Which vitamins are a must

Minimum quantities: so many vitamins or minerals must be in there!

What must be on the packaging?

If you find information or health-related advertising claims about a vitamin or mineral on a food supplement (NEM), the product must contain certain minimum quantities of this nutrient. The food information regulation in Annex XIII regulates how much that is. There you will find the so-called EU-wide reference quantities (NRV, Nutrition Reference Values) for vitamins and minerals in food. The NRV are quantitative data that are intended to make it easier to compare dietary supplements, among other things, and to ensure that a certain minimum amount of a nutrient is included.

The reference amount for an NEM has nothing to do with the reference values ​​recommended by the German Nutrition Society (D-A-CH reference values) for the daily intake of a vitamin or mineral as part of normal nutrition. Both values ​​can differ significantly as the table below shows.

What is the minimum quantity?

In order for a nutrient to be explicitly mentioned on the packaging, e.g. "with calcium", a daily portion of the NEM must contain at least 15% of the reference amount. With calcium that would be 120 mg. What this means for the individual nutrients can be found in the table.

Reference values ​​for vitamins and minerals only

There are no prescribed reference values ​​for many other ingredients in dietary supplements. These include, for example, certain secondary plant substances like lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin or resveratrol. Nevertheless, the amounts contained per daily dose must be specified, just without any percentage information.

The same applies to many Plant extracts such as ginkgo or lucuma. Amino acids are not regulated either, omega-3 fatty acids inasmuch as quantities are prescribed for certain advertising messages.


Vitamin / mineralNRV per dayMinimum amount per day
when advertised (15% NRV)
Recommended by the DGE
daily intake for 25-50 year olds (male / female)
Vitamin A (μg)800120100 / 80
Vitamin D (μg)50,7520**
Vitamin E (mg)121,814 /12
Vitamin K (μg)7511,2570 /61*
Vitamin C (mg)8012110 / 95
Thiamine / B1 (mg)1,10,1651,2 / 1,0
Riboflavin / B2 (mg)1,40,211,4 / 1,1
Niacin / B3 (mg)162,415 /12
Vitamin B6 (mg)1,40,211,6 / 1,4
Folic acid (μg)20030300
Vitamin B12 (μg)2,50,384,0
Biotin (μg)507,530 - 60*
Pantothenic acid / B5 (mg)60,96*
Calcium (mg)8001201000
Chloride (mg)8001202300
Chromium (μg)40630 - 100*
Iron (mg)142,110 / 15
Fluoride (mg)3,50,533,8 / 3,1
Iodine (μg)15022,5200
Potassium (mg)20003004000*
Copper (mg)10,151,0 - 1,5*
Magnesium (mg)37556,3350 / 300
Manganese (mg)20,302,0 - 5,0*
Molybdenum (μg)507,550 - 100*
Phosphorus (mg)700105700
Selenium (μg)558,2570 / 60*
Zinc (mg)101,514 / 8

* Estimate
** if there is no in-house production