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International Regulations on Amino Acid Use in Foods and Supplements and Recommendations to Control Their Safety Based on Purity and Quality

Oct 29, 2020

We examined international regulatory developments related to the use of proteinogenic amino acids in human nutrition and concluded that the current risk-assessment practices tend to focus exclusively on setting maximum daily limits. In this brief review we argue that controlling the standards of purity and ingredient quality are the key safety issues that should be considered during risk assessment. Moreover, if maximum intake limits on amino acids are implemented, they should be defined using a well-established rationale for the health risks associated with high intakes. This would avoid setting limits that are so low that they render the dietary supplements ineffective and which, therefore, could mislead the consumer. We further suggest that there should be greater regional concordance in how the use of amino acids as ingredients is regulated and use the capacity of industry to oversee pre-competitive issues, such as standards of purity and scientific research on the safety of generic ingredients. Our arguments are based on clinical safety scientific research and oversights of amino acid purity standards conducted in the last decade by the not-for-profit international association, the International Council on Amino Acid Science.

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