Trace Elements // Zinc

Intake Recommendations

In 1993, the European Scientific Committee for Food set population reference intakes (PRI) for zinc in milligrams (mg) per day (61):

 Age    Males:mcg/day Females:mcg/day

 6–12 months

4

4

 1–3 years

4

4

 4–6 years

6

6

 7–10 years

7

7

 11–14 years

9

9

 15–17 years

9

9

 18 years and older

9.5

7

 Pregnant

-

7

 Breast-feeding

-

12

Since a sensitive indicator of zinc nutritional status is not readily available, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board’s recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for zinc represents the daily intake likely to prevent deficiency in nearly all individuals in a specific age and gender group (3):

 Life Stage   Age  Males:mcg/day Females:mcg/day

 Infants

0–6 months

2 (AI)

2 (AI)

 Infants

 7–12 months

3

3

 Children 

 1–3 years

3

3

 Children

 4–8 years

5

5

 Children

9–13 years

8

8

 Adolescents

14–18 years

11

9

 Adults

19 years and older

11

8

 Pregnancy

18 years and younger

-

12

 Pregnancy

19 years and older

-

11

 Breast-feeding

18 years and younger

-

13

 Breast-feeding

19 years and older

-

12

The requirement for dietary zinc may be as much as 50% greater for strict vegetarians whose major food staples are grains and legumes, because high levels of ‘phytic acid’ in these foods reduce zinc absorption (3).

For a detailed overview of recommended daily intakes (PRIs/RDAs) of vitamins and minerals for adults derived from different countries and organizations see PDF.

 

Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed by Giorgio La Fata on 29.09.2017