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The A Train: Some Fruits and Veggies Have Half the Vitamin A Once Thought


For a variety of other vitamins and minerals, the board recommended doses based on the average consumption of American adults. For chromium, for example, they found that harmful side effects are rare from too much chromium in food and based its daily recommendations of 35 mcg for men and 25 mcg for women on average diets.

The RDA for the popular supplement zinc was set at 11 and 8 mg a day for men and women, respectively, with an upper limit of 40 mg. The scientists say that vegetarians may need about 50% more than nonvegetarians, and infants between 7 and 12 months old will not get adequate amounts of zinc from mother's milk and would need to get it from other foods or formula.

Other recommendations:

  • The new RDA for copper is 900 mcg a day for both men and women, with an upper limit of 10 mg a day.
  • The new RDA for iodine is 150 mcg a day for both men and women, with an upper limit of 1.1 mg a day.
  • The new RDA for manganese is 2.3 mg for men and 1.8 mg for women, daily, with an upper limit of 11 mg a day.
  • The new RDA for molybdenum is 45 mcg a day for both men and women, with an upper limit of 2 mg a day.

The report did not make any recommendations on daily intake levels for arsenic, boron, nickel, silicon, and vanadium, but did warn that at high doses these elements were likely to be toxic.

The report says that in almost all cases, it's possible to get the necessary nutrients without taking dietary supplements. The report goes to the FDA, and that agency will decide how to implement the recommendations. In the case of vitamin A, Russell says foods containing the nutrient will need a label change reflecting a reduced amount in the product.

The board expects to finish its work next year.


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