Application of the BRAFO-tiered approach for benefit-risk assessment to case studies on natural foods
Watzl, B., Gelencsér, E., Hoekstra, J., Kulling, S., Lydeking-Olsen, E., Rowland, I., Schilter, B., van Klaveren, J. and Chiodini, A. (2012) Application of the BRAFO-tiered approach for benefit-risk assessment to case studies on natural foods. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 50 (S4). S699-S709. ISSN 0278-6915
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.02.010
There is evidence that consumption of fish, especially oily fish, has substantial beneficial effects on health. In particular an inverse relationship of oily fish intake to coronary heart disease incidence has been established. These beneficial effects are ascribed to fish oil components including long chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. On the other hand it should be noted that oily fish also contains hazardous substances such as dioxins, PCBs and methylmercury. Soy consumption has been associated with potential beneficial and adverse effects. The claimed benefits include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; osteoporosis, breast and prostate cancer whereas potential adverse effects include impaired thyroid function, disruption of sex hormone levels, changes in reproductive function and increased breast cancer risk The two cases of natural foods highlight the need to consider both risks and benefits in order to establish the net health impact associated to the consumption of specific food products. Within the Sixth Framework programme of the European Commission, the BRAFO project was funded to develop a framework that allows for the quantitative comparison of human health risks and benefits in relation to foods and food compounds. This paper describes the application of the developed framework to two natural foods, farmed salmon and soy protein. We conclude that the BRAFO methodology is highly applicable to natural foods. It will help the benefit-risk managers in selecting the appropriate dietary recommendations for the population.
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