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DRI DIETARY REFERENCE INTAKES FOR Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride
If the nutrient requirement is known to be skewed for a population, other approaches are used to find the ninety-seventh to ninety-eighth percentile to set the RDA.
If data are insufficient for a specific life stage group to set an EAR, then no RDA will be set. An AI will be developed based on the data available (see below).
The RDA for a nutrient is a value to be used as a goal for dietary intake by healthy individuals. It is not intended to be used for assessing the diets of either individuals or groups or to plan diets for groups.
The Adequate Intake (AI) is set instead of an RDA if sufficient scientific evidence is not available to calculate an EAR. The AI is based on observed or experimentally determined estimates of average nutrient intake by a group (or groups) of healthy people. For example, the AI for young infants, for whom human milk is the recommended sole source of food for the first 4 to 6 months, is based on the estimated daily mean nutrient intake supplied by human milk for healthy, full-term infants who are exclusively breastfed. The main intended use of the AI is as a goal for the nutrient intake of individuals. Other possible uses of the AIs will be considered by another expert group.
Tolerable Upper Intake Levels
The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risks of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases. 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. There is no established benefit for healthy individuals associated with nutrient intakes above the RDA or AI.
ULs are useful because of the increased interest in and availability of fortified foods and the increased use of dietary supplements. ULs are based on total intake of a nutrient from food, water, and supplements if adverse effects have been associated with total intake. However, if adverse effects have been associated with intake