Nutrients

The following nutrient information was adapted from the DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes) reference books. The DRIs provide nutrient goals and upper limits for individuals. They are nutrient standards for the US and Canada. For more information about the DRIs see this book: Dietary Reference Intakes, Institute of Medicine, 2006.

Macronutrients

Macronutrients are dietary components that are needed by the body in relatively large amounts. Not all of the components listed here are nutrients with goals, but all have diet-related information to consider.

Calories

Food is made up of varying percentages of protein, carbohydrate, fat, alcohol, ash, water, vitamins, and minerals.

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Of these components, protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol provide calories. These are the approximate calorie contribution of each group:

  • Protein: 4 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrate: 4 calories per gram
  • Fat: 9 calories per gram
  • Alcohol: 7 calories per gram

By this account, foods that are made up of mostly fat or alcohol will be more concentrated sources of calories.

Food Groups

Foods that are higher in fat, sugar and/or alcohol tend to be higher in calories. These foods include biscuits and croissants from the grains group, whole milk and regular cheese from the dairy group, and sausages and chicken fat from the protein foods group. Oils and foods that have empty calories, such as desserts and pastries, are also higher in calories. Low calorie foods include lettuce and raw vegetables from the vegetables group and unsweetened fruits from the fruits group.

Function

Calories are needed in the body to support the behind-the-scene processes like breathing and blood circulation, as well as the more intentional processes like walking and driving a car.

Deficiency

If you take in fewer calories than your body needs, you will lose weight. Extreme weight loss can lead to muscle wasting, irritability, and many other complications.

Excess

If you take in more calories than your body needs, the extra calories are stored as fat. Everyone needs some additional fat storage in their body, but too much can lead to obesity and associated health problems.

Recommendation

Attaining and maintaining optimal body weight is an important part of a healthy life style, and involves balancing calories consumed (food eaten) and calories expended (exercise). If you are gaining unwanted weight, either decrease your food intake, increase your exercise, or both.

Nutrition Facts Label

Calories are a mandatory label component and must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label. Calorie values are rounded. They are expressed to the nearest 5 calorie increment up to 50 calories, and 10 calorie increment above 50 calories. Amounts less than 5 calories may be reported as zero.

Calories from Fat are a mandatory label component and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Amounts less than 5 calories need not be listed on the label, but a statement “Not a significant source of calories from fat” is then listed at the bottom of the table of nutrient values.

Calories from Saturated Fat is a voluntary label component, and does not have to be listed on the Nutrition Facts label unless it is included in a nutrient claim on the product packaging. If saturated fat is listed, the same rounding rules apply as those listed for calories and calories from fat.

Supplement Facts Label

Calories and Calories from Fat must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 5 calories per serving. Calories from Saturated Fat is listed when a claim is made about it on the product packaging.

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Fat

Fat is found in plant and animal foods and is made up of saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. The main food sources of fat include butter, margarine, oils, whole milk, meat, and nuts.

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Food Groups

Higher sources of fat include whole milk from the dairy group, and fatty meats and nuts from the protein foods group. Oils and foods that provide empty calories, such as butter and margarine, are also higher in fat.

Function

As a concentrated source of energy, fat provides approximately 9 calories per gram, more than twice the calories per gram provided by carbohydrate or protein. Besides energy, fat also provides essential fatty acids (linoleic acid and linolenic acid) and aids in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K).

Deficiency

A deficient fat intake may result in impaired growth and an increased risk of chronic disease. In severe cases, with accompanying carbohydrate and protein deficiency, malnutrition or starvation may result.

Excess

High fat diets in excess of calorie needs can cause obesity. Studies have shown associations between high-fat intakes and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The type of fat consumed is an important consideration, however, and is addressed in our other fat categories.

Recommendation

Individual fat needs vary, and the DRI recommendations suggest a range of need for different age groups. This range is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and/or cancer, while providing an adequate intake of essential nutrients. The acceptable range for adults 18 years and over is 20% to 35% of calories. The acceptable range for children 4-18 years is 25% to 35% of calories. The acceptable range for children 2-4 years is 30% to 40% of calories.

Nutrition Facts Label

Fat is a mandatory label nutrient and must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are rounded, expressed to the nearest 0.5 gram below 5 grams, and to the nearest gram above 5 grams. Amounts less than 0.5 gram may be reported as zero. The percent Daily Value is based on 65 grams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet).

Supplement Facts Label

Fat must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 0.5 gram per serving.

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Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is largely found in animal foods such as whole milk, butter, cheese, and fatty meats. It is also found in coconut and palm oils, which are solid at room temperature and are sometimes used in food processing.

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Function

Saturated fats can be made in the body as needed. They function as sources of energy, and as components of cell membranes.

Recommendation

Research has found that increased saturated fat intake raises blood LDL cholesterol levels, which may increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Because of this, it is recommended that we limit high saturated fat foods in our diet. The recommendation is to eat the least amount possible, and still maintain a healthy diet. The Dietary Guidelines suggest consuming less than 10% of calories as saturated fat. Saturated fat is included in the empty calories section of the food groups.

Nutrition Facts Label

Saturated fat is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are rounded, expressed to the nearest 0.5 gram below 5 grams, and to the nearest gram above 5 grams. Amounts less than 0.5 gram may be reported as zero. If no claims are made about fat or cholesterol and if calories from saturated fat is not declared, amounts less than 0.5 grams may be left off the label if the statement “Not a significant source of saturated fat” is reported. The percent Daily Value is based on 20 grams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).

Supplement Facts Label

Saturated fat must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 0.5 gram per serving.

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Trans Fat

Trans fatty acids are monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids that have a different orientation of hydrogen atoms that causes them to be more solid. Hydrogenation is a man-made process that converts the more common is form of unsaturated fats into the trans form.

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Shortenings, traditional stick margarine and products made from these, such as pastries, fried foods and doughnuts are foods that are high in man-made trans fats. Lower levels of trans fats are also found naturally in foods such as milk, butter and meats.

Excess

Trans fat intake has been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Recommendation

The Dietary Guidelines suggest avoiding trans fat from man-made sources, and consuming less than 0.5% of calories from natural sources.

Nutrition Facts Label

Trans fat is a mandatory label component and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are rounded, expressed to the nearest 0.5 gram below 5 grams, and to the nearest gram above 5 grams. Amounts less than 0.5 gram may be reported as zero. If no claims are made about fat, fatty acid or cholesterol content, amounts less than 0.5 gram may be left off the label if the statement “Not a significant source of trans fat” is reported.

