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Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA)

~ Jo Jordan

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In 1997 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) created a newer and more extensive way of looking at RDA's. They created the dietary reference intakes (DRI's) which categorizes intakes into four different definitions.

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): the average level of daily dietary intake which is sufficient enough to meet nutrient requirements of 97– 98 percent of healthy persons in particular life stages and gender groups.


  • Adequate Intake (AI): the recommended intake based on experimentally or observed approximations of nutrient intake by groups of healthy individuals, which are assumed adequate. These are used when RDA's can't be determined.


  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): a highest level of nutrient intake daily that will not pose a risk of adverse effects for most people in the population. As you increase intake above the UL your risk for adverse reactions increase. This is the major difference between the DRI's and the old RDA's as they never offered the highest level that could be consumed.


  • Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): used as the basis for RDA and is a value of daily nutrient intake which is estimated to meet requirements for half of healthy people in a gender group or life stage.


Which DRI Definition Is Right For Me?


The average individual will use the RDA as a guideline for intake of daily vitamins and elements. The difference is there isn't always an RDA available for every vitamin and element anymore and in that case an individual should look at the AI for their daily recommendation.

Also we should be aware of the UL for each vitamin and element. If you know that the RDA value is not a sufficient amount for you it is helpful to be aware of the maximum dose you can take before experiencing adverse reactions.

As always you should consult with your doctor before increasing any dose of vitamins or elements in your diet.


Converting Micrograms, Milligrams & International Units


There are many different units of measurement when it comes to comparing charts and product labels. Therefore we have provided you with some conversions along with explanations of certain measurements you will find along side ingredients in our products.

  • mcg = microgram
  • mg = milligram
    • To convert mcg's to mg's divide the mcg's by 1,000. example 400 mcg/1000 = .4 mg.
    • To convert mg's to mcg's multiply the mg's by 1,000. example .4 mg*1000 = 400 mcg.
  • iu = international units
    • You cannot convert iu's to mg's because they are two different types of measurement. Internal Units measure the potency of a vitamin or element while micrograms measure the mass or weight.

DRI's For Vitamins


Those values in bold represent the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) those in regular type are Adequate Intakes (AIs) because RDA's are not available for those vitamins.

This chart is based on recommendations from the USDA.

Group A
(mcg)
C
(mg)
D
(mcg)
E
(mg)
K
mcg)
B6
(mg)
B12
(mcg)
DRI Category RDA RDA AI RDA AI RDA RDA
Infants*
0-6 mo
7-12 mo

400
500

40
50

5
5

4
5

2.0
2.5

0.1
0.3

0.4
0.5
Children
1-3 y
4-8 y

300
400

15
25

5
5

6
7

30
55

0.5
0.6

0.9
1.2
Males
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y
51-70 y
70+ y

600
900
900
900
900
900

45
65
75
75
75
75

5
5
5
5
10
15

11
15
15
15
15
15

60
75
120
120
120
120

1.0
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.7
1.7

1.8
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
Females
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y
51-70 y
70+ y

600
700
700
700
700
700

45
65
75
75
75
75

5
5
5
5
10
15

11
15
15
15
15
15

60
75
90
90
90
90

1.0
1.2
1.3
1.3
1.5
1.5

1.8
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
Pregnancy
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y

750
770
770

80
85
85

5
5
5

15
15
15

75
90
90

1.9
1.9
1.9

2.6
2.6
2.6
Lactation
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y

1,200
1,300
1,300

115
120
120

5
5
5

19
19
19

75
90
90

2.0
2.0
2.0

2.8
2.8
2.8

*All the infant information is based upon AI's as there is not sufficient evidence to provide RDA's for infants.


DRI's For Vitamins (cont.)


Group Thiamin
(mg)
Riboflavin
(mg)
Niacin
(mg)
Folate
(mcg)
Pantothenic
Acid
(mg)
Biotin
(mcg)
Choline
(mg)
DRI Category RDA RDA RDA RDA AI AI AI
Infants*
0-6 mo
7-12 mo

0.2
0.3

0.3
0.4

2
4

65
85

1.7
1.8

5
6

125
150
Children
1-3 y
4-8 y

0.5
0.6

0.5
0.6

6
8

150
200

2
3

8
12

200
250
Males
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y
51-70 y
70+ y

0.9
1.2
1.2
1.2
1.2
1.2

0.9
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.3

12
16
16
16
16
16

300
400
400
400
400
400

4
5
5
5
5
5

20
25
30
30
30
30

375
550
550
550
500
500
Females
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y
51-70 y
70+ y

0.9
1.0
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1

0.9
1.0
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1

12
14
14
14
14
14

300
400
400
400
400
400

4
5
5
5
5
5

20
25
30
30
30
30

375
400
425
425
425
425
Pregnancy
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y

1.4
1.4
1.4

1.4
1.4
1.4

18
18
18

600
600
600

6
6
6

30
30
30

450
450
450
Lactation
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y

1.4
1.4
1.4

1.6
1.6
1.6

17
17
17

500
500
500

7
7
7

35
35
35

550
550
550

*All the infant information is based upon AI's as there is not sufficient evidence to provide RDA's for infants.


