1. Energy, protein, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and dietary fibre intakes of 100 pre-menopausal women (mean age 30·0 ± 6·1 years) from a university community, and consuming self-selected diets, were calculated using 3 d dietary records and food composition values. Subjects also collected a 24 h food composite during the 3 d record period for analysis of Zn, Cu and Mn by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Daily analysed intakes were compared with those calculated from the corresponding record day.
2. Mean daily calculated intakes of energy, protein, Zn, Cu, Mn, Se and dietary fibre were 7·54 ± 1·61 MJ, 74 ± 18 g protein, 10·1 ± 3·3 mg Zn. l·9 ± 0·6 mg Cu, 3·1 ± 1·5 mg Mn, 131 ± 53 μg Se, 19·4 ± 6·6 g dietary fibre.
3. Major food sources for each of the trace elements were (%): Zn meat + substitutes 43, dairy products 23·7; Cu breads and cereals 22, vegetables 21; Mn breads and cereals 47, fruits 12; Se meat + substitutes 38, breads and cereals 30.
4. Highly significant correlations (P = 0·001) were noted for analysed intakes of Zn, Cu and Mn and those calculated from the corresponding record day. Mean calculated intakes were higher (%): Zn 138, Cu 142, Mn 121, than corresponding mean analysed intakes (P = 0·01). However, the mean nutrient densities (mg/MJ) were comparable: Zn analysed 1·2, calculated 1·4; Cu analysed 0·2, calculated 0·2; Mn analysed 0·4, calculated 0·4.
5. All subjects met the Canadian Dietary Standard (CDS) recommended level for Cu but 48% received less than the CDS for Zn, 6% obtaining less than two-thirds of this recommended level. Daily Mn and Se intakes were similar to recent values for North American diets.