Preventing Nutrient Deficiencies

In Preventing Nutrient Deficiencies we talked about the current recommended daily allowances or RDAs being set too low for a number of nutrients. For example, there was a time that scientists concluded that people only required about 60 mg of vitamin C to prevent deficiency symptoms, but more recent data arms us with the strong evidence to support 200 mg as a more accurate number.

Also, RDAs may be set for nutrients long after research demonstrates the human need for them. For instance, RDAs were approved for six nutrients in 1996. The six were chloride, selenium, vitamin K, manganese, molybdenum and chromium. But studies had revealed benefits for these six nutrients long in advance of the RDAs set by the government.

How to Move Beyond Nutrient Deficiencies and Toward Optimal Health

Deficiency symptoms can be corrected by supplying the nutrients that your body lacks, but many researchers agree that your best health results when certain nutrients are made available in quantities surpassing their RDAs.

The RDA for a vitamin is not the allowance that leads to the best health for most people. It is, instead, only the estimated amount that for most people would prevent death or serious illness from overt vitamin deficiency. Values of the daily intake of the various vitamins that lead to the best health for most people may well be several times as great, for the various vitamins, as the values of the RDA.” –Linus Pauling, Nobel Laureate

A New Way to Look at Things: ODI Instead of RDA

At GNLD, we believe there is a more useful way than the RDA to look at your nutritional requirements. A newer concept that GNLD-Neolife scientists created in the 1970s has gained acceptance throughout the scientific community over the years. It is the ODI or Optimal Daily Intake, that is, the amount of nutrients required to promote optimal health and vitality. For most nutrients, the ODI is considerably greater than the traditional RDA.

The beauty of embracing this concept is that it will mean that for millions of people a greater-than-RDA nutrient intake may enhance their quality of life in a significant fashion. Here are some examples:

Calcium. A number of studies indicate that the ingestion of calcium at greater-than-RDA levels prevents the thinning of the bones known as osteoporosis, but it also helps rebuild bone–particularly when combined with weight-bearing exercise and estrogen replacement therapy.

Vitamin E and carotenoids. In like manner, there is strong scientific support that shows that greater-than-RDA amounts of vitamin E and carotenoids (a phytonutrient that has no  established RDA) enhance the body’s immune function and work to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Folic acid. Folic acid at amounts twice that of the RDA clears the blood of homo-cysteine  a natural metabolic byproduct that damages arteries and increases risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots. 

Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids–which also have no RDA–are necessary for the optimal functioning of infants’ eyes and brains.

Other examples. Research also shows that selenium and vitamin C and vitamin E promote optimal health when taken in amounts exceeding the RDA.

Nutrient Deficiencies

(Vitamins A and D are exceptions, however, which shouldn’t be taken in amounts exceeding their RDAs because these two nutrients can prove toxic at higher levels.)

As researchers continue suggesting ODI amounts, we will see the gap between ideal intake and actual intake becoming greater. We have already seen and expect to continue to see that optimal daily intake will be several times current RDA levels. This often means that the only practical way of consuming those levels will be with supplementation. 

An obvious example of this is vitamin E. There are numerous studies that show the recommended daily allowance of 30 IU’s is too low to be able to defend your body from free radicals or to provide you with maximum health benefits. A number of scientists and researchers now believe the ODI for vitamin E is closer to 100-600 IUs/day for a healthy individual. It’s almost impossible to derive this quantity of E simply from what you’re eating!

To mimic a healthy diet, which is nutrient diverse, you’d also need more than just alphatocopherol. In fact, optimal intake requires that you get 8 unique  tocopherols and tocotrienols that are found in foods high in vitamin E. Instead of only beta-carotene, your body requires the benefits of approximately 50 to 60 other carotenoids that are available in foods.

The same is true for other nutrients including flavonoids and cruciferous compounds and that is when it comes to the food you ingest, variety is far better for you and your body than the same old foods you are used to eating. Everyone can benefit from nutitional supplementation because it helps you achieve the nutrient density and diversity required for your best health.

Taking charge of your health means getting the nutrients your body needs in the quantities that effect change. Supplementation is the way to do that. And if you’re going to take supplements, you may as well spend your money on the best. GNLD-Neolife has been based in nature and backed by science since  1958. We are world-renowned because our interest is in delivering the best quality supplements to you that your body can not only use, but also thrive on.


Merenna Morrow

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