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Dietary Reference Intake


The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) is a system of nutrition recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies (United States). It was introduced in 1997 in order to broaden the existing guidelines known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs, see below). The DRI values differ from those used in nutrition labeling on food and dietary supplement products in the U.S. and Canada, which uses Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs) and Daily Values (%DV) which were based on outdated RDAs from 1968 but in the U.S. have been updated as of 2016.

The DRI provides several different types of reference value:

The DRI is used by both the United States and Canada and is intended for the general public and health professionals. Applications include:

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) was developed during World War II by Lydia J. Roberts, Hazel Stiebeling, and Helen S. Mitchell, all part of a committee established by the United States National Academy of Sciences in order to investigate issues of nutrition that might "affect national defense".

The committee was renamed the Food and Nutrition Board in 1941, after which they began to deliberate on a set of recommendations of a standard daily allowance for each type of nutrient. The standards would be used for nutrition recommendations for the armed forces, for civilians, and for overseas population who might need food relief. Roberts, Stiebeling, and Mitchell surveyed all available data, created a tentative set of allowances for "energy and eight nutrients", and submitted them to experts for review (Nestle, 35).

The final set of guidelines, called RDAs for Recommended Dietary Allowances, were accepted in 1941. The allowances were meant to provide superior nutrition for civilians and military personnel, so they included a "margin of safety." Because of food rationing during the war, the food guides created by government agencies to direct citizens' nutritional intake also took food availability into account.


