Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for vitamin A


vitamin A, retinol, carotenoids, Average Requirement, Population Reference Intake, Dietary Reference Value
First published in the EFSA Journal
5 March 2015
5 February 2015
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies derived Dietary Reference Values for vitamin A. The Panel considered that a concentration of 20 µg retinol/g liver can be used as a target for establishing the Average Requirement (AR) for vitamin A. In the absence of a better characterisation of the relationship between vitamin A intake and liver stores, a factorial approach was applied. This approach considered a total body/liver retinol store ratio of 1.25, a liver/body weight ratio of 2.4 %, a fractional catabolic rate of body retinol of 0.7 % per day, an efficiency of storage in the whole body for ingested retinol of 50 % and reference weights for women and men in the EU of 58.5 and 68.1 kg, respectively. ARs of 570 µg retinol equivalent (RE)/day for men and 490 µg RE/day for women were derived. Assuming a coefficient of variation (CV) of 15 %, Population Reference Intakes (PRIs) of 750 µg RE/day for men and 650 µg RE/day for women were set. For infants aged 7–11 months and children, the same equation as for adults was applied by using specific values for reference weight and liver/body weight ratio. For catabolic rate, the adult value corrected on the basis of a growth factor was used. ARs range from 190 µg RE/day in infants aged 7–11 months to 580 µg RE/day in boys aged 15–17 years. PRIs for infants and children were estimated using a CV of 15 % and range from 250 to 750 µg RE/day. For pregnancy and lactation, additional vitamin A requirements related to the accumulation of retinol in fetal and maternal tissues and transfer of retinol into breast milk were considered and PRIs of 700 and 1 300 µg RE/day, respectively, were set.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Sébastien La Vieille, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck and Hans Verhagen
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
EFSA Journal 2015;13(3):4028 [84 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
European Commission
Print on demand
Number of Pages