Amounts less than 0.5 gram reporting as zero is important to note. Nutrition Facts amounts are listed per serving, so if more than a serving of a product is consumed it's possible to consume a significant amount of trans fat even if the label states zero. For products that you consume often, check the ingredient list to see if the product contains hydrogenated fat. If it does, it likely contains trans fat.

There is no Daily Value for Trans fat.

Supplemental Facts Label

Trans fat must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 0.5 gram per serving.

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Monounsaturated Fat

Monounsaturated fat is largely found in canola oil, olive oil, and meat fat.

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Function

Monounsaturated fats can be made by the body as needed. They function as sources of energy, and as components of cell membranes, especially myelin.

Recommendation

The Dietary Guidelines recommend decreasing your intake of saturated fat and replacing it with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.

Nutrition Facts Label

Monounsaturated Fat must be declared on the Nutrition Facts label if polyunsaturated fat is declared, or if a claim is made about fats or cholesterol. Otherwise, the reporting of monounsaturated fat is voluntary. Monounsaturated fat values are rounded, expressed to the nearest 0.5 gram below 5 grams, and to the nearest gram above 5 grams. Amounts less than 0.5 gram may be reported as zero. There is no Daily Value for monounsaturated fat.

Supplement Facts Label

Monounsaturated fat must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if a claim is made about it.

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Polyunsaturated Fat

Polyunsaturated fat is largely found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and fish.

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Function

Polyunsaturated fats provide linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and linolenic acid (an omega 3 fatty acid), the two essential fatty acids that are not made by the body and must be obtained through diet.

Deficiency

A lack of either of the essential fatty acids will result in deficiency symptoms such as scaly skin, dermatitis and reduced growth.

Recommendation

The Dietary Guidelines recommend decreasing your intake of saturated fat and replacing it with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.

Nutrition Facts Label

Polyunsaturated fat must be declared on the Nutrition Facts label if monounsaturated fat is declared, or if a claim is made about fats or cholesterol. Otherwise, the reporting of polyunsaturated fat is voluntary. Polyunsaturated fat values are rounded, expressed to the nearest 0.5 gram below 5 grams, and to the nearest gram above 5 grams. Amounts less than 0.5 gram may be reported as zero. There is no Daily Value for polyunsaturated fat.

Supplement Facts Label

Polyunsaturated fat must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if a claim is made about it.

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Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Omega 6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are largely found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean.

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Function

Linoleic acid is an essential omega 6 fatty acid that must be obtained through diet. It is a precursor for other omega 6 fatty acids that are important in regulating the genes that control fat synthesis.

Deficiency

Deficiency symptoms include scaly skin, dermatitis and reduced growth.

Recommendation

The omega 6 fatty acid recommendation is 5% to 10% of calories, based on the median intake of healthy persons in the United States, and the optimal distribution of fat in the diet. Emerging research suggests that the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids in the diet may also be significant.

Nutrition Facts Label

Omega 6 fatty acids are never listed on the Nutrition Facts label because they are not one of the mandatory or voluntary nutrients permitted by the labeling laws.

Supplement Facts Label

Omega 6 fatty acids can be listed on the Supplement Facts label if they are contained in the product.

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Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are largely found in fatty fish, and in oils such as flaxseed, canola, and soybean.

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Function

Linolenic acid is an essential omega 3 fatty acid that must be obtained through diet. It is a precursor for other omega-3 fatty acids that are an important part of cell structure, particularly in the nerve and retina. Evidence suggests that consuming adequate omega 3 fatty acids is important in the prevention of heart disease and is also important during pregnancy for the neurological development of the fetus.

Deficiency

Deficiency symptoms include scaly skin, dermatitis and reduced growth.

Recommendation

The omega 3 fatty acid recommendation is 0.6% to 1.2% of calories, based on the median intake of healthy persons in the United States, and the optimal distribution of fat in the diet. The Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming fatty fish such as salmon in order to obtain an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Emerging research suggests that the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids in the diet may also be significant.

Nutrition Facts Label

Omega 3 fatty acids are never listed on the Nutrition Facts label because they are not one of the mandatory or voluntary nutrients permitted by the labeling laws.

Supplement Facts Label

Omega 3 fatty acids can be listed on the Supplement Facts label if they are contained in the product.

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Cholesterol

Cholesterol is present in all animal tissues, and is particularly concentrated in liver, egg yolks, meats, shrimp, lobster, and full fat dairy products.

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Function

Cholesterol functions in the body as a part of cell membranes and as a precursor for hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.

Recommendation

The body can make the cholesterol that it needs, so there is no dietary requirement. Research suggests that higher dietary intakes of cholesterol may increase blood LDL cholesterol levels, which may increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Because of this, it is recommended that we limit high cholesterol foods in our diet. Research also suggests that genetic factors cause variation in the way that individuals respond to dietary cholesterol. The Dietary Guidelines suggest limiting cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day.

Nutrition Facts Label

Cholesterol is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are rounded, expressed to the nearest 5 milligrams. Amounts less than 2 milligrams may be considered insignificant or reported as zero if no claims are made about fat or cholesterol. The percent Daily Value is based on 300 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet).

Supplement Facts Label

Cholesterol must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 2 milligrams per serving.

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Carbohydrate

Carbohydrate foods contain sugar, starch and/or fiber. Honey, soft drinks and brown sugar are foods that supply more sugar. Bread, rice, and potatoes are foods that supply more starch. Whole grains, and whole fruits and vegetables are foods that supply more fiber.

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Food Groups

High carbohydrate foods include breads, grains and cereals from the grains group, starchy vegetables such as potatoes and yams from the vegetables group, most fruits from the fruits group, and milk beverages from the dairy group. Foods that have empty calories, such as sugary foods, are also higher in carbohydrate.

Function

Carbohydrates provide calories (approximately 4 calories per gram); and are used in the body to supply energy for moving and thinking (sugar and starch), and to supply intestinal bulk for proper elimination (fiber).

Deficiency

Severe deficiency that leads to a chronic increased production of keto acids in the body, may lead to bone mineral loss, hypercholesterolemia, and other conditions.

Excess

High carbohydrate diets in excess of calorie needs can lead to obesity, and possible other health risks.

Recommendation

Individual carbohydrate needs vary, and the DRI nutritional guidelines suggest a recommended range of 45% to 65% of calories. This range is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and/or cancer, while providing an adequate intake of essential nutrients.

Nutrition Facts Label

Carbohydrate is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are rounded, expressed to the nearest gram. If a serving contains less than one gram, the statement “Contains less than 1 gram” may be used. Amounts less than 0.5 gram may be reported as zero. The percent Daily Value is based on 300 grams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet).

