Using mean observed intakes in several EU countries, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) proposed Adequate Intakes (AIs) ranging from 0.4 mg/day for infants, 1.5 mg/day for pregnant and lactating women, to 1.6 mg/day for adult males and 1.3 mg/day for adult females.
Copper is found in grain, meat, roots, coffee and tea, fish and other seafood and is typical in supplement products like multivitamins.
The mineral has eight approved health claims in the EU under article 13.1 of the nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) ranging from immunity benefits, to cell protection, hair and skin pigmentation, connective tissue support, nervous system function to iron transportation.
Copper deficiency can provoke anaemia, neurological defects, changes in hair colour and floppy skin (cutis laxa).
Intake surveys in eight EU member states and other data found typical levels range from 1.47 to 1.67 mg/day in men and 1.20 to 1.44 mg/day in non-pregnant women.
It stated: “The Panel noted that there is, at present, insufficient evidence to set different DRVs according to age in adults, but decided to set different AI values for women and men since intakes are lower for women.”
Other levels included 0.7 mg/day for 1-3 year olds; 1 mg/day for 3-10 year olds; 1.3 mg/day for 10-18 year old boys and 1.1 mg/day for 10-18 year old girls.
EFSA’s Panel on Nutrition, Dietetic Products and Allergies (NDA) draft opinion is here.
An AI is the value estimated when a Population Reference Intake (PRI) cannot be established because an average requirement cannot be determined. An AI is the average observed daily level of intake by a population group (or groups) of apparently healthy people that is assumed to be adequate. More about the differences between AIs and other measures can be found here .