Dietary Reference Intakes

Nutrients arc coming to be seen more and more like medications, where the 'dose makes the poison'. The Dietary Reference Intakes (DR1) published by the Food and Nutrition Board now take into consideration, at least in principle, both lower and upper desirable limits. How to determine appropriate limits for individuals or groups remains the unresolved and much debated question. The Food and Nutrition Board has established a basic framework for tackling this question. Needs are considered separately for each of 22 groups delined by age. gender, as well as pregnancy and lactation status.

The Food and Nutrition Board is a subdivision of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies of the United States and comprises panels that set guidelines for the US and Canada. Similar institutions exist in several other countries to provide guidance on optimal nutrient intake levels.

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