Sugar Alcohol is a type of carbohydrate that may be listed on the label as a voluntary component if it is present in the food or if a claim is made about it. Sugar alcohols are sometimes added to foods as low calorie sweetening agents. If there is only one sugar alcohol present, the name of the sugar alcohol (such as xylitol, mannitol, or sorbitol) may be listed instead of the term “Sugar Alcohol”. This component follows the same rounding rules as carbohydrate. It does not have a Daily Value.

Other Carbohydrate is also a type of carbohydrate that may be listed on the label as a voluntary component. It includes the starch portion of the food, and can also include sugar alcohol (unless it is listed separately), organic acids, and five-carbon sugars. Other carbohydrate follows the same rounding rules as carbohydrate. It does not have a Daily Value.

Supplement Facts Label

Carbohydrate must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 0.5 gram per serving. Sugar alcohol and other carbohydrate are only listed if a claim is made about them.

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Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested or absorbed by the body. It is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes; and is included in manufactured items such as pectin and gums. Whole grain products, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal, contain more fiber than refined grain products such as white bread, white rice, and cream of wheat.

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Function

Different types of fibers provide different benefits. For example, soluble fiber, the fiber in oat bran and beans, may lower blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber (also referred to as “roughage”), the fiber in wheat bran, nuts and seeds, improves elimination.

Deficiency

Fiber deficiency can lead to constipation, hemorrhoids, and other gastrointestinal concerns.

Recommendation

The fiber recommendation is 14 grams per 1000 calories. Research suggests that this amount protects against coronary heart disease.

Upper Limit

There is no upper limit set for healthy people consuming fiber naturally from food.

Nutrition Facts Label

Fiber is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are rounded, expressed to the nearest gram. Amounts less than 1 gram are considered insignificant. Amounts less than 0.5 gram may be reported as zero. The percent Daily Value is based on 25 grams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet).

Soluble Fiber is a voluntary label nutrient that may be listed if a claim is made about it. When listed it follows the same rounding rules as fiber. There is no Daily Value for soluble fiber.

Insoluble Fiber is a voluntary label nutrient that may be listed if a claim is made about it. When listed it follows the same rounding rules as fiber. There is no Daily Value for insoluble fiber.

Supplement Facts Label

Fiber must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 0.5 gram per serving. Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber are listed on the Supplement Facts label if a claim is made about them.

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Sugar

When most of us think of sugar, we think of the white granules that we sprinkle on cereal or add to coffee. In the nutritional standards, however, “sugar” describes a group of compounds that represent the different sugars found in foods. For example, white sugar is actually a sugar called sucrose. The sugar found in fruit is called fructose. The sugar found in milk is called lactose. “Sugar” in the nutritional standards is a type of carbohydrate, and includes the sugars glucose, fructose, galactose, sucrose, lactose, and maltose. All of these sugars are found naturally in foods. Sugars that are added to foods during processing are called “added sugars”. Sucrose and fructose are the sugars that are most often added to manufactured products.

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Regular soft drinks are the leading source of added sugars in the US diet. Other sources include candy, sweetened breads, and breakfast cereals.

Food Groups

Sugars that are added to food, such as table sugar, fructose, honey, and maple syrup are considered part of the empty calories group.

Function

Sugars supply energy for the body. The sugar, glucose, is the primary energy source for the brain.

Deficiency

Since the body can convert starch into sugar, there is no specific sugar deficiency.

Excess

Excess intake of sugars can lead to dental caries (cavities), behavioral changes, and risk of hyperlipidemia.

Recommendation

There is no recommendation for the natural sugar found in food. However, it is recommended to limit “added sugar” to 25% of total calories.

Nutrition Facts Label

Sugar is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are rounded, expressed to the nearest gram. Amounts less than 1 gram are considered insignificant. Amounts less than 0.5 gram may be reported as zero. There is no Daily Value for Sugar.

Supplement Facts Label

Sugar must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 0.5 gram per serving.

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Protein

Protein is found in most plant and animal foods and is made up of individual amino acids. Foods that provide the nine essential amino acids that humans need for health, are called complete proteins. Animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and milk are complete proteins. Tofu is a complete protein from plants. Most plant foods such as beans & peas, grains, nuts and vegetables are incomplete sources of protein because they are typically deficient in one or more of the essential amino acids. Healthy diets that do not contain animal proteins include a variety of plant proteins that combine to make complete proteins in the body.

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Food Groups

Complete protein can be found in milk and cheeses from the dairy group, and in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu from the protein foods group. Foods from the grains and vegetables groups can also add important sources of protein for vegetarian diets.

Function

Protein provides calories (approximately 4 calories per gram), but is mainly used in healthy bodies for tissue growth and repair. Protein is a part of every cell in the body, so it is needed to maintain our hair, organs, hormones and blood.

Deficiency

Severe protein deficiency can lead to muscle wasting, edema, and many other complications.

Excess

High protein diets in excess of calorie needs can lead to obesity, and possible other health risks.

Recommendation

Individual protein needs vary, and the DRI recommendations suggest a range of need for different age groups. This range is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and/or cancer, while providing an adequate intake of essential nutrients. The recommendations caution about using any single amino acid at levels substantially above what can normally be found in food. The DRI recommendations also suggest an optimal protein requirement as grams per kg body weight for various ages, pregnancy and nursing.

Grams per kg Body Weight:

  • 2-3 years = 1.05 gm/kg
  • 4-14 years = 0.95 gm/kg
  • 14-19 years = 0.85 gm/kg
  • >19 years = 0.80 gm/kg
  • pregnancy = 1.10 gm/kg pre-pregnancy
  • nursing = 1.30 gm/kg pre-pregnancy

Nutrition Facts Label

Protein is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are rounded, expressed to the nearest gram. Amounts less than 0.5 gram may be reported as zero. The Daily Value for adults and children four or more years of age is 50 grams, which is based from a 2000 calorie diet. The percent Daily Value for protein is only listed on adult labels if a protein claim is being made about the food.

Supplement Facts Label

Protein must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 0.5 gram per serving.

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Water

Water is a component of most foods. It is most plentiful in beverages, but even dry foods such as crackers or almonds contain some water.

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Food Groups

Water is found largely in vegetable juices from the vegetables group, fruit juices from the fruits group, and milk and calcium fortified beverages from the dairy group. Drinks with empty calories, such as sodas and fruit drinks, also provide water.

Function

Water does not provide calories, but is important in our bodies for regulating body heat (as part of sweat) and for transporting nutrients and waste (as part of blood). Approximately 60% of our body weight is water.

Deficiency

Inadequate water intake or water loss from excessive sweating or diarrhea, can result in dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, and more serious complications.

Recommendation

The water recommendation is based on the average American intake, from US dietary surveys. Your listed value includes water in all of the beverages and food that you eat, not just water from beverages, so it may be higher than other recommendations you may have seen. Personal needs may increase in hot weather or during competitive exercise when sweating increases. Some medications or medical conditions may also increase need.

