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					             Maximum     How much we
             over the    need – usually              FSA advice                                   Risk from taking too much
              counter      achieved
               dose        through a
             available   balanced diet

Vitamin B6   100 mg      1.4 mg a day for      The Agency advises         Taking large amounts of vitamin B6 (more than 200 mg a day), or taking it for
                         men                   against taking more        a long time, can lead to a loss of feeling in the arms and legs – known as
                         1.2 mg a day for      than 10 mg of vitamin      peripheral neuropathy.
                         women                 B6 supplements a day.
                                                                          Generally these symptoms are reversible – so once you stop taking the
                                                                          supplements, the symptoms usually stop.

                                                                          However, in a few cases when people have taken large amounts of vitamin
                                                                          B6, especially for more than just a few months, the effect has been
                                                                          irreversible.

                                                                          Taking doses between 10 and 200 mg a day, for short periods of time, might
                                                                          not cause any harm. But there isn’t enough evidence to say for how long
                                                                          these doses could be taken safely.
Biotin       2 mg        Between 0.01          Taking 0.9 mg or less      There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high
                         mg and 0.2 mg         of biotin supplements a    doses of biotin supplements each day.
                         a day for adults.     day is unlikely to cause
                                               any harm.




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                                             EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
                  Maximum     How much we
                  over the    need – usually           FSA advice                                   Risk from taking too much
                   counter      achieved
                    dose        through a
                  available   balanced diet

Folic Acid        0.8 mg      Adults need 0.2     Taking 1 mg (1000        An early symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is anaemia. But taking large
                              mg a day.           micrograms) or less of   amounts of folic acid treats the anaemia without treating the B12 deficiency. If
                                                  folic acid supplements   vitamin B12 deficiency isn’t noticed, it can eventually lead to damage of the
                              Pregnant            a day is unlikely to     nervous system (neurological damage).
                              women and           cause any harm.
                              those thinking of                            This is a concern particularly for older people because, as we get older, it
                              having a baby   Pregnant women or            becomes more difficult to absorb vitamin B12.
                              need 0.4 mg a   women thinking of
                              day.            having a baby should
                                              take a daily 0.4 mg folic
                                              acid supplement from
                                              the time they stop using
                                              contraception until 12th
                                              week of pregnancy.
Niacin            100 mg      17 mg of niacin Taking 17 mg or less of      Taking high doses of nicotinic acid supplements can cause skin flushes.
                  nicotinic   a day for men   nicotinic acid               Taking high doses for a long time could lead to liver damage.
(nicotinic acid   acid        13 mg of niacin supplements a day is
and                           a day for women unlikely to cause any        There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high
nicotinamide)     250 mg                      harm.                        doses of nicotinamide supplements each day.
                  nicotin-
                  amide                        Taking 500 mg or less
                                               of nicotinamide
                                               supplements a day is
                                               unlikely to cause any
                                               harm.
Pantothenic       550 mg      No levels have   Taking 200 mg or less       There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high
Acid                          been set but you of pantothenic acid         doses of pantothenic acid supplements each day.
                              should be able   supplements a day is
                              to get all you   unlikely to cause any
                              need from your   harm.
                              daily diet.

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                                                EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
              Maximum     How much we
              over the    need – usually          FSA advice                                   Risk from taking too much
               counter      achieved
                dose        through a
              available   balanced diet

Riboflavin    100 mg      1.3 mg a day for   Taking 40 mg or less of   There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high
                          men                riboflavin supplements    doses of riboflavin supplements each day.
                          1.1 mg a day for   a day is unlikely to
                          women              cause any harm.
Thiamin       300 mg      1.4 mg a day for   Taking 100 mg or less     There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high
                          men                of thiamin supplements    doses of thiamin supplements each day.
                          1 mg a day for     a day is unlikely to
                          women              cause any harm.
Vitamin B12   3 mg        Adults need        Taking 2 mg or less of    There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high
                          approximately      vitamin B12               doses of vitamin B12 supplements each day.
                          0.0015 mg a        supplements a day is
                          day.               unlikely to cause any
                                             harm.




