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In 1995 the DRI Committee was appointed by the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, to oversee and conduct this project. To accomplish this task over a period of 5 years, the DRI Committee devised a plan involving the work of seven or more expert nutrient group panels and two overarching subcommittees (Figure A-1). The process described below for this report is expected to be used for subsequent reports.

The Panel on Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline, composed of experts on those nutrients, has been responsible for reviewing the scientific literature concerning the B vitamins and choline for each stage of the lifespan, considering the roles of nutrients in decreasing the risk of chronic and other diseases and conditions, and interpreting the current data on intakes in North American population groups.

The panel had additional tasks that are specifically related to this group of nutrients and are thus not necessarily part of the DRI process: an analysis of information specific to the prevention of neural tube defects, an analysis of information specific to the diagnosis and prevention of pernicious anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency, and the identification of a research agenda to provide a basis for public policy decisions related to recommended intakes and ways to achieve those intakes.

The panel was charged with analyzing the literature, evaluating possible criteria or indicators of adequacy, and providing substantive rationales for their choices of each criterion. By using the criterion chosen for each stage of the lifespan, the panel was to estimate the average requirement for each nutrient or food component reviewed, assuming that adequate data were available to do so. As the panel members reviewed data on Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs), they also interacted with the Subcommittee on Upper Reference Levels of Nutrients, which assisted the panel in applying the risk assessment model to each B vitamin and choline. The DRI values in this report are a product of the joint efforts of the DRI Committee, the Panel on Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline, and the Subcommittee on Upper Reference Levels of Nutrients. The Subcommittee on Interpretation and Uses of Dietary Reference Intakes had not yet been appointed and thus did not participate in the development of this report.

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