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Caution Vitamin-supplement Consumers!
While vitamin supplements do prove to be helpful, it is highly recommended to consult your healthcare specialist before taking them with―or in place of―any other medication or treatment. For instance, vitamins C and E supplements may decrease the effectiveness of certain types of cancer chemotherapy. Also, Vitamin K can reduce the effect Coumadin® which is used to prevent blood clots.

Vitamins are essential for a healthy body functioning. They not only help in proper growth, but also help maintain a healthy digestive system and nerve function. They also boost the immune system, protecting the body against many health problems and diseases. There are mainly two kinds of vitamins: Water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. The former category includes vitamins B and C. These are absorbed by the body easily and their excess is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, these need to be consumed appropriately as they cannot be stored by the body. On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's fatty tissues as per requirement. Vitamins A, D, E, and K belong to this category.

Our vitamins' need is supplied mostly by external sources, such as a healthy combination of foods and dietary supplements. The body also produces a certain amount of vitamins D and K. Medical experts suggest that those on a vegetarian diet must include dietary supplements on their daily menu, especially of vitamin B12. However, irrespective of being a vegetarian or not, a majority of us fail to incorporate a proper balance when it comes to the ideal amounts of vitamins we need to consume. Lesser or excessive consumption of any vitamin can prove to be a hindrance when it comes to achieving a good health. The following section gives you the ideal values of various vitamins, that the human body needs during different phases of life.

Dietary Reference Intakes for All Vitamins


Our body requires each and every vitamin in some amounts, however, the amounts vary depending upon our age, gender, and the changing phases of life. For example, a woman who is pregnant or lactating has different vitamin needs than a non-pregnant woman. The values also vary based on our lifestyle and health conditions. Therefore, irrespective of anything, please consult your doctor before implementing any dietary changes, to ensure that they are suitable as per your health requirements.

Vitamin A
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(μg/d)
UL
(μg/d)
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
400*
500*
600
600
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
300
400
600
900
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
600
900
900
900
900
900
1,700
2,800
3,000
3,000
3,000
3,000
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
600
700
700
700
700
700
1,700
2,800
3,000
3,000
3,000
3,000
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
750
770
770
2,800
3,000
3,000
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
1,200
1,300
1,300
2,800
3,000
3,000

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • µg/d represents micrograms per day.
Points to Consider -
  • Excessive consumption of preformed vitamin A may lead to liver toxicity.
  • Those with a history of liver disease, or alcohol dependency, or with protein malnutrition are susceptible to the dangers associated with the excessive intake of this vitamin (preformed form).
  • Natural sources of vitamin A include dark leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, liver, fish, and whole milk.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(mg/d)
UL
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
0.2*
0.3*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
0.5
0.6
ND
ND
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
0.9
1.2
1.2
1.2
1.2
1.2
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
0.9
1.0
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
1.4
1.4
1.4
ND
ND
ND
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
1.4
1.4
1.4
ND
ND
ND

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • mg/d represents milligrams per day.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
Points to Consider -
  • Although no reported side effect of the excessive consumption of thiamine has been reported, caution is advised.
  • Those with malabsorption syndrome, or who are on treatment that includes hemodialysis or
    peritoneal dialysis, may be advised to consume more of this vitamin.
  • Natural sources of vitamin B1 include ready-to-eat cereals, bread, whole grains, and products made from these foods.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(mg/d)
UL
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
0.3*
0.4*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
0.5
0.6
ND
ND
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
0.9
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.3
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
0.9
1.0
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.1
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
1.4
1.4
1.4
ND
ND
ND
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
1.6
1.6
1.6
ND
ND
ND

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • mg/d represents milligrams per day.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
Points to Consider -
  • Although no reported side effect of the excessive consumption of riboflavin has been reported, caution should be kept.
  • Natural sources of vitamin B2 include fortified cereals, bread, milk, and organ meats.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(mg/d)
UL
(mg/d)
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
2*
4*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
6
8
10
15
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
12
16
16
16
16
16
20
30
35
35
35
35
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
12
14
14
14
14
14
20
30
35
35
35
35
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
18
18
18
30
35
35
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
17
17
17
30
35
35

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • mg/d represents milligrams per day.
Points to Consider -
  • No reported side effect of the excessive consumption of niacin through natural food sources has been reported. However, excessive intake of its supplements may lead to flushing and gastrointestinal distress.
  • The UL values are applicable if this vitamin is being supplied to the body through supplements, fortified foods, or both.
  • Those undergoing hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, or those who are dealing with malabsorption syndrome may need extra dosage of this vitamin.
  • Natural sources of vitamin B3 include meat, fish, poultry, fortified ready-to-eat cereals, whole grains, and bread.

