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Folate Fruits

This current page is a start page for your exploration of topics related to nutrition and development.

While there are many sites and information available concerning postnatal nutrition, prenatally research has mainly focussed on developmental effects of specific deficiencies (folate and iodine) and the teratogenic effects of retinoic acid.

See also the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) publication NHMRC - Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand Including Recommended Dietary Intakes.[1] "The Nutrient Reference Values outline the levels of intake of essential nutrients considered to be adequate to meet the known nutritional needs of practically all healthy people for prevention of deficiency states. The document can be used by health professionals to assess the likelihood of inadequate intake in individuals or groups of people." Some text on this current page is modified from this report.

In Australia and New Zealand

Before mandatory folic acid fortification was introduced:

  • mean dietary folic acid intakes for women aged 16–44 years (the target population) in Australia was 108 micrograms (μg) of folic acid per day and in New Zealand was 62 μg of folic acid per day, well below the recommended 400 μg per day.
  • there were 149 pregnancies affected by NTDs in 2005 in Australia (rate of 13.3 per 10,000 births) in the three states that provide the most accurate baseline of NTD incidence (South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria), and 63 pregnancies affected by NTDs in 2003 in New Zealand (rate of 11.2 per 10,000 births).

Before mandatory iodine fortification was introduced:

  • large proportions of the Australian and New Zealand population had inadequate iodine intakes.
  • national surveys measuring median urinary iodine concentration (MUIC) in schoolchildren, an indicator of overall population status, confirmed mild iodine deficiency in both countries.
    • the concentration was 96 μg per litre in Australia, and 66 μg per litre in New Zealand, less than the 100–200 μg per litre considered optimal.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1937 Walter Norman Haworth "for his investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C" and Paul Karrer "for his investigations on carotenoids, flavins and vitamins A and B2".

Links: Nutrition | Folate Deficiency | Iodine Deficiency | Neural System - Abnormalities | Axial Skeleton Abnormalities

Some Recent Findings

  • Vitamin D - Maternal BMI Associations with Maternal and Cord Blood Vitamin D Levels in a North American Subset of Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Study Participants[2] "Obesity in pregnancy may be associated with reduced placental transfer of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD). The objective of this study was to examine associations between maternal BMI and maternal and cord blood levels of 25-OHD in full term neonates born to a single racial cohort residing at similar latitude. Secondary objectives were to examine associations between maternal glucose tolerance with maternal levels of 25-OHD and the relationship between cord blood 25-OHD levels and neonatal size. With adjustment for maternal age, field center, birth season and maternal serum 25-OHD, the association of cord blood 25-OHD with maternal BMI was attenuated. Neither birth weight nor neonatal adiposity was significantly associated with cord blood 25-OHD levels. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that maternal levels of 25-OHD are associated with maternal BMI. The results also suggest that interpretation of neonatal 25-OHD levels may need to incorporate specific maternal factors in addition to season of birth and latitude."
  • Protein - Maternal Diabetes Leads to Adaptation in Embryonic Amino Acid Metabolism during Early Pregnancy[3] "During pregnancy an adequate amino acid supply is essential for embryo development and fetal growth. We have studied amino acid composition and branched chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism at day 6 p.c. in diabetic rabbits and blastocysts. In the plasma of diabetic rabbits the concentrations of 12 amino acids were altered in comparison to the controls. Notably, the concentrations of the BCAA leucine, isoleucine and valine were approximately three-fold higher in diabetic rabbits than in the control. ... These results demonstrate a direct impact of maternal diabetes on BCAA concentrations and degradation in mammalian blastocysts with influence on embryonic mTOR signalling." Maternal Diabetes | Rabbit Development
  • Vitamin C - Depletion in Prenatal Guinea Pigs as a Model of Lissencephaly Type II[4] "Humans and guinea pigs are unable to produce vitamin C, with deficiency resulting in a well-known disorder of collagen synthesis. Pial basement membrane structure preservation is essential in the proper migration of neurons. In our study, intrauterine deprivation of vitamin C in guinea pig fetuses led to a collagen synthesis disorder, weakness, and finally a breach of pial basement membrane. ...The most severe form of dysplastic changes was characterized by marked irregularity of the cerebellar cortex similar to that in lissencephaly type II. Thus, prenatal vitamin C deficiency represents a novel animal model to study the effects of collagen synthesis on development of breaches in the pial basement membrane, disordered migration of neurons, dysplasia of cerebellar cortex, and the pathogenesis of lissencephaly." Cerebellum Development
  • Vitamin K CDC finds cluster of newborns in Tennessee with bleeding disorder Report highlights importance of vitamin K shot at birth. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a cluster of newborns in Tennessee with late vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB). VKDB is a serious, but preventable bleeding disorder that can cause bleeding in the brain. In each case, the newborn’s parents declined vitamin K injection at birth, mainly because they were unaware of the health benefits of vitamin K at birth." (More? American Academy of Pediatrics Report Of Committee On Nutrition - Vitamin K Compounds And The Water-Soluble Analogues (1961)
  • Vitamin A and E status in very low birth weight infants [5] "High prevalence of vitamin A and vitamin E deficiency was found in VLBW infants starting from birth to term postmenstrual age."
More recent papers  
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This table shows an automated computer PubMed search using the listed sub-heading term.