Nutrient EAR RDA/AI UL Unit Top sources in common measures, USDA
Vitamin A 625 900 3000 µg turkey and chicken giblets, liver, red capsicum, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato
Vitamin C 75 90 2000 mg guavas, oranges, grapefruits, frozen peaches,bell peppers
Vitamin D 10 15 100 µg fortified cereals, mushrooms, yeast, sockeye salmon, swordfish, rainbow trout, sardines, cod liver oil (also fortified foods and beverages)
Vitamin K NE 120 ND µg kale, collards, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, prunes, green peas, blueberries, carrots
Vitamin B6 1.1 1.3 100 mg fortified cereals, chickpeas, sockeye salmon
(Vitamin E) 12 15 1000 mg fortified cereals, tomato paste, sunflower seeds
Biotin (B7) NE 30 ND µg whole grains, almonds, peanuts, beef liver, egg yolk, salmon
Calcium 800 1000 2500 mg fortified cereals, collards, almonds, condensed cow's milk, cheese, figs, yogurt, milk
Chloride NE 2300 3600 mg table salt
Chromium NE 35 ND µg broccoli, turkey ham, dried apricots, tuna, pineapple, grape juice
Choline NE 550 3500 mg egg yolk, meats, lecithin, beef liver, condensed milk, quinoa, salmon, cod
Copper 700 900 10000 µg sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, oysters, lobster, cashews, dark chocolate, pearled barley, Brazil nuts, walnuts, peanuts, yellow peas, chickpeas
Cyanocobalamin (B12) 2.0 2.4 ND µg fortified cereals, turkey, clams, beef, egg yolk, sardines, tuna fish, mackerel
Fluoride NE 4 10 mg public drinking water, where fluoridation is performed or natural fluorides are present
Folate (B9) 320 400 1000 µg leafy greens, enriched white rice, fortified cereals, enriched cornmeal
Iodine 95 150 1100 µg iodized salt, kelp, cod
Iron 6 8 45 mg cocoa powder, cashew nuts, white beans, turkey, dark chocolate
Magnesium 350 420 350 mg buckwheat flour, rolled oats, spinach, almonds, dark chocolate, bulgur, quinoa
Manganese NE 2.3 11 mg oat bran, whole grain wheat flour, bulgur, rolled oats, brown rice, parboiled rice, dark chocolate
Molybdenum 34 45 2000 µg legumes, grain products, nuts and seeds
Niacin (B3) 12 16 35 mg fortified cereals, yellowfin tuna, sockeye salmon, chicken meat
Pantothenic acid (B5) NE 5 ND mg fortified cereals, beef liver, shiitake mushrooms
Phosphorus 580 700 4000 mg cornmeal, condensed milk, wheat flour, rolled oats, brown rice, bulgur, milk, meats
Potassium NE 4700 ND mg potatoes, bananas, tomato paste, tomatoes, bell peppers, orange juice, beet greens, quinoa, rolled oats, bulgur, beans, peas, cashews, pistachio nuts
Riboflavin (B2) 1.1 1.3 ND mg almonds, sesame seeds, spaghetti, beef liver, turkey
Selenium 45 55 400 µg Brazil nuts, rockfish, tuna, beef, sardines, salmon, egg yolk, pearled barley, mackerel
Sodium NE 1500 2300 mg onion soup mix, miso, table salt, egg whites
Thiamin (B1) 1.0 1.2 ND mg fortified cereals, enriched wheat flour, breadcrumbs
Zinc 9.4 11 40 mg nuts, oysters, fortified cereals, beef, baked beans, oatmeal
Substance RDA/AI UL units per day
Arsenic ND
Silicon ND
Vanadium 1.8 mg
Substance Amount (males) Amount (females) Top Sources in Common Measures
Water 3.7 L/day 2.7 L/day water, watermelon, iceberg lettuce
Carbohydrates 130 g/day 130 g/day milk, grains, fruits, vegetables
Protein 56 g/day 46 g/day meats, fish, legumes (pulses and lentils), nuts, milk, cheeses, eggs
Fiber 38 g/day 25 g/day barley, bulgur, rolled oats, legumes, nuts, beans, apples,
Fat 20–35% of calories oils, butter, lard, nuts, seeds, fatty meat cuts, egg yolk, cheeses
Linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid (polyunsaturated) 17 g/day 12 g/day sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, safflower oil,
alpha-Linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid (polyunsaturated) 1.6 g/day 1.1 g/day Linseed oil (Flax seed), salmon, sardines
Cholesterol 300 milligrams(mg) chicken giblets, turkey giblets, beef liver, egg yolk
Trans fatty acids As low as possible
Saturated fatty acids As low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet coconut meat, coconut oil, lard, cheeses, butter, chocolate, egg yolk
Added sugar No more than 25% of calories foods that taste sweet but are not found in nature, such as sweets, cookies, cakes, jams, energy drinks, soda drinks, many processed foods
Nutrient Percent of U.S. population ages 2+ meeting EAR in 2004
Protein 88.9%
Vitamin A 46.0%
Vitamin C 51.0%
Vitamin E 13.6%
Thiamin 81.6%
Riboflavin 89.1%
Niacin 87.2%
Vitamin B6 73.9%
Folate 59.7%
Vitamin B12 79.7%
Phosphorus 87.2%
Magnesium 43.0%
Iron 89.5%
Selenium 91.5%
Zinc 70.8%
Copper 84.2%
Calcium 30.9%
Fiber 8.0%
Potassium 7.6%
 % calories from total fat <= 35% 59.4%
 % calories from saturated fat < 10% 40.8%
Cholesterol intake < 300 mg 68.4%
Sodium intake <= 2,300 mg 29.9%

  • Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), expected to satisfy the needs of 50% of the people in that age group based on a review of the scientific literature.
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), the daily dietary intake level of a nutrient considered sufficient by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine to meet the requirements of 97.5% of healthy individuals in each life-stage and sex group. The definition implies that the intake level would cause a harmful nutrient deficiency in just 2.5%. It is calculated based on the EAR and is usually approximately 20% higher than the EAR (See Calculating the RDA).
  • Adequate Intake (AI), where no RDA has been established, but the amount established is somewhat less firmly believed to be adequate for everyone in the demographic group.
  • Tolerable upper intake levels (UL), to caution against excessive intake of nutrients (like vitamin A) that can be harmful in large amounts. This is the highest level of daily nutrient consumption that is considered to be safe for, and cause no side effects in, 97.5% of healthy individuals in each life-stage and sex group. The definition implies that the intake level would cause a harmful nutrient excess in just 2.5%. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has also established ULs which do not always agree with U.S. ULs. For example, zinc UL is 40 mg in U.S. and 25 mg in EFSA.
  • Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR), a range of intake specified as a percentage of total energy intake. Used for sources of energy, such as fats and carbohydrates.
  • Composition of diets for schools, prisons, hospitals or nursing homes
  • Industries developing new food stuffs
  • Healthcare policy makers and public health officials
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Wikipedia

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