Understanding Percent Daily Values on Vitamins

The use of vitamins has become routine, even in healthy people. Upsetting the body’s fine balance can be harmful, leading to overdoses and even deficiencies. Consumers thus need a thorough understanding of exactly what is in their supplements and in which quantities. The FDA’s food labelling guide helps supplement brands to provide all the information buyers need to meet their recommended daily allowance (RDA). Your labels can report nutritional content through daily reference values or reference daily intakes.

Calculating Percent Daily Value (PDV)

Daily reference values are used to report fat, cholesterol, and the like. Reference daily intakes are used to denote vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Percent daily value is the ratio between the quantity of a nutrient in a serving and the daily value for that same nutrient. In other words, it reports the percentage of the recommended daily allowance that the product or supplement contains in one serving. PDV usually relies on the 1968 RDA figures, but in 1989, some of these were updated and must be used instead. These are:

  • Vitamin K
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Chromium
  • Chloride
  • Molybdenum

If you add up all the PDVs on your label, they don’t reach 100% because the percentage refers to the value per nutrient. This number isn’t merely a guide for consumers, but manufacturers, too. Claims of a supplement being “high” or “reduced” in a particular vitamin can only be made of the supplement has a PDV of 20 or five respectively.

In supplements, the serving size is denoted according to recommended dosages. Declaring ingredients that lack a daily value is optional, but you’re required to list magnesium binders. Healthy Solutions manufactures many of the most respected supplement brands. Call us if you need a partner who can lead you through the FDA maize.