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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA)
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA)

Alternate Names : DRI, Dietary Reference Intakes, Recommended Dietary Allowances, RDA

The Recommended Daily Allowances, known as RDAs, are recommendations for nutrients. They were developed by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council. They are updated as new research findings surface. The RDAs state the amount of a nutrient that is needed for most people to stay healthy. They are different for children, adults, males, and females.

The Dietary Reference Intakes, known as DRIs, are an umbrella group that includes the following other nutrient measures:

  • RDAs
  • Adequate Intakes, known as AI
  • Estimated Average Intakes, known as EAR
  • Tolerable Upper Intakes, known as UL
  • DRIs are slowly becoming the more accepted form for nutrient recommendations. Experts expect that DRIs will take the place of the RDAs in time.


    United States Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA)

    Recommended Dietary Allowances: National Academy of Sciences;10th ed., 1989

    Dietary Reference Intakes: National Academy of Sciences, 1997


    Males (25+years)Females (25+years)4-8 years6-12 mos.

    Calcium (Ca)mg1200*1200*800*270*1000*1000*
    Chloride (Cl)mg750750600300750750
    Chromium (Cr)mcg50-20050-20050-20020-6050-20050-200
    Copper (Cu)mg1.5-31.5-31-20.6-0.71.5-31.5-3
    Fluoride (F)mg4*3*1*0.5*3*3*
    Iron (Fe)mg10(25-50y) 15

    (51+y) 10
    Magnesium (Mg)mg420**320**130**75*350-400**310-360**
    Manganese (Mn)mg2-52-52-30.6-1.02-52-5
    Molybdenum (Mo)mcg75-25075-25050-15020-4075-25075-250
    Phosphorus (P)mg700**700**500**275*700**700**
    Selenium (Se)mcg705530156575
    Sodium (Na)mg500500400200500500
    Vitamin AmcgRE*10008007003758001300
    Vitamin B1(Thiamine)mg1.2**1.1**0.6**0.3*1.4**1.5**
    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)mg1.3**1.1**0.6**0.4*1.4**1.6**
    Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)mg1.7**1.5**0.6**0.3*1.9**2.0**
    Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)mcg2.4**2.4**1.2**0.5*2.6**2.8**
    Vitamin Cmg606045359590
    Vitamin Dmcg(51-70y) 10*

    (71+y) 15*
    (51-70y) 10*

    (71+y) 15*
    (1-8y) 5*5*5*5*
    Vitamin Emg

    alpha TE*
    Vitamin Kmcg806530106565
    Zinc (Zn)mg15121051519

    g =grams

    mg = milligrams (0.001 g)

    mcg = micrograms (0.000001g)

    IU = International Units

    RE = Retinol Equivalent

    Alpha TE = alpha Tocopherol equivalent

    + Generally the higher number was reported.

    * AI (Adequate Intake) from the new Dietary Reference Intakes, 1997: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Values have changed from previous RDA.

    ** RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) from the new Dietary Reference Intakes, 1997: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Values have changed from previous RDA.

    Author: Clare Armstrong, MS, RD
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 09/18/02

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