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                                         EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
            Maximum     How much we
            over the    need – usually          FSA advice                                     Risk from taking too much
             counter      achieved
              dose        through a
            available   balanced diet


Vitamin C   3000 mg     Adults need 40     Taking 1000 mg or less     Taking large amounts of vitamin C can cause stomach pain, diarrhoea and
                        mg a day.          of vitamin C               flatulence.
                                           supplements a day is
                                           unlikely to cause any      But these symptoms should disappear once you stop taking the supplements.
                                           harm.
Vitamin A   2.4 mg      0.7 mg a day for   Having a total of 1.5 mg   Having large amounts of vitamin A over a long time either in your diet, or from
                        men                or less of vitamin A a     supplements, can affect your bones and make them more likely to fracture.
                        0.6 mg a day for   day from diet and
                        women              supplements combined       If you’re pregnant, having large amounts of vitamin A can harm an unborn
                                           is unlikely to cause any   baby. Ask your GP or midwife if you would like more information.
                                           harm.
                                                                      Some concerns have been raised about the large amounts of vitamin A that
                                           Advice for women who       some people get from their diet. The Agency is carrying out further work on
                                           are pregnant or thinking   this.
                                           of having a baby:
                                           • Avoid taking vitamin
                                               A supplements
                                               (except on the
                                               advice of your GP)
                                           • Avoid eating liver or
                                               liver products (e.g.
                                               pâté) because very
                                               high in vitamin A




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                                         EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
             Maximum     How much we
             over the    need – usually            FSA advice                                   Risk from taking too much
              counter      achieved
               dose        through a
             available   balanced diet

β-carotene   20 mg       No levels have       The Agency advises        Beta-carotene supplements have been found to increase the risk of
                         been set but you     against taking more       developing lung cancer in smokers and in people who have been heavily
                         should be able       than 7 mg of beta-        exposed to asbestos at work.
                         to get the           carotene supplements
                         amount you           a day.                    It’s possible that taking large amounts of beta-carotene supplements also
                         need by eating                                 increases the risk of cancer in other people.
                         your daily diet.     People who smoke or
                                              have been exposed to
                                              asbestos are advised
                                              not to take any beta-
                                              carotene supplements.

                                              There is no evidence to
                                              suggest that the beta-
                                              carotene we get from
                                              food is harmful.
Vitamin D    0.022 mg    No levels have       Taking 25 micrograms      Taking high doses of vitamin D for long periods of time could weaken your
                         been set but         (0.025 mg) or less of     bones.
                         most people          vitamin D supplements
                         should be able       a day is unlikely to
                         to get all the       cause any harm.
                         vitamin D they
                         need from their
                         diet and by
                         getting a little
                         sun.
Vitamin E    670 mg      4 mg a day for       Taking 540 mg or less     There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high
                         men                  of vitamin E              doses of vitamin E supplements each day.
                         3 mg a day for       supplements a day is
                         women                unlikely to cause any
                                              harm.

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                                            EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
            Maximum     How much we
            over the    need – usually           FSA advice                                    Risk from taking too much
             counter      achieved
              dose        through a
            available   balanced diet

Vitamin K   0.2 mg      Adults need      Taking 1 mg or less of       There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high
                        approximately    vitamin K supplements        doses of vitamin K supplements each day.
                        0.001 mg a day.  a day is unlikely to
                                         cause any harm.
Boron       10 mg       No levels have   Taking 6 mg or less of       Taking high doses of boron for long periods of time may reduce fertility in
                        been set but you boron supplements a          men.
                        should be able   day is unlikely to cause
                        to get all the   any harm.
                        boron you need
                        from your daily
                        diet.
Chromium    0.6 mg      Adults need at   Having 10 mg or less a       The Agency advises against taking chromium picolinate supplements
                        least 0.025 mg   day of chromium from         because there is a chance that this form of chromium could cause cancer,
                        of chromium a    food and supplements         although further research is needed to be certain.
                        day.             (other than chromium
                                         picolinate) is unlikely to   Other forms of chromium are available, but there isn’t enough evidence to
                                         cause any harm.              know what the effects of having more than 10 mg each day might be.
Cobalt                  Adults need      Having 1.4 mg or less a      Having high amounts of cobalt for long periods of time could affect the heart
              –         approximately    day of cobalt                and might decrease fertility in men.
                        0.0015 mg (1.5   supplements is unlikely
                        micrograms) of   to cause any harm.
                        vitamin B12 a
                        day.
Copper      2 mg        Adults need 1.2 Having 1 mg or less a         Taking high doses of copper could cause stomach pain, sickness and
                        mg a day.        day of copper                diarrhoea. Over a long period, high doses might damage your liver and
                                         supplements is unlikely      kidneys.
                                         to cause any harm.




