Review of the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Biomedical and Health Research, Food and Nutrition, Public Health
Board: Food and Nutrition Board

Activity Description


An ad hoc committee will undertake a study to assess current relevant data and update, as appropriate, the DRIs for sodium and potassium intake. The review will include consideration of indicators of deficiency, inadequacy, and toxicities, as well as relevant chronic disease endpoints. The study will incorporate the AHRQ systematic evidence review of sodium and potassium on chronic disease endpoints, as appropriate, and the HMD report on guiding principles for inclusion of chronic disease endpoints along with the DRI organizing framework. Indicators for adequacy and excess will be selected based on the strength and quality of the evidence and the demonstrated public health significance, taking into consideration sources of uncertainty in the evidence. Estimates of dietary intake of sodium and potassium will be compatible with optimal health throughout the lifespan and may decrease risk of chronic disease where data indicate they play a role.

Specifically, in carrying out its work, the committee will:

(1) Review evidence on indicators of inadequacy and potential effects of low sodium and potassium intakes and on indicators of excess intake relevant to the general US and Canadian populations, including for those subgroups whose needs for or sensitivity to the nutrient may be affected by blood pressure, increased age, or factors related to race-ethnicity, and by particular conditions which are widespread in the population such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.

(2) Consider systematic evidenced-based reviews including those made available by the sponsors and carefully document the approach used by the committee to select reviews and conduct any of its own literature reviews of original studies and systematic reviews, including, but not limited to, databases, search criteria, inclusion and exclusion criteria for studies, study quality assessment criteria, and relevance to the task at hand, consistent with generally accepted procedures used by systematic reviews. Summary tables of studies based on relevant indicators used to assess the DRI shall include, but not be limited to: the study design; setting; participant age, gender or life-stage group; sample size; intervention or exposure; methods used to determine nutrient intake levels and outcome measures; and a description of the statistical analysis used by investigators.

(3) As specified in the organizing framework, review and describe, as appropriate, dietary sources (e.g., foods, beverages, supplements, antacids, and water).

(4) Update indicators on which to base DRIs and update the DRI values, as appropriate, for each age, gender, and life stage group, using the risk assessment approach as described in the DRI organizing framework and drawing on the DRI guiding principles for inclusion of chronic disease endpoints.

(5) Identify research gaps to address the uncertainties identified in the process of deriving the reference values and evaluating their public health implications.




Feedback is accepted at anytime throughout the duration of the study. Written materials submitted to a study committee by external sources are listed in the project's public access file in full, including names and email addresses, and can be made available to the public upon request.  Contact the Public Access Records Office (PARO) for a copy of the list and to obtain copies of the materials.  Copies of materials are free to the press and government employees.  Please send an email or call PARO to make a request or an inquiry.  

Public Access Records Office
The National Academies
Washington DC  20001
Tel: 202.334.3543
FAX: 202.334.2158


 As of March 2016, the Health and Medicine Division continues the consensus studies and convening activities previously undertaken by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).


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