Table 1: Micronutrients linked to genomic stability, dietary requirements, and effects of deficiency and excess.

MicronutrientEAR for adults (not pregnant or lactating)General health effects of deficiencyEffects of deficiency related to genome instabilityUL for AdultsEffects of excess
related to genome


Vitamin A 500–625 RAEBlindness, impaired immunity, and dermal alterationsIncreased sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents3000 RAECongenital malformations while in pregnancy. Cancer risk increase for smokers[4850]
Vitamin B7 (biotin)30  g*Dermal alterations, immune dysfunction, neurological symptoms, and congenital malformations during pregnancyChromatin structural alterationsNA (safe up to 20,000  g)Congenital malformations. Increase in DNA damage[5154]
Vitamin B9320 DFEAnemia and other hematological alterations, pregnancy complication (e.g., neural tube defect)Uracil misincorporation in DNA; DNA strand breaks1000 DFEIncreased cancer risk (promotion effect)[43, 51, 55, 56]
Vitamin B122  gFrom lack of energy to irreversible severe damage to nervous systemDNA strand breaks1000  gUnknown[43, 51]
Vitamin C60–75 mg (95–110 if smoker)Dermatological alterations associated to collagen synthesis and immune impairmentDNA strand breaks2000 mgDNA damage related to oxidative stress[43, 49, 55]
Vitamin E12 mgIncrease in chronic disease riskDNA strand breaks1000 mgDNA damage related to oxidative stress[43, 49, 57, 58]


Copper 700  gAnemia and other blood dysfunctions, impaired growth, and neurological alterationsOxidative DNA damage increase10000  g (under review)DNA damage associated to oxidative stress, particularly to liver[59, 60]
Iron 6–8.1 mgAnemia and other blood dysfunctions, impaired growth, and neurological alterationsDNA damage increase45 mgDNA damage associated to oxidative stress, particularly to liver[21, 43, 60]
Magnesium 255–350 mgRare because Mg deficiency is unusualDNA repair deficiencyNAUnknown[61, 62]
Selenium 45  gDecreased activity of glutathione peroxidase leading to increased risk of degenerative diseases and impairment in immunityDNA strand breaks400  gTumor incidence seems to be reduced in high doses supplementation[49, 63]
Zinc 6.8–9.4 mgDermal alterations, growth retardation, immune dysfunction, neurological symptoms, night blindness, and adverse outcomes during pregnancyDNA strand breaks40 mgDNA damage increase[43, 60, 64]

*Adequate intake not EAR.
EAR: estimated adequate requirement; DFE: dietary folate equivalents; RAE: retinol activity equivalents; UL: upper level; NA: not available.