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                                        EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
            Maximum     How much we
            over the    need – usually          FSA advice                                   Risk from taking too much
             counter      achieved
              dose        through a
            available   balanced diet

Germanium               Germanium isn’t    The Agency advises       There are two forms of germanium – organic and inorganic. Inorganic
              –         needed for good    against taking           germanium supplements are no longer sold in the UK because in this form,
                        health.            germanium                germanium can damage the kidneys, muscles and nervous system.
                                           supplements.
                                                                    Organic germanium is found naturally in foods. Although the amount we get
                                                                    from food doesn’t appear to be harmful, it isn’t clear what the effects of taking
                                                                    organic germanium supplements might be.
Iodine      0.49 mg     Adults need      Having 0.5 mg or less a    Taking high doses of iodine for long periods of time could change the way
                        0.14 mg a day.   day of iodine              your thyroid gland works. This can lead to a wide range of different
                                         supplements is unlikely    symptoms, for example weight gain.
                                         to cause any harm.
Manganese   10 mg       No levels have   Taking 4 mg or less of     Taking high doses of manganese for long periods of time might cause nerve
                        been set but you manganese                  damage and neurological symptoms such as fatigue and depression.
                        should be able   supplements a day is
                        to get all the   unlikely to cause any
                        manganese you harm.
                        need from your
                        daily diet.      For older people, taking
                                         0.5 mg or less of
                                         manganese
                                         supplements a day is
                                         unlikely to cause any
                                         harm. This is a lower
                                         amount because older
                                         people may be more
                                         sensitive to
                                         manganese.




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                                         EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
             Maximum     How much we
             over the    need – usually           FSA advice                                    Risk from taking too much
              counter      achieved
               dose        through a
             available   balanced diet

Molybdenum   0.333 mg    No levels have     There isn’t enough         Some evidence suggests taking molybdenum supplements might cause joint
                         been set but you   evidence to know what      pain.
                         should be able     the effects might be of
                         to get all the     taking molybdenum
                         molybdenum         supplements.
                         you need from
                         your daily diet. The molybdenum we
                                          get from food isn’t likely
                                          to be harmful.
Nickel       0.005 mg    No levels have   If you take nickel           Up to 10% of people in the UK may have an allergy to nickel that causes a
                         been set but you supplements, which           skin rash (dermatitis).
                         should be able   usually means having
                         to get all the   nickel without food and      This is usually caused by jewellery or coins that contain nickel, but nickel in
                         nickel you need on an empty stomach,          food or supplements can also cause a rash if you have this allergy.
                         from your daily  more of the nickel will
                         diet.            be absorbed.

                                            Therefore, if you are
                                            allergic to nickel, or
                                            think you might be, it’s
                                            a good idea to avoid
                                            taking nickel
                                            supplements.

                                            The nickel found in
                                            food naturally shouldn’t
                                            cause any harm.
Selenium     0.3 mg      0.075 mg a day     Taking 0.35 mg or less     Too much selenium causes selenosis, a condition that in its mildest form can
                         for men            a day of selenium          lead to loss of hair, skin and nails.
                         0.06 mg a day      supplements is unlikely
                         for women          to cause any harm.

