Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) *


(Estimated Average Requirement): the intake that meets the estimated nutrient need of 50 percent of the individuals in that group.


(Recommended Dietary Allowance): the intake that meets the nutrient need of almost all (97 to 98 percent) individuals in that group.


(Adequate Intake): observed or experimentally derived intake by a defined population or subgroup that, in the judgment of the DRI Committee, appears to sustain a defined nutritional state, such as normal circulating nutrient values, growth, or other functional indicators of health.


the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases.


Refers to daily intakes, averaged over time.

mark of adequacy for calcium, and its indicator is desirable calcium retention to the extent that retention can be affected by dietary intake. Each nutrient chapter (Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7 through Chapter 8) identifies the primary indicator or criterion that defines adequacy for the specific life stage and gender group. (See also Table S-1, Table S-2, Table S-3, Table S-4 and Table S-5.)


Nutrient Recommendations for Individuals

The RDA is the value to be used in guiding individuals to achieve adequate nutrient intake. RDAs are given separately for specified life stage groups and by gender if applicable; they are intended to apply to healthy individuals. Due to the large variation in intakes, the RDAs are seldom appropriate for planning diets for or assessing the nutrient intakes of free-living groups (Beaton, 1994).

The RDA for each nutrient is set at a value that should be adequate for 97 to 98 percent of all individuals in a life stage group, given a specified definition of adequacy. The RDA is a target or recommended intake. Nutrient intake that is less than the RDA does not necessarily indicate that the criterion of adequacy has not been met by a given individual.

The RDA is expressed as a single absolute value and not in rela-

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