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experiment, on estimated dietary intakes in apparently healthy population groups (e.g., vitamin K, chromium, or manganese), or on a review of data from different approaches that considered alone do not permit a reasonably confident estimate of an EAR.

Similarities Between the AI and the RDA

Both the AI and RDA are to be used as a goal for individual intake. In general, the values are intended to cover the needs of nearly all persons in a life stage group. (For infants, the AI is the mean intake when infants in the age group are consuming human milk. Larger infants may have greater needs, which they meet by consuming more milk.) As with RDAs, AIs for children and adolescents may be extrapolated from adult values if no other usable data are available.

Differences Between the AI and the RDA

There is much less certainty about the AI value than about the RDA value. Because AIs depend on a greater degree of judgment than is applied in estimating the EAR and subsequently the RDA, the AI may deviate significantly from and be numerically higher than the RDA. For this reason, AIs must be used with greater care than is the case for RDAs. Also, the RDA is usually calculated from the EAR by using a formula that takes into account the expected variation in the requirement for the nutrient (see previous section, “Estimated Average Requirement”).

Tolerable Upper Intake Level

The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in the specified life stage group (see Figure 1-1). As intake increases above the UL, the potential risk of adverse effects may increase. The term tolerable intake was chosen to avoid implying a possible beneficial effect. Instead, the term is intended to connote a level of intake that can, with high probability, be tolerated biologically. The UL is not intended to be a recommended level of intake, and there is no established benefit for healthy individuals if they consume a nutrient in amounts exceeding the recommended intake (the RDA or AI).

The UL is based on an evaluation conducted by using the methodology for risk assessment of nutrients (see Chapter 3). The need



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