Nutrient Recommendations and Databases

Nutrient Recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI)

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These documents are issued by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences Engineering, and Medicine. The Food and Nutrition Board addresses issues of safety, quality, and adequacy of the food supply; establishes principles and guidelines of adequate dietary intake; and renders authoritative judgments on the relationships among food intake, nutrition, and health.

DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and sex, include:

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): Average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98%) healthy individuals; often used to plan nutritionally adequate diets for individuals.
  • Adequate Intake (AI): Intake at this level is assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy; established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA.
  • Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): Average daily level of intake estimated to meet the requirements of 50% of healthy individuals; usually used to assess the nutrient intakes of groups of people and to plan nutritionally adequate diets for them; can also be used to assess the nutrient intakes of individuals.
  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): Maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.

For the latest information about the DRIs, go to the DRI Activities Updateexternal link disclaimer.


DRI Tables

Online DRI Tool

The DRI Calculator for Healthcare Professionalsexternal link disclaimer is an interactive tool to calculate daily nutrient recommendations for dietary planning based on the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. While this data represents current scientific knowledge on nutrient needs, individual requirements may be higher or lower than the DRI recommendations.

Daily Values

Recommended intakes of nutrients vary by age and sex and are known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and Adequate Intakes (AIs). However, one value for each nutrient, known as the Daily Value (DV), is selected for the labels of dietary supplements and foods. A DV is often, but not always, similar to one's RDA or AI for that nutrient. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers determine the level of various nutrients in a standard serving of food in relation to their approximate requirement for it. The label actually provides the %DV so that you can see how much (what percentage) a serving of the product contributes to reaching the DV.

DV Tables

USDA FoodData Central

The U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Centralexternal link disclaimer provides detailed information on the nutrient content of foods consumed in the U.S. including a subset of American Indian/Alaska Native Foods.

USDA Databases

Food and nutrient databases from the U.S. Department of Agricultureexternal link disclaimer, including data sets for pro-anthocyanidins, flavonoids, choline, iodine, fluoride, isoflavones, and glucosinolates.