Thursday, February 02, 2006

U.S. RDA vs. Optimal Health

By Don Ford, M.D.Recently attempts were made to make food labels easier to read. Everyone is familiar with the boxed information on our food packaging that provides information about the nutritional content of the food inside. It tells you the serving size, calories, and percent of the US RDA, which stands for the United States Recommended Daily Allowances, which this food product meets.

But many people wonder what are those “recommended daily allowances” based on?

The percentage of US R.D.A. is based upon a 200 pound, average sized man on a 2000-calorie diet. They are also based on the amount of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients to provide “adequate” health for this man. According to an article published in Health World Online, entitled Nutrient Intake From Typical American Diets “the RDA are the most commonly accepted guidelines for establishing target levels of nutrient intake, however, the RDA are not intended to represent optimal levels of nutrient intake for the individual”.

Common sense would dictate that if a consumer is reading the food packaging for the nutritional content, that particular consumer is interested in optimal health as opposed to just “adequate health” that is represented on the food labels.Since the vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients to achieve optimal health isn’t represented, you could reach 100% of RDA every single day, and still be deficient in many of the essential nutrients that would provide personal optimal health.

Each individual’s body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes and excretes essential nutrients a little differently. Many things can alter an individual’s nutritional needs such as age, illness, pregnancy, dieting, exercise, stress, or certain prescription and over the counter medications.There is testing available from your doctor that can give you a personal, individualized analysis of the essential nutrient demands for your body.

You can learn more about this test from Spectracell at their website

To learn more about supplements available to help prevent the vitamin, mineral and essential nutrient depletion caused by many of the prescription or over the counter drugs you take:

Article Source:,_M.D.

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