Developing and Using Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for Nutrients

Joseph V. Rodricks 1, The Life Sciences Consultancy, Washington, D.C. 20006


The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, with the active involvement of Health Canada, is in the midst of a multiyear, comprehensive effort to develop Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI=s) for nutrients. DRI=s are reference values expressed as quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets for healthy people. DRI=s include Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA), Adequate Intakes (AI=s) and Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL=s). A 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. The risk assessment model used by the IOM Committee to develop UL=s will be presented, as will the results to date of its application. In addition, the use of UL=s in dietary planning will be described.





1Member, Subcommittee on Upper Reference Levels of Nutrients.

Reference: Institute of Medicine. 1998. Dietary Reference Intakes: A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Upper Intake Levels for Nutrients. National Academy Press. Washington, D.C.