DRI's For Elements


Those values in bold represent the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) those in regular type are Adequate Intakes (AIs) because RDA's aren't available for those vitamins.

This chart is based on recommendations from the USDA.

Groups Calcium
(mg)
Chromium
(mcg)
Copper
(mcg)
Fluoride
(mg)
Iodine
(mcg)
Iron(mg) Magnesium
(mg)
DRI Category AI AI RDA AI RDA RDA RDA
Infants*
0-6 mo
7-12 mo

210
270

0.2
5.5

200
220

0.01
0.5

110
130

0.27
11

30
75
Children
1-3 y
4-8 y

500
800

11
15

340
440

0.7
1

90
90

70
10

80
130
Males
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y
51-70 y
70+ y

1,300
1,300
1,000
1,000
1,200
1,200

25
35
35
35
30
30

700
890
900
900
900
900

2
3
4
4
4
4

120
150
150
150
150
150

8
11
8
8
8
8

240
410
400
420
420
420
Females
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y
51-70 y
70+ y

1,300
1,300
1,000
1,000
1,200
1,200

21
24
25
25
20
20

700
890
900
900
900
900

2
3
3
3
3
3

120
150
150
150
150
150

8
15
18
18
8
8

240
360
310
320
320
320
Pregnancy
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y

1,300
1,000
1,000

29
30
30

1,000
1,000
1,000

3
3
3

220
220
220

27
27
27

400
350
360
Lactation
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y

1,300
1,000
1,000

44
45
45

1,300
1,300
1,300

3
3
3

290
290
290

10
9
9

360
310
320

*All the infant information is based upon AI's as there is not sufficient evidence to provide RDA's for infants.


DRI's For Elements (cont.)


Group Man-
ganese
(mg)
Moly-
bedenum
(mcg)
Phos-
phorus
(mg)
Selenium
(mcg)
Zinc
(mg)
Potassium
(g/d)
Sodium
(g/d)
Chloride
(g/d)
DRI Category AI AI RDA RDA RDA AI AI AI
Infants*
0-6 mo
7-12 mo

0.003
0.6

2
3

100
275

15
20

2
3

0.4
0.7

0.12
0.37

0.18
0.57
Children
1-3 y
4-8 y

1.2
1.5

17
22

460
500

20
30

3
5

3.0
3.8

1.0
1.2

1.5
1.9
Males
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y
51-70 y
70+ y

1.9
2.2
2.3
2.3
2.3
2.3

34
43
45
45
45
45

1,250
1,250
700
700
700
700

40
55
55
55
55
55

8
11
11
11
11
11

4.5
4.7
4.7
4.7
4.7
4.7

1.5
1.5
1.5
1.5
1.3
1.2

2.3
2.3
2.3
2.3
2.0
1.8
Females
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y
51-70 y
70+ y

1.6
1.6
1.8
1.8
1.8
1.8

34
43
45
45
45
45

1,250
1.250
700
700
700
700

40
55
55
55
55
55

8
9
8
8
8
8

4.5
4.7
4.7
4.7
4.7
4.7

1.5
1.5
1.5
1.5
1.3
1.2

2.3
2.3
2.3
2.3
2.0
1.8
Pregnancy
14-18 y
19-30 y
31-50 y

2.0
2.0
2.0

50
50
50

1,250
700
700

60
60
60

12
11
11

4.7
4.7
4.7

1.5
1.5
1.5

2.3
2.3
2.3
Lactation
14-18 y
19-50 y

2.6
2.6
2.6

50
50
50

1,250
700
700

70
70
70

13
12
12

5.1
5.1
5.1

1.5
1.5
1.5

2.3
2.3
2.3

*All the infant information is based upon AI's as there is not sufficient evidence to provide RDA's for infants.


Upper Intake Levels (UL) For Vitamins


Not Determined (ND) means the Tolerable Upper Intake Level was not able to be determined due to a lack of available data of effects for that age group and due to concern of the lack of ability to be able to handle excess amounts. Therefore the source of those particular vitamins should be through food to prevent high intake.

