Intake recommendations for nutrients are set by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Dietary reference Intakes (DRIs) is the general term for a set of reference values used for planning and assessing nutrient intakes of healthy people. DRIs can be refer to the following references values and may vary by age, gender, or other factors such as pregnancy:

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals.
  • Adequate Intake (AI): if evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA, an AI is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.
  • Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): average daily level of intake estimated to meet the requirements of 50% of healthy individuals. Typically it is used to assess the adequacy of nutrient intakes of populations.
  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.


Daily values (DVs) were set by the FDA to help people determine the approximate percentage of each nutrient they were receiving to meet their daily requirement of that nutrient.




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