Because of limited available information, the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) and Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin B-6 for adolescents were recently estimated by extrapolation from adult values. To determine vitamin B-6 requirements and to provide recommendations for intakes, vitamin B-6 intake, nutritional status and anthropometry were studied in 134 healthy adolescents (63 boys and 71 girls) aged 13-15 y in Tainan, Taiwan. Direct and indirect vitamin B-6 indicators were measured in plasma, erythrocytes and urine. The anthropometric data of the adolescents in this study were similar to those of the first Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan (NAHSIT), conducted from 1993 to 1996, showing the normal growth and development of this adolescent group. All subjects had plasma pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP) concentrations ≥ 20 nmol/L, indicating an adequate vitamin B-6 status. The mean dietary vitamin B-6 intakes of boys and girls were 1.04 ± 0.24 and 0.83 ± 0.26 mg/d, respectively. Vitamin B-6 status indicators, including plasma PLP, erythrocyte alanine activity coefficient (EALT-AC), aspartate aminotransferase activity coefficient (EAST-AC) and urinary 4-pyridoxic acid (4-PA), were correlated with vitamin B-6 intake (r = 0.84, -0.84, -0.77 and 0.86, respectively, P < 0.01). Adequate values of plasma PLP (>20 nmol/L), EALT-AC (<1.25), EAST-AC (<1.8) and urinary 4-PA (>3.0 μmol/d) were used to determine the EAR according to the Dietary Reference Intake committee methodology. The present study suggests that vitamin B-6 EAR (RDA) for adolescent boys and girls aged 13-15 y are 1.07 (1.28) and 0.90 (1.08) mg/d, respectively.
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