Vitamins and minerals: issues associated with too low and too high population intakes

J Verkaik-Kloosterman, M McCann, H Verhagen, J Hoekstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


There is an ongoing increase in the availability of foods fortified with micronutrients and dietary supplements.This may result in differing intakes of micronutrients within the population and perhaps larger differences inintakes. Insight into population micronutrient intakes and evaluation of too low or too high intakes isrequired to see whether there are potential problems regarding inadequacy or excessive intakes. Too lowpopulation intakes are evaluated against an estimated average requirement; potential too high populationintakes are evaluated against a tolerable upper intake level (UL). Additional health effects, seriousness, andincidence of these health effects are not considered but these can be taken into account in a benefit-riskassessment. Furthermore, authorities would like to regulate food fortification and supplementation in such away that most of the population is not at risk of potentially high intakes. Several models are available forestimating maximum levels of micronutrients for food fortification and dietary supplements. Policy makersand risk managers need to decide how to divide the ‘free space’ between food fortification and/or dietarysupplements, while protecting populations from adverse health effects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood and Nutrition Research
Issue number5728
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2012


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