Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition

Second edition

World Health Organization, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

Publication details

Editors: World Health Organization
Number of pages: 341
Publication date: 2004
Languages: English
ISBN: 92 4 154612 3



In the past 20 years, micronutrients have assumed great public health importance. As a consequence, considerable research has been carried out to better understand their physiological role and the health consequences of micronutrient-deficient diets, to establish criteria for defining the degree of public health severity of micronutrient malnutrition, and to develop prevention and control strategies.

One of the main outcomes of this process is greatly improved knowledge of human micronutrient requirements, which is a crucial step in understanding the public health significance of micronutrient malnutrition and identifying the most appropriate measures to prevent them. This process also led to successive expert consultations and publications undertaken jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) providing up-to-date knowledge and defining standards for micronutrient requirements.

In recognition of this rapidly developing field, and the substantial new advances that have been made since the most recent publications in 1996, FAO and WHO considered it appropriate to convene a new expert consultation to re-evaluate the role of micronutrients in human health and nutrition. This took place in September 1998.

This book presents the outcome of the Consultation, combined with up-to-date evidence that has since become available to answer a number of issues which remained unclear or controversial at the time of the Consultation, based on the best available scientific information.