This article is an update of our 1987 literature review of vitamin requirements of elderly people (Am J Clin Nutr 1987;45:501-12). Poor dietary intake is the cause of much vitamin malnutrition in elderly people. Nevertheless, there is strong evidence that aging affects the requirement for certain vitamins. The 1989 recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) appear to be too low for elderly people for vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12, and too high for vitamin A. For several vitamins there is enough information to establish an RDA for the category > or = 70 y.