Upper Limit

Since healthy persons are able to regulate their water balance, an upper limit for water intake has not been set.

Nutrition Labeling

Water is not listed as a nutritional component for nutrition labeling.

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Vitamins

Vitamins are organic compounds that are required in small amounts for normal growth, but cannot be made in sufficient quantities by the body and must be obtained through diet.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that can be obtained from animal and plant foods. Preformed vitamin A (retinol) is found naturally in liver and fish, and is also used to fortify margarines, milk, and some grains. Some plant carotenoids are converted to vitamin A in the body, and are found naturally in deep colored fruits and vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, spinach and cantaloupe are all good sources of carotenoids. Of the carotenoids that convert to vitamin A (alpha carotene, beta carotene, and cryptoxanthan), beta carotene has the most vitamin A activity.

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Function

Vitamin A is needed in the body for vision, growth and immune function.

Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency symptoms include irreversible damage to the eye.

RDA Recommendation

The Vitamin A recommendation can be expressed in two units, IU and RAE. IU (International Units) are used for reporting vitamin A on Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels. The DRI recommendations for vitamin A, are expressed in micrograms of RAE (retinol activity equivalents). This unit is often used in nutrition education when comparing vitamin A intake to the standard. IU and RAE represent two different ways of stating your vitamin A recommendation.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for retinol. Consuming more than the upper limit can lead to hypervitaminosis A, which can include vomiting, vertigo, loss of muscle control, and bulging fontanel (in infants). Although a specific upper limit has not been established for carotenoids, excess consumption can lead to discoloration of the skin.The upper limit is the highest amount of vitamin that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects.

Nutrition Facts Label

Vitamin A is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 5000 IU for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Vitamin A values are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% are considered insignificant and may be reported as zero.

The percent vitamin A from beta-carotene may also be listed, but is voluntary.

Supplement Facts Label

Vitamin A must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 2% of the DV (less than 100 IU for adults and children 4 or more years) per serving. Supplement Facts list the vitamin A amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your vitamin A recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements. Beta-carotene may also be listed, but is voluntary.

Carotenoids

Some evidence suggests that carotenoids from food may have health benefits in addition to their conversion to vitamin A. Other studies suggest that larger supplement doses may have harmful effects for certain people. More research is needed in order to recommend a specific carotenoid intake. In the meantime, strive to eat the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the MyPlate food groups, including those in the dark green and red/orange sub-groups.

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Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water soluble vitamin that is found in fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, strawberries, and broccoli. Some foods are also fortified with the vitamin.

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Function

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage. It plays a role in the maintenance of connective tissue, and is important in iron metabolism.

Deficiency

Severe vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, a disease with symptoms such as bleeding gums, several skin conditions, a build up of fluid in the knee, and delayed wound healing. The disease is rare in the US and other industrialized countries, but is occasionally seen in persons who do not eat fruits and vegetables, or who abuse alcohol.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for vitamin C is expressed in milligrams per day. The recommendation increases by 35 milligrams per day for smokers.

People who are regularly exposed to tobacco smoke should ensure that they meet the recommended amount of vitamin C.

Upper Limit

An upper limit for vitamin C has been set. Consuming amounts above the upper limit could lead to diarrhea and gastrointestinal disturbances. The upper limit is the highest amount of vitamin that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects.

Nutrition Facts Label

Vitamin C is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 60 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Vitamin C values are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% are considered insignificant and may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Vitamin C must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 2% of the DV (less than 1.2 milligrams for adults and children 4 or more years). Supplement Facts list the vitamin C amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your vitamin C recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found naturally in the flesh of fatty fish and some fish liver oils. Fortified milk products and breakfast cereals are more commonly consumed sources. There are two dietary forms of vitamin D (D2 and D3) that are metabolized equally by the body. Vitamin D is also made in the skin through exposure to sunlight.

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Function

Vitamin D is used in the body to help the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which are important for bone health.

Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets in children or osteoporosis in adults.

RDA Recommendation

The Vitamin D recommendation can be expressed in two units, IU and micrograms. IU (International Units) are used for reporting vitamin D on Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels. The DRI recommendations for vitamin D, are expressed in micrograms. Micrograms are often used in nutrition education when comparing vitamin D intake to the standard. IU and micrograms represent two different ways of stating your vitamin D recommendation. The recommended amount suggests that needed from food, not counting that obtained from sunshine. A report from the Institute of Medicine reviewing the vitamin D requirement was released in the fall of 2010. Based on this review, the recommended vitamin D intake was increased from previous levels for all age groups. In order to meet this requirement, foods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, yogurt, orange juice, and/or cereals should be included in your diet.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for vitamin D. Consuming more than the upper limit can lead to the calcification of soft tissues, nausea, and reduced renal function. The upper limit is the highest amount of vitamin that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects.

Nutrition Facts Label

Vitamin D is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Listed values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 400 IU for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Vitamin D values are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Vitamin D must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 8 IU for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the vitamin D amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your vitamin D recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is found mainly in vegetable oils such as wheat germ oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil. It is also found in margarine spreads, unprocessed grains, nuts, meats, vegetables, and fruits. There are many forms of vitamin E found in food, but alpha-tocopherol is the form that is used most efficiently by the body.

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Function

Vitamin E is needed in the body as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage.

Deficiency

Vitamin E deficiency can lead to pain and numbness in the hands and feet.

RDA Recommendation

The Vitamin E recommendation can be expressed in two units, IU and milligrams. IU (International Units) are used for reporting vitamin E on Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels. The DRI recommendations for vitamin E are expressed in milligrams of alpha-tocopherol. Milligrams are often used in nutrition education when comparing vitamin E intake to the standard. IU and milligrams represent two different ways of stating your vitamin E recommendation.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for vitamin E, but refers only to supplemental vitamin E, not that found naturally in food. Consuming supplement amounts above the upper limit can lead to hemorrhaging. The upper limit is the highest amount of vitamin that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. There is no upper limit for vitamin E found naturally in food.

Nutrition Facts Label

Vitamin E is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Listed values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV) which is 30 IU for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Vitamin E values are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Vitamin E must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.6 IU for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the vitamin E amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your vitamin E recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Vitamin K

Vitamin K (phylloquinone) is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in green leafy vegetables such as collard greens and spinach, as well as in soy oils and margarines. Bacteria in the large intestine produce a different form of vitamin K, which may also contribute to the vitamin status.

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Function

Vitamin K is needed in the body for blood coagulation and for the maintenance of healthy bones.

