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NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

 

With the depletion of soils and strong advocacy not to replenish soils using artificial substances, one thing is evident; the nutritional value in natural foods today is not as it what a few generations ago.

 


Recommended Daily Allowance

RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance is a measure which is perhaps becoming somewhat outdated in its current form. Firstly due to its origin, which was largely to define a measure of a vitamin or mineral representing the level below which the body would show health or wellness decline.

Secondly, it does not denote ‘how much is needed to reach optimal performance’; rather it’s a measure or dosage to reach average health. As an example, a diet with a high intake of fruit results in less incidence of cardiovascular disease, and thus impacts life expectancy. However, that protective effect of fruit and vegetables occur at an intake in the range of two or three times the RDA amount.


The “official” RDA value is determined using six major criteria:

  1. amount people consume normally of the nutrient
  2. amount needed to avoid a particular disease
  3. the adequacy of the physiological function in relation to the nutrient intake
  4. amount of nutrient absorbed
  5. studies determining the nutrient deficiency characteristics; and
  6. results from animal experiments

Today, some scientists have suggested an additional, perhaps more reliable criterion; that which results in the longest lifespan. Thus, there is a fundamental difference between using supplements to prevent disease and using them to retard aging.

 

CODEX or RDA

A number of minority European countries have proposed that Codex Guidelines, established by scientific risk assessment be used to guide the level of supplements; rather than the outdated Recommended Daily Allowance. Many countries such as South America and SE Asia still require that nutritional supplements do not exceed 100% of the RDA determined by the FAQ

 


Which Supplements?

If we can agree that there is a benefit to nutritional supplementation, deciding which supplements to take can be even more difficult. This is exasperated by the controversy between the business side of selling supplements and scientifically backed health benefits.

Much research has proved that regular supplementation can prevent and increase resistance to a variety of diseases associated with old age and early mortality. However, many modern medical practitioners tend to over-recommend the use of certain drugs and supplements which have not stood the test of time.

Our challenge, is therefore to decide what risk we are willing to take; not take sufficient quantity and expose ourselves further to the perils of aging breakdown, or take sufficient to ward of the aging evil, yet risk any as yet unknown or unproven side effects.

There are several classes of supplements:

NEXT: Nutrition Facts and Myths


 
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