Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI)

Have you ever wondered if you are getting enough Vitamin, Minerals or Other Nutrients?

Using the results of thousands of research studies, nutrition experts have produced a set of standards that define the amounts of energy, nutrients, other nutritional components and physical activity. The standards are set to support optimal health and are recommended to meet the needs of most healthy people. The recommendations are called Dietary Reference intakes.

A DRI Committee is a group of highly qualified scientists who study the research and carefully interpret the scientific evidence. Using the information presented by hundreds of research studies, the committee develops recommendations to meet the nutritional needs of healthy individuals. These recommendations may not be appropriate for people with diseases that alter their nutritional needs.

The nutritional needs of individuals vary depending on age and sex. Males and Females have different nutritional needs. Children, Teenagers, Adults and Senior Citizens all have different nutrients needs. The Dietary Reference Intakes values are determined based on a given age and gender group.

The Diet Reference Intakes are a set of nutrient intake values for planning and assessing diets. The values that are set are categorized into four different groups:

  • Estimated Average Requirements (EAR)
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA)
  • Adequate Intake (AI)
  • Tolerable Upper Intakes Levels (UL)


Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) is the average daily amount of nutrients that will maintain the health of people given age and gender group.

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) is a value set that will meet the nutrient needs of approximately 98% of the population. This value is a goal for dietary intakes.

Adequate Intakes (AI) is the value that is set that appears to be sufficient to nutrient requirement. Adequate intakes are set for nutrients that lack scientific evidence.

Tolerable Upper Intakes Levels (UL) is a value set that appears safe for people to consume. Intakes above the tolerable upper intakes increases the risk of adverse reactions.

Nutrients with RDA’s : Carbohydrates, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B 6, Folate, Vitamin B 12, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, Copper, Molybdenum

Nutrients with AI’s: Water, Fiber, Total Fat, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Biotin, Pantothenic acid, Choline, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Sodium, Chloride, Potassium, Calcium, Manganese, Fluoride, Chromium

Nutrients with UL: Niacin, Vitamin B 6, Folate, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Sodium, Chloride, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Fluoride, Molybdenum, Boron, Nickel, Vanadium

How do you know if you are getting enough or too much of a nutrient? Seek the advice of a registered dietitian and ask for a diet analysis.