Deficiency

Vitamin K deficiency results in a slower blood clotting time and in severe cases, bleeding. Deficiency is rare in the general population and is generally limited to individuals with malabsorption syndromes or those taking drugs that interfere with vitamin K metabolism.

AI Recommendation

The recommendation for vitamin K is expressed in micrograms per day. The recommendation is based on median intakes of healthy individuals from the US food and nutrition surveys.

Upper Limit

There have been no adverse effects reported from high intakes of vitamin K from food or supplements. No upper limit for the vitamin has been set.

Nutrition Facts Label

Vitamin K is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Listed values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 80 micrograms for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Vitamin K Values are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Vitamin K must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 1.6 micrograms for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the vitamin K amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your vitamin K recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Thiamin

Thiamin (vitamin B-1) was the first vitamin to be identified. It is a water soluble vitamin that is found in grain products, fortified grains, pork and ham.

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Function

Thiamin is important in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production in the body. Carbohydrate is the preferred fuel for the brain, which makes thiamin important for optimal brain functioning.

Deficiency

Severe thiamin deficiency can lead to beriberi, a disease with symptoms such as weight loss, muscle weakness, and mental changes such as decreased short term memory and confusion. Beriberi is sometimes seen in developing countries but is rare in the US. Wet beriberi is characterized by edema and dry beriberi is characterized by muscle wasting. Severe thiamin deficiency can be associated with chronic heavy alcohol consumption, where it presents as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for thiamin is expressed in milligrams per day. The adult requirement is based on metabolic studies that measure the amount of thiamin needed by the body, while avoiding excess excretion in the urine.

Upper Limit

No adverse effects have been associated with increased intakes of thiamin from food or supplements, so no upper limit has been set at this time.

Nutrition Facts Label

Thiamin is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Thiamin values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 1.5 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Thiamin must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.03 milligram for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the thiamin amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your thiamin recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Vitamins Cont...

Riboflavin

Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) is a water soluble vitamin that is found in milk, breads, fortified cereals, and organ meats. Exposure to sunlight will decrease the riboflavin content of milk.

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Function

Riboflavin is important in energy production and in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Deficiency

Severe riboflavin deficiency can lead to ariboflavinosis, a disease with symptoms such as cheilosis (cracking at the corners of the mouth and scaling lips), magenta tongue, and dandruff. It is often accompanied by other nutrient deficiencies, and can lead to deficiencies of vitamin B-6 and niacin.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for riboflavin is expressed in milligrams per day. The adult requirement is based on metabolic studies that measure the amount of riboflavin needed by the body, while avoiding excess excretion in the urine.

Upper Limit

No adverse effects have been associated with increased intakes of riboflavin from food or supplements, so no upper limit has been set at this time.

Nutrition Facts Label

Riboflavin is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Riboflavin values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 1.7 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Riboflavin must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.03 milligram for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the riboflavin amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your riboflavin recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Niacin

Niacin (vitamin B-3) is a water soluble vitamin that is found in meat, liver, poultry, enriched grains and fortified cereals. The two main forms of niacin are nicotinamide and nicotinic acid. The amino acid tryptophan is converted, in part, to nicotinamide in the body, which adds to the vitamin supply.

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Function

Niacin is needed in the body for many biological reactions. It is used in making fatty acids, which have many uses and are a structural part of cells.

Deficiency

Severe niacin deficiency can lead to pellagra, a disease with symptoms such as a colored rash, a bright red tongue, apathy and memory loss. Pellagra is rare in the US, but can been seen in chronic alcoholism. Deficiencies of vitamin B-6 and iron, which are needed to convert the amino acid tryptophan to niacin, can also lead to niacin deficiency.

RDA Recommendation

The DRI recommendation for niacin is expressed in milligrams of Niacin Equivalents. Niacin Equivalents include nicotinamide and nicotinic acid found in the diet, plus some conversion of the amino acid tryptophan to niacin (60 mg tryptophan = 1 mg niacin).

Upper Limit

The upper limit for niacin applies to the supplement form, found in fortified foods, or in supplement tablets. Consuming amounts above the upper limit could lead to flushing, nausea, liver toxicity, blurred vision and impaired glucose tolerance. The upper limit is the highest amount of vitamin that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects.

Nutrition Facts Label

Niacin is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Niacin values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 20 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Niacin must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.4 milligram for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the niacin amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your niacin recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine and five related compounds) is a water soluble vitamin that is found in organ meats, fortified cereals, and fortified meat substitutes.

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Function

Vitamin B-6 is needed in the body for the metabolism of amino acids, glycogen and some lipids. It is needed for the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan to niacin.

Deficiency

Vitamin B-6 deficiency is rare. Severe deficiency can lead to symptoms such as dermatitis, microcytic anemia, convulsions, or depression.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for vitamin B-6 is expressed in milligrams per day. This is the amount of vitamin needed in the diet to maintain optimal plasma levels of vitamin B-6.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for vitamin B-6. Large supplemental doses of 2000 mg/day or more have been associated with skin lesions and sensory neuropathy. The upper limit is the highest amount of vitamin that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects.

Nutrition Facts Label

Vitamin B-6 is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Vitamin B-6 values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 2 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Vitamin B-6 must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.04 milligram for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the vitamin B-6 amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your vitamin B-6 recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Folate

Folate (also called folacin or folic acid) is a water soluble vitamin that is found in dark green vegetables, legumes, and fortified grain products.

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Function

Folate is needed in the body for healthy blood and nervous system.

Deficiency

Severe folate deficiency can lead to macrocytic anemia, a condition that may include weakness, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath and difficulty concentrating.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for folate is expressed in micrograms of Dietary Folate Equivalents (DFE). It is recommended that women who could become pregnant, consume 400 micrograms of folic acid per day, from fortified foods and/or supplements, in addition to the folate consumed from food. Research has shown that this amount of folate prevents serious birth defects in the developing fetus, that can occur in the first 28 days of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

Upper Limit

The upper limit for folate applies to the supplement form, such as that found in fortified foods, or in supplement tablets. Consuming amounts above the upper limit could mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency, delaying its diagnosis and leading to neurological damage. The upper limit is the highest amount of vitamin that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects.

Nutrition Facts Label

Folate is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Labels list total folate as Folate or Folacin, or supplemental folate as Folic Acid. Folate values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 400 micrograms for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Folate (as Folic Acid) must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 8 micrograms for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the vitamin folate amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your folate recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water soluble vitamin that is found naturally in animal foods such as shellfish, organ meats and game meats, and also in fortified foods such as cereals and meal replacement bars.

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Function

Vitamin B-12 is needed in the body for the normal function of blood and nerves.

