Poor mineral nutrition reported in elderly people is attributed in large part to low dietary intake. Evaluation of the adequacy of mineral nutriture is limited for several minerals because of inadequate methods for assessing mineral status. In addition, there is a general lack of information about mineral nutriture and metabolism in very old people (> 85 y). Given these reservations, the 1989 recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron, zinc, and selenium appears adequate for elderly people, as does the estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intake (ESADDI) recommendation for copper. In contrast, the current RDAs for calcium and magnesium and the ESADDI for chromium need careful reevaluation. Current recommendations for calcium may be too low, whereas those for magnesium and chromium may be higher than necessary. For phosphorus, iodine, manganese, fluoride, and molybdenum the available data are insufficient to make a critical judgment about the appropriateness of the dietary recommendations for elderly people.