  • Therefore the list of references do not reflect any editorial selection of material based on content or relevance.
  • References appear in this list based upon the date of the actual page viewing.

References listed on the rest of the content page and the associated discussion page (listed under the publication year sub-headings) do include some editorial selection based upon both relevance and availability.

Links: References | Discussion Page | Pubmed Most Recent | Journal Searches

Search term: Fetal Nutrition

Kang Xu, Hongnan Liu, Miaomiao Bai, Jing Gao, Xin Wu, Yulong Yin Redox Properties of Tryptophan Metabolism and the Concept of Tryptophan Use in Pregnancy. Int J Mol Sci: 2017, 18(7); PubMed 28737706

Elizabeth Huiwen Tham, Bee Wah Lee, Yiong Huak Chan, Evelyn Xiu Ling Loo, Jia Ying Toh, Anne Goh, Oon Hoe Teoh, Fabian Yap, Kok Hian Tan, Keith M Godfrey, Mary Foong Fong Chong, Hugo P S Van Bever, Yap Seng Chong, Lynette Pei-Chi Shek Low Food Allergy Prevalence Despite Delayed Introduction of Allergenic Foods-Data from the GUSTO Cohort. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract: 2017; PubMed 28734861

Christoph Maas, Axel R Franz, Stefanie von Krogh, Jörg Arand, Christian F Poets Growth and morbidity of extremely preterm infants after early full enteral nutrition. Arch. Dis. Child. Fetal Neonatal Ed.: 2017; PubMed 28733478

Harunor Rashid, Enbo Ma, Farzana Ferdous, Eva-Charlotte Ekström, Yukiko Wagatsuma First-trimester fetal growth restriction and the occurrence of miscarriage in rural Bangladesh: A prospective cohort study. PLoS ONE: 2017, 12(7);e0181967 PubMed 28732073

Xueying Tian, Yan Li, Lingjuan He, Hui Zhang, Xiuzhen Huang, Qiaozhen Liu, Wenjuan Pu, Libo Zhang, Yi Li, Huan Zhao, Zhifu Wang, Jianhong Zhu, Yu Nie, Shengshou Hu, David Sedmera, Tao P Zhong, Ying Yu, Li Zhang, Yan Yan, Zengyong Qiao, Qing-Dong Wang, Sean M Wu, William T Pu, Robert H Anderson, Bin Zhou Identification of a hybrid myocardial zone in the mammalian heart after birth. Nat Commun: 2017, 8(1);87 PubMed 28729659

Folic Acid

In 2001, the Australian estimated birth prevalence of neural tube defects was 0.5 per 1,000 births (National Perinatal Statistics Unit). Low maternal dietary folic acid (folate) has been shown to be associated with the development of neural tube defects.

