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Definitions Page

Definitions (1)

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)

        A set of nutrient reference values used in Canada and the United States to plan or assess nutrient intakes of individuals or groups.

Estimated Average Requirement (EAR)

        The average daily nutrient intake level that is estimated to meet the requirement of half the healthy individuals in a life-stage and gender group. The EAR is used to calculate the Recommended Dietary Allowance - the average daily nutrient intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97 to 98 percent) healthy individuals in a life-stage and gender group.

Adequate Intake (AI)

        The recommended average daily nutrient intake level based on observed or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of nutrient intake by a group of apparently healthy people who are assumed to be maintaining adequate nutritional status. An AI is fixed when there is insufficient evidence to establish the distribution of requirements and subsequently, to determine an EAR.

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL)

        The highest average daily nutrient intake level likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in a life-stage and gender group. As intake increases above the UL so does the potential risk of adverse effects.

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR)

       The range of intake of an energy source (i.e. fat, protein, carbohydrate) that is associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease while providing adequate amount of essential nutrients.

(1) Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington: The National Academies Press; 2006.

[Heath Canada]

HIGHLIGHT: DIETARY REFERENCE INTAKES (9)

Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) - a nutrient intake value that is estimated to meet the requirement of half the healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) - the dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97 to 98 percent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

Adequate Intake (AI) - a recommended intake value based on observed or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of nutrient intake by a group (or groups) of healthy people that are assumed to be adequate — used when an RDA cannot be determined.

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) - the highest level of nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in the general population.

[Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University]