How many vitamins and minerals do humans need?

Answer

The amount of vitamins and minerals humans need per day varies based on age, sex and type of nutrient, according to WebMD. Vitamins and minerals are measured by the recommended daily allowance, or RDA, and the upper tolerable limit, or UL. The RDA is what humans should optimally eat every day, while the UL is what can be consumed daily without health risks.

The RDA varies based on each nutrient. WebMD explains that adults need 1,000 milligrams per day of calcium with an upper limit of 2,500 milligrams per day. Humans normally need 400 micrograms of folic acid per day. Men should have 8 milligrams of iron per day, but women need 18 milligrams of the mineral. Humans should consume somewhere around 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, with an upper limit of 2,300 milligrams.

Vitamins are sometimes measured in international units, or IU. WebMD states that men should consume 3,000 IU of vitamin A daily, whereas women need 2,310 IU. Men should get 90 milligrams of vitamin C, and women need 75 milligrams per day.

ConsumerLab.com reveals that humans need 120 micrograms of vitamin K daily. They should get around 600 IU of vitamin D every day. Some upper limits of vitamins and minerals are established for taking supplements or getting these nutrients synthetically. Other nutrients have no upper limits when they are consumed naturally in foods.

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