Definitions of Recommended Daily Intakes: RDA, AI, DV, AMDR, UL

Different Types of Nutrient Intake Recommendations

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has established various recommendations for the daily intake of nutrients.

Chart 1. Definitions of various nutrient intake recommendations


Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the estimated average daily nutrient intake sufficient to meet the needs of nearly all (97-98%) of healthy individuals in a particular life stage and sex group. RDA for vitamin B1 for adults is 1.1 mg/day.
Adequate Intake (AI) is the average daily nutrient intake recommended when the RDA cannot be established due to lack of scientific evidence. AI is basically the same as RDA but less reliable. AI for potassium for adults  is 4.7 g/day.
Daily Value (DV) is the recommended nutrient intake found on the Nutrition Facts labels in the United States. Daily Value is usually the highest RDA or AI value from all age and sex groups, so it should meet the needs of nearly all healthy people. The amount of a certain nutrient in one serving of the food is listed as the percent of Daily Value (%DV).The DVs base on a caloric intake of 2,000 Calories for adults and children 4 or more years of age. DV for potassium is 3.5 g/day.
Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDRs) are intakes that are associated with reduced risk of chronic disease. AMDRs apply for carbohydrates, proteins and fats. AMDRs are expressed in percent of calories from total daily calories. AMDR for carbohydrates for individuals 3 years of age or older is 45-65%.
Tolerable Upper Level Intake (UL) is the highest average daily intake of a nutrient unlikely to cause side effects to healthy individuals in a given life stage and sex group. UL for vitamin C for children 4-8 years of age is 650 mg/day.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) vs Daily Value (DV)

In general, the more calories you consume, the more vitamins and minerals you will need.

Daily Values (DVs) are based on the caloric intake 2,000 Calories per day, so if you consume, for example, 3,000 Calories per day, your vitamin and mineral requirements will be 1.5 times as high as the Daily Values listed on the Nutrition Facts Labels.

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are amounts of nutrients that meed the needs of nearly all individuals in a given age and sex group, including the needs of the most physically active individuals, so moderately active individuals will need less nutrients than the RDAs for their age and sex group.


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