EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) endorsed the 70-page draft opinion on the essential mineral at an open meeting in Brussels at the end of June.
After a three-hour run-through, the values were adopted with little changes made.
NDA chair Dominique Turck said the opinion “was pretty clear”.
Deadlines & timelines
EFSA now invites interested parties to submit comments by 24 August.
The panel said they hoped the final document would be published by the end of the year following this public consultation.
EFSA said it was not able to set average requirements for potassium due to data limitations, but instead it set adequate intakes (AI) and used adult values to extrapolate AIs for children.
- Adult men and women: 3,500 mg/day
- Infants aged seven to 11 months: 750 mg/day
- Children aged one to three years: 800 mg/day
- Teenagers aged 15 to 17 years: 3,500 mg/day
- Pregnant women: 3,500 mg/day
- Lactating women: 4,000 mg/day
Blood pressure & stroke
The DRVs were based on the relationships between potassium intake and blood pressure and stroke.
The panel looked at randomised controlled studies and an observational cohort study on European adults that suggested a potassium intake of 3,500 mg per day was beneficial for blood pressure.
They also said there was "consistent evidence" from observational cohort studies that daily potassium intakes below 3,500 mg were associated with a higher risk of stroke.
Based on data from 13 dietary surveys in nine EU countries, the opinion said average potassium intakes ranged from:
- 821 to 1,535 mg per day in infants aged less than one year
- 1,516 to 2,005 mg per day in children aged one to three years
- 1,668 to 2,750 mg per day in children aged three to 10 years
- 2,093 to 3,712 mg per day in children aged 10 to 18 years
- 162,463 to 3,991 mg per day in adults
Potassium is present in all natural foods, with good sources including bananas, sweet potatoes and beans.