Eli5: How do nutrition label know how much minerals and vitamins the body needs?


Nutrition label give a certain percentage for minerals and vitamins. How did they get this percentage?

How do they calculate the bodily needs of certain minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine, and zinc? How do they know how much vitamin the body needs?

In: 0

They don’t calculate it. The FDA calculates daily recommended requirements for the average person based on scientific literature.

Researchers have done a lot of work to determine what a healthy person needs to survive. How many calories per day, how much of each type of vitamin and mineral, and so on. They have also done extensive research on the effects a person may experience if they fail to get enough of these things.

The FDA has compiled the results from this research to put together a list of recommendations for how much the “average” person needs each day for a number of categories of nutrients. A particular person may need less or more of a given nutrient for any number of reasons. Age, gender, race, body size (both weight and just how large your body is) as well as certain medical conditions will all impact how much of a given nutrient a person may need daily to be healthy. The numbers on nutrition labels are based upon an average and may not be accurate for a given individual.