National Academies Release Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) recently released updated Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for sodium and potassium. For the adequate intake of sodium, the report reaffirms the existing 1,500 mg level for individuals ages 14-50, establishes a lower level for children age 1-13, and sets a higher level for adults ages 51 and older. For the adequate intake of potassium, the report establishes a significantly lower level for all populations except infants. The report also assigned a Chronic Disease Risk Reduction (CDRR) level for sodium of 2,300 mg for most populations. This is the first time a CDRR has been assigned to a nutrient. In contrast to the CDRR, which represents the level above which intake reduction is expected to reduce chronic disease risk within an apparently healthy population, the report explains that the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) now refers to toxicity. NASEM found insufficient evidence of risk of toxicity from excess sodium or potassium, so a UL was not set for either nutrient.

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