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USDA Values and RDA for vitamins

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  • USDA Values and RDA for vitamins

    This idea spurred form the post "Timing of vitamins/supplements".

    We all know that the USDA food pyramid is crap. I'm not sure who came up with the RDA for vitamins and minerals, but is it based on the USDA food pyramid?

    Because we eat more fat and protein vs. carbs, do we still need the RDA for vitamins and minerals? I've been using FitDay and am always low on potassium, fiber, calcium (unless I have my Starbucks...twice), and pant. acid (B5). Is this ok? Is this normal "primal"? Should I be adding some additional suppliments?

  • #2

    I've read that the calcium recs are higher than they should be--that upping magnesium is more important for actual absorption of calcium than just taking lots of calcium... Here's a little bit on it: If you google it you'll find more...

    Also. I think I've read that w/out the antinutrients and phytates etc from grains which can inhibit the absorption of the nutrients in your food, primal folks may be getting a lot more out of their food...


    • #3

      Just wanted to add, I do agree w/ Mark a/b taking a multivitamin/multimineral, fish or cod liver oil (w/ omega 3s) and probiotics daily. (I think this *can* be done w/ superfoods and fermented foods--so through diet alone, but it can be tricky/harder than just taking a couple supps.)


      • #4

        Didn't someone say that taking a supplement was a good "insurance policy"? I've been more considered with the actual vitamin content of my food. I use fitday too and it will say I'm getting more than the required selenium, but isn't selenium one of the minerals that's depleted in conventional soils? Are they using that definition or food that comes from organic soils? How absorbative are my supplements anyway? I've read a lot about how supplements are useless because the body can't take such a high dose all the time.


        • #5

          I don't think we should add supplements indiscriminately.

          I think we should see what minerals and vitamins we are not getting from our diet, then supplement it. A good diet should not require supplementation.

          There are a few things that are missing.

          Magnesium - Its difficult to get it in a world of refined water and refined salt. So supplementing it is a good idea. Even if eating meat it would be difficult unless eating regularly enough small fish or crustaceans with the bones, and bone broth.

          Vitamin K2 - Absent unless eating grass fed meat or pastured ghee/tallow/lard.

          Iodine/selenium - Absent unless eating enough sea food.

          Chromium - I am not sure about this.

          Vitamin D3 - If living indoors or in low sunlight regions or periods.

          Rest can be obtained from diet easily.

          Calcium particularly is not a problem if you have enough D3 (which will make it available in the blood stream), and K2 (which will utilize it). If you eat milk or green veggies you will have enough of it. Calcium is easy to get, mostly the problem is the two required vitamins. Sometimes in rare cases it is a parathyroid gland problem.


          • #6


            # Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), expected to satisfy the needs of 50% of the people in that age group based on a review of the scientific literature.

            # Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), the daily dietary intake level of a nutrient considered sufficient by the Food and Nutrition Board to meet the requirements of nearly all (9798%) healthy individuals in each life-stage and gender group. It is calculated based on the EAR and is usually approximately 20% higher than the EAR</blockquote>


            The RDA&#39;s are calculated for the average SAD eater and probably aren&#39;t relevant for someone eating real food. I think that lots of the values are too high.

            If you are eating properly then you are going to be pretty much covered. Randomly throwing mega doses of anything into your system is going to upset the delicate balance and will have long term consequences.

            I wouldn&#39;t supplement with anything unless I knew for sure that I was deficient and it was absolutely necessary. Just guessing that that you are low is a stupid reason to supplement.

            The "Seven Deadly Sins"

            Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . . Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
            Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
            Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)


            • #7

              The key is eating and living properly.

              That is not in the realm of possibility for some of us. So some amount of supplementation is required for people like me.


              • #8

                Here is a post I wrote a while back (on MDC) on the (mostly) whole foods based &#39;supplements&#39; I try to get in each day. (Magnesium and vit d I supp w/ synthetic supps, but the rest is mostly straight from food or fish oils etc...) Maybe it will be helpful? (And feel free to critique or give me other ideas!)


                (I&#39;ve been working a lot on gut healing w/ my son, and am focussed on getting very specific vits/minerals into him/me to help support our digestion and detox pathways, just fyi!)