RDA: Recommended Daily Allowance

RDA is the average daily dietary intake that is sufficient to meet the requirements of almost (97-98%) of healthy individuals in a group. RDAs for infants and children are less than for adults. RDAs for pregnant or lactating women are increased from the normal adult dose. RDAs for elderly people are increased in certain cases.

RDAs are based on the daily food and supplement intake needed to prevent nutrient deficiencies; they are not based on supplement intake alone. RDA measurements are not based on chronic disease risk reduction. Most medical and nutrition professionals working in the field of preventative medicine agree that RDA measures are not enough for optimum health. Some nutrients have different degrees of absorption when taken as an isolated compound; therefore higher doses of supplements, in excess of the RDA, are needed when a person is getting their nutrients from a supplement form.

To obtain your RDAs in all the vitamins and minerals you would have to take 4-6 capsules a day.

UL: Tolerable Upper Intake Level

UL is the highest level of daily nutrient from dietary and supplement sources that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in a population. As intake increases above the UL, the potential for risk of adverse effects increases. Exceeding dosages over the UL for a long period of time is not recommended, but may be beneficial and tolerated by some individuals in some circumstances. Generally, there is no need to take supplements at the level of UL. Always be aware of a product’s UL and how much of that product you are taking. No HP dose levels go over the UL.

DRI: Dietary Reference Intakes

DRI refers to the new Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA), Adequate Intake (AI) and Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) set between 1997-2002 by a DRI Committee of the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine. The DRI designation replaces the old Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) in use since 1941 as nutrient intake guidelines by scientists in research and by health professionals to tailor dietary recommendations. The values are developed from a summary of current nutritional science research.

The primary goal of Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) measures was to prevent diseases caused by nutrient deficiencies such as scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), pellagra (deficiency of niacin) and beriberi (deficiency of vitamin B1). RDA measurements are not based on reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Nor do they factor in toxin producing pollution, or lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and diets containing pesticides, additives and processed foods. Since RDA’s do not take environmental, lifestyle and health conditions into account, they must be adapted for most people who are leading lifestyles that are not “perfectly healthy.”

DRI measurements have taken a step towards factoring in both disease reduction and lifestyle/environmental issues, but most medical and nutrition professionals working in the field of preventative medicine agree that even these measures are not enough for optimum health.

Note: DRI values are based on recommended intakes from dietary food sources eaten throughout the day, not from nutritional supplements taken in one dose. Some nutrients have different degrees of absorption when taken as an isolated compound, for example folate is only absorbed half as well when it is taken in supplement form, as when absorbed from food. Therefore, higher doses of supplements, in excess of the RDA, are needed when a person is getting nutrients from a supplement rather than from food.

Note: DRI values also include the UL: Tolerable Upper Intake Level that is the highest level of daily nutrient that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in a population. As intake increases above the UL, the potential for risk of adverse effects increases. Exceeding dosages over the UL for a long period of time is not recommended, but can be beneficial and tolerated by some individuals.

Data Sources:
RDA/AI/UL: adapted from (1997- 2001) DRI Reports established by the Food and Nutrition Board, National Research Council, published by National academy Press. www.nap.edu