Nutrition and Health: Dissecting the Complexity - So Where do we Get Nutritional Advice for Optimum Health?
Before we attend to these questions, it is worthwhile to note that, humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, and therefore it is an essential dietary component . Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen (a component of bones, cartilage, blood vessel walls, etc.), L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters; vitamin C is also involved in protein metabolism. Collagen is an essential component of connective tissue, which plays a vital role in wound healing. Vitamin C is also an important physiological antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E)
Now back to the questions, to capture all the questions in a response, I present a case of Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for at least one nutrient, vitamin C. The recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA and Adequate Intake (AI) levels, for vitamin C in adult men is 90mg/day and in females 75 mg/day. Considering how the human body obtains vitamin C and its functions in the body, it is reasonable to consider the intakes above as inadequate, or too low. Proponents of Alternative medical approaches argue that these intakes may possibly be helpful in prevention and treatment of scurvy, but definitely are too low for body requirement for optimum health.
This also may help explain why most conventional health care providers claim that natural health, including nutritional therapy approaches don’t work in practice or in research settings - poor/incorrect application of the approaches (often inadequate or too low dosages)
In addition to the RDAs and the AIs, there is one more value known as the tolerable upper limit and this is given as 2000 mg/day in the case of vitamin C, at least in the DRI for the USA and Canada. Here again we raise questions: what is the basis of coming up with this figure - how was it generated? Are there any concerns, side effects if more than 2000 mg/day is taken? Is there any pathophysiology and subsequent clinical manifestation of vitamin C intake above 2000 mg/day? I did some research on this matter and found nothing to that effect. In fact proponents of natural health, nutritional therapies, etc do not even consider any upper limit for vitamin C intake. The limit is defined by what is termed “bowl tolerance”, i.e. when the stool gets to be loose, then its time slow down the intake.
I, personally have used vitamin C doses of 6-8 000 mg/day to fend of imminent common cold attack (i.e. at the very early moments you feel a common cold is about to strike), and it has worked unbelievably well for over five years since I started the practice, such that I now believe that the issue of a common cold and flu, requiring immunization is just a myth.
Finally, getting back to the question: So Where do we Get Nutritional Advice for Optimum Health? With the pieces of information provided above, I would definitely have an extremely hard time to get nutritional advice from our traditional/conventional health care providers (including physicians) or any other platforms and sources of information based on the current DRI. I would definitely recommend seeking nutritional advice for optimum health from natural health professional (naturopathic doctors, nutritional therapist, orthomolecular medicine practitioners, lifestyle coaches, etc.), and all natural health-based platforms.
In Natural Health, We Trust!