Many people are under the impression that, if their intake of nutrients meets the RDA, then they are getting enough to stay healthy.
However, as Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize winner, once said;
"RDA for a vitamin is not the allowance that leads to the best of 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 leads to the best of health for most people may be several times as great as the values of the RDA".
Meeting the RDA for nutrients is the bare minimum for maintaining optimal health throughout our life. Optimal nutrition requires much more than the RDA and this does not decline as we grow older. In fact, the need for optimal nutrition increases and it certainly does not decrease as one would get the impression if one were to examine the typical diet fed to our elderly in institutional care. As we grow older our caloric expenditure declines, so we eat less. At the same time illness, decline in digestive efficiency and medications combine to cause states of chronic malnutrition that is widespread in elderly populations.
When levels of a nutrient are low in the body, merely achieving the RDA will, at best, stem further drops in body levels. A good example is low iron levels which affect up to 50% of some populations like young women and the elderly. If a person is told their iron levels are low then it is necessary to consume several times the RDA to bring about an appreciable improvement in body stores. It can take several months, if not a year or two, of steady supplementation to build stores of iron in the organs to optimum levels. Of course, regular blood test or, better still, a Hair Tissue Analysis will guide the supplementation.
It is more difficult than ever to get the essential vitamins and minerals from our food, despite improvements in "quality" and freshness. This paradox is due to the selection of plants for their nice taste and speed of growth, rather than nutrient density. The same can be said of animal sourced foods such as the succulently soft battery chicken. Furthermore, the nutrient density of our agricultural soils continues to steadily decline as only those that are necessary for plant growth are replaced.
Like it or not, the case for supplementing one's already good diet with various vitamins and minerals grows stronger by the day. If you are not sure of your nutritional needs, then investing in a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis or an Active Elements Assessment helps you to take out the guesswork.