and the United States (Elia, 1992) and on the similar CV of 12.5 percent estimated for the protein requirements in adults (FAO/WHO/UNA, 1985). If there is evidence of greater variation, a larger CV will be assumed. In all cases, the method used to derive the RDA from the EAR is stated.

For vitamins C and E, and selenium, there are very few direct data on the requirements of children. Thus, EARs and RDAs for children are based on extrapolations from adult values. The method is described in Chapter 3.

Other Uses of the EAR

Together with an estimate of the variance of intake, the EAR may also be used in the assessment of the intake of groups or in planning for the intake of groups (Beaton, 1994) (see Chapter 9).

Adequate Intake

If sufficient scientific evidence is not available to calculate an EAR, a reference intake called an Adequate Intake (AI) is provided instead of an RDA. The AI is a value based on experimentally derived intake levels or approximations of observed mean nutrient intakes by a group (or groups) of apparently healthy people. In the judgment of the DRI Committee, the AI for children and adults is expected to meet or exceed the amount needed to maintain a defined nutritional state or criterion of adequacy in essentially all members of a specific, apparently healthy population, because it is set using presumably healthy populations. Examples of defined nutritional states include normal growth, maintenance of normal circulating nutrient values, or other aspects of nutritional well-being or general health.

The AI is set when data are considered to be insufficient or inadequate to establish an EAR on which an RDA would be based. For example, for young infants for whom human milk is the recommended sole food source for most nutrients in the first 4 to 6 months, the AI is based on the daily mean nutrient intake supplied by human milk for apparently healthy, full-term infants who are fed exclusively human milk.

Similarities Between the AI and the RDA

Both the AI and the 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

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