How to reach a common estimate of high dietary micronutrient intakes for safe addition of vitamins and minerals to foods?
Background: A central element in establishing maximum amount of micronutrients in fortified foods and
supplements is to reach to an agreement on how to estimate high intakes of vitamins and minerals from the
Objective: To examine whether ratios between the 95th percentile and mean intakes of vitamins and minerals
show similarities across different countries independent of dietary habits and survey methods and if so, to
suggest a simple and pragmatic way to calculate common estimates of high micronutrient intakes from foods.
Design: Intake data of selected vitamins and minerals from nine European countries were examined for adult
females and males and for children aged 410 and 1117 years. The ratios between the 95th percentile and
mean intakes were calculated for each micronutrient, country, and age group.
Results: The ratios for each micronutrient follow a fairly regular pattern across countries and survey methods
with differences between age groups.
The nutrients fall into three categories: nutrients with ratios between 1.45 and 1.58 - energy, magnesium,
phosphorus, zinc, iron, vitamin B<sub>6</sub>, niacin, and folate; nutrients with ratios between 1.67 and 1.79 - calcium,
selenium, vitamin E, iodine, and copper; nutrients with ratios between 2.08 and 2.32 - vitamin A, vitamin D,
Conclusion: Sufficiently precise estimates of high micronutrient intakes across European countries can be
reached by multiplying the overall average of ratios (P95/mean intakes) for each micronutrient with the
corresponding mean intakes from all available dietary surveys in Europe. This approach is a simple and
pragmatic way to create common European estimates of high micronutrient intakes from foods.
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