The European Food and Safety Authority Defines Adequate Intakes for Copper

On request by the European Commission, the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) provided its scientific opinion on dietary reference values for copper and has recently published them in the EFSA Journal.

Given that there is no evidence of overt copper deficiency in the European population, EFSA defined the Adequate Intakes (AIs) for copper.

ECI agrees with EFSA proposed AIs values, that are a refinement to the Copper Voluntary Risk Assessment values defined by the copper industry for the European population: 1.6 mg/day for men and 1.3 mg/day for women.

EFSA’s proposes further more specific values for children, infants and pregnant women:

  • For adults, AIs of 1.6 mg/day for men and 1.3 mg/day for women are proposed.
  • For children, AIs are :
    *0.7 mg/day for children aged 1 to < 3 years,
    *1 mg/day for children aged 3 to < 10 years,
    *1.3 and 1.1 mg/day for boys and girls aged 10 to < 18 years, respectively.
  • For infants aged 7–11 months, based on mean observed intakes in four EU countries, an AI of 0.4 mg/day is proposed, which is supported by upwards extrapolation of estimated copper intake in exclusively breast-fed infants.
  • For pregnant women, an increment of 0.2 mg/day is estimated to cover the amount of copper deposited in the fetus and the placenta over the course of pregnancy and in anticipation of the needs for lactation, and for lactating women the same increment is estimated to cover the amount of copper secreted with breast milk. Thus, for pregnant and lactating women, the Panel derived an AI of 1.5 mg/day.
  • The recommendations can be accessed here.
  • For more information on copper’s benefits for health and nutrition, please click here.

Click here to download the infographic.