Austrian health agency warns against consumption of high-dose supplements

By Tim Cutcliffe contact

- Last updated on GMT

© gettyimages
© gettyimages
A product warning on supplements containing high doses of zinc and vitamin B6 was issued this week by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety GmbH (AGES).

Acting on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection (BMASGK), AGES  announced that the supplements “Vitamin B complex - Capsules" and "Zinc 50 milligrams (mg)" were assessed as harmful due to their ‘excessive’ vitamin B6 and zinc contents.

The products which carry the brand label Robert  Franz Naturversand GmbH and had been available online via the website​. The Austrian agency took action because they could not rule out the possibility that their own residents had purchased the product.

One capsule of the vitamin B complex provides 50mg of vitamin B6. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) upper daily intake limit is 25mg. EFSA warn that long-term intake above this level may cause neurological problems.  

For the 50mg zinc supplement, AGES warned that the daily tolerable intake is exceeded by 200 percent. A health hazard “cannot be ruled out​” with these quantities, they advised.

AGES stated that the warning does not attribute the cause of the excessive vitamin content of the supplement to the producer, manufacturer, importer or distributor.

However, they emphasised that consumers “are expressly warned against the consumption of these products.​”

Additionally, “AGES asks consumers not to use existing affected products, but to dispose of them immediately or to complain at the point of sale.​ “

At time of writing, the products were not available on the website.

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