Revised D-A-CH-reference values for the intake of zinc

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2020 Apr 23:61:126536. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2020.126536. Online ahead of print.


Background: The Nutrition Societies of Germany, Austria and Switzerland as the joint editors of the 'D-A-CH reference values for nutrient intake' have revised the reference values for zinc in July 2019.

Methods: For infants aged 0 to under 4 months, an estimated value was set based on the zinc intake via breast feeding. For all other age groups, the reference values were calculated using the factorial method considering endogenous zinc losses via intestinal losses, urine, faeces, skin and sweat, semen in men and the additional zinc requirements to build up body weight in children and adolescents as well as in pregnant women. Due to the strong influence of phytate intake on zinc absorption, the recommendations for the intake of zinc for adults are derived depending on low (0.5 mmol/day, corresponding to 330 mg/day), moderate (1.0 mmol/day, corresponding to 660 mg/day) and high (1.5 mmol/day, corresponding to 990 mg/day) phytate intake. The reference values for lactating women take into account the zinc loss via breast milk.

Results and conclusion: For adults, pregnant and lactating women, the recommended intake values for zinc range from 7 mg/day to 16 mg/day, depending on sex and dietary phytate intake.

Keywords: Dietary reference value; Human nutrition; Phytate; Recommended intake; Zinc.

Publication types

  • Review