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New maximum levels for vitamins and minerals

Significantly higher limits: New maximum levels for vitamins and minerals

Since summer 2020, significantly higher limits for vitamins and minerals have applied in some cases. Largely unnoticed by the public, the FSVO (Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office) has introduced a new maximum quantity model. For example, the permitted amount of vitamin D has been increased by a factor of 3.5 and for many B vitamins there is no longer an upper limit at all. Previously, the maximum permitted amounts of vitamins and minerals in foods were based on the respective daily requirement. A new maximum quantity model is now used, which is based on health protection. This works with the so-called “tolerable upper intake level”. This is the maximum total daily intake of a nutrient that can be safely consumed in the long term. On the other hand, there is the amount of the same nutrient that is consumed in the normal daily diet. This is the basic intake (BA). The supplement or the difference between the higher “tolerable upper intake level” (UL) and the lower BA is the amount that can be covered by a dietary supplement.

The vitamins, minerals and trace elements have now been categorised into four groups:

  • Group 1: non-critical substances with no maximum value.
  • Group 2: substances with a large gap between UL and BA. The risk of exceeding the UL is low.
  • Group 3: Substances with a small distance between UL and BA. The risk of exceeding the UL is high.
  • Group 4: Substances for which side effects / interactions can occur even at low doses (warning required).
Neues Höchstmengenkonzept für Vitamine und Mineralstoffe

Health protection instead of daily requirement

The advantage of the new maximum quantity model is that it is based on health protection (instead of the daily requirement). This protects the health of consumers (through the maximum level), but the market is not unnecessarily restricted (no maximum level where it is not necessary). One disadvantage is that with the new model, it is no longer possible to set separate maximum levels for people who have a higher requirement, such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, older people or children and adolescents.

Substances without maximum levels

The following nutrients are among the non-critical substances for which a maximum level is no longer set: vitamins B1, B2 and B12, biotin (also vitamin B7), pantothenic acid (also vitamin B5) and silicon. No undesirable effects have been observed with these nutrients, even with very high intake over a long period of time. On the other hand, upper limits are still set for niacin (also vitamin B3), vitamin B6 and folic acid (also vitamin B9).

The B vitamins are eight water-soluble vitamins, all of which serve as precursors for coenzymes. The risk of hypervitaminosis (overdose) is generally lower with water-soluble vitamins, as excess vitamins can be more easily excreted in the urine. This is the reason why a maximum amount is no longer specified for most B vitamins. However, the eight B vitamins are completely different substances that do not represent a uniform class. The numbering is also not consistent, as the vitamin character of some of the substances originally labelled as vitamins could not be confirmed. B-group vitamins are found in animal and plant foods (e.g. fish, liver products, dairy products, certain vegetables). Only vitamin B12 is hardly found in plant foods, but unlike the other water-soluble vitamins, it can be stored in the body for a longer period of time. For the following 5 B vitamins, the upper limit has been lifted and a maximum amount is no longer specified.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

Among other things, vitamin B1 is involved in the utilisation of carbohydrates for energy production and is therefore particularly important for the brain and heart because they require a lot of energy. Vitamin B1 is also required for the functioning of the nervous system; it plays a role in the transmission of excitation between nerves and muscles. It also influences the regeneration of the nervous system after illness.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 is required for numerous metabolic processes; it helps the body to utilise proteins, fats and carbohydrates to generate energy. Vitamin B2 also supports vitamins B6 and B3 (niacin) in their tasks. Vitamin B2 can have a positive effect on migraines.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 influences a number of important processes in the human body. The most important of these include cell division and cell differentiation, e.g. in the formation and maturation of red blood cells. A vitamin B12 deficiency can therefore lead to anaemia (vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia). Vitamin B12 is also required for the development of nerve cells in the spinal cord and has an influence on many reactions in protein and nucleic acid metabolism. With a balanced and varied diet, it should be possible to cover the vitamin B12 requirement through the diet. However, an additional intake of vitamin B12 is recommended for people who do not eat animal foods.

Biotin (vitamin B7)

Biotin ensures healthy hair, skin and nails. It supports a healthy metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids and thyroid function. It helps to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and protects brain function. It is also important for building and repairing tissue, especially nerve tissue and muscles.

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)

Pantothenic acid is involved in many different life-sustaining chemical reactions in the body; it plays a crucial role in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. Pantothenic acid is a component of coenzyme A and helps to convert food into energy that can be utilised by the body.

Neues Höchstmengenkonzept für Vitamine und Mineralstoffe

Nutrients with higher maximum amounts

Although the maximum daily amounts of other nutrients have not been cancelled, they have been increased, in some cases considerably. These include, for example, iron (21 mg instead of 14 mg), vitamin C (750 mg instead of 300 mg), vitamin D (70 μg / 2800 IU instead of 20 μg / 800 IU) and vitamin E (205 mg instead of 36 mg). We also discuss these substances very briefly below.


The trace element iron is vital for the human body and a deficiency has many negative effects. We need iron to transport and store oxygen. Iron binds oxygen and is contained in the protein haemoglobin (Hb), the most important component of erythrocytes (red blood cells). In this way, oxygen is transported from the lungs to the body’s cells with the erythrocytes. Only if sufficient iron is available is our organism optimally supplied with oxygen and iron in turn contributes to the normal formation of erythrocytes and haemoglobin. Women are particularly affected by iron deficiency, as the risk of deficiency is significantly higher due to monthly blood loss. Vegetarians and vegans can also be affected by a deficiency. Around a third of the body’s iron is bound in haemoglobin and a further fifth is found in iron stores (ferritin).

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a well-known and well-researched vitamin with numerous functions in the body. Among other things, it contributes to the normal function of the immune system, to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. You can find out more about vitamin C in the kingnature encyclopaedia.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has a special position among the Vitamins, as it can be produced by the body itself with the help of sunlight with the help of sunlight. It is not a vitamin in the true sense of the word, but a hormone Hormone. It is involved in a number of important metabolic processes and contributes, for example, to the normal of the immune system and the maintenance of normal bones, muscle function and teeth and teeth. A deficiency of this extremely important substance is unfortunately very common in our Very common in our latitudes and can have far-reaching consequences.

Vitamin E

The term vitamin E stands for a whole group of similar compounds, so-called tocopherols. These have an antioxidant effect (neutralising free radicals; aggressive oxygen compounds). Vitamin E also has this effect on or in the skin and is therefore often used in cosmetic products. However, it also protects the ingredients in such products from spoilage due to contact with oxygen. For the same reason, vitamin E is also added to foods and food supplements.


Certain nutrients now require a warning, e.g. magnesium, which requires a warning that it can have a laxative effect from a dosage of 250 mg.