RDAs were never set for optimum health – only to avoid deficiency illness
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCES
It is a misunderstanding that the RDAs – also called RNIs (Reference Nutrient Intakes) or RDVs (Reference Daily Values) – for vitamins and minerals are set so that if you take them, you will achieve the best health status.
Here are some enlightening facts about RDAs.
♦ RDAs were originally set as minimum guidance during food rationing! Of course, they have been updated but only rather infrequently.
♦ RDAs are set to ensure that 95% of people do not become clinically deficient, leading to illnesses like:
- rickets (vitamin D deficiency)
- scurvy (vitamin C deficiency)
- pernicious anaemia (B12 deficiency)
- beriberi (B5 deficiency)
Preventing clinical deficiency is a low threshold compared with targeting optimal health.
♦ As you get older you need more nutrition to help counteract the processes that underlie ageing, but you tend to absorb less nutrients from food.
♦ RDAs have never been set for lots of nutrients that are acknowledged as very important for general health and protecting particularly against degenerative disease.
There are no RDAs for Omega 3 (although the guidance is 2-3 portions of oily fish a week) or the micro-nutrients in fruits and vegetables such as carotenoids (lutein, lycopene, beta carotene), flavonoids (eg. curcuminoids) and polyphenols (anthocyanidins, procyanidins, catechins) and many more.
Polyphenols and flavonoids are compounds that plants have evolved to protect themselves. When we eat them, we get the same sort of protective benefits – including anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that are vital for good health.
♦ There is some evidence that soils are becoming more depleted in certain minerals – selenium and zinc being two key ones. Both are essential for immune function.
♦ Surveys consistently show that the majority of people have below even the RDAs of vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins.
The therapeutic levels of vitamins and minerals to raise your blood levels to a protective status are much higher than the RDA for B vitamins (critical for energy release), vitamin C and vitamin D.
More is not, however, automatically better. For example, vitamin A at 100% RDA is enough, as are folic acid, zinc and copper.
The aim should be a wide balance of proven health protective nutrients at an optimum level, including plant micro-nutrients.
That’s the objective of NutriShield Premium – a daily comprehensive supplement containing 43 nutrients including all the essential vitamins and minerals at optimum levels (RDA or higher), based on research. It was designed by Dr Paul Clayton, former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine.
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Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive health supplement with OPTIMUM levels of 43 essential nutrients including standardised green tea extract, polyphenols and flavonoids from fruits, vegetables and other plants, Omega 3, betaine and soy isoflavones. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.
Dr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from bookstores or from Uni-Vite Healthcare here.
A free summary report and the opportunity to read the book online is available here.
See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet.
Chung M, Balk EM, Ip S, et al. Systematic review to support the development of nutrient reference intake values : challenges and solutions. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92:273–6.