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The first set of RDAs (recommended daily allowance) was set in 1941 by the US government as guidelines for military personnel and civilians during World War 2. Due to food rationing during the war, the government was seeking to provide good nutrition for it’s population and prevent nutritional problems as they might relate to national defense.
The Food and Nutrition Board, as they came to be called, then proceeded to update the requirements each 5 to 10 years. In the 1950s the board added number of servings of each food group to its guidelines, making it much easier for people to understand how much nutrition they were getting, the RDA of each nutrient.
In 1997 the RDA became a broader set of guidelines called DRI or Dietary Reference Intake. These guidlines are used by both the US and Canada.
Daily Value (DV) is another method of determining nutrient requirements. There is no difference between RDA, DRI or DV. They all mean the same thing, the minimum amount of a nutrient the population needs to avoid a deficiency disease. If these guidelines are for minimum levels of nutrition, is there and optimum dose that we should be getting, something better than just the bare essentials?
There are recommendations for optimum doses of vitamins and minerals; in fact these were published in 2015 in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Dr. Michael Murray, ND recommended intake levels of important nutrients which are shown in the image at the beginning of this article. He recommends reading labels to find a multivitamin formula that contains vitamins and minerals in these ranges. It would not be possible find a formula that contains all of these nutrients in one pill. That would be one huge pill! Most commonly, you would take 3 to 6 tablets to meet these levels. One per day supplements provide good levels of vitamins, but they tend to be insufficient in minerals. Our bodies need minerals just as much as they need the vitamins; they work synergistically toward optimum health.
Your body can function without supplements. However, for optimal health and vitality, adding the recommend amounts of nutrients as whole foods and supplements provides your body with the necessary fuel for peak performance.
There are basically 6 forms that supplements can take:
Capsules, which have nutrients encased within a gelatin or starch outer shell.
Tablets, which contain binders to allow them to compress and then disintegrate when swallowed.
Gel caps, made of gelatin with a liquid nutrient center.
Gummies, made with gelatin or fruit pectin. Most contain added sugar for taste, which range from juice concentrate to artificial sweeteners.
Liquids, bottled nutrients taken by spoonful or mixed into foods.
Powder, contains anti caking ingredients and sometimes sweeteners, natural or artificial.
Here at RMB Naturals we will, very soon, be introducing our Whole Food, Farm to Tablet multivitamin. It will contain your optimum dose of vitamins and minerals in 3 daily capsules. No funny tasting food powders, just easy to swallow tablets.
The most popular supplements of 2014, according to SPINS, were Probiotics and Whole-Food concentrate multivitamins. These were closely followed by protein powders, omega-35, and vitamin C.
Supplements come in many forms. You can explore them and decide which would best fit into your healthy lifestyle. The main thing is to give your body adequate nutrition for a healthy and vital life.