Ever wondered what that ‘NRV’ abbreviation on your food supplement packaging means? Here we provide a simple breakdown of NRVs, RDAs and other safe levels for vitamins and minerals.
NRV means ‘Nutrient Reference Value'. NRVs were set up by the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation 1169/2011 to provide guidance levels on the daily amount of vitamins and minerals the average healthy person needs to prevent nutrient deficiency.
NRVs exist for 14 minerals and 13 vitamins and you will see them listed on food packaging and food supplement packaging. NRVs replace the old RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowance).
What Does UK NRV Mean?
The UK Nutrient Reference Values are regulated under the same legislation as the EU NRVs and are exactly the same at the moment. It is unknown at this stage if they will remain the same following Brexit.
RDA means Recommended Daily Allowance. RDA was replaced with NRV, they are a straight swap.
What are Safe Upper Levels?
Safe Upper Levels otherwise known as SULs, were created in 2003 by the Expert Group on Vitamin and Minerals (EVM). The EVM report on SULs provides guidelines on the maximum upper levels of vitamins and minerals someone can safely consume.
What are Guidance Levels?
Guidance Levels, otherwise known as GLs were also set by the 2003 Expert Group on Vitamin and Minerals (EVM). Guidance levels were used where there was not enough evidence to determine an accurate Safe Upper Level. The GLs provide an indication of a vitamin or mineral intake level where no adverse effects have been identified, however this level is not intended by the EVM as a recommended dose.
List of UK NRVs / RDAs, Safe Upper Levels (SULs) and Guidance Levels (GLs)
|Vitamin||UK Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) -
Formerly known as Recommeded
Daily Allowance (RDA)
|UK daily Safe Upper Levels (SUL)
& Guidance Levels (GL)
|Vitamin A||800µg||1500µg (GL)|
|Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)||5µg||25µg (GL)|
|Vitamin E (Tocopherol)||12mg||540mg (SUL)|
|Vitamin K||75µg||1000µg (GL)|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||1.1mg||100mg (GL)|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||1.4mg||40mg (GL)|
|Pantothenic Acid||6mg||200mg (GL)|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||1.4mg||10mg (SUL)|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||2.5µg||2000µg (GL)|
|Folate (Folic Acid)||200µg||1000µg (GL)|
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)||80mg||1000mg|
Are you interesting in taking a multivitamin and mineral? If so, read our guide on why you might need to take a multivitamin.
Here at the Ethical Nutrition Company we’ve scoured through the research, NRVs and safe upper levels to create a balanced, natural, effective multivitamin designed to protect your health. Click here to read more about what we think is the best multivitamin in the UK.