Choline
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(mg/d)
UL
(mg/d)
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
125*
150*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
200*
250*
1,000
1,000
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
375*
550*
550*
550*
550*
550*
2,000
3,000
3,500
3,500
3,500
3,500
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
375*
400*
425*
425*
425*
425*
2,000
3,000
3,500
3,500
3,500
3,500
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
450*
450*
450*
3,000
3,500
3,500
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
550*
550*
550*
3,000
3,500
3,500

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • mg/d represents milligrams per day.
Points to Consider -
  • The reported side effects of excessive consumption of choline include sweating, hypotension, body odor, and salivation.
  • Those with depression and other diseases such as Parkinson's disease, liver disease, and renal disease should consume this vitamin with caution.
  • Natural sources of choline include milk, liver, peanuts, and eggs.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(mg/d)
UL
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
1.7*
1.8*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
2*
3*
ND
ND
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
4*
5*
5*
5*
5*
5*
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
4*
5*
5*
5*
5*
5*
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
6*
6*
6*
ND
ND
ND
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
7*
7*
7*
ND
ND
ND

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • mg/d represents milligrams per day.
Points to Consider -
  • No reported side effect of the excessive consumption of vitamin B5 has been reported. However, caution is still advised.
  • Natural sources of vitamin B5 include egg yolk, chicken, liver, kidney, beef, tomatoes, potatoes, oats, whole grains, and cereals.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(mg/d)
UL
(mg/d)
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
0.1*
0.3*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
0.5
0.6
30
40
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
1.0
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.7
1.7
60
80
100
100
100
100
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
1.0
1.2
1.3
1.3
1.5
1.5
60
80
100
100
100
100
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
1.9
1.9
1.9
80
100
100
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
2.0
2.0
2.0
80
100
100

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • mg/d represents milligrams per day.
Points to Consider -
  • No reported side effect of the excessive consumption of vitamin B6 through natural food sources has been reported. However, caution is still advised in case of supplements, as they could pose a risk for sensory neuropathy.
  • Sources of vitamin B6 include organ meats, fortified cereals, fortified soy-based products that can be used as subsitutues for meat.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(μg/d)
UL
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
5*
6*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
8*
12*
ND
ND
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
20*
25*
30*
30*
30*
30*
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
20*
25*
30*
30*
30*
30*
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
30*
30*
30*
ND
ND
ND
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
35*
35*
35*
ND
ND
ND

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • µg/d represents micrograms per day.
Points to Consider -
  • No substantial evidence indicates any adverse reaction to excessive biotin consumption. However, caution is still essential.
  • The main natural food source of biotin is liver. But fruits and meat also contain this vitamin in smaller quantities.

Vitamin B9 (Folate)
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(μg/d)
UL
(μg/d)
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
65*
80*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
150
200
300
400
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
300
400
400
400
400
400
600
800
1,000
1,000
1,000
1,000
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
300
400
400
400
400
400
600
800
1,000
1,000
1,000
1,000
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
600
600
600
800
1,000
1,000
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
500
500
500
800
1,000
1,000

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • µg/d represents micrograms per day.
Points to Consider -
  • No substantial evidence indicates any adverse reaction to excessive folate consumption in the form of supplements or natural foods. However, caution is still essential as it can mask vitamin B12 deficiency which may lead to severe neurological damage.
  • The UL values are for cases where this vitamin is consumed from fortified foods and supplements, or both.
  • The main sources of folic acid (another name for this vitamin) include dark leafy vegetables, enriched cereals, and enriched whole-grain bread.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(μg/d)
UL
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
0.4*
0.5*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
0.9
1.2
ND
ND
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
1.8
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
1.8
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
2.4
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
2.6
2.6
2.6
ND
ND
ND
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
2.8
2.8
2.8
ND
ND
ND

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • µg/d represents micrograms per day.
Points to Consider -
  • No substantial evidence indicates any adverse reaction to excessive consumption of vitamin B12, be it in the form of supplements or natural foods. Yet, caution is advised.
  • Experts suggest those over 50 years of age and above to consume this vitamin in the form of fortified foods and supplements, mainly because with age, they tend to malabsorb this vitamin present in natural foods.
  • The main sources of this vitamin include meat, fortified cereals, fish, and poultry.

