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pharmacokinetic and metabolic data may provide valuable insights into the magnitude of the UL. Thus, if there are significant pharmacokinetic and metabolic data over the range of intakes that meet nutrient requirements, and if it is shown that this pattern of pharmacokinetic and metabolic data does not change in the range of intakes greater than those required for nutrition, it may be possible to infer the absence of toxic risk in this range. In contrast, an alteration of pharmacokinetics or metabolism may suggest the potential for adverse effects. There has been no case encountered thus far in which sufficient pharmacokinetic and metabolic data are available for establishing ULs in this fashion, but it is possible such situations may arise in the future.

Mechanisms of Toxic Action

Knowledge of molecular and cellular events underlying the production of toxicity can assist in dealing with the problems of extrapolation between species and from high to low doses. It may also aid in understanding whether the mechanisms associated with toxicity are those associated with deficiency. In most cases, however, because knowledge of the biochemical sequence of events resulting from toxicity and deficiency is still incomplete, it is not yet possible to state with certainty whether these sequences share a common pathway.

Quality and Completeness of the Database

The scientific quality and quantity of the database are evaluated. Human or animal data are reviewed for suggestions that the substances have the potential to produce additional adverse health effects. If suggestions are found, additional studies may be recommended.

Identification of Distinct and Highly Sensitive Subpopulations

The ULs are based on protecting the most sensitive members of the general population from adverse effects of high nutrient intake. Some highly sensitive subpopulations have responses (in terms of incidence, severity, or both) to the agent of interest that are clearly distinct from the responses expected for the healthy population. The risk assessment process recognizes that there may be individuals within any life stage group who are more biologically sensitive than others, and thus their extreme sensitivities do not fall within the



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