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Recommended intake information - health professionals

Scrambled eggs with watercress

The body requires different amounts of each vitamin and mineral because each has a different function. People also have variable requirements according to their age, sex, level of activity and state of health. The UK Department of Health has drawn up Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for all nutrients for all different groups of healthy people in the UK1.

The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is set at a level that is considered to be adequate or more than adequate for almost all (97.5%) of the population. By generally consuming more than the RNI it is likely that a person's requirements will be met.  

However, for the purposes of food labelling and advertising, separate Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs), which differ from UK RNIs, have been developed by the European Commission3,4 and are used in the UK and across Europe. 

Nutrition claims on packs or in advertising can only be made if a food contains a significant amount of a particular vitamin or mineral2,3. If 100g of the food contains at least 15% of the NRV it can be claimed to be ‘a source’ of that nutrient; if it contains more than 30% of the NRV it can be claimed to be a ‘good source of’ or ‘high/rich in’ that nutrient.

The tables below show the vitamin and mineral content of eggs4, the percentage of the EU NRVs provided by 100g egg, and the percentage of the UK RNIs for adult women provided by one medium egg.

 

Vitamins

Constituent of egg4 Amount per 100g* % NRV3 Amount per medium egg** % of RNI1 for an adult female 19-50 years provided by a medium egg
Vitamin A mcg 126 15.8 64 10.7
Vitamin D mcg 3.2 63.0 1.6 16.0***
Vitamin E mg 1.3 10.8 0.7 ****
Vitamin K2 mcg 7 9.3 3.5 ****
Thiamin (vit B1) mg 0.008 7.3 0.04 5.0
Riboflavin (vit B2) mg 0.5 35.7 0.25 22.7
Niacin mg 0.05 0.3 0.03 0.2
Vitamin B6 mg 0.13 9.3 0.07 5.8
Folate mcg 47 23.5 24 12.0
Vitamin B12 mcg 2.7 108 1.4 93
Biotin mcg 20 40 10 ****
Pantothenic Acid mg 1.4 23.3 0.7 ****
Choline mg 285 71**** 144 ****

* Equivalent to the edible portion of 2 medium eggs. Assumes edible portion = 87.2%. Actual edible portion of 2 average medium eggs = 101g

** Average weight 58g, values are for edible contents only

*** Beyond age 65 years RNI is 10µg

**** No NRV or RNI, Adequate Intake (AI) - 400mg per day for adults (European Food Safety Authority 2016)

Minerals

Constituent of egg4 Amount per 100g* % NRV3 Amount per medium egg % of RNI1 for an adult female 19-50 years provided by a medium egg
Sodium mg 154 *** 78 5.0
Potassium mg 145 7.3 73 2.0
Calcium mg 46 5.8 23 3.3
Phosphorus mg 179 25.6 91 16.6
Magnesium mg 13 3.5 7 2.6
Chloride mg 180 22.5 91 3.6
Iron mg 1.7 12.1 0.9 6.1
Zinc mg 1.1 11.0 0.6 8.6
Copper mg 0.05 5.0 0.03 32.5
Iodine mcg 50 33.3 25 17.9
Selenium mcg 23 41.8 12 20

* Equivalent to the edible portion of 2 medium eggs. Assumes edible portion = 87.2%. Actual edible portion of 2 average medium eggs =101g

** Average weight 58g, values are for edible contents only

*** No NRV

References

1 Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. Department of Health Report on Health and Social Subjects 41, 1991

2 European Parliament and Council (2006) Regulation No 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims made on Foods. Official Journal of the European Union L404

3 European Commission (2008) Commission Directive 2008/100/EC amending Council Directive 90/496/EEC on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs as regards recommended daily allowances, energy conversion factors and definitions. Official Journal of the European Union L285/9

4 Department of Health (2013) and Finglas PM et al. (2015) McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Seventh summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry

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