USA spina bifida rates.jpg

In the U.S.A. the Food and Drug Administration in 1996 authorized that all enriched cereal grain products be fortified with folic acid, with optional fortification beginning in March 1996 and mandatory fortification in January 1998.

Links: Folic Acid and Neural Tube Defects



Thyroxine (T4) molecular structure showing iodine positions (red rings)

"Iodine is an essential nutrient that humans need in very small quantities. The thyroid uses iodine to produce hormones vital to ensure normal development of the brain and nervous system before birth, in babies and young children. For this reason, it is very important that pregnant and breastfeeding women get enough iodine.

The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that all women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or considering pregnancy, take an iodine supplement of 150 micrograms (μg) each day. Women with pre-existing thyroid conditions should seek advice from their medical practitioner prior to taking a supplement."

Text from [6]
Links: Iodine Deficiency | Iodine supplementation for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women NHMRC - Nutrition & Diet Publications


Vitamin A

Retinoic acid is a metabolite of vitamin A (retinol) and may affect prenatal development. Postnatal dietary supplementation of children is recommended when diet may be inadequate. Vitamin A is required for many systems including: visual system, cell function for growth, epithelial integrity, red blood cell production, immunity, and reproduction.

The following text is from a recent review of published data.[7]

What is already known on this topic

  • Vitamin A is an essential nutrient; it must be obtained through diet
  • In low and middle income countries, many people (especially children) do not eat enough vitamin A
  • Vitamin A deficiency is related to vision problems and increased susceptibility to infectious disease and death
  • WHO recommends vitamin A supplements for children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers

What this study adds

  • There have been 43 trials of vitamin A for children aged 6 months to 5 years old, including about 215,633 children
  • In low and middle income countries, vitamin A supplementation is associated with a 24% reduction in mortality
  • Vitamin A supplementation might reduce mortality by preventing measles and diarrhoea; it also prevents blindness
  • The evidence for vitamin A is compelling and clear; further trials comparing vitamin A with placebo would be unethical

  • Spermatozoa Development - "Retinoic acid appears to act in a pulsatile manner, periodically driving spermatogonial differentiation and meiotic onset at discrete points along testis tubules, and as a result, is likely to be responsible for generating and maintaining the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium."[8]
Links: Developmental Signals - Retinoic acid | Spermatozoa Development | Cell Division - Meiosis

Vitamin B

Eight separate water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. Folic acid or vitamin B9 (folacin) and folate (naturally occurring form) are an important dietary requirement for normal neural development. Low levels have been show associated with neural tube defects including spina bifida.

Links: Neural System Development | Neural System - Abnormalities

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is necessary for the formation of collagen, reducing free radicals, and aiding in iron absorption. Scurvy is a disease of dietary ascorbic acid deficiency that is very uncommon today, except in economically disadvantaged populations with poor nutrition. Occurance in children is very rare and can lead to musculoskeletal abnormalities, and has also been seen in neurologic illness.[9]

Vitamin D

Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol in a photoreaction induced by ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the sun. This is then released into circulation where it is hydroxylated in the liver and kidney to a more active form. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D), the most commonly used index of vitamin D status, is converted to the active hormone 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH]2D), which, operating through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). The vitamin D receptor belongs to the nuclear receptor superfamily.

Tissue Substrate Product
Integument 7-dehydrocholesterol Vitamin D3
Liver Vitamin D3 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (calcidiol)
Kidney 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (calcitriol, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D)

Vitamin D3 synthesis.png

In the skin Vitamin D3 regulates both epidermal proliferation and differentiation. As a circulating hormone, it regulates calcium levels in the blood, required for bone and muscle development.

USA Institute of Medicine expert committee "calcium requirements varied with age, from 700 mg a day for children aged 1-3 years up to 1200 mg a day for women aged 51 to 70 and 1300 mg a day for teenagers and pregnant and lactating women."