Deficiency

A compound called intrinsic factor that is secreted by the stomach is needed for vitamin B-12 absorption. Without intrinsic factor, a vitamin B-12 deficiency called pernicious anemia can result, which can lead to neurological damage and anemia. A high intake of folate can mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency, increasing the risk of permanent nerve damage and cognitive decline.

RDA Recommendation

Vitamin B-12 status tends to decline with age, and it is recommended that those over 50 years meet their vitamin B-12 recommendation with a supplement or from fortified foods. Vegan diets should also include fortified sources of vitamin B-12. The recommendation for vitamin B-12 is expressed in micrograms per day.

Upper Limit

There is not enough data on the adverse effects of excess vitamin B-12, so no upper limit has been set at this time.

Nutrition Facts Label

Vitamin B-12 is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Vitamin B-12 values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 6 micrograms for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Vitamin B-12 must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.12 microgram for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the vitamin B-12 amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your vitamin B-12 recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements. Cyanocobalamin is the vitamin B-12 form used in most supplements.

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Biotin

Biotin is a water soluble vitamin that is found naturally in many foods, although its concentration varies. Biotin is very concentrated in liver. It is also present in swiss chard, tomatoes, carrots, halibut and walnuts.

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Function

Biotin is needed in the body for cell growth and the production of fatty acids.

Deficiency

Biotin deficiency is not common, however it has been demonstrated in persons consuming a large amount of raw egg whites over a long period of time. There is a protein in raw egg whites that binds with biotin and makes it unavailable to the body. Deficiency symptoms can include a scaly red rash, hair loss, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), and nervous system symptoms such as depression.

AI Recommendation

The recommendation for biotin is expressed in micrograms per day. The requirement is extrapolated from the amount of biotin in human milk.

Upper Limit

Due to insufficient research on the topic, no upper limit for biotin has been set.

Nutrition Facts Label

Biotin is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Biotin values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 300 micrograms for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Biotin must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 6 micrograms for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the biotin amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your biotin recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid, also called pantothenate or vitamin B-5, is a water soluble vitamin that is found naturally in most foods, including chicken, beef, potatoes and whole grains.

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Function

Pantothenic acid is essential to most all life. It is needed in the human body for fatty acid metabolism. It is also involved in the metabolism of proteins, steroid hormones, vitamins A and D, and neurotransmitters.

Deficiency

Pantothenic acid deficiency is rare. Severe cases can result in apathy, nausea, numbness and hypoglycemia.

AI Recommendation

The recommendation for pantothenic acid is expressed in milligrams per day. This level of intake is enough to replace what is lost in urinary excretion.

Upper Limit

No adverse effects have been associated with high intakes of pantothenic acid. Due to insufficient research on the topic, no upper limit has been set.

Nutrition Facts Label

Pantothenic acid is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Pantothenic acid values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 10 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Pantothenic acid must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.2 milligram for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the pantothenic acid amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your pantothenic acid recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Choline

Choline is a water soluble vitamin that is found in milk, liver, eggs, and peanuts. Lecithin, which is sometimes added to foods as an emulsifying agent, is an especially rich source of choline.

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Function

Choline is needed in the body for the health of cell membranes. It is involved in the release of acetylcholine, an important brain neurotransmitter.

Deficiency

Choline deficiency has only been observed in medically controlled feeding situations where the nutrient was known to be missing from the diet. In these situations, choline deficiency may lead to liver damage.

AI Recommendation

The recommendation for choline is expressed in milligrams per day. The recommendation is based on the prevention of liver damage.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for choline. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to hypotension and fishy body odor. The upper limit is the highest amount of vitamin that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects.

Nutrition Facts Label

Choline is never listed on the Nutrition Facts label because it is not one of the mandatory or voluntary nutrients permitted by the labeling laws.

Supplement Facts Label

Choline can be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is contained in the product.

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Minerals

Minerals are chemical elements that are required in small amounts to support body processes, and must be obtained through diet.

Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that is found in foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese, cabbage and broccoli. It is also found in fortified soy milk, juices and other products. Calcium is not as well absorbed from leafy green vegetables that contain oxalic acid and phytic acid, but these foods can be important sources of the mineral for those who cannot consume milk products.

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Function

Calcium is needed in the body to form the structure of bones and teeth.

Deficiency

Calcium deficiency symptoms include osteopenia, osteoporosis, and an increased risk of fractures.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for calcium is expressed in milligrams per day. A report from the Institute of Medicine reviewing the calcium requirement was released in the fall of 2010. Based on this review, the recommended calcium intake was increased from previous levels for children 2 - 8 years. Recommended food group amounts from the dairy group were increased to meet this increased calcium need.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for calcium. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to kidney stones, and interference with the absorption of other nutrients.

Nutrition Facts Label

Calcium is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 1000 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Calcium values are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% are considered insignificant and may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Calcium must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless it rounds to zero. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 20 milligrams for adults and children 4 or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the calcium amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your calcium recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Iron

Iron is a mineral that is found in meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, whole grains and fortified products. The heme iron in meat, fish and poultry is more readily absorbed, but the nonheme iron found in these foods and in plant-based foods, typically makes up most of the dietary iron intake.

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Function

Iron is needed in the body to help red blood cells transport oxygen from the environment to the body tissues.

Deficiency

Iron deficiency can lead to iron deficiency anemia, which is characterized by pale skin, fatigue and weakness. This is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. Iron needs are greater for menstruating women, those on vegetarian diets and those who participate in regular, intense physical activity.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for iron is expressed in milligrams per day. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that women who may become pregnant optimize their iron intake by choosing foods that supply heme iron, choosing additional iron sources, and/or combining iron rich foods with vitamin C rich foods, which enhance iron absorption. An iron supplement is recommended during pregnancy per the advice of a health care provider. The iron recommendation is higher for menstruating women than women who are not menstruating. It is also higher for vegans and those who obtain their dietary iron solely through unfortified plant sources, because iron is less readily absorbed from plants. The iron recommendation may be higher for those who participate in regular, intense physical activity.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for iron. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to constipation, nausea and diarrhea.

Nutrition Facts Label

Iron is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 18 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Iron values are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% are considered insignificant and may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Iron must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless the product contains less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.36 milligram for adults and children 4 or more years). Supplement Facts list the iron amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your iron recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Phosphorus

Phosphorus (which occurs in nature mainly as phosphate) is a mineral that is found in most all foods, with higher concentrations found in dairy products. Cola drinks that contain phosphoric acid, can also be a major contributor of phosphorus to the diet, and can lead to a higher intake than recommended.

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Function

Phosphorus is needed in the body for healthy bones and teeth.