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                                          EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
            Maximum     How much we
            over the    need – usually         FSA advice                                    Risk from taking too much
             counter      achieved
              dose        through a
            available   balanced diet

Tin         0.01 mg     Tin is not        Having 13 mg or less a     Having very high amounts of tin can cause stomach pain, nausea and
                        thought to be     day of tin from food and   diarrhoea.
                        needed for good   supplements is unlikely
                        health.           to cause any harm.         There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of having high
                                                                     amounts of tin each day for a long time.
Vanadium    0.025 mg    Vanadium isn’t    It’s unlikely that we      Some evidence suggests taking vanadium supplements might cause stomach
                        thought to be     need vanadium for          cramps and diarrhoea, and make your tongue turn a greenish colour.
                        needed for good   good health and too
                        health.           much could be harmful.     There isn’t enough information to know what the effects might be of taking
                                                                     vanadium supplements.
                                          There is no evidence to
                                          suggest that the
                                          vanadium we get from
                                          food is harmful.
Zinc        50 mg       5.5 to 9.5 mg a   The Agency advises         Taking high doses of zinc reduces the amount of copper the body can
                        day for men       against taking more        absorb. This can lead to anaemia and to weakening of the bones.
                        4 to 7 mg a day   than 25 mg of zinc
                        for women         supplements a day.
Calcium     2400 mg     Adults need 700   Taking 1500 mg or less     Taking high doses of calcium could lead to stomach pain and diarrhoea.
                        mg a day.         of calcium supplements
                                          a day is unlikely to
                                          cause any harm.
Magnesium   750 mg      300 mg a day      Having 400 mg or less      Taking high doses of magnesium for a short time can cause diarrhoea.
                        for men           a day of magnesium
                        270 mg a day      from supplements is        There isn’t enough evidence to say what the effects might be of taking high
                        for women         unlikely to cause any      doses of magnesium for a long time.
                                          harm.




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                                       EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
             Maximum     How much we
             over the    need – usually           FSA advice                                     Risk from taking too much
              counter      achieved
               dose        through a
             available   balanced diet

Iron         60 mg       6.7 mg a day for   Taking 17mg or less of     The side effects of taking high doses of iron include constipation, nausea,
                         men                iron supplements a day     vomiting, and stomach pain.
                         11.4 mg a day      is unlikely to cause any
                         for women          harm. But you should       Very high doses of iron can be fatal, particularly if taken by children. So
                                            continue taking a          always keep any iron supplements out of the reach of children.
                                            higher dose if this is
                                            under medical advice.
Phosphorus   1100 mg     Adults need 550    Taking 250 mg or less      Taking high doses of phosphorus supplements for a short time can cause
                         mg a day.          of phosphorus              diarrhoea or stomach pain.
                                            supplements a day is
                                            unlikely to cause any      Taking high doses for a long time can reduce the amount of calcium in the
                                            harm.                      body, which means bones are more likely to fracture.
Potassium    200 mg      Adults need        Taking 3700 mg or less     Taking too much potassium can cause stomach pain, nausea and diarrhoea.
                         3500 mg a day.     of potassium               Older people may be more at risk of harm from potassium. This is because,
                                            supplements a day is       as we get older, our kidneys may become less able to remove potassium
                                            unlikely to cause any      from our blood.
                                            harm.

                                          Older people shouldn’t
                                          have potassium
                                          supplements unless on
                                          medical advice.
Silicon      500 mg      No levels have   Taking 700 mg or less        There isn’t enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high
                         been set but you of silicon supplements       doses of silicon supplements each day.
                         should be able   a day is unlikely to
                         to get all the   cause any harm.
                         silicon you need
                         from your daily
                         diet.



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                                          EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003
           Maximum     How much we
           over the    need – usually          FSA advice                                   Risk from taking too much
            counter      achieved
             dose        through a
           available   balanced diet

Sodium     2 mg        No more than 6     The Agency advises       Having too much salt is associated with an increase in blood pressure
chloride               g salt (2.5 g      people to cut down on    (hypertension) and this increases our risk of strokes and heart attacks.
                       sodium).           salt and that sodium
                                          chloride should not be
                                          used in supplements.




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                                        EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 Thursday 8 May 2003