Scientific Opinion on the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of calcium
Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to re-evaluate the safety in use of calcium. The Panel was requested to consider if the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for calcium established by the SCF in 2003 (2,500 mg/day for adults, including pregnant and lactating women), which was based on different intervention studies of long duration in which total daily calcium intakes of 2,500 mg from both diet and supplements were tolerated without adverse effects, needed to be changed on the basis of new available evidence. A number of placebo controlled human intervention studies in adults published since then also showed that total daily calcium intakes of 2,500 mg from both diet and supplements are tolerated without adverse effects. The Panel considers that no relationship has been established between long-term calcium intakes from diet and supplements and increased risk of nephrolithiasis, cardiovascular disease or prostate cancer. No new data have become available which would require a revision of the UL for calcium for adults, including pregnant and lactating women, of 2,500 mg. No new data have become available which would allow the setting of a UL for infants, children or adolescents. Data from European populations indicate that intakes of calcium in high consumers among adult males can be close to the UL. Although available data do not allow the setting of a UL for infants, children or adolescents, no risk has been identified with highest current levels of calcium intake in these age groups.