Deficiency

Phosphorus deficiency is rare in healthy people, but can result from taking large doses of aluminum containing antacids, or when re-feeding people who have been starved. Deficiency symptoms can include anorexia, anemia, bone pain, and rickets.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for phosphorus is expressed in milligrams per day.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for phosphorus. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can interfere with the absorption of calcium, iron, copper, and zinc.

Nutrition Facts Label

Phosphorus is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Phosphorus values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 1000 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Phosphorus must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 20 milligrams for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the phosphorus amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your phosphorus recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Iodine

Iodine is a mineral that is found in low concentrations in most foods. Higher concentrations are found in seafood. Iodized salt (salt with added potassium iodide) is the main source in the US diet.

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Function

Iodine is an essential part of thyroid hormones that regulate the body’s growth and metabolism.

Deficiency

An iodine deficiency can lead to goiter (enlarged thyroid), mental retardation, and abnormalities in growth.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for iodine is expressed in micrograms per day.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for iodine. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism (from elevated thyroid stimulating hormone), thyroid cancer, and other sensitivity reactions.

Nutrition Facts Label

Iodine is never listed on the Nutrition Facts label because it is not one of the mandatory or voluntary nutrients permitted by the labeling laws.

Supplement Facts Label

Iodine can be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is contained in the product.

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Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains and nuts. It is found to a lesser extent in meat and milk.

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Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency can result from excessive alcohol intake, taking diuretic medication, or a decreased absorption in older age. A deficiency of magnesium can lead to muscle cramps, interference with calcium and vitamin D metabolism, and seizures.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for magnesium is expressed in milligrams per day.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for magnesium supplements. There is no upper limit for magnesium found in food or water. In some cases, the upper limit for magnesium supplements is lower than the goal for magnesium found in food. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps.

Nutrition Facts Label

Magnesium is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Magnesium values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 400 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Magnesium must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 8 milligrams for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the magnesium amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your magnesium recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that is found in meat, some shellfish, legumes and whole grains.

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Function

Zinc is involved in many body functions, including protein metabolism, and is essential for growth and development.

Deficiency

Zinc deficiency can lead to decreased growth rate in children. Associated symptoms can include hair loss, diarrhea, and delayed sexual maturation.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for zinc is expressed in milligrams per day. Dietary substances such as phytate, found in cereals and legumes, can reduce the amount of zinc that is absorbed by the body, so it is recommended that vegetarian diets include approximately 50% more zinc than diets that include meat.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for zinc. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can occur from supplement intake and can lead to impaired immune function and gastric effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

Nutrition Facts Label

Zinc is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Zinc values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 15 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Zinc must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.3 milligram for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the zinc amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your zinc recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Selenium

Selenium is a mineral that is found in meat, seafood, grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. The selenium content of plant foods can vary greatly depending on the selenium content of the soil.

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Function

Selenium works in the body as an antioxidant that protects against cell damage.

Deficiency

Selenium deficiency in otherwise healthy people does not cause specific symptoms. However, stresses from the deficiency can predispose a person to illnesses such as Keshan disease (a heart disease found in selenium deficient children) or Kashin-Beck disease (a cartilage disease found in selenium deficient teens). The lowest selenium intakes are among vegetarians who consume foods grown in selenium deficient soils.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for selenium is expressed in micrograms per day.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for selenium. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to brittle nails and hair, gastrointestinal disturbances, skin rash, and garlic breath odor.

Nutrition Facts Label

Selenium is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Selenium values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 70 micrograms for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Selenium must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 1.4 micrograms for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the selenium amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your selenium recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Copper

Copper is a mineral that is widely distributed in food, with higher concentrations found in organ meat, seafood, nuts and seeds.

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Function

Copper is a component of of enzymes that assist with many functions in the body, such as transporting iron in the blood and preventing cell damage.

Deficiency

Copper deficiency can include symptoms such as hypochromic anemia, and osteoporosis in infants and growing children.

RDA Recommendation

The DRI recommendation for copper is expressed in micrograms per day, but we have listed the values in milligrams so that they can be more easily compared with Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for copper. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Excess intakes can occur from excess supplement use, and from consuming water with a high copper content. Cooking acidic foods in copper cookware may also lead to excess intakes. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to gastrointestinal illness, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, and more severely, to liver damage in susceptible individuals.

Nutrition Facts Label

Copper is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Copper values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 2 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Copper must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.04 milligram for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the copper amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your copper recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Manganese

Manganese is a mineral that is found in grains, vegetables and tea.

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Function

Manganese is important in the body for the formation of bone, and for assisting in amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism.

Deficiency

A manganese deficiency is rare in healthy persons. When present, it can lead to scaly dermatitis and low blood cholesterol.

AI Recommendation

The recommendation for manganese is expressed in milligrams per day.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for manganese. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to nervous system effects similar to those of Parkinson’s disease. This is a recognized occupational hazard for people who inhale manganese dust.

Nutrition Facts Label

Manganese is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Manganese values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 2 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Manganese must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 0.04 milligram for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the manganese amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your manganese recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Chromium

Dietary chromium (chromium III) is a mineral that is widely distributed in food, with higher concentrations typically found in whole grains. High bran cereals are often high in chromium. The chromium content of individual foods varies widely.

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Function

Chromium is needed in the body for proper insulin functioning and is thought to improve glucose tolerance.

Deficiency

Chromium deficiency has only been observed in medically controlled feeding situations where the nutrient was known to be missing from the diet. In these situations, deficiency symptoms can include increased insulin requirements, peripheral neuropathy, and unexplained weight loss.

AI Recommendation

The recommendation for chromium is expressed in micrograms per day.

Upper Limit

Due to insufficient research on the topic, no upper limit has been set.

Nutrition Facts Label

Chromium is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Chromium values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 120 micrograms for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Chromium must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 2.4 micrograms for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the chromium amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your chromium recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Molybdenum

Molybdenum is a mineral that is found in legumes, grains, and nuts.

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Function

It is needed in the body for the prevention of nerve damage.

Deficiency

A molybdenum deficiency has not been observed in healthy people. It is rarely observed in infants who are borne without the ability to produce the molybdenum enzymes needed by the body.

RDA Recommendation

The recommendation for molybdenum is expressed in micrograms per day.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for molybdenum. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Symptoms of exceeding the upper limit have not been noted in humans. The upper limits were set based on rat studies.

Nutrition Facts Label

Molybdenum is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Molybdenum values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 75 micrograms for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Molybdenum must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 1.5 micrograms for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero. Supplement Facts list the molybdenum amount as well as the percentage, making it easier to compare your molybdenum recommendation to the amount in your nutritional supplements.