  • Australia - Newborn-serum 25OHD concentrations depend on the maternal circulating plasma 25OHD level at least during the third trimester. Neonatal 25OHD levels obtained by EIA correlated well with liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MSMS). Although the EIA values for neonates were greater than LC-MSMS values, this difference was not statistically significant.[10]
  • UK - Avoidance of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy in the United Kingdom: the case for a unified approach in National policy.[11]
  • USA 2004 - Vitamin D requirements during pregnancy.[12]

The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is found on most non-skeletal human cells that may indicate a role in more than the bone and calcium metabolism.[13]

  • respiratory tract is a consequence of its activity in the immune system.
  • vitamin D deficiency occurs with gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease, liver, pancreas or cardiac diseases.
  • links to diabetes. VDR and 1α-hydroxylase have been detected in the cutaneous capillary vessels, endothelium, vascular smooth muscles, myocytes and cardiac fibroblasts.
Kidney Endocrine
Hormone Function Comment
Renin increase angiotensin-aldosterone system paracrine, renin is released by juxtaglomerular cells
Prostaglandins decrease sodium (Na+) reabsorption paracrine, (PGE2) vasodilator regulate renal vascular reactivity
Erythropoietin increase Erythrocyte production endocrine, promotes red blood cell formation in bone marrow
1,25 (OH)2 vitamin D Calcium homeostasis endocrine, biologically active form of vitamin D
Prekallikreins increase Kinin production paracrine, act locally to induce vasodilation and contraction of smooth muscle

Links: Vitamin D3 | Vitamin D3 synthesis | Integumentary | Nutrition | Endocrine Kidney | Parathyroid

External Links: Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D | Paediatric Endocrine Group; Paediatric Bone Australasia. Prevention and treatment of infant and childhood vitamin D deficiency in Australia and New Zealand: a consensus statement. 2006 PMID16948623 | Vitamin D - a review 2008 PMID19142273 | AFP)

Vitamin E

Vitamin E has a role in immunity and cell function (controls free radicals mediated disturbances and maintains membrane integrity). Animal studies suggest a protective role for asthma risk.[14]

Tocotrienols are natural compounds acting as dietary members of the vitamin E family.[15] They are found in a number of vegetable oils, wheat germ, barley, and certain types of nuts and grains.

Vitamin K

A generic term for derivatives of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone that have coagulation activity. Daily requirement for vitamin K is about 1 µg/kg. In newborns vitamin K nutrition is at risk.

  • Required for synthesis of prothrombin and proconvertin (stable factor, factor VII).
  • May also be involved in synthesis of Stuart-Prower factor (factor X) and PTC (plasma thromboplastic factor, factor IX) since clotting defects due to deficiencies of these factors as well as to deficiencies of prothrombin and proconvertin occur in states of vitamin K deficiency.
  • CDC finds cluster of newborns in Tennessee with bleeding disorder Report highlights importance of vitamin K shot at birth.
Links: American Academy of Pediatrics Report Of Committee On Nutrition - Vitamin K Compounds And The Water-Soluble Analogues (1961)


Heme b
Heme b

Maternal iron (Fe) deficiency can be a common disorder during pregnancy and also in the postnatal period for neonatal neural development. Haemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein located in maternal and fetal red blood cells and myoglobin is the equivalent protein located in muscle. Iron is also required in some cellular enzymatic processes as a cofactor.

During pregnancy the maternal blood volume increases and the packed cell volume and haemoglobin (Hb) concentration can fall, a condition is known as "anaemia of pregnancy" (haemoglobin value below 11 g/dL). Therefore an increase of about 50% above the recommended daily dietary intake of Fe is suggested during pregnancy. [16] Preventive treatment can include prophylaxis iron supplements and food fortification with iron.[17]

Fetal demands for iron are maximal during the third trimester. Prenatal maternal use of iron can also improve birth weight, in a linear dose-response fashion, perhaps reducing the risk of low birth weight.[18]

Similar micronutrient requirements have been identified for other trace metals such as copper (Cu), see the review.[19]

Links: WHO Micronutrient deficiencies | WHO Anaemia database


There are normally 20 amino acids found in proteins, some of which can be made by the body while nine are essential (unable to synthesise from simpler molecules) in the diet. Modified amino acids are the basis of several hormones, such as noradrenaline (norepinepherine), adrenalin (epinepherine) and thyroid hormone. (More? Endocrine System Development)

Essential amino acids

  • histidine
  • isoleucine
  • leucine
  • lysine
  • methionine
  • phenylalanine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • valine

Cysteine and tyrosine can partly replace methionine and phenylalanine.


