Home » Nutrition & Food » RDA vs. ODA


Many so-called experts will tell you not to worry about taking vitamins if you are eating a balanced diet.  Unfortunately, dieting alone can’t provide enough essential vitamins and minerals to promote enough  optimal health.  For instance, you would need to consume 5,000 calories per day (mostly fat) in order to get the  recommended minimum (400 IU) of vitamin E, and 12,000 calories per day to get the minimum amount of chromium.  Most of our foods are processed and therefore, the nutrients have been leeched out of them.  Could this be one of the reasons pre-senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have increased so dramatically over the last few decades?

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Thousands of studies validate the benefits of taking a multivitamin/mineral formula on a daily basis.  These studies have been reported in medical journals, popular newspapers and magazines.  A good multivitmain/mineral formula offers a broad range of health benefits.  Taking a daily multivitamin/mineral formula reduces the incidence of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, glaucoma, depression, macular degeneration, diabetes, senile dementia and various cancers.

Almost as unacceptable as not recommending vitamin and mineral supplements is the recommendation of them based on the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).  The RDA is the measured amount or dosage of nutrient per vitamin and minerals recommended.  The U.S. Federal government sets these levels based on the “average adult.”

The “average person plan” assumes that you are an adult under 60 years of age who is in good health, has normal digestion, isn’t overweight, leads a relatively stress-free life, has no medical problems, doesn’t take any medication, eats a balanced diet, and consumes 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  Needless to day, most adult women don’t meet the RDA for zinc, vitamin B, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E.  Likewise, most adult men don’t meet the RDA for zinc and magnesium.  Fewer that 29% of people eat 5 fresh fruit and vegetables a day.  Furthermore, 20% of the U.S. Population doesn’t eat ANY fruits or vegetables at all!

The recommended daily allowance is some fifty years out of date.  It was never intended to advance health, only to prevent malnutrition diseases like scurvy or rickets.  Taking the minimum amount of a nutrient to prevent gross deficiency diseases doesn’t help those people who want to be truly healthy and not just be free of symptoms.

The RDA is inadequate if your goal is for prevention and or treatment of heart disease, cancer, cataracts, depression, senility, diabetes, arthritis, and other age related disorders.  For optimal health and well being, many health practitioners are recommending many times higher that the RDA on certain nutrients.