is sufficiently characterised. The claimed effect is “maintenance of ATP levels through reduction of lactates in excess for an improved recovery from muscle fatigue”. The target population proposed by the applicant is healthy children above six years of age and adults. The Panel considers that faster recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise contributing to the restoration of muscle function is a beneficial physiological effect. A total of 33 references were considered as pertinent to the claim by the applicant. A number of studies were provided with hospitalised patients or outpatients who presented with various forms of asthenia or fatigue. No conclusions could be drawn from these studies for the scientific substantiation of the claim. No conclusions could be drawn from one study carried out in athletes, owing to the methodological limitations of the study. A number of mechanistic, animal and in vitro studies were submitted. In the absence of evidence for an effect of consumption of citrulline-malate on a faster recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise in humans, these studies cannot be used as a source of data for the scientific substantiation of the claim as their results cannot predict the occurrence of an effect of citrulline-malate on recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise in vivo in humans. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of citrulline-malate and faster recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise.
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