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"mikroco-wissen" launches in English

21/2024, 24.06.2024

Information on vitamins, minerals and co. for the general public

Since September 2023, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has been providing comprehensive information via a new internet portal on vitamins, minerals and numerous other substances that we ingest with our food or that are offered as food supplements. This information is now also available in English at This should enable even more consumers to obtain factual information about these substances and the possible risks of an over- or undersupply. brings together basic information on micronutrients and other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, such as amino acids, fatty acids or plant extracts. It explains in which foods these substances occur naturally, what function they have in the human organism and what consequences deficiencies or an oversupply may have. Many of the substances presented are also available in isolated form as food supplements and are taken occasionally or regularly by many people. The information portal explains why such supplements are generally unnecessary for healthy people, but in which cases it may still be advisable to take food supplements. It also explains the health risks that may be associated with taking such supplements. In this context, one focus is also on the maximum recommended intake levels for food supplements and fortified foods that have been elaborated by the BfR. In addition to this basic information, the information portal also presents the BfR's current health assessments in the field of micronutrients and food supplements.

The most important information is summarised in overview tables. Illustrations show which foods might be used to achieve an adequate supply, taking into account different diets, including vegan diets. This is due to the fact that vegans absorb essential nutrients from different foods than vegetarians or people who also eat animal-based foods.

The aim of translating the information from German into English is to make factual information about micronutrients and the like accessible to more people. The website is constantly being updated and expanded.

Further information on micronutrients and food supplements

Frequently Asked Questions on food supplements

BfR-Communication: Foods and food supplements containing soy: health aspects


About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. The BfR advises the Federal Government and the States (‘Laender’) on questions of food, chemicals and product safety. The BfR conducts independent research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.


The internet portal provides information on vitamins, minerals and numerous other substances that we ingest with food or that are offered as food supplements. In addition, the individual pages contain the maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements and in fortified foods as recommended by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.


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