EDITOR'S SPOTLIGHT: SCIENCE & REGULATION

Poland updates position by adopting further vitamin and nutrient supplement limits

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

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©iStock/

Related tags: Poland, Vitamin, Caffeine

Polish authorities continue to bring its supplement guidelines up to date with the addition of maximum amounts permitted for vitamins, minerals, caffeine and white mulberry preparations.

In the latest meeting of the country’s Diet Supplement Council, members agreed to adopt seven further resolutions specifying maximum ingredient levels for use in supplements intended for adults.

The Sanitary-Epidemiological Council Diet Supplement Team set levels for caffeine in which members stated one serving of caffeine cannot exceed 200 mg.

“The maximum daily amount of caffeine also applies to the consumption of caffeine from all sources,”​ the ruling clarifies.

 “The maximum amount per day may not exceed 400 mg, provided the product does not contain other ingredients, which exert a synergistic effect.”

“In addition, the labelling of dietary supplements containing caffeine or herbal preparations that are a source of caffeine should include information on the total caffeine content in terms of the recommended daily portion of the product.”

The Council recommend the inclusion of a product label with the warning: "Contains caffeine; not recommended for children and pregnant women; do not consume with other products that are a source of caffeine or other ingredients with similar effects."

Vitamin levels set

In consultations with experts, the Council also agrees to a maximum level of 10 milligrams (mg) for pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) per day (/day) or 200 mg/day for other chemical forms of the vitamin such as calcium D-pantothenate, sodium D-pantothenate and dexapanthenol.

Levels were also determined for thiamine (vitamin B1) at 100mg/day; riboflavin (vitamin B2), set at 40mg/day; cobalamin (vitamin B12) at 100 micrograms (µg)/day; and iodine at 150µg/day with a level set at 200µg/day for dietary supplements intended for pregnant and lactating women.

The latest meeting of the Sanitary-Epidemiological Council Diet Supplement Team—the third one this year—also set another resolution for preparations containing the white mulberry plant (Morus alba L.​)

Here, they refer to the maximum levels of the enzyme inhibitor 1-deoxynojirymycin (DNJ), found in the leaves of the mulberry plant, where they recommend a maximum consumption level of no more than 10mg daily.

“The operator placing the food on the market should have information on the DNJ content, calculated on the recommended daily allowance,”​ the ruling states.

“In addition, the labelling of dietary supplements containing preparations of white mulberry recommended to include the warning: "In people using insulin therapy or oral hypoglycaemic drugs, consulting a doctor before use."

Three Council meetings

The updates follow recommendations set in August, in which Poland’s Ministry of Health set the country’s maximum intake values for vitamin D level (50μg/day) for adults amongst other nutrients move to address a lack of European harmonisation on the matter.

The country’s authorities also deemed a maximum vitamin C level of 1,000mg per day for adults as safe although it advised its consumption was not recommended for those with a predisposition to kidney stones.

For vitamin A, a maximum intake level of 800μg of retinol equivalent (RE) per day for adults was advised with a maximum 7mg per day set for beta-carotene.

Poland began setting maximum levels of ingredients used in food supplements at the start of this year, where authorities set limits and conditions​​​ of use for isoflavones (soy and others) as well as aloe vera and beta alanine preparations.

The country’s actions mirror recent publications by Ireland and The Netherlands, which has notified the EU of their intentions to set maximum safety levels for vitamins and minerals.

Other corresponding agencies to follow suit include the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and Norway, which amended existing regulations on vitamin and mineral addition to food and supplements.

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