DRI Definitions and Relationship to Risk of Inadequacy and Risk of Adverse Effects

TABLE: DRI Definitions and Relationship to Risk of Inadequacy and Risk of Adverse Effects
DRI Definition and Notes Concepts Illustrated by the Figure
Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) -data-based, statistically relevant estimate of the average daily nutrient intake level that will meet the requirement of half of the healthy individuals in a given life-stage and gender group The EAR is the intake at which the risk of inadequacy is 50% to an individual.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) -the average daily nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97% to 98%) healthy individuals in a particular life-stage and gender group
-calculated from the EAR
The RDA is the intake at which the risk of inadequacy to the individual is very small (only 2% to 3%).
Adequate Intake (AI) -a recommended average daily nutrient intake level based on observed or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of nutrient intake, by a group (or groups) of apparently healthy people, that are assumed to be adequate
-set when insufficient data exist to determine an EAR, and thus an RDA
-indicates that more research is needed to determine the mean and distribution of requirements for the specific nutrient
The AI does not bear a consistent relationship to the EAR or the RDA because it is set without being able to estimate the requirement, and as such, cannot be placed on the figure.
Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) -the highest average daily nutrient intake level likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population At intakes between the RDA and the UL, the risks of inadequacy and of excess to the individual are both close to zero.

At intakes above the UL, the potential risk of adverse effects to the individual increases. Little is known about the shape of the risk curve, so the proportion of the population experiencing adverse effects at any specific intake above the UL cannot be estimated accurately.
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