How important is RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) while choosing supplements?
“Excess of anything is bad”, a line which many of us have heard but often ignored when it comes to our health supplements. General perception usually is that higher the quantity of vitamin or mineral in a supplement – the healthier it is, but there is a problem with this ideology as an excess of vitamins, minerals or other nutrients could also create problems for our health.
Let’s understand this by an example of a bamboo plant, it is often advised that too much watering or exposure of sunlight to a bamboo plant can be harmful to it so similarly in the case of human bodies excess quantity of minerals, vitamins or nutrients can also harm our body. Therefore, it is required that we only allow our body to consume the minerals, nutrients or vitamins as per to the recommended dietary allowance so that we can maintain a healthy body.
What is the Recommended Dietary Allowance?
To understand the Recommended Dietary Allowance as a definition it would mean the level of intake of minerals, nutrients, proteins, vitamins etc., which is adequate to meet the daily nutrition requirement for healthy individuals in a particular life stage or gender group. But in much simpler terms RDA means the level of nutrients to be consumed in the DAILY diet by individuals according to their age, body, gender, weight and physical activity.
Thus, in this light, it is pertinent to understand that RDA is neither a minimal requirement nor maximum requirement but the SAFE and ADEQUATE intake of nutrients that humans need for maintaining a healthy body which is why it also becomes necessary to keep in mind that while taking health supplements one also has to make sure that whether those health supplements are sticking to the parameters of RDA or not?
Why do we require health supplements?
The main reason to have a standard requirement of nutrition for the human body is that our body needs vitamins in small amounts which it can get from the healthy diet we intake, but considering the changing times and changed lifestyle of people it has been often noticed that many times our body doesn’t receive the necessary amount of nutrition resulting into many health problems. Furthermore, our body has its metabolic process where carbohydrates, fats and proteins are involved and vitamins aid in the chemical reaction in the metabolic process but sometimes vitamins cannot be produced by our body therefore, they have to be derived only through diet or health supplements.
In a nutshell, we need to take health supplements considering the deficiency of nutrition in our body which has to be assessed according to the Recommended Dietary Allowance so that a balance of nutrition is maintained in our body.
How to check RDA?
The ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) is the nodal agency by the Government of India to establish the RDA limits by studying the nutrient requirements in changing times. It has notified the guidelines to the regulatory body FSSAI (Food Safety Standards Authority of India) which regulates the health supplements in India and checks it’s strict compliance.
According to the Packaging and Labelling regulations of FSSAI – each box of health supplements needs to declare the nutrient weight along with its per serving percentage contribution to the RDA established. For example, the RDA limit of Vitamin D3 is 10mcg, therefore 100% (RDA) needs to be mentioned on the label so that customers could make an informed decision while buying.
As per regulations, the vitamins and minerals should not exceed the per serving RDA limit in the health supplement. The FSSAI in June 2020 has issued a strict warning to all the health supplement firms to adhere to the RDA limits while manufacturing health supplements.
DON’T OVERDO YOUR NUTRITION
While assessing a health supplement one has to keep in mind whether that health supplement would adequately fulfill the required nutrition in your body or will it be more than what your body requires?
Imbalance of nutrition in our body can create major problems; for example, deficiency of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) in the body can cause nerve problems but at the same time over excess of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can also cause nerve problems, but the good part is that Vitamin B6 can be adequately derived just through usual dietary options such as cereal grains, carrots, peas, spinach, milk, cheese, fish, flour so usually, a health supplement specifically of Vitamin B6 is not recommended.
On the other hand excess of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K can also cause harm to our body for example-
Excess of Vitamin A may cause birth defects and hip-fractures.
Excess of Vitamin D may cause excess calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) that may cause weakening of bones, create kidney stones along with nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, etc.
Therefore, it becomes important to assess health supplements according to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), as excess nutrition can be equally fatal to our body as compared to deficiency of nutrition.
The necessity of having health supplements in sync to the RDA is because the overloading of vitamins or nutrients in the body doesn’t mean full absorption but a threat to the natural immune system of the human body.Therefore, make sure that while taking health supplements you are taking nutrients within the parameters of RDA because an excess of nutrients in the body doesn’t guarantee to have a healthy body.
Curae Health, a pioneer in Vegan health supplements adheres to the strict RDA limits and has a strong R&D (Research & Development) team which scientifically derives each formulation by identifying the best possible compounds for the body’s specific requirements. All of its products are made under strict supervision and contain safe and effective nutrients processed under the highest standards.