Determining content of mercury in vitamin and mineral dietary supplements
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Department of Toxicology and Bioanalysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Sosnowiec, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice
Apteka Staromiejska, Gliwice
Department for Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medical Science in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice
Corresponding author
Barbara Brodziak-Dopierała   

Department of Toxicology and Bioanalysis, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Sosnowiec, Medical University of Silesia, Poland, ul. Jagiellońska 4, 41-200 Sosnowiec
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2019;73:203-211
Dietary supplements are increasingly more frequently used to increase the daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals. These preparations are classified as a special category of foods and are subject to food law, not pharmaceutical regulations. As a result, the requirements for dietary supplements are much less restrictive than to medications. The aim of study was to determine the level of mercury in multivitamin and multimineral preparations and to analyze the results.

Material and methods:
The study included 22 dietary supplements containing vitamins and minerals available on the Polish market. Mercury was analyzed with an AAS using AMA 254.

The concentrations of Hg were 0.22–5.85 µg/kg (the average content was 2.40 µg/kg). The highest average mercury content was 4.51 µg/kg, whereas the lowest one was 0.31 µg/kg. The results were also analyzed in individual groups depending on the main component and indication for use as well as pharmaceutical formulation. Furthermore, according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, the dose of mercury taken with a single medicine was estimated for time of a day, a week, a month, 3 months and also a year. The findings were compared to the limits defined in the regulations of the European Union and PTWI set by the JECFA to assess the health risk. The results presented in this study proved that the amount of mercury in the tested dietary supplements is much lower than the value of valid regulations.

As long as they are used with the recommendation of manufacturer, the analyzed supplements do not pose a threat to human health.

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