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Infants Ages 0 through 12 Months

Method Used to Set the Adequate Intake

No functional criteria of vitamin A status have been demonstrated that reflect response to dietary intake in infants. Thus, recommended intakes of vitamin A are based on an Adequate Intake (AI) that reflects a calculated mean vitamin A intake of infants principally fed human milk.

Ages 0 through 6 Months. Using the method described in Chapter 2, the AI of vitamin A for infants ages 0 though 6 months is based on the average amount of vitamin A in human milk that is consumed. After rounding, an AI of 400 μg retinol activity equivalents (RAE)/day is set based on the average volume of milk intake of 0.78 L/day (see Chapter 2) and an average concentration of vitamin A in human milk of 1.70 μmol/L (485 μg/L) during the first 6 months of lactation (Canfield et al., 1997, 1998) (see Table 4-5). Because the bioconversion of carotenoids in milk and in infants is not known, the contribution of carotenoids in human milk to meeting the vitamin A requirement of infants was not considered.

TABLE 4-5 Vitamin A in Human Milk


Study Group

Average Maternal Intake

Butte and Calloway, 1981

23 Navajo women

Not reported

Chappell et al., 1985

12 women

Not reported

Canfield et al., 1997

6 women, 23–36 y

2,334 μg/d

Canfield et al., 1998

5 women, 23–36 y

2,544 μg/d

a Vitamin A intake based on reported data or concentration (μg/L) × 0.78 L/day.

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