The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have published guidance on the upper limits of vitamins and essential minerals. The guidance can be found on EFSA’s site, with a one-year pilot phase and a further public consultation due next year.
The micronutrients in focus are: vitamin A, folic acid/folate, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, manganese, β-carotene and vitamin B6.
The guidance is aimed to help policymakers, but also nutritionists, food manufacturers and the general public, understand the upper limits of vitamins and essential minerals – which if consumed in excess may be harmful.
The concept of a tolerable upper intake level (UL) is a science‐based reference value, which was introduced to support policy‐makers and other relevant actors in managing the risks of excess nutrient intake, concludes EFSA.
Examples of application of a UL include:
- the setting of maximum amounts of micronutrients that can be added to foods or used in food supplements (by risk managers);
- the evaluation of the safety of a new nutrient source prior to its marketing authorisation (by risk assessors);
- the safety assessment of the intake of micronutrients by individuals or populations (by risk assessors, public health authorities or other health professionals).