Health care providers, institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes, governments, and industries use DRIs to develop nutrition plans and programs for individuals and groups.
Important Principles Underlying DRIs
They are standards for the general population:
- DRIs aren’t meant for people with acute or chronic disease or those who may be malnourished or nutrient deficient.
They refer to average daily nutrient intake over time:
- Some variation in nutrient intakes from day to day is normal and expected. DRI values represent long-term average intake.
They are set based on a variety of health indicators and outcomes:
- The specific indicator used as the basis of each DRI value varies according to the nutrient and the type of value.
How to Apply DRIs in a Professional Setting
You can use DRIs to help with a number of different activities, including:
- Planning diets
- Assessing people’s nutrient intakes
- Developing nutrition education materials for individuals or population groups
Professionals can refer to “Applying the Dietary Reference Intakes” for guidance on how to use and interpret DRI values. This chapter appears in the report Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements, published by the National Academy of Sciences. The full report is available to download in PDF form.
Dietary Reference Intake Reports
There have been 19 reports issued since 1997. These include:
- DRIs for nutrients
- Reports on methodologies, applications, lessons learned, and challenges
Reports on nutrients
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy (2023)
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019)
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D (2011)
- Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements (2006)
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate (2005)
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients) (2005)
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc (2001)
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids (2000)
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline (1998)
- Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride (1997)
Reports on Methodologies, Applications, Lessons Learned, and Challenges
- Guiding Principles for Developing Dietary Reference Intakes Based on Chronic Disease (2017)
- The Development of DRIs 1994-2004: Lessons Learned and New Challenges. Workshop Summary (2008)
- Dietary Reference Intakes Research Synthesis: Workshop Summary (2007)
- Dietary Reference Intakes: Guiding Principles for Nutrition Labeling and Fortification (2003)
- Dietary Reference Intakes: Applications in Dietary Planning (2003)
- Dietary Reference Intakes: Proposed Definition of Dietary Fiber (2001)
- Dietary Reference Intakes: Applications in Dietary Assessment (2000)
- Dietary Reference Intakes: A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Upper Intake Levels for Nutrients (1998)
- Dietary Reference Intakes: Proposed Definition and Plan for Review of Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds (1998)