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Widely regarded as the classic reference work for the nutrition, dietetic, and allied health professions since its introduction in 1943, Recommended Dietary Allowances has been the accepted source in nutrient allowances for healthy people. Responding to the expansion of scientific knowledge about the roles of nutrients in human health, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, in partnership with Health Canada, has updated what used to be known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and renamed their new approach to these guidelines Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs).

Since 1998, the Institute of Medicine has issued eight exhaustive volumes of DRIs that offer quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets applicable to healthy individuals in the United States and Canada. Now, for the first time, all eight volumes are summarized in one easy-to-use reference volume, Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Reference for Dietary Planning and Assessment. Organized by nutrient for ready use, this popular reference volume reviews the function of each nutrient in the human body, food sources, usual dietary intakes, and effects of deficiencies and excessive intakes. For each nutrient of food component, information includes:

  • Estimated average requirement and its standard deviation by age and gender.
  • Recommended dietary allowance, based on the estimated average requirement and deviation.
  • Adequate intake level, where a recommended dietary allowance cannot be based on an estimated average requirement.
  • Tolerable upper intake levels above which risk of toxicity would increase.
  • Along with dietary reference values for the intakes of nutrients by Americans and Canadians, this book presents recommendations for health maintenance and the reduction of chronic disease risk.

Also included is a "Summary Table of Dietary Reference Intakes," an updated practical summary of the recommendations. In addition, Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Reference for Dietary Planning and Assessment provides information about:

  • Guiding principles for nutrition labeling and fortification
  • Applications in dietary planning
  • Proposed definition of dietary fiber
  • A risk assessment model for establishing upper intake levels for nutrients
  • Proposed definition and plan for review of dietary antioxidants and related compounds

Dietitians, community nutritionists, nutrition educators, nutritionists working in government agencies, and nutrition students at the postsecondary level, as well as other health professionals, will find Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Reference for Dietary Planning and Assessment an invaluable resource.


Suggested Citation

Institute of Medicine. 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

1344 pages |  7 x 10 |  Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-15742-1
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xiv
Introduction 1-2
Introduction to the Dietary Reference Intakes 5-18
Applying the Dietary Reference Intakes 19-68
Macronutrients, Healthful Diets, and Physical Activity 70-81
Energy 82-93
Physical Activity 94-101
Dietary Carbohydrates: Sugars and Starches 102-109
Fiber 110-121
Dietary Fat: Total Fat and Fatty Acids 122-139
Cholesterol 140-143
Protein and Amino Acids 144-155
Water 156-166
Vitamin A 170-181
Vitamin B-6 182-187
Vitamin B-12 188-195
Biotin 196-201
Vitamin C 202-210
Carotenoids 211-217
Choline 218-223
Vitamin D 224-233
Vitamin E 234-243
Folate 244-253
Vitamin K 254-261
Niacin 262-269
Pantothenic Acid 270-273
Riboflavin 274-279
Thiamin 280-285
Calcium 286-295
Chromium 296-303
Copper 304-311
Fluoride 312-319
Iodine 320-327
Iron 328-339
Magnesium 340-349
Manganese 350-355
Molybdenum 356-361
Phosphorus 362-369
Potassium 370-379
Selenium 380-385
Sodium and Chloride 386-396
Sulfate 397-401
Zinc 402-413
Arsenic, Boron, Nickel, Silicon, and Vanadium 414-422
A Acknowledgments 425-428
B Biographical Sketches 429-434
C Methods 435-446
D Glossary and Acronyms 447-458
E DRI Values for Indispensable Amino Acids by Life Stage and Gender Group 459-465
F Conversions 466-473
G Iron Intakes and Estimated Percentiles of the Distribution of Iron Requirements from the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII), 1994–1996, 474-484
H Standard Deviation of Requirements for Nutrients with an EAR 485-486
I Estimates of Within-Subject Variation in Intake 487-492
INDEX 493-528
SUMMARY TABLES, Dietary Reference Intakes 529-542

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