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is perhaps becoming somewhat outdated in its current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
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:
- amount people consume normally of the nutrient
- amount needed to avoid a particular disease
- the adequacy of the physiological function in relation
to the nutrient intake
- amount of nutrient absorbed
- studies determining the nutrient deficiency characteristics;
- 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rather than the outdated Recommended Daily Allowance.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
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
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:
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