Recommended Dietary Allowances for Vitamins


The RDA, Recommended Dietary Allowance, has been replaced with the more comprehensive DRI (Dietary Reference Intake). The DRI are values set to meet only the very bare minimum of what our bodies require in nutrients. Many health care practitioners believe the DRI is set too low since many individuals require differing doses of the DRI depending on their health, age and nutritional status. The nutrients our body requires throughout the day can fluctuate, therefore it's essential to obtain the proper dosage of all vitamins to ensure you're giving your body what it requires o maintain good health and meet your individual needs.

Vitamin C

The DRI for vitamin C is set at 90mg a day for men between the ages of 19 to 70, and 75mg a day for women between the ages of 19 through 70. Those with certain health conditions, such as diabetes or those with high blood pressure, smokers or those who suffer from chronic infections can benefit from a higher intake. Also, women who are on estrogen may suffer from low vitamin C levels and could benefit from extra vitamin C. Supplementing with a total of 500mg of vitamin C daily can help boost the immune system function and help prevent a wide variety of health problems related to a vitamin C deficit.

Vitamin E

Currently, the DRI for the fat-soluble anti-oxidant vitamin E is set at 15mg a day for both men and women over 19 years of age. However, certain health conditions, such as liver disease, celiac disease and cystic fibrosis can cause a deficiency in vitamin E. Supplementing with a total of 400IU of vitamin E daily can help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer and other health conditions associated with a deficiency in vitamin E.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in older adults, but it can occur with anyone, at any age if they don't receive enough unfiltered sunlight on a daily basis. Since exposure to sunlight generates vitamin D, the Food and Drug Administration set the standard for vitamin D at Adequate Intake (AI) instead of DRI. For adults, the daily AI of vitamin D, for those 19 to 50 years of age is 5mcg; for those 51 to 70, 10mcg; and for those over 71, 15mcg a day.

Vitamin A

For the majority of people, a deficiency in vitamin A is uncommon, however, a deficiency in vitamin A can occur in those who are habitually undernourished, those who have been chronically ill and those who consume a great deal of alcohol. Type 1 diabetics can also suffer from vitamin A deficiency if they tend to not control their condition. For men 19 to 70 years of age, the maximum daily allowance of vitamin A is 900mcg and for women between the ages of 19 through 70, 700mcg a day is recommended.

Vitamin K

A deficiency in the fat-soluble vitamin K is uncommon for those who eat plenty of dark, green leafy vegetables, but those who consume a lot of alcohol or have taken antacids for a long period of time may be susceptible to a deficiency is vitamin K. For adults 19 years of age and older, the DRI is 120mcg for men and 90mcg for women.


For those who participate in crash dieting, or fad dieting, the elderly or those who are strictly vegetarian, a deficiency in the vitamin B family can be common. Therefore it can prove beneficial for men to supplement with a B complex that contains a minimum of: 400mcg of folic acid; 16mg of niacin, 1.5mg of pantothenic acid, 1.3mg of riboflavin; 2.4mcg of B12; 1.2mg of thiamin, 30mcg of biotin, 550 mcg of choline and 1.3mg of B6. For women: 400mcg of folic acid; 14mg of niacin, 1.5mg of pantothenic acid, 1.1mg of riboflavin; 2.4mcg of B12; 1.2mg of thiamin; 30mcg of biotin, 425 mcg of choline and 1.3mg of B6.


This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Never take more of any vitamin or mineral than deemed what is safe. If you're pregnant or lactating, consult your health care practitioner before taking any vitamin supplement.

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