  • Fats are the highest form of energy for the body.
  • Aid in the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and other fat-soluble biologically-active components.
  • Three major types of naturally-occurring fatty acids:
    • saturated - mainly in animal-based foods. For example, found in milk, cream, butter and cheese, land animal meats.
    • cis-monounsaturated - mainly in plant-based foods. For example, oleic acid found in olive, canola and peanut oils.
    • cis-polyunsaturated - mainly in plant-based foods. For example, linoleic acid found in seed oils, eg sunflower, safflower and corn.
  • trans fatty acids are produced by partial hydrogenation of polyunsaturated oils in food processing and also occur in ruminant animal foods.


  • Dietary carbohydrate provides energy to specific tissues, for example the brain requires glucose.
    • Note, infant's brain is large relative to body size and uses 60% of the infant’s total energy intake.


  • Dietary fibre is essential for proper gut function
  • Related also to risk reduction for some chronic diseases (heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes).


  • Water is essential because it is required in quantities above the body’s production.
  • Water loss from lungs and skin are responsible for 50% of total water turnover.


  1. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand Including Recommended Dietary Intakes. (2006) PDF
  2. Jami L Josefson, Anna Reisetter, Denise M Scholtens, Heather E Price, Boyd E Metzger, Craig B Langman, HAPO Study Cooperative Research Group Maternal BMI Associations with Maternal and Cord Blood Vitamin D Levels in a North American Subset of Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Study Participants. PLoS ONE: 2016, 11(3);e0150221 PubMed 26942930
  3. Jacqueline Gürke, Frank Hirche, René Thieme, Elisa Haucke, Maria Schindler, Gabriele I Stangl, Bernd Fischer, Anne Navarrete Santos Maternal Diabetes Leads to Adaptation in Embryonic Amino Acid Metabolism during Early Pregnancy. PLoS ONE: 2015, 10(5);e0127465 PubMed 26020623 | PLoS One.
  4. I Capo, N Hinić, D Lalošević, N Vučković, N Stilinović, J Marković, S Sekulić Vitamin C Depletion in Prenatal Guinea Pigs as a Model of Lissencephaly Type II. Vet. Pathol.: 2014; PubMed 25487414
  5. S Kositamongkol, U Suthutvoravut, N Chongviriyaphan, B Feungpean, P Nuntnarumit Vitamin A and E status in very low birth weight infants. J Perinatol: 2011, 31(7);471-6 PubMed 21233795
  6. NHMRC - Iodine supplementation for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women 2010 [1]
  7. BMJ 2011;343:d5094 PMID 21868478
  8. Cathryn A Hogarth, Michael D Griswold Retinoic acid regulation of male meiosis. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes: 2013, 20(3);217-23 PubMed 23511242
  9. James McCallum Noble, Arthur Mandel, Marc C Patterson Scurvy and rickets masked by chronic neurologic illness: revisiting "psychologic malnutrition". Pediatrics: 2007, 119(3);e783-90 PubMed 17332193
  10. Sunethra Devika C Thomas, Andrew N Fudge, Malcolm Whiting, Penelope S Coates The correlation between third-trimester maternal and newborn-serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D in a selected South Australian group of newborn samples. BMJ Open: 2011, 1(2);e000236 PubMed 22021888
  11. Elina Hyppönen, Barbara J Boucher Avoidance of vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy in the United Kingdom: the case for a unified approach in National policy. Br. J. Nutr.: 2010, 104(3);309-14 PubMed 20594390
  12. Bonny Specker Vitamin D requirements during pregnancy. Am. J. Clin. Nutr.: 2004, 80(6 Suppl);1740S-7S PubMed 15585798
  13. Beata M Gruber The phenomenon of vitamin D. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online): 2015, 69;127-39 PubMed 25614680
  14. Joan M Cook-Mills, Pedro C Avila Vitamin E and D regulation of allergic asthma immunopathogenesis. Int. Immunopharmacol.: 2014, 23(1);364-372 PubMed 25175918
  15. Haseeb Ahsan, Amjid Ahad, Jahangir Iqbal, Waseem A Siddiqui Pharmacological potential of tocotrienols: a review. Nutr Metab (Lond): 2014, 11(1);52 PubMed 25435896
  16. Stoltzfus RJ, Dreyfuss ML. Guidelines for the Use of Iron Supplements to Prevent and Treat Iron Deficiency Anemia. (1998) Geneva, Switzerland: International Nutritional Anemia Consultative Group [UNICEF/WHO PDF]
  17. Kayode O Osungbade, Adeolu O Oladunjoye Preventive treatments of iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy: a review of their effectiveness and implications for health system strengthening. J Pregnancy: 2012, 2012;454601 PubMed 22848829
  18. Batool A Haider, Ibironke Olofin, Molin Wang, Donna Spiegelman, Majid Ezzati, Wafaie W Fawzi, Nutrition Impact Model Study Group (anaemia) Anaemia, prenatal iron use, and risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ: 2013, 346;f3443 PubMed 23794316
  19. Lynn B Bailey, Patrick J Stover, Helene McNulty, Michael F Fenech, Jesse F Gregory, James L Mills, Christine M Pfeiffer, Zia Fazili, Mindy Zhang, Per M Ueland, Anne M Molloy, Marie A Caudill, Barry Shane, Robert J Berry, Regan L Bailey, Dorothy B Hausman, Ramkripa Raghavan, Daniel J Raiten Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development-Folate Review. J. Nutr.: 2015, 145(7);1636S-1680S PubMed 26451605


