Vitamin Lingo

Knowing a few phrases and acronyms will help you understand the jorgon on the side of pill bottles and potentially keep you safe.

RDA.This is the recommended dietary allowance established by the institute of collaboration with other health agencies.RDAs idicate the average daily dietary intake of nutrients that a person needs to stay healthy.Backed by careful research,the RDAs are broken down by age and gender.

DRI To make things more complicited,The National institutes of Health introduced Dietary Reference Intakes (which include RDAs) as a reference for what healthy people get of various minerals and vitamins.They’re less prescriptive and more informational than RDAs.


AI want one more measure? Try Adequate intake-this is for nutrients that the goverment has yet to set an RDA or DRI for but it wants to indicate that the vitamin or mineral is probably important for health.

UL and then there’s the issue of how much is safe: The Upper intake Level (UL) is the maximum tolerable amount that your body can handle before side effects kick in.Some of these symptoms can be subtle but deadly,so it’s wise to respect this limit.


You’ll see a lot of different measurements on the sides of pill bottles,starting with mg(milligrams),which is usually next to vitamins and macrominerals. Trace nutrients are measured in micrograms (mcg) soluable vitamins:it stands for international Unit(s)

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