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First, eject from your mind the widely accepted fallacy that the RDA nutrient levels are adequate or optimal: THEY'RE NOT. For example, the powerful antioxidant Vitamin C has an RDA of only 60 mg, that's enough to prevent scurvy; but your antioxidant program should include at least 1,000 to 2,000 mg to daily battle the free radical damage that causes cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases. You chances for optimal health are pathetic if all you take is 60 mg of Vitamin C.
In Nutrition Today in the article "Official Dietary Allowances: Those Pesky RDAs," Dr. A. E. Harper, former chairman of the RDA committee, pointed out that the RDA's "are not recommendations for the ideal diet." The term "recommended allowance" is used "to avoid any implication of ... optimal requirements."
In 1989 Dr. Burton Kallman in the Journal of Applied Nutrition presented data that indicates that the standard zoo diet for monkeys is supplemented with 23 times the RDA levels of vitamins and minerals. Healthy, disease free monkeys increase zoo profits. Too bad we Americans don't have the same privileges as zoo monkeys.
The low cost multinutrient supplements that you get in the store proudly assert on the label that they provide 100% of the U.S. RDA, in fact their labels and advertisements have in large part proliferated the "RDAs are optimal" fallacy. A skeptic that really understands adequate nutrition levels might question whether their main intention is to provide beneficial health products or collect health product profits.
For example Centrum® SILVER® is labeled as a "Specially formulated multivitamin multimineral for adults 50+." The Nutrition Fact panel lists 20 nutrients that have an established RDA and shows exactly 100% for 11 of the 20 (that column filled with 100% figures on the label looks quite impressive). Coincidentally, the level of Vitamin C is 100%, the pathetic 60 mg amount we were just discussing.
Now here comes the big bang! Which nutrients are at less than the RDA 100%? Calcium is at 200 mg (20%) and magnesium at 100 mg (25%) and Phosphorus at 48 mg (5%). Three key nutrients involved in calcium absorption. OOPS! The guys that put this product together must have forgotten that adults 50+ are greatly concerned about osteoporosis and need significantly higher levels of calcium and cofactor nutrients. I just can't see how this product would add many years to my life, or life to my years!
Anyone understanding adequate nutrient levels would die laughing in the grocery store aisle while reading the ONE-A-DAY® Maximum label. The label states, "Scientifically balanced to meet the nutritional needs of active adults ... Trust ONE-A-DAY to be your partner in nutrition." Come on, get real, there is no way you can get adequate supplementation for an active adult in just ONE tablet!
The package states that this product provides you with "Antioxidant Vitamins C and E and Selenium" Yes, those nutrients are antioxidants ... the problem ... a puny 60 mg of Vitamin C, 30 I.U. of Vitamin E, and 10 mcg of Selenium won't provide for much antioxidant protection.
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