The committee recognizes that a significant proportion of the population at all socioeconomic levels in both the United States and Canada uses dietary supplements, particularly nutrient supplements, as an important part of their total dietary intake (Balluz et al., 2000; Hoggatt et al., 2002; Radimer et al., 2000; Troppmann et al., 2002; Vitolins et al., 2000). In reviewing the background material and developing its approach to the use of the DRIs for DVs, the committee considered the relevance of the guiding principles for conventional food when considering recommendations for the Supplement Facts box. Since the Supplement Facts box requires the inclusion of the % DVs for the nutrients that are mandated for conventional food, the committee recommends that the DVs for dietary supplement labeling should be based on the population-weighted EAR or AI for each nutrient as defined for the Nutrition Facts box. In addition, all other guiding principles for nutrition labeling of conventional food should apply to dietary supplement labeling. For supplement products that are marketed to specific life stage and gender groups, Guiding Principle 8, which describes four distinctive life stage groups (infancy, toddlers, pregnancy, and lactation), is appropriate for nutrition labeling of dietary supplements.
The committee discussed various possibilities for ensuring that the UL (see Chapter 4) was considered in nutrition labeling. These discussions included the possible use, in the Nutrition Facts box, of the nutrient’s ULs and/or the percentage of the UL that is represented in the product. However the committee agreed that the direct use of the UL in the Nutrition Facts box could be subject to misinterpretation, including the possibility that consumers might view the UL as an optimum or, conversely, a toxic amount. Hence the committee does not recommend including the ULs, their representation, or a statement mentioning them in the Nutrition Facts box for conventional food.
The committee noted that—in addition to being the most scientifically justifiable approach—the population-weighted EAR has the added advantage of providing the widest margin of safety relative to the lowest ULs across all life stage and gender groups. In fact reference values based on the population-weighted EAR would be lower than the ULs for all of the life stage and gender groups used to compute this EAR (i.e., individuals 4 years of age and older, excluding pregnant and lactating women), with the exception of magnesium. The population-weighted EAR may be close to the UL for