Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 08:00 Hrs [IST]
Experts have raised concern over lack of clarity in Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recommended dietary allowance (RDA) values for Vitamin- B12 in neurological disorders based on Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) data.
This according to them is done without collective stakeholders participation and lacks scientific evidence and rationale.
Experts inform that the FSSAI scientific panel and scientific committee has recommended RDA values in vitamins and minerals for various micro-nutrients using reference from ICMR and Codex in this context.
Codex is a collection of internationally adopted food standards and related texts presented in a uniform manner. These food standards and related texts aim at protecting consumers’ health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade.
Pharmaceutical industry, however, is not satisfied with the RDA value defined for vitamin B12 in particular.
“The document issued in January this year is intended to help in understanding and compliance of health supplements and nutraceuticals. But has FSSAI achieved the goal,” questions pharma consultant Dr Sanjay Agrawal.
“The contention is that scientific panel and scientific committee has recommended RDA value of 1 micro gram per day for vitamin B12. The technical team must understand that vitamin B12 is not a single component. There are four types of vitamin B12 and the human body react differently to all four B12 vitamins,” Agrawal argues.
Methylcobalamin is used for the neuro-protection and maintenance of it. RDA should be revised and should not be prescribed based on old data or studies. Indian environment is different where we are more vegetarian and source of methylcobalamin is more from non vegetarian food, that is why FSSAI should consider and evaluate the methylcobalamin concentration again.
“For example, when one type of Vitamin B12 – methylcobalamin is consumed, it is directly absorbed whereas when another type of vitamin B12 – cynocobalamin is consumed, only one tenth of its part is converted into methylcobalamin and absorbed by the body.
So, if 1 microgram methylcobalamin is taken, the body will react differently as compared to 1 microgram of cynocobalamin,” he further explains.