Intake recommendations

Last update: 8 November 2020

This is a summary of dietary micronutrient recommendations, their basis and strength. Only references for non-elderly, non-pregnant adults, being the best researched demographic, are considered. Recommendation strength and commentary is my opinion, primarily on the basis of whether there is sufficient evidence to put a number to a nutrient, and say you need to eat this much.

Nutrient Basis Strength Comment Ref.
Retinol (vitamin A) Clinical symptom thresholds, storage ability, absorption efficiency Strong 1
Vitamin K Intake observation Weak 1
Chromium Designed diet analysis Very weak This is guesswork 1
Copper Saturation indicators Weak 1
Iodine Status indicators Weak 1
Iron Clinical symptom thresholds, balance indicators, absorption efficiency Strong 1
Manganese Intake observation Weak 1
Molybdenum Balance indicators Weak 1
Zinc Balance calculation Weak 1
Calcium Balance indicators Weak 2, 4
Vitamin D Clinical symptoms thresholds, status indicators Moderate Statistical error yields underestimate 2, 3, 4, 7
Phosphorus Intake observation Weak 4
Magnesium Balance indicators Weak 4
Fluoride Intake observation Weak 4
Vitamin C Saturation indicators Weak 5
Vitamin E Oxidative damage markers, intake observation Moderate 5
Selenium Clinical symptom thresholds, saturation indicators Strong 5
Thiamin (vitamin B1) Clinical symptom thresholds, biochemistry markers Strong 6
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) Clinical symptom thresholds, saturation indicators Strong 6
Niacin (vitamin B3) Clinical symptom thresholds, saturation indicators Strong 6
Vitamin B6 Clinical symptom thresholds, status indicators Moderate Confounded evidence 6
Folate (vitamin B9) Status indicators Weak 6
Vitamin B12 Status indicators Weak 6
Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5) Intake observation Weak 6
Biotin (vitamin B7) Human milk extrapolation Weak 6
Choline Status indicators Weak 6
  1. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Micronutrients. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001. Available from: doi: 10.17226/10026
  2. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium; Ross AC, Taylor CL, Yaktine AL, et al., editors. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. Available from: doi: 10.17226/13050
  3. Veugelers PJ, Ekwaru JP. A statistical error in the estimation of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D. Nutrients. 2014;6(10):4472–4475. Published 2014 Oct 20. doi:10.3390/nu6104472
  4. Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1997. Available from: doi: 10.17226/5776
  5. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000. Available from: doi: 10.17226/9810
  6. Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and its Panel on Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1998. Available from: doi: 10.17226/6015
  7. Kevin D Cashman, Tom R Hill, Alice J Lucey, Nicola Taylor, Kelly M Seamans, Siobhan Muldowney, Anthony P FitzGerald, Albert Flynn, Maria S Barnes, Geraldine Horigan, Maxine P Bonham, Emeir M Duffy, JJ Strain, Julie MW Wallace, Mairead Kiely, Estimation of the dietary requirement for vitamin D in healthy adults, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 88, Issue 6, December 2008, Pages 1535–1542,