Impact: FDA updated DV rules for supplement and food

If you’re pregnant women then you have to pay more attention to it!

Important Update About Folic Acid and Changes to the Daily Values for Nutrients — You May Be Taking Too Much or Too Little!

Several months after publication of this Review, the FDA announced changes in the daily requirements (the “Daily Values’ or “DVs”) for many vitamins and minerals. Some DVs increased and others decreased. However, supplement manufacturers are not required to apply these new values to their product labels until mid-2018 or later. In the meantime, the “%Daily Value” information on labels can, unfortunately, be misleading. Check the FDA site to see the latest Daily Values and you can compare those to the amounts in products for the following supplement products. For prenatal fish oil, currently there is no rule from FDA.

For example, One A Day Women’s Prenatal Vitamins contains 800 mcg Folic acid, actually it is 1,360 DFE, which already exceeds the UL.

Nature Made PrenatalMulti + DHA 200 Mg Softgels, Value Size has the same dosage as above.

The FDA also changed the way in which folate and its synthetic forms (such as folic acid and methylfolate) are to be labeled, recognizing that synthetic forms are much more bioavailable than folate naturally found in foods. In fact, every 100 mcg of folic acid or methylfolate you get from a supplement or fortified food is now considered equivalent of 170 mcg of folate – 70% more than most labels show. With the new labeling, a product which previously listed 400 meg of folic acid and 100% of the adult DV (which is 400 meg of folate) will, more accurately, be labeled as providing 680 meg DFE (dietary folate equivalents) and 170% of the DV. It will be more apparent to the consumer that many products provide more folate than normally required from all sources (food and supplements) combined.

The new labeling for folate will also make it more apparent that many supplements exceed the tolerable upper intake level (or “UL”) for folate, which is 1,000 mcg DFE for adults. Potential risks associated with getting high amounts of folate include masking signs of B-12 deficiency, Kidney toxicity, peripheral neuropathy, promotion of cancer, and autism in offspring.


  • If you eat a well-balanced diet (including fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy) and have no special nutritional needs (such as when pregnant, you may need a best prenatal vitamins), you may not need a multivitamin/multimineral. If you’re not sure about your diet, a multi can help provide required vitamins and minerals. Taking a modest daily multi is safe and may slightly reduce the risk of certain cancers. In women, it may also reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and. In men, it may reduce the risk of cataracts.
  • When selecting a multi, be sure it…
  1. Lists enough of each essential vitamin and mineral. Check your own requirements using RDA table or the detailed information for each nutrient from FDA or IOM.
  2. Doesn’t contain too much of any nutrient, as this can negate the benefits. This is not indicated on the label so you have to read all details in the supplement fact table.
  3. Is of high-quality, delivering its listed nutrients without unacceptable contamination. Check that it has been approved by some authorities.