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30 Jun 2003 : Column 179Wcontinued
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the recommended daily consumption of vitamin B6; and how many adverse reactions to vitamin B6 have been reported since 1997. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 20 June 2003]: Government advice is that people limit their intake of vitamin B6 from dietary supplements to no more than 10 mg per day unless acting on the advice of their general practitioner or health professional.
Reports of suspected adverse reactions (ADRs) to medicines are collated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Committee on Safety of Medicines, through the spontaneous reporting Yellow Card Scheme.
Between 1 January 1997 and 18 June 2003, 178 reports of suspected adverse drug reactions associated with products containing vitamin B6 have been received through the Yellow Card Scheme. Of these reports, 42
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suspected ADRs were associated with single-constituent products and 259 suspected ADRs were associated with multi-constituent products. Some reports may contain more than one adverse reaction.
Mr. Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the chemical sources of vitamins and minerals permitted for sale on the UK market but which are omitted from the list of nutrients permitted for use in food supplements under the provisions of Annex 2 of the Food Supplements Directive. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 20 June 2003]: Food supplements, like other foods, are not required to demonstrate their efficacy before marketing, nor are they subject to prior approval unless they are genetically modified or are 'novel'. Therefore, the Food Standards Agency does not hold detailed information about food supplements on the United Kingdom market.
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currently used in food supplements on the UK market. The list of these missing substances is available in the Library.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which of the publications listed on page 92 and discussed on pages 85 to 89 of the report, Safe Upper Levels for Vitamins and Minerals, by the expert group on vitamins and minerals, published in May, led the group to the safe upper level for vitamin B6 of 10 mg a day for a 60 kg adult. 
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Miss Melanie Johnson: The expert group on vitamins and minerals (EVM) reviewed over 200 pieces of information on vitamin B6 and based their safe upper level of 10 mg. per day vitamin B6 on the study by Phillips et al (1978) in dogs. This level was determined to represent a clear safe upper level, with no adverse effects being anticipated over a lifetime's exposure. The derivation of the safe upper level for vitamin B6 is described on pages 9091 of the EVM Report, which is available in the Library.