In 1993, the European Scientific Committee for Food set population reference intakes (PRI) for iron in milligrams (mg) per day (22):
|Age||Males: mg/day||Females: mg/day|
|18 years and older||9||15 - 20*|
* To compensate for menstrual iron losses in women of reproductive age.
** To compensate for increased iron need in pregnancy.
The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board has established a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron, based on the prevention of iron deficiency and maintenance of adequate iron stores in individuals eating a mixed diet (11):
|Life Stage||Age||Males: mg/day||Females: mg/day|
|Infants||0–6 months||0.27 (AI)||0.27 (AI)|
|Adults 1||9-50 years||8||18|
|Adults||51 years and older||8||8|
|Breast-feeding||18 years and younger||-||10|
|Breast-feeding||19 years and older||-||9|
As the estimated bioavailability of iron from a vegetarian diet is only 10%, while it is 18% from a mixed diet, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron from a completely vegetarian diet should be adjusted as follows: 14 mg/day for adult men and postmenopausal women, 33 mg/day for premenopausal women, and 26 mg/day for adolescent girls (11).
For a detailed overview of recommended daily intakes (PRIs/RDAs) of vitamins and minerals for adults derived from different countries and organizations see PDF.