New Dietary Guidelines Coming to Bluebonnet Labels

In January 2016, we announced in a blog on our website the news that the 8th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) had been released entitled, 2015 DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS RELEASED (to read, click on: And with that release came some notable changes from the 2005-2010 Dietary Guidelines.  As mentioned in that blog, this document was updated based on current scientific and medical knowledge.  Then, in May 2016, the FDA announced and published the final rules for updates to the new Nutrition Fact Boxes on food labels and new Supplement Fact Boxes on dietary supplement labels to reflect this new scientific information.  Consequently, you will be seeing some changes on our labels… and everyone else’s labels for that matter.

Vitamin D in micrograms?  I thought it was IU!

So, there are a lot of changes coming your way (e.g., fact panel layout changes, revised standard serving sizes, daily values and how select values are represented on the nutrition/supplement facts panel) – and you will find these changes on everything you buy that is packaged from dietary supplements to your favorite cereal to ice cream to meat, and much more.  To access all the nitty gritty details about the changes to the dietary guidelines, visit FDA’s website ( However, if you just want to get a brief synopsis of how these new guidelines will be affecting Bluebonnet labels, read on!

Revised Daily Values:  Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and Adequate Intakes (AIs) are the reference values used to describe the recommended intake of nutrients for the healthy general population. These values, however, vary by age and gender. Daily Value (DV) is the selected reference for labeling purposes with regards to dietary supplements and foods to limit consumer confusion. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes the DV as often, but not always, similar to one's RDA or AI for that nutrient. DVs were developed by the FDA to help consumers determine the level of various nutrients in a standard serving of food in relation to their approximate requirement for it.  The daily values have been updated based on newer scientific evidence.  For example, the vitamin D daily value has doubled while the biotin daily value has decreased substantially. See the chart below for details:

Updated Units of Measure:  Vitamins A, D and E are now required to be listed in micrograms (mcg) or milligrams (mg) rather than international units (IU).  Additionally, vitamin A is required to be reported as retinol activity equivalents (RAE) for continuity among the different forms of vitamin A. For example, vitamin A palmitate contributes a different amount of RAE when compared to beta-carotene. Folic acid is also now required to be labeled as Dietary Folate Equivalents (DFE) for the same reason. Below is a quick conversion chart so that you can easily compare the differences in labeling that is now required for each of these nutrients.



mcg/ mg


Vitamin A


0.3 mcg

5000 IU = 1500 mcg RAE*

Vitamin D


0.025 mcg

800 IU = 20 mcg

Vitamin E


0.67 mg

30 IU = 20 mg 



*RAE = Retinol activity equivalents; 1 mcg RAE = 1 mcg retinol, 2 mcg supplemental beta-carotene, 12 mcg beta-carotene, or 24 mcg alpha-carotene, or 24 mcg beta-cryptoxanthin



mcg DFE**


Folic Acid



400 mcg = 667 mcg DFE




400 mcg = 400 mcg DFE



**DFE = Dietary Folate Equivalents; 1 DFE = 1 mcg naturally-occurring folate = 0.6 mcg folic acid 

Added Sugars: Expert groups such as the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization along with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans all support reducing caloric intake from added sugars. Thus, the amount of added sugars will now be declared on the label so that consumers can also easily identify its source(s).  Plus, a daily value of 50 grams has been established for added sugars whereas there was not one before.

Choline:  Choline has also been given a daily value of 550 mg, whereas there was not one prior.  This means that the FDA now recognizes choline as an essential nutrient.

Cholesterol:  The previous DGAs put a limit on the recommended amount of dietary cholesterol at 300 mg per day.  There is no longer a limit on cholesterol since new research has shown that dietary cholesterol has very little to do with cholesterol levels in the body.

Compliance Date:  The new labels need to be in effect by July 26, 2018.  Since Bluebonnet has always been an industry leader with regards to innovation, GMP-compliant manufacturing (NSF GMP Registered®),  and transparency,  it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Bluebonnet labels will start reflecting these new guidelines well before the compliance date.  In fact, some labels will be rolling out as early as next week.

Summary of Major Changes:

·       Vitamins A, D and E will now be labeled in mcg/mg vs IU

·       Vitamin D daily value has doubled

·       Biotin daily value has decreased 

·       Vitamin A to be represented as RAE (Retinoic Acid Equivalents)

·       Folate to be represented as DFE (Dietary Folate Equivalents)

·       Choline now has daily value of 550 mg

·       Cholesterol no longer has a dietary limit required on labeling

·       Added sugars now has a daily value of 50 g indicating source(s)


No comments have been added yet.

Post A Comment

Must be logged in to make comments. Log in now.