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Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamins






Home > Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamins

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is the daily dietary intake level that is considered sufficient to defend against vitamin deficiency diseases.

Today, the term "Recommended Daily Allowance" is replaced by new terms "Daily Intake" and "Percent Daily Value"  (% DV).  % DV is often shown on the label of vitamin supplements. It indicates how much each vitamin is contained in one serving compared to the recommended daily intake.

For example, the recommended daily intake of vitamin A for an adult is 5000IU.  If one serving of vitamin supplement contains 15,000IU of vitamin A, its % DV for vitamin A would be 15,000 / 5,000 x 100% = 300%.

Recommended daily intake (recommended daily allowance) of Vitamins A-K is listed below (for adults only):

Vitamin A 5,000 IU
Vitamin C 60 mg
Vitamin D 400 IU
Vitamin E 30 IU
Vitamin K 80 mcg
Thiamin (vitamin B1) 1.5 mg
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 1.7 mg
Niacin (vitamin B3) 20 mg
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 10 mg
Vitamin B6 2 mg
Folic acid (vitamin B9) 400 mcg
Vitamin B12 6 mcg
Biotin  (vitamin H / vitamin B7) 300 mcg



IU - international unit, a measure of vitamin activity determined by biological or chemical analyses.

mg - milligram (1/1000 g)

mcg - microgram (1/1000 mg):

We can consider the recommended daily allowance / recommended daily intake as the minimum nutrient requirement for healthy people to ward off vitamin deficient diseases.  However, these values do not represent the amounts of vitamins required for optimal health, which vary among individuals based on their age, diet, health conditions, exposure to toxic chemicals and lifestyle. 

Recommended daily allowance / recommended daily intake is also not equivalent to the safe dose of vitamins.  In general, vitamins have high safety limits, which can be several times to hundred times more than the recommended daily intake.  Water soluble vitamins (vitamin C and vitamin B complexes) have a higher safety limit than fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K).  Excess water soluble vitamins can be excreted readily in the urine whereas excess fat soluble vitamins are accumulated in the liver and can be harmful.

Since the recommended daily intake represents the minimum nutrient requirement to avoid vitamin deficient diseases, it is quite common for vitamin supplements to contain vitamins and minerals above the recommended daily level (i.e. % DV higher than 100%).  It is safe to consume these vitamin supplements according to product label.  However, consumers should not increase the recommended dosage themselves without the supervision of health care professionals.









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