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What is the required daily intake of vitamins and minerals? | BY HEIDI


Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that are responsible for many life-sustaining biological processes. While most people can get enough from diet alone, others may need to take a supplement. However, to ensure safety, they should do so under the guidance of a doctor or registered dietitian.

Each vitamin and mineral plays a different role in bodily processes. For example, sodium and potassium are crucial for proper function of the central nervous system.

Consuming enough of the required vitamins and minerals is an essential part of eating a balanced diet.

Although a varied diet usually provides the micronutrients a person needs, some people with restrictive diets — such as vegetarians, people with certain medical conditions, and older adults — may need to take a supplement.

Daily intake of vitamins and minerals

Each person’s dietary needs will vary slightly, but it can be useful to have benchmark numbers for vitamin and mineral intake as a point of reference.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets out guidelines for the amounts of different vitamins and minerals an individual should consume per day. It uses recommended Daily Value (DV)Trusted Source, which applies to mostTrusted Source healthy people.

However, individual nutrient needs will vary depending on many factors. These may include a person’s age, body weight, overall health, and whether they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Vitamin DV chart

The FDA recommends that most healthy people consume the following amounts of vitamins:

Vitamin DV

biotin 30 micrograms (mcg)

choline 550 mcg

folate, or folic acid 400 mcg of dietary folate equivalents

niacin 16 milligrams (mg) of niacin equivalentsTrusted Source

pantothenic acid 5 mg

riboflavin 1.3 mg

thiamin 1.2 mg

vitamin A 900 mcg of retinol activity equivalents

vitamin B6 1.7 mg

vitamin B12 2.4 mcg

vitamin C 90 mg

vitamin D 20 mcg

vitamin E 15 mg of alpha-tocopherol

vitamin K 120 mcg

Mineral DV chart

The FDA recommends that most healthy people consume the following amounts of minerals:

Mineral DV

calcium 1,300 mcg

chloride 2,300 mg

chromium 35 mcg

copper 0.9 mg

iodine 150 mg

iron 18 mg

magnesium 420 mg

manganese 2.3 mg

molybdenum 45 mcg

phosphorus 1,250 mg

potassium 4,700 mg

selenium 55 mcg

sodium 2,300 mg

zinc 11 mg

Definitions of terms

While DV can be a useful starting point, it is not the only term experts use to describe how much of something an individual should consume.

Researchers, dietitians, manufacturers, and government bodies use different abbreviations. This can make reading nutritional labels challenging.

Below are common termsTrusted Source a person may encounter when reading food or supplement labels:

DV: This abbreviation is often present on food packaging. It indicates the recommended amount of a certain nutrient to consume each day.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): This is the recommended intake of nutrients that meets the nutritional requirements of most healthy people. RDA is usuallyTrusted Source the same as the DV.

Adequate Intake (AI): When researchers do not have enough evidence to calculate an RDA of a specific nutrient, they will make an estimation reflecting most recent research.

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): This indicates the maximum amount a person can consume without experiencing adverse effects.

Dietary Reference Intake (DRI): This is a general term that includes RDA, AI, and UL.

Can a person consume too much of vitamins and minerals?

In most cases, people will not consume too much of a particular vitamin or mineral, especially when they are getting it from food.

Overconsumption usuallyTrusted Source happens when an individual takes a nutritional supplement. Vitamin and mineral toxicity is rare, and it only occurs when a person consumes a certain nutrient in very large amounts.

It is important to note that not all vitamins and minerals are harmful when a person consumes them in excess.

Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water, so when a person consumes too much of these, the body usually gets rid of the excess in the urine. Vitamin C and B vitamins are all water-soluble.

However, fat-soluble vitamins dissolveTrusted Source in fat and oils. This means that fatty tissues and the liver store them, and they can build up over time. In some cases, they could reach toxic levels. This is particularly commonTrusted Source in people who consume too many fat-soluble vitamins.

Fat-soluble vitamins include:

vitamin A

vitamin D

vitamin E

vitamin K

Not all fat-soluble vitamins are harmful when an individual consumes them in large amounts. For instance, it is generally safeTrusted Source to consume a surplus of vitamin D, although people should avoid consuming megadoses of this vitamin over long periods of time.

Consuming excess amounts of certain minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium, can causeTrusted Source adverse effects.

Side effects of excessive consumption

Usually, mineral or vitamin overconsumption results from excessive intake of a certain micronutrient through the use of multivitamins or supplements.

When someone consistently exceeds the DV of certain vitamins and minerals, they may experience some side effects. The body uses each micronutrient differently, and therefore each can cause different symptoms.

In the table below, we outline potential symptomsTrusted Source of acute or chronic toxicity due to overconsumption of specific vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin or mineral Side effects

vitamin A peeling skin

liver damage

vision loss

niacin burning, itching sensation

low blood pressure

a buildup of fluid behind the eye

calcium gastric reflux


kidney stones

reduction in the absorption of iron, zinc, and magnesium

magnesium diarrhea


abdominal cramping

selenium irritability

hair and nail brittleness

skin rashes and sores


Common deficiencies

Some vitamin and mineral deficiencies are particularly common. Some of these includeTrusted Source:

vitamin A

vitamin B6

vitamin B12

vitamin D

vitamin E



vitamin C



Most people can get these vitamins and minerals from a varied, balanced diet, which includes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, healthy fats, and dairy products.

However, there are many reasons a person may not be able to get the nutrients they need through diet alone.

The following could contribute to inadequate nutrient intake or absorption:


certain medications

some medical conditions




In these cases, people may needTrusted Source to take a supplement to meet the DV of certain nutrients.

What are the risks of taking a multivitamin?

Multivitamins are supplements that contain a combination of different vitamins and minerals.

Individuals often take multivitamins to “cover their bases.” However, many multivitamins contain high levels of nutrients a person may already be consuming enough of in their diet.

Some diets, such as vegetarian or vegan diets or the diets of people with allergies or food intolerances, may be lacking in certain nutrients. Therefore, a person may need to supplement their diet with specific vitamins, minerals, or both.

For example, people following a vegan diet are at riskTrusted Source of developing deficiencies in vitamin B12, iodine, zinc, and iron. They may need to take a supplement or multivitamin to meet their needs.

If someone is considering taking a vitamin or mineral supplement, they should consult a doctor first. The doctor can order a simple blood test to check for any deficiencies.

Taking too many dietary supplements or consuming a specific vitamin or mineral in excessive amounts could result inTrusted Source severe side effects.

If a person is concerned about taking too many supplements, they should seek guidance from a healthcare professional.