Improved nutritional assessment of micronutrients
Consensus Study Report
The purpose of this consensus study on improved nutritional assessment of micronutrients was to optimise our approach to the assessment of nutritional status of individuals, specific groups of people and the population in all settings. Information on nutritional status is necessary for recommendations to be used in the design and implementation of research and interventions that will address malnutrition in order to improve human well-being and performance. The study selected the six micronutrients, viz. vitamins A, D, and folate; and the inorganic elements or minerals, selenium, iron and zinc that have been shown in a previous consensus study1 by ASSAf to have a potential impact on the major epidemics of malnutrition, HIV/AIDS and TB in South Africa. Because the bowel microflora are currently under intense scrutiny as co-determinants of the whole-body physiology and pathophysiology of micronutrients, a further chapter on this topic is included. It is, however, acknowledged that other micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent in South Africa, and that these should also be addressed.