Human Vitamin and Mineral Requirements

Table of Contents

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Report of a joint FAO/WHO expert consultation
Bangkok, Thailand

Rome, 2002

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© FAO 2001

Table of Contents


Participating experts (download 194 KB)

Background paper contributors

Background paper reviewers



Chapter 1. Introduction (download 222 KB)

Terms of reference and process
Definitions of terms used
Report of the consultation

Chapter 2. Food-based approaches to meeting vitamin and mineral needs (download 404 KB)

Dietary diversification when consuming cereal and tuber-based diets (rice, corn, wheat, potato, and cassava)
How to accomplish dietary diversity in practice
Practices which will enhance the success of food-based approaches
Delineating the role of supplementation and food fortification for nutrients which cannot be supplied by regular foods
Recommendations for the future
Future research

Chapter 3. Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and biotin (download 361 KB)

Vitamin B6
General considerations for B-complex vitamins

Chapter 4. Folate and folic acid (download 409 KB)

Role of folate and folic acid in human metabolic processes
Definition of populations at risk for folate deficiency
Delineation of dietary sources
Evidence on which to base a recommended intake
Differences in bio-availability of folic acid and food folate
Neural tube defects
Cardiovascular disease
Colorectal cancer
Upper limit
Future research

Chapter 5. Vitamin B12 (download 261 KB)

Role of vitamin B12 in human metabolic processes
Dietary sources and availability
Populations at risk for and consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 interaction with folate or folic acid
Assessment of vitamin B12 status
Evidence on which to base a recommended intake
Future research

Chapter 6. Vitamin C (download 302 KB)

Role in human metabolic processes
Overview of significant scientific information
Definition of population at risk
Dietary sources of vitamin C and limitations to vitamin C
Information used to derive dietary requirement of vitamin C
Future research

Chapter 7. Vitamin A (download 366 KB)

Role of vitamin A in human metabolic processes
Population at risk and consequences of vitamin A deficiency
Units of expression
Dietary sources
Evidence for making recommendations
Determining mean requirements and setting safe levels of intake
Recommended safe intakes
Future research

Chapter 8. Vitamin D (download 289 KB)

Summary of the role of vitamin D in human metabolic processes
Overview of the role of vitamin D
Populations at risk for vitamin D deficiency
Evidence used for estimating recommended vitamin D intake
Considerations in viewing recommended intakes for vitamin D
Summary of the RNIs for vitamin D by age group
Vitamin D toxicity
Future research

Chapter 9. Vitamin E (download 291 KB)

Summary of the role of vitamin E in human metabolic processes
Defining populations at risk of vitamin E deficiency
Delineation of dietary sources and possible limitations to its availability worldwide
Summary of evidence for determining recommended nutrient intakes
Future research

Chapter 10. Vitamin K (download 326 KB)

Biological role of vitamin K
Overview of metabolism
Populations at risk
Dietary sources
Bio-availability of vitamin K from foods
Importance of intestinal bacterial synthesis as a source of vitamin K
Evidence on which recommendations can be based
Recommendations for vitamin K intakes
Future research

Chapter 11. Calcium (download 3,614 KB)

Chemistry and distribution of calcium
Biological role of calcium
Determinants of calcium balance
Calcium absorption
Calcium requirements and recommended intakes
Populations at risk
Recommendations by group
Ethnic and environmental variations in the prevalence of osteoporosis
Nutritional factors affecting calcium requirements
Future research

Chapter 12. Iodine (download 377 KB)

Summary of the human metabolic processes requiring iodine
Overview of significant scientific information
Population at risk
Dietary sources
Recommended intake
Upper limit of iodine intake for different age groups
Iodine fortification

Chapter 13. Iron (download 613 KB)

The role of iron in human metabolic processes
Iron requirements
Iron absorption
Iron deficiency
Iron during pregnancy and lactation
Iron supplementation and fortification
The evidence for estimating the recommended nutrient intake for iron
Recommendations for iron intake for infants, children, younger and older adults, and pregnant and lactating women
Future research

Chapter 14. Magnesium (download 246 KB)

Tissue distribution and functions of magnesium
Origins and effects of magnesium deficiency
Dietary sources, absorption, and excretion of magnesium
Criteria for assessing magnesium requirements and allowances
Estimated allowances of magnesium
Derivation of allowances for magnesium
Upper tolerable limits of magnesium intake
Relationships to previous estimates
Future research

Chapter 15. Selenium (download 381 KB)

The role of selenium in human metabolic processes
Selenium deficiency
The influence of diet on selenium status
Absorption and bio-availability
Criteria for assessing selenium requirements
Recommended selenium intakes
Future research

Chapter 16. Zinc (download 281 KB)

Role of zinc in human metabolic processes
Zinc metabolism and homeostasis
Dietary sources and availability of zinc
Populations at risk for zinc deficiency
Zinc requirements
Inter-individual variations in zinc requirements and recommended nutrient intakes
Upper limits of zinc intake
Adequacy of zinc intakes in relation to requirement estimates
Future research

Chapter 17. Dietary antioxidants: a consideration of factors influencing requirements (download 308 KB)

Nutrients with an antioxidant role
The need for biologic antioxidants
Pro-oxidant activity of biologic antioxidants
Nutrients associated with endogenous antioxidant mechanisms
Nutrients with radical-quenching properties
A requirement for antioxidant nutrients

Appendix (download 239 KB)