New maximum levels – is the unlimited use in food supplements possible?

As of the 1st of May 2020, the guidelines pertaining to the maximum levels for vitamins, minerals and other substances in food supplements are to be amended. It is still not clear exactly how. What is clear is that for a number of «uncritical» vitamins and minerals (e.g. vitamins B1, B2 and B12) specified maximum levels will cease to apply altogether. Nevertheless, these substances will not be allowed to be used limitlessly in food supplements. Why not?

The maximum level guidelines represent only one aspect, specifically the food safety aspect. On their own, these substances are also safe in larger quantities. Other aspects, such as the intended use and the associated ban on deception need to be borne in mind, however. Levels have to meet the intended use of the food stuff (i.e. no pharmacological effect!) and have regard to the ban on deception (i.e. must not give the impression of being a medicinal product). Similarly, cumulative effects in compounds need to be rated. These need to be outlined and verified with the aid of a detailed overall assessment of the product within the self-monitoring framework.

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Dr. Katharina Oehler
Scientific and Managing Director
T +41 44 787 70 20
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