Frequently asked questions

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General information on food supplements

How long should one take nutritional supplements?

Food supplements can be taken on a permanent basis as long as the guideline values for the daily intake (nutrient reference values) according to the Food Information Regulation are observed. A permanent overdose is not advisable and can have a negative effect on health. Overdoses are more of an issue with fat-soluble vitamins (e.g. vitamins A and D) than with water-soluble vitamins (e.g. vitamin C, B vitamins), which are excreted unused. Since the absorption of food supplements by the body depends on many influencing factors (timing, age, absorption-inhibiting foods such as coffee or black tea, intestinal environment), 100% absorption of the pure active ingredient in a food supplement can never be guaranteed. Therefore, a food supplement should be taken over several weeks to achieve a lasting effect. 

What are the daily consumption recommendations?

The consumption recommendation is based on the reference quantity for the daily intake (nutrient reference values) according to the Food Information Regulation. The reference quantity is the average value for a healthy adult. This reference amount has nothing to do with the reference values recommended by the German Nutrition Society for the daily intake of a vitamin or a mineral in a normal diet. Both values can differ significantly. For many ingredients, especially those of plant origin, there are no nutrient reference values.

What does "bioavailability" mean?

An ingredient is particularly bioavailable if it can be optimally absorbed by the body. Some active substances are better absorbed in certain forms than others. The molecular forms that can be better utilised by the body are classified as bioactive. WIDMANN products are based on bioactive micronutrients that are highly available to the body.

What is the difference between medicinal products and food supplements?

Food supplements are foodstuffs and are subject to the provisions of the Foodstuffs Ordinance. Their sole and exclusive purpose is to supplement a healthy, balanced diet. In contrast, medicinal products are subject to the Medicinal Products Act and serve to cure, alleviate, prevent or detect diseases, ailments, bodily harm or pathological complaints. Medicinal products are subject to authorisation.

What is the Health Claims Regulation?

The Health Claims Regulation has been in force as directly applicable law in all EU member states since 01.07.2007. The regulation serves to protect health. It stipulates that foodstuffs, which include food supplements, may only be advertised with health and nutritional claims if they have been expressly approved by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).

What statements are permitted about food supplements?

Health claims on certain ingredients are only allowed if they have been approved by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). This applies in particular to the group of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. There are fixed formulations for their health-specific effects (health claims) that must be used by all manufacturers and distributors in the EU. Therefore, do not be surprised to find identical formulations on packaging, in brochures and on the websites of different manufacturers. Despite the identical formulations, not all products are identical. The big difference is in the details, e.g. whether fillers are used, whether natural ingredients are used, whether the products are vegan or not genetically modified. No health claims may be made for ingredients that have not been approved by the EFSA, for example, due to a lack of long-term scientific studies. This is why you will only find specific health claims for very few herbal active ingredients, for example.

Why does taking dietary supplements make sense?

Food supplements can complement a natural, balanced diet. Sometimes, under certain conditions, there is an increased need for certain vitamins and minerals (e.g. in stressful situations). Certain diets can also lead to certain nutrients not being absorbed by the body in sufficient quantities. For example, the optimal supply of micronutrients contained in animal products is more difficult to ensure for vegans (e.g. vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron or zinc).

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