Recommended Dietary Allowances

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The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) shown in Table 2-2 and Table 2-3 are the amounts of the vitamins and minerals, respectively, that a healthy person should eat to meet daily requirements. The RDAs are designed to meet the daily requirements for most healthy people. The RDAs are undergoing revisions and new standards are gradually becoming available. These new standards are called the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). The military has also developed a set of allowances known as the Military DRIs (MDRIs) to be used for designing military rations.

In most cases your micronutrient needs will be met by eating a variety of foods. Taking multivitamin and mineral supplements is another way to meet the RDAs for the micronutrients (see Chapter 14, page 105). However, if you elect to take micronutrient supplements, you are urged to take only the RDA amount for each micronutrient. Taking more than the RDA of a micronutrient could lead to toxicity and create deficiencies of other micronutrients.

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