This chart is based on USDA recommendations.

Group A
(mcg)
C
(mg)
D
(mcg)
E
(mg)
K
(mcg)
B6
(mg)
B12
(mcg)
Infants
0-6 mo
7-12 mo

600
300

ND
ND

25
25

ND
ND

ND
ND

ND
ND

ND
ND
Children
1-3 y
4-8 y

600
900

400
650

50
50

200
300

ND
ND

30
40

ND
ND
Males,
Females
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-70 y
70+ y


1,700
2,800
3,000
3,000


1,200
1,800
2,000
2,000


50
50
50
50


600
800
1,000
1,000


ND
ND
ND
ND


60
80
100
100


ND
ND
ND
ND
Pregnancy
14-18 y
19-50 y

2,800
3,000

1,800
2,000

50
50

800
1,000

ND
ND

80
100

ND
ND
Lactation
14-18 y
19-50 y

2,800
3,000

1,800
2,000

50
50

800
1,000

ND
ND

80
100

ND
ND

Upper Intake Levels (UL) For Vitamins (cont.)


Group Thiamin
(mg)
Riboflavin
(mg)
Niacin
(mg)
Folate
(mcg)
Pantothenic
Acid
(mg)
Biotin
(mcg)
Choline
(mg)
Infants
0-6 mo
7-12 mo

ND
ND

ND
ND

ND
ND

ND
ND

ND
ND

ND
ND

ND
ND
Children
1-3 y
4-8 y

ND
ND

ND
ND

10
15

300
400

ND
ND

ND
ND

1.0
1.0
Males,
Females
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-70 y
70+ y


ND
ND
ND
ND


ND
ND
ND
ND


20
30
35
35


600
800
1,000
1,000


ND
ND
ND
ND


ND
ND
ND
ND


2.0
3.0
3.5
3.5
Pregnancy
14-18 y
19-50 y

ND
ND

ND
ND

30
35

800
1,000

ND
ND

ND
ND

3.0
3.5
Lactation
14-18 y
19-50 y

ND
ND

ND
ND

30
35

800
1,000

ND
ND

ND
ND

30
35

Upper Intake Levels (UL) For Elements


Not Determined (ND) means the Tolerable Upper Intake Level was not able to be determined due to a lack of available data of effects for that age group and due to concern of the lack of ability to be able to handle excess amounts. Therefore the source of those particular vitamins should be through food to prevent high intake.

This chart is based on USDA recommendations.

Groups Calcium
(mg)
Chromium
(mcg)
Copper
(mcg)
Fluoride
(mg)
Iodine
(mcg)
Iron(mg) Magnesium
(mg)
Infants
0-6 mo
7-12 mo

ND
ND

ND
ND

ND
ND

0.7
0.9

ND
ND

40
40

ND
ND
Children
1-3 y
4-8 y

2.5
2.5

ND
ND

1,000
3,000

1.3
2.2

200
300

40
40

65
110
Males,
Females
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-70 y
70+ y

2.5
2.5
2.5
2.5

ND
ND
ND
ND

5,000
8,000
10,000D
10,000

10
10
10
10

600
900
1,100
1,100

40
45
45
45

350
350
350
350
Pregnancy
14-18 y
19-50 y

2.5
2.5

ND
ND

8,000
10,000

10
10

900
1,100

45
45

350
350
Lactation
14-18 y
19-50 y

2.5
2.5

ND
ND

8,000
10,000

10
10

900
1,100

45
45

350
350

Upper Intake Levels (UL) For Elements (cont.)


Group Man-
ganese
(mg)
Moly-
bedenum
(mcg)
Phos-
phorus
(mg)
Selenium
(mcg)
Zinc
(mg)
Sodium
(g/d)
Chloride
(g/d)
Infants
0-6 mo
7-12 mo

ND
ND

ND
ND

ND
ND

45
60

4
4

ND
ND

ND
ND
Children
1-3 y
4-8 y

2
3

300
600

3
3

90
150

7
12

1.5
1.9

2.3
2.9
Males,
Females
9-13 y
14-18 y
19-70 y
70+ y


6
9
11
11


1,100
1,700
2,000
2,00


4
4
4
3


280
400
400
400


23
34
40
40


2.2
2.3
2.3
2.3


3.4
3.6
3.6
3.6
Pregnancy
14-18 y
19-50 y

9
11

1,700
2,000

3.5
3.5

400
400

34
40

2.3
3.6

3.6
3.6
Lactation
14-18 y
19-50 y

9
11

1,700
2,000

4
4

400
400

34
40

2.3
2.3

3.6
3.6


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