NutraTalk Blog

The Difference Between RDA & %DV: Vitamins and Minerals

Posted on : December 16, 2019 by Hardy Nutritionals® No Comments

Taron, from the Hardy Nutritionals® Science Team, discusses the differences between the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) and Percent Daily Value (%DV) in relation to our Daily Essential Nutrients clinical strength micronutrient product.

There are several terms that are used when referring to either the amount of a particular nutrient you should get every day or the amount in a food or dietary supplement. The two most common terms are the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and the Daily Value (DV) or Percent Daily Value. These terms can be confusing.

RDAs are recommended daily intakes of a nutrient for healthy people. They tell you how much of a specific nutrient you should get on average every day. RDAs are developed by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. There are separate RDA’s for age, gender and whether a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding; so there is actually more than one RDA for each nutrient.

DVs are established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are used on food and dietary supplement labels. For each nutrient, there is one DV for all people ages 4 years and older. This means the DVs are not recommended intakes, but suggest how much of a nutrient a single serving of a food or supplement provides in the relation to the amalgamated nutrient needs of people ages 4 years and older. It is important to note that DVs can match, be higher, or be lower than the RDAs (which is another topic for another day).

DVs are presented on food and supplement labels as a percentage. They are designed to help you compare one product with another. For example, the %DV for calcium on a label might say 20%. This means it has 200 mg (milligrams) of calcium in one serving because the DV for calcium is 1,000 mg/day. If another food has 40% of the DV for calcium, it’s easy to see that it provides much more calcium than the first food.

We hope this helps you understand the difference between the RDAs and the Percent Daily Value and what the DV on a label means.


The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI’s) are the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and gender, include:

  • The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people.
  • The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.


Vitamin C in a single serving of Daily Essential Nutrients

Each serving of Daily Essential Nutrients contains 200mg of vitamin C which is listed as 333% of the daily value (%DV). 

The daily value for Vitamin C is based on 60 mg. The RDA for men for Vitamin C is 90 milligrams per day and for women it's 75 milligrams per day. For children ages four to eight, the RDA for Vitamin C is 25 milligrams per day.

In this case the %DV is lower than the adult RDA and higher than the children’s RDA.

200 milligrams of Vitamin C is only 10% of the upper level (UL), which is 2,000 milligrams per day. 


Vitamin B12 in a single serving of Daily Essential Nutrients

Each serving of Daily Essential Nutrients contains 300 micrograms (0.3 grams) of vitamin B12 which is listed as 5000% of the DV.

The daily value for Vitamin B12 is based on 6 micrograms. The RDA for men and women for Vitamin B12 2.4 micrograms per day. For children ages four to eight, the RDA for Vitamin B12 is 1.2 micrograms per day.

In this case the %DV is higher than the adult and child RDA.

There is no upper level for vitamin B12 because there has never been a level found that consistently produces any adverse health effects. In fact, five micrograms of Vitamin B12 is regularly used in nutritional settings or hospitals where patients require high doses and quick deliveries of Vitamin B12. 

The Vitamin B12 in one serving of Daily Essential Nutrients is only 6% of the amount used in clinical settings which is a "no observed adverse event level".

To recap, even if an ingredient exceeds 100% of the DV that doesn't mean that you're in danger when taking these levels of vitamins and minerals in your micronutrient supplement. At Hardy Nutritionals®, we carefully analyze the science behind each nutrient in our product formulations and, as always, consider your health and safety.

Hardy Nutritionals® multivitamin-mineral products are powered by our proprietary NutraTek™ mineral delivery technology, which combines each mineral with specialized organic molecules—just like nature—to optimize absorption and distribution to body cells. Our flagship supplement, Daily Essential Nutrients, is widely considered to be the most research-backed micronutrient treatment.
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