Nutritional Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI)
DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and evaluate the intake of each nutrient. The reference values vary according to age and gender.
These documents are issued by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. A Food and Nutrition Board addresses issues of safety, quality and adequacy of food supply; establishes principles and guidelines for adequate food intake; and makes authority judgments about the relationships between food intake, nutrition and health.
Estimated Average Requirements
An Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) is the average daily nutrient intake level estimated to meet the requirements of half of the healthy individuals in a group. EARs have not been established for vitamin K, pantothenic acid, biotin, choline, chromium, fluoride, manganese, or other nutrients not yet evaluated via the DRI process.
Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes
An RDA is the average daily dietary intake level; sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98 percent) healthy individuals in a group. It is calculated from an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR).
Tolerable Upper Intake Levels
A Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is 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. Members of the general population should be advised not to routinely exceed the UL. The UL is not meant to apply to individuals who are treated with the nutrient under medical supervision or to individuals with predisposing conditions that modify their sensitivity to the nutrient.