Vitamin C
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(mg/d)
UL
(mg/d)
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
40*
50*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
15
25
400
650
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
45
75
90
90
90
90
1,200
1,800
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
45
65
75
75
75
75
1,200
1,800
2,000
2,000
2,000
2,000
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
80
85
85
1,800
2,000
2,000
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
115
120
120
1,800
2,000
2,000

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • mg/d represents milligrams per day.
Points to Consider -
  • Excessive consumption of vitamin C can lead to excessive iron absorption in the body. Other side effects include kidney stones and gastrointestinal disturbances.
  • Those who smoke are recommended to have an extra dosage of 35 mg/d. Passive smokers should ensure that they meet the daily requirement for this vitamin.
  • Sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, and cabbages.

Vitamin D
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(µg/d)
UL
(µg/d)
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
5*
5*
25
25
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
5*
5*
50
50
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
5*
5*
5*
5*
10*
15*
50
50
50
50
50
50
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
5*
5*
5*
5*
10*
15*
50
50
50
50
50
50
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
5*
5*
5*
50
50
50
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
5*
5*
5*
50
50
50

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • µg/d represents micrograms per day.
Points to Consider -
  • Vitamin D supplement intake may cause adverse reactions with some medications, especially those related to diabetes, heart problems, and kidney diseases. Speak to your doctor about the dosage in case of any medical problem.
  • Excessive intake of this vitamin may also cause hypercalcemia. In some people, it may also cause certain allergic reactions.
  • The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. Food sources include fortified cereals and milk, oily fish, and eggs from hens that have been fed vitamin D.

Vitamin E
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(mg/d)
UL
(mg/d)
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
4*
5*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
6
7
200
300
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
11
15
15
15
15
15
600
800
1,000
1,000
1,000
1,000
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
11
15
15
15
15
15
600
800
1,000
1,000
1,000
1,000
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
15
15
15
800
1,000
1,000
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
19
19
19
800
1,000
1,000

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • mg/d represents milligrams per day.
Points to Consider -
  • There hasn't been any reported side effect from consuming excessive vitamin E from natural foods. However, its supplements may lead to hemorrhagic toxicity.
  • Natural sources of vitamin E include meats, vegetable oils, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Vitamin K
Gender/Life Stage Age Group RDA/AI*
(μg/d)
UL
Infants 0-6 months
7-12 months
2.0*
2.5*
ND
ND
Children 1-3 years
4-8 years
30*
55*
ND
ND
Males 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
60*
75*
120*
120*
120*
120*
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Females 9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years
60*
75*
90*
90*
90*
90*
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
Pregnancy ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
75*
90*
90*
ND
ND
ND
Lactation ≤ 18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
75*
90*
90*
ND
ND
ND

Note -
  • RDA stands for Recommended Dietary Allowances.
  • AI stands for Adequate Intakes.
  • UL represents the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.
  • ND stands for Not Determinable.
  • µg/d represents micrograms per day.
Points to Consider -
  • No substantial evidence indicates any adverse reaction to excessive vitamin K consumption, be it in the form of foods, supplements, or both. However, caution is still essential.
  • Those on anticoagulant therapy should be cautious of the amount of vitamin K they consume.
  • Natural foods containing vitamin K include green vegetables, margarine, and plant oils.

Source: National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Institute of Medicine (IOM), Food and Nutrition Board.

Most of us tend to avoid our vitamin needs, often taking our body's capabilities for granted. With so many sources available, not only in the form of natural foods but also fortified products and supplements, meeting our daily RDI isn't a difficult task. However, because the market is flooded with numerous options when it comes to vitamin supplements, one needs to be cautious. Also, considering that most of the population is dealing with some or the other health problem, it is imperative to consult a trusted healthcare specialist to minimize the risks of side effects, or adverse reactions due to the intake of any of the aforementioned vitamins.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a replacement for expert medical advice. Kindly consult a physician for accurate dosages.