EU handed protein intake recommendations; no DRVs

By Shane STARLING contact

- Last updated on GMT

EFSA protein recommendation: 58.1 g per day for 70kg person from all sources
EFSA protein recommendation: 58.1 g per day for 70kg person from all sources

Related tags: Nutrition

Europe’s central food science agency says European adults require on average 0.83 g protein/kg body weight each day from “high quality protein and to protein in mixed diets” in a just-issued opinion.

It updates a 2012 protein intake opinion from EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) with similar broad recommendations but still no condition-linked Dietary Reference Values (DRVs).

It used nitrogen balance data to establish the Population Reference Intake (PRI) that equates to 58.1 g of protein daily for a 70 kg adult, but said data was lacking to establish DRVs relating to muscle mass and function; body weight control and obesity or insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis.

Nor were Tolerable Upper Intake Levels(UL) established.

It said mean intakes for European adults were above 0.83 g day.

For pregnant women “an intake of 1, 9 and 28 g/d in the first, second and third trimesters, respectively, is proposed in addition to the PRI for non-pregnant women.”

“For lactation, a protein intake of 19 g/d during the first six months, and of 13 g/d after six months, is proposed in addition to the PRI for non-lactating women.”

A breakdown of European protein sources

"In European countries the main contributors to dietary protein intake are meat and meat products, grains and grain-based products, and milk and dairy products,"​ the NDA wrote.

It added: "Data from dietary surveys show that the average protein intakes in European countries vary between 67 to 114 g/d in adult men and 59 to 102 g/d in women, or about 12 to 20 % of total energy intake (E %) for both sexes. Few data are available for the mean protein intakes on a body weight basis, which vary from 0.8 to 1.25 g/kg body weight per day for adults."

The opinion is here​.

More about the differences between AR, PRI and other measures can be found here​.

The NDA similarly established no DRV last year in an opinion​ on vitamin C intakes.

Related topics: Policy, Proteins

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