Indian RDA: Are you exceeding Daily Reference Intake of Nutrients??

Posted by Elixier on Monday, July 6, 2020

Nutrition is a basic human need and a prerequisite to a healthy life. A proper diet is essential from the very early stages of life for proper growth, development and to remain active. However, the requirement of nutrients varies from individual to individual based on age, sex, body composition and physiological & metabolic status. That’s where the role RDA comes into play!!

The first Nutrition Advisory Committee of ICMR had made its RDA recommendations way back in 1944. The recommendations have been reviewed, up-dated and amended ever since, generally at intervals of ten years.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily dietary nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of around 97.5% healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender for a given population group. This implies addition of safety factor to cover variations within group of individuals, effect of processing, bio-availability of the nutrient from the diet and differences in dietary patterns. However, the age group of 60 yrs and above has not been considered for calculating RDAs and these values do not even apply to people who are suffering from diseases that influence nutrient intake. RDA values only apply to healthy people.

Kindly refer below video for RDA values,

The Food safety & standards Act, 2006 permits the use of vitamins, minerals and amino acids in functional foods and health supplements provided that the amounts do not exceed the RDA. In case, such standards are not specified, Codex Alimentarius standards can be applied. Foods for special dietary uses (FSDUs) and Foods for special medical purposes (FSMPs) could exceed RDA levels as per schedule III of Nutraceutical regulations based on scientific evidence.

Tolerable upper intake levels (TULs) are computed to caution against excessive intake of nutrients that can be harmful in large amounts. This is the highest level of daily nutrient consumption that is considered to be safe for, and cause no side effects in, 97.5% of healthy individuals in each life-stage and sex group. These levels have been fixed by the ICMR expert committee recently, in view of the growing concern towards unsupervised usage of fortified foods and health supplements. This can be included as part of the next revision of nutrient requirements.

ICMR has also launched RDA Calculator which is available for free on google play services. It is based on “Nutrient Requirements and Recommended Dietary Allowance for Indians” book published by NIN(ICMR) in 2010.

To download the app please click on below link,