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Nutrition, Dietetic Products, Novel Food and Allergy

Assessment of dietary intake of vitamin C and calcium in the Norwegian population

Rapportnr: 2016: 16

Bestilt: 15.12.2016

Publisert: 05.04.2016

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Hovedbudskap:

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) has, at the request of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA), evaluated the intake of vitamin C and calcium in the Norwegian population. VKM has also conducted scenario estimations to illustrate the consequences of amending maximum limits for vitamin C.

In the assessment of vitamin C, VKM uses the Norwegian recommendations for intakes, and the acceptable dose for supplemental vitamin C from EFSA for adults and the tolerable upper intake levels established by the IOM for children and adolescents. Daily intakes of vitamin C from diet and supplements are estimated from nationwide dietary surveys performed in selected age groups: Adults 18-70 years, adolescents aged 13 years, and children aged 2, 4, and 9 years.

Not all age-groups in the Norwegian population reach the recommended intake of vitamin C. At the 5th percentile, only 13-year-olds have an intake of vitamin C from food alone above the recommendations. At the 25th percentile, all age groups except adults have a vitamin C intake from food alone at or above the recommendations. At the 40th percentile, adults reach the recommended intake of vitamin C.

The whole population would reach the recommended dietary intake with supplementation of 100 mg vitamin C per day.

All the alternative maximum limits for vitamin C in food supplements listed in the terms of reference from NFSA (100, 300, 500, 600, 800 or 1000 mg/day) will be within the acceptable dose for supplemental vitamin C suggested by EFSA (2004) for adults. None of the alternative maximum limits for vitamin C in food supplements listed in the terms of reference (100, 300, 500, 600, 800 or 1000 mg/day) leads to exceedance of the tolerable upper intake levels established by IOM in adults, 13- year-olds or 9-year-olds, even with intakes from food at the 95th percentile.

However, the tolerable upper intake level proposed by the IOM will be exceeded for 4-year-old children at supplemental doses above 500 mg vitamin C per day, and for 2-year-old children at doses higher than 100 mg/day.

Calcium

The Norwegian recommendation for dietary intake of calcium is 800 mg/day for adults.
In 2012 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) established a tolerable upper intake level (UL) for calcium at 2500 mg/day from food and supplements for adults. No UL was set for children and adolescents.

In 2011, IOM established a UL for 1-8 years old children to 2500 mg/day and 3000 mg/day for 9-18 years old children and adolescents (IOM, 2011). VKM however suggests that the UL established for adults by EFSA, is used for the purpose of this VKM opinion also for children and adolescents, as the ULs from IOM for children and adolescents are considered to be high.

In the assessment of calcium, VKM uses the Norwegian recommendations for intakes and the tolerable upper intake levels established by the European Food Safety Authority for adults (includes both foods and supplements). Daily intakes of calcium from diet and supplements are estimated from nationwide dietary surveys performed in selected age groups: Adults 18-70 years, adolescents aged 13 years, and children aged 2, 4, and 9 years.

Not all age groups in the Norwegian population reach the recommended intake of calcium. At the 5th percentile, no age groups fulfil the recommended daily intakes of calcium from food alone, and in the 50th percentile the 13-year-olds did not reach the recommended intake for calcium from food alone. At approximately the 65th percentile, the 13-year-olds reach the recommended intake for calcium.

The whole population would reach the recommended dietary intake with supplementation of 800 mg calcium per day.

For calcium, three alternative maximum limits were listed in the terms of reference (800, 1200 and 2000 mg/day). In the scenarios for high intakes of calcium, a dietary calcium intake at the 95th percentile and additionally 800 mg calcium from food supplements, will lead to an intake close to the tolerable upper intake level established by EFSA for the adult population, and supplements with 1200 or 2000 mg calcium per day will lead to exceedance of the tolerable upper intake level in adults.

Children and adolescents with a dietary intake at the 95th percentile and additionally 2000 mg calcium from food supplements, will all exceed the UL suggested for adults by EFSA in 2012. All age groups except 4-year-olds will also exceed the UL with 1200 mg supplemental calcium. With 800 mg supplemental calcium 13-year-old adolescents, 9-year-old, 4 year-old and 2-year-old children will not exceed the suggested UL.

The VKM Panel on Nutrition, Dietetic Products, Novel Food and Allergy has been responsible for the risk assessment.

Kontakt

Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety

T: +47 21 62 28 00
@: vkm@vkm.no

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety

T: 21 62 28 00
@: vkm@vkm.no

 

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