EFSA sets requirements for vitamin B12

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

EFSA establishes an adequate intake (AI) of 4 microgram (μg) per day for adults
EFSA establishes an adequate intake (AI) of 4 microgram (μg) per day for adults

Related tags Vitamin b12 Nutrition Milk

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set dietary reference values (DRVs) for cobalamin (vitamin B12).

An average requirement (AR) could not be determined from the limited data available. Instead it used biomarkers to establish an adequate intake (AI) of 4 microgram (μg) per day for adults. The data showed mean intakes for adults ranged from 4.2 and 8.6 μg/day across EU countries.

For infants aged 7–11 months this was 1.5 μg/day and children aged 15–17 years 4 μg/day.

For pregnant and lactating women, the panel considered additional cobalamin intakes related to the accumulation of cobalamin in foetal tissues and transfer into breast milk. AIs of 4.5 and 5 μg/day for pregnant and lactating women were proposed, respectively.

The opinion received comments from Serbian pharmaceutical firm Galenika, Health Council of the Netherlands and pharmaceutical regulatory affairs specialist ELC.

Health Council of the Netherlands warned the opinion ignored how the nutrient impacted different age groups.

“Especially elderly are at increased risk of cobalamin deficiency, due to reduced absorption as a consequence of atrophic gastritis. This is not a situation that can be taken into account when setting DRV’s,” ​they wrote.

It also pointed out that Dutch DRVs for cobalamin from 1992 were included in the opinion, despite new DRV’s established in 2003.

The opinion can be found HERE​.

The public consultation comments can be found HERE​.

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