Health Nugget - RDA's versus Optimal Levels

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on December 13, 2010 at 3:00 PM

One of the reasons most physicians do not recommend supplements for their patients, even though studies show that nearly 70% of physicians are taking them themselves, is because they have been taught that all we need are the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of micronutrients.   If you consume a healthy diet, it is certainly possible to get this level of nutrients.    However, you must understand the origin of RDA's. These RDA's  were developed in the late 1930's and early 1940's to establish the minimal amount of micronutrients required to prevent acute deficiency diseases like pellagra, scurvy, and rickets.


When I began studying about the possible health benefits of taking nutritional supplements, I was concerned about chronic degenerative diseases like heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's dementia, and macular degeneration. What I quickly learned was that RDA's have absolutely nothing to do with chronic degenerative diseases. For example, the RDA of vitamin E is 30 IU; however, you don't begin to see a health benefit until you supplement with at least 100 IU of vitamin E. This health benefit increases as you increase the amount of vitamin E supplemented. Most researchers in nutritional medicine now believe that the optimal level of vitamin E is 400 IU.


Thank you to Dr Ray Strand for allowing us to publish this information.


Categories: Health Nuggets

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