The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published new guidance for food businesses to safeguard consumer health from potentially harmful levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements. The new guidelines has been published as the popularity of food supplements in Ireland continues to rise, particularly with winter looming.
The guidance will act as a resource for food businesses, providing clarity on the upper intake level and maximum safe level for vitamins and minerals in food supplements. The seven nutrients which the guidance provides maximum safe levels for are: vitamin A; vitamin B6; vitamin C; vitamin D; beta carotene; folic acid; and magnesium.
The launch of maximum safe levels is for nutrients that may impact health at high intakes. They are also the vitamins and minerals where some have been known to the FSAI to contain high doses. The guidance provides clarity on the step-by-step approach to risk assessment for vitamin and mineral content of food supplements, allowing for dietary intakes.
Whilst the setting of maximum safe levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements is provided for in EU law, the precise levels for Ireland had not been established until now. It highlights that maximum safe levels vary depending on the sub-group of the population and their dietary intake, as adverse effects at high intakes may differ with life stage.