Jason M Franasiak, Evelin E Lara, Antonio Pellicer Vitamin D in human reproduction. Curr. Opin. Obstet. Gynecol.: 2017; PubMed 28562440

Lynn B Bailey, Patrick J Stover, Helene McNulty, Michael F Fenech, Jesse F Gregory, James L Mills, Christine M Pfeiffer, Zia Fazili, Mindy Zhang, Per M Ueland, Anne M Molloy, Marie A Caudill, Barry Shane, Robert J Berry, Regan L Bailey, Dorothy B Hausman, Ramkripa Raghavan, Daniel J Raiten Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development-Folate Review. J. Nutr.: 2015, 145(7);1636S-1680S PubMed 26451605

Brenda M Y Leung, Kristin P Wiens, Bonnie J Kaplan Does prenatal micronutrient supplementation improve children's mental development? A systematic review. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth: 2011, 11;12 PubMed 21291560


Mark J Bolland, Andrew Grey, Tim Cundy Vitamin D and health in adults in Australia and New Zealand: a position statement. Med. J. Aust.: 2012, 197(10);553; author reply 553-4 PubMed 23163681

Robert J Berry, Lynn Bailey, Joe Mulinare, Carol Bower, Folic Acid Working Group Fortification of flour with folic acid. Food Nutr Bull: 2010, 31(1 Suppl);S22-35 PubMed 20629350


  • 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:

Search Pubmed


  • Adequate Intake - (AI) The average daily nutrient intake level based on observed or experimentally-determined approximations or estimates of nutrient intake by a group (or groups) of apparently healthy people that are assumed to be adequate. Used when an RDI cannot be determined.
  • Estimated Average Requirement - (EAR) A daily nutrient level estimated to meet the requirements of half the healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.
  • Median Urinary Iodine Concentration - (MUIC) Urinary iodine concentration is the prime indicator of nutritional iodine status and is used to evaluate population-based iodine supplementation. The median value is determined from a population sample.
  • Recommended Dietary Intake - (RDI) The average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.
  • Upper Level of Intake - (UL) The highest average daily nutrient intake level likely to pose no adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the potential risk of adverse effects increases.
  • Urinary Iodine Concentration - (UIC)

Some terms from NHMRC publication, adapted from Food and Nutrition Board: Institute of Medicine (USA and Canada).

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. 2017 Embryology Nutrition. Retrieved July 26, 2017, from

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