Is there a list or resource indicating which nutrient RDIs shouldn't be exceeded?


I’m DIYing my own Soylent, and so far, I’ve just been doing it on my own, unconnected to the community of DIYers (I didn’t realize this resource existed, but I’m excited now that I found it!). I’ve been basing my “recipe” on the standard 2,000 calorie set of recommended daily intakes, though I’ve adjusted the Protein/Fat/Carb ratio to reflect my body type (endomorph).

However, I have been hand balancing my ratios using an Excel spreadsheet, with the objective of getting at least 100% of everything I need (primarily tracking vitamins, minerals, and the essential amino acids). What I have NOT been doing, is paying attention to where I may be getting too much of something.

It occurs to me that I need to figure out which items getting “too much” matters for. For example, I know that it’s pretty tough to get too much vitamin C (a vitamin C tablet from the pharmacy typically has 5x or 10x your DRI). But for other minerals (for example Iron), you need to pay attention to overages. That’s about where my existing knowledge of overage sensitivity ends though.

So I’m wondering:

  1. Do we have a resource that identifies which of the standard vitamins, minerals, etc are sensitive to intakes beyond the RDI, and if so, how sensitive they are?

  2. …and I’m scared to ask this because I’m fearful the answer may be no (or at least indicate that I’ve been taking too simplistic an approach so far)… do you guys base your “recipes” on the standard RDI values, or is there something more current?


Check out

Their tool on there will both track how completely your recipe meets the RDA and whether anything goes over by a dangerous amount.


Thank you! I’m converting my recipe this evening :slight_smile:


Here’s a table of upper limits (UL) to look at too: (PDF)

One thing to note is that the Vitamin A upper limit doesn’t apply if it’s coming from plant based foods, only if it’s coming from supplements or animal sources. You could put a glass of carrot juice in your recipe in the DIY tool and it’ll appear that it has ten times the upper limit, but that’s not the case.

As far as I know the current RDI tables are the standard; of course some people want different amounts of nutrients, and you can customize a nutrient profile for yourself and make it higher in omega 3, for instance. Then make your recipe based on that nutrient profile and all the green highlights will apply to the personal needs you’ve specified. :sunny:


I’ve heard this before, but don’t understand why that would be. Why would the source affect it?


There was a thread recently discussion the different types of K vitamins and the metabolic processes that use them. I imagine there may be something similar with vitamin A, since most vitamins are not a specific compound but rather a family of organic chemicals that the body uses.

The specific type of vitamin found in a supplement may vary from the type commonly found in vegetables. Perhaps one type found in nature is processed into another form, and the unneeded portion discarded. I am not sure with vitamin A, but I do know it is fat soluable. This means if you consume too much of the wrong type, it may stick around for long periods in your body and have detrimental effects.

I have not studied vitamin A much since it seems that it is difficult to OD on it from natural sources or from supplements, plus most diets supply enough of it. But these are all ideas worth exploring more.


The form from plant sources is called provitamin A, and the form from animal sources and supplements is called preformed vitamin A.

Unlike preformed vitamin A, beta-carotene is not known to be teratogenic or lead to reproductive toxicity [1]. And even large supplemental doses (20–30 mg/day) of beta-carotene or diets with high levels of carotenoid-rich food for long periods are not associated with toxicity. The most significant effect of long-term, excess beta-carotene is carotenodermia, a harmless condition in which the skin becomes yellow-orange [1,22]. This condition can be reversed by discontinuing beta-carotene ingestion.


Hmmm… perhaps I should I try a different Vitamin A supplement for safety, then…


It is important to note that the upper limit on Sodium intake is likely to be incorrect and unnecessarily conservative. Partially this can be derived from the fact that Americans at least REGULARLY exceed that threshold. In fact, many of the Ramen type soups contain 100% or more of the max limit. (Not that I’m arguing Ramen is healthy, just that we regularly exceed the “hard maximum” all the time.) There are articles out there that I’m not qualified to comment on that say effectively that 2.3g/day is more likely the hard bottom of what we should be consuming and 3.3g/day is probably closer to right. Also that 3.5g of Potassium is really pretty low, but you don’t want to increase your potassium too fast because your body needs time to adjust.


Sodium and Potassium work together, and their dietary dosages are intrinsically linked. Having too much of one and not enough of the other is a problem. The specific numbers are up for debate. The first article advocates a very low dosage of sodium, less than I would feel comfortable ingesting. But the point about the two minerals working together is quite valid.

Potassium and Sodium: The Dynamic Duo
Striking a Balance: Less Sodium (Salt), More Potassium


Yeah, I was seeing stuff about how hunter gatherers even today consume very low amounts of sodium, but very high amounts of potassium. Like 750mg of sodium and 10000mg of potassium.