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Indian J Med Res. 2018 Nov;148(5):522-530. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1762_18.

Country-specific nutrient requirements & recommended dietary allowances for Indians: Current status & future directions.

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Micronutrient Division, ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India.
Tata-NIN Centre for Excellence in Community Nutrition, ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India.


Nutrient requirements and recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are set and revised periodically by the Indian Council of Medical Research. These are meant to guide the population and provide policy directions regarding nutrient requirements corresponding to a healthy population. This review article provides an overview of the current recommendations (RDA, 2010) and the challenges faced by the committee to contextualize RDA to the Indian scenario which has a background of double burden of malnutrition, diverse dietary habits but predominantly home-based cereal-pulse vegetarian diet with low bioavailability of several nutrients and lower consumption of packaged fortified foods. The need for country-specific requirements and harmonization of methodologies related to nutrient requirements and RDA are also discussed. The recommendations fixed for iron have been provided in detail as an example. The measures to carry forward RDA revisions to ensure its sustainability have been emphasized.


Indians; fortified food; iron; lactation; nutrient requirements; pregnancy; recommended dietary allowances

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