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Chloride

Chloride is a mineral that is most often consumed as salt (sodium chloride). Salt is found naturally in milk and celery but dietary sources come largely from processed foods such as luncheon meats, hot dogs, canned vegetables, processed cheese and potato chips.

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Function

Chloride works with sodium in the body to maintain fluid volume and balance in the blood vessels. It is also a component of hydrochloric acid, an important part of gastric juice.

Deficiency

Various metabolic conditions and severe vomiting can lead to chloride depletion, mainly due to the loss of hydrochloric acid in the gut. Symptoms can include anorexia and muscle wasting.

AI Recommendation

The DRI recommendation for chloride is expressed in grams per day.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for chloride. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to elevated blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. The upper limit may need to be lowered for people who have a family history of hypertension or who have a genetic predisposition to the condition. Conversely, the upper limit may need to be increased during intense work or exercise where there is excessive sweat loss. Most Americans consume more than the suggested upper limit of this nutrient.

Nutrition Facts Label

Chloride is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Chloride values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 3400 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). They are expressed to the nearest 2% up to the 10% level, to the nearest 5% up to the 50% level, and to the nearest 10% above the 50% level. Amounts less than 2% may be reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Chloride must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 2% of the DV (less than 68 milligrams for adults and children four or more years) may be reported as zero.

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Sodium

Sodium is a mineral that is most often consumed as salt (sodium chloride). Salt is found naturally in milk and celery but dietary sources come largely from processed foods such as luncheon meats, hot dogs, canned vegetables, processed cheese and potato chips.

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Function

Sodium works with chloride in the body to maintain fluid volume and balance in the blood vessels.

Deficiency

Low blood levels of sodium, or hyponatremia, is a serious condition that can occur due to severe diarrhea or vomiting, or from the use of diuretics. Symptoms of hyponatremia include nausea, vomiting, headache and confusion.

AI Recommendation

The DRI recommendation for sodium is expressed in grams per day.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for sodium. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to elevated blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. The upper limit may need to be lowered for people who have a family history of hypertension or who have a genetic predisposition to the condition. Conversely, the upper limit may need to be increased during intense work or exercise where there is excessive sweat loss. Most Americans consume more than the suggested upper limit of this nutrient.

Nutrition Facts Label

Sodium is a mandatory label nutrient and must be accounted for on the Nutrition Facts label. Listed values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value, which is 2400 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 Calorie diet). Sodium values are expressed to the nearest 5 milligrams up to the 140 milligram level, and to the nearest 10 milligrams after 140 milligrams. Amounts less than 5 milligrams are reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Sodium must be listed on the Supplement Facts label unless it rounds to zero. Values less than 5 milligrams are reported as zero.

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Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that is commonly found in fruits, vegetables and meats. Particularly high sources include oranges, potatoes, bananas and tomatoes.

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Function

The proper balance of potassium inside and outside cells is crucial for normal cellular function. Even small changes in this balance can affect the functioning of nerves, muscles and blood vessels.

Deficiency

Potassium deficiency can result from excessive sweating, from the use of diuretics, or from consuming a very low carbohydrate, high protein diet. Moderate deficiency symptoms can include increased blood pressure, and increased risk of kidney stones and cardiovascular disease. Severe deficiency symptoms include irregular heartbeat and muscle weakness.

AI Recommendation

The DRI recommendation for potassium is expressed in grams per day.

Upper Limit

No upper limit has been set for potassium from food. Symptoms of excess have been noted however with prolonged intake of supplemental potassium. These symptoms can include gastrointestinal discomfort or more severely, irregular heart beat.

Nutrition Facts Label

Potassium is a voluntary label nutrient. It must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label if a claim is made about it on the product package. Listed values are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value (DV), which is 3500 milligrams for adults and children four or more years of age (based on a 2000 calorie diet). Potassium values are expressed to the nearest 5 milligrams up to the 140 milligram level, and to the nearest 10 milligrams after 140 milligrams. Amounts less than 5 milligrams are reported as zero.

Supplement Facts Label

Potassium must be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is added as a supplement, or if a claim is made about it on the product package. Values less than 5 milligrams are reported as zero.

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Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that we ingest primarily from fluoridated water. Fluoride supplements may be given to children who live in areas that do not have fluoridated water. Dental products such as toothpaste can also provide a dietary source of the mineral.

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Function

Fluoride is needed in the body for the health of teeth and bones.

Deficiency

Fluoride deficiency can lead to an increased risk of dental caries.

AI Recommendation

The recommendation for fluoride is expressed in milligrams per day.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for fluoride. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Intakes above the upper limit can lead to discolored teeth and skeletal fluorosis (symptoms range from joint stiffness to muscle wasting and neurological defects).

Nutrition Facts Label

Fluoride is never listed on the Nutrition Facts label because it is not one of the mandatory or voluntary nutrients permitted by the labeling laws.

Supplement Facts Label

Fluoride can be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is contained in the product.

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Boron

Boron is a mineral that is found in fruit beverages, tubers, and legumes. Foods that contribute the most boron to the American diet are coffee, milk, apples, dried beans, and potatoes.

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Function

Evidence does not suggest a clear function for boron in humans at this time. Some studies suggest that boron plays a beneficial role in the metabolism of vitamin D and estrogen, but further research is needed.

Deficiency

Boron deficiency effects on growth and development have been noted in animal and human studies, but more research is needed.

Recommendation

There is not a specific intake recommendation for boron at this time.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for boron. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Animal studies suggest that consuming more than the upper limit for boron could have negative effects in reproduction and development. Americans typically consume less than 5 milligrams of boron per day. Those who take body building supplements are the most likely group to exceed the upper limit.

Nutrition Facts Label

Boron is never listed on the Nutrition Facts label because it is not one of the mandatory or voluntary nutrients permitted by the labeling laws.

Supplement Facts Label

Boron can be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is contained in the product.

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Nickel

Nickel is a mineral that is found largely in nuts and legumes. Cooking acidic foods, such as tomatoes, in stainless steel cookware can increase the nickel content of these foods.

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Function

Research suggests that nickel may facilitate iron absorption and metabolism, but more research is needed.

Deficiency

Nickel deficiency effects on growth and development have been noted in animal and human studies, but more research is needed.

Recommendation

There is not a specific intake recommendation for nickel at this time.

Upper Limit

An upper limit has been established for nickel. The upper limit is the highest amount of mineral that can be consumed daily by most people with no adverse effects. Consuming amounts above the upper limit could lead to nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and shortness of breath.

Nutrition Facts Label

Nickel is never listed on the Nutrition Facts label because it is not one of the mandatory or voluntary nutrients permitted by the labeling laws.

Supplement Facts Label

Nickel can be listed on the Supplement Facts label if it is contained in the product.

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