RDA, DV (Daily Value), AI, UL... What Does It All Mean?!

RDA, DV (Daily Value), AI, UL... What Does It All Mean?!

Published by Wonder Laboratories on Jul 31st 2018

Supplement Facts, it says in big black letters. Okay, I get that. Serving Size Alright, I'm still with you. But then… things start to get… strange… Is it a foreign language? Some mysterious code transmitted by scientists in white lab coats who haven't seen the light of day in weeks? What do these abbreviations mean?! Will I ever figure it out? Am I supposed to? Does it matter?! Trying to decipher the back label of a vitamin or supplement bottle may feel like a task that's not for the faint of heart. And while you may need a chemistry degree to parse out the exact meaning of Docosahexaenoic Acid, you don't need any special training to learn how to safely use vitamins and supplements.

4 Back-of-Label Descriptions You Can Understand!

Let's talk about some of the abbreviations you might see on a vitamin or supplement bottle. These definitions are taken from National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
  • RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people.
  • AI (Adequate Intakes): established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA and is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy. In other words, if no RDA has been determined, then the label may use AI instead.
  • DV (Daily Value): Daily value is typically the equivalent of an RDA (or an AI if an RDA does not exist for a particular supplement). DV is displayed as a percentage. So, in the case of this calcium supplement, the serving size of 1 tablet offers 60% of the calcium your body needs for the day.
  • UL (Tolerable Upper Intake Level): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects. You don't want to consume more of a vitamin or supplement in a day than what's listed as the UL.
Not too complicated, right? DV is the indicator you'll see on many nutrients and supplements. Have questions about what the back label means on a WonderLabs product you've purchased or are interested in learning more about? Simply click the Chat Now button in the lower-right part of your screen! You can also contact us online or by calling 800.992.1672.

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