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8: Micronutrients Overview & Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)

Micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals. In this chapter, an overview of vitamins and minerals will be presented followed by a description of the dietary reference intakes (DRIs), which are used as benchmarks of micronutrient intake.

  • 8.1: Vitamins
    The name vitamin comes from Casimir Funk, who in 1912 thought vital amines (NH3) were responsible for preventing what we know now are vitamin deficiencies. He coined the term vitamines to describe these compounds. Eventually it was discovered that these compounds were not amines and the 'e' was dropped to form vitamins.
  • 8.2: Minerals
    Minerals are elements that are essential for body functions that cannot be synthesized in the body. Some people refer to them as elements instead of minerals, and the names can be used interchangeably. However, in the nutrition community, they are more commonly referred to as minerals. Minerals can be divided up into three different categories: Macrominerals, Trace Minerals (aka Microminerals), and Ultratrace Minerals.
  • 8.3: Covering Vitamins & Minerals
    The traditional way is to start with fat-soluble vitamins and go down through the vitamins alphabetically (i.e. vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K). However, this method leads students to learn about vitamins and minerals more individually instead of how they work together. For instance, it makes sense to cover calcium with vitamin D, and iron with copper and zinc. We are going to cover vitamins and minerals based on their function rather than covering them by whether they are a water-so
  • 8.4: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)
    Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are more than numbers in the table, even though that is often how many people view them. The link below takes you to the tables that many people commonly associate with the DRIs. These tables have been updated to include the new RDAs for vitamin D and calcium.