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Full Version: FAQ-What is the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)?
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The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)is a system of nutrition recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The DRI system is used by both the United States and Canada and is intended for the general public and health professionals. Applications include:

The DRI was introduced in 1997 in order to broaden the existing guidelines known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). The DRI values are not currently used in nutrition labeling, where the older Reference Daily Intakes are still used.

The Current Dietary Reference Intake recommendation is composed of:

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  • Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), expected to satisfy the needs of 50% of the people in that age group based on a review of the scientific literature.
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), the daily dietary intake level of a nutrient considered sufficient by the Food and Nutrition Board to meet the requirements of 97.5% of healthy individuals in each life-stage and sex group. It is calculated based on the EAR and is usually approximately 20% higher than the EAR
  • Adequate Intake (AI), where no RDA has been established, but the amount established is somewhat less firmly believed to be adequate for everyone in the demographic group.
  • Tolerable upper intake levels (UL), to caution against excessive intake of nutrients (like vitamin A) that can be harmful in large amounts. This is the highest level of daily consumption that current data have shown to cause no side effects in humans when used indefinitely without medical supervision.

Dietary Reference Intake

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Estimated Average Requirements


Getting Too Much of Vitamins And Minerals?

Scientists don't yet know if routinely getting a little bit too much of a vitamin or mineral (as opposed to a megadose) is a problem.

Side Effects of Taking Too Many Dietary Supplements

Taking too much of a supplement, or taking it for too long, may lead to serious adverse effects. For example, black cohosh is often used to alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and to combat symptoms like night sweats associated with menopause. Numerous cases of liver inflammation are associated with this herb, warns the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. This possible side effect led the experts at the U.S. Pharmacopeia to recommend discontinuing black cohosh if you have a liver disorder or if you experience symptoms of liver problems including jaundice, dark urine or abdominal pain. Kava also may cause liver damage. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issues a warning about this herb.

Can a Person Take Too Many Vitamins?

It is possible for a person to take too many vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins are flushed from the body and do not accumulate in tissues, but fat-soluble vitamins are stored by the body in the liver and in body fat. Overdoses of some vitamins can severely impact your health. Most people do not consume too many vitamins from their diet. Instead, vitamin overdose is more likely from taking large amounts of vitamin supplements.

On the other hand, we know this.

Vitamin D may raise survival rates among cancer patients,

Cancer patients who have higher levels of vitamin D when they are diagnosed tend to have better survival rates and remain in remission longer than patients who are vitamin D-deficient, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Why vitamin D for cancer patients?

Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention
Vitamin D is the name given to a group of fat-soluble prohormones (substances that usually have little hormonal activity by themselves but that the body can turn into hormones). Vitamin D helps the body use calcium and phosphorus to make strong bones and teeth. Skin exposed to sunshine can make vitamin D, and vitamin D can also be obtained from certain foods. Vitamin D deficiency can cause a weakening of the bones that is called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.