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What do they print on the vitamin bottle? – What does it mean?
(about RDA, ODA, therapeutic dosages and a rational use of dietary supplements)

By Erik Kirchheiner, FRSA

The vitamin tablets on the breakfast table usually have a lot of information on the label. Few of us read this information, but it is worth the trouble. Because what really is the RDA? And what does RDA mean to you and your family? – Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find this on your label. But lets have a look at it!

RDA is an abbreviation for the term Recommended Daily Allowance. Let's say it says on the bottle: "Vitamin A - 800 mcg = 100 %" – then it naturally means that you have had the whole recommended dosage. That sounds reassuring. – But is it really?

Who is it recommending what to whom? – on what basis - and why?

You need some preliminary insight to answer these questions.

The RDA has its historical origin in the USA, where in 1948 just after the Second World War they began formulating a series of minimum values of vitamins and minerals with the aim to secure that larger populations should not suffer from serious diseases because of deficiency.

These values were named RDA = Recommended Dietary (or Daily) Allowance. (The Danish ADT-values are even now largely copies of the American RDA and are rather a standard of a nutritional minimum margin of security).
The RDA is therefore not at all a standard of optimal intakes covering all the needs of man. Consequently, it is also not a standard of every single person’s often very individual biological needs, and also not of the extra nutrient demands that arise because of sickness and other weaknesses caused by stress, by toxins from the environment, from malnutrition, and many other factors.

To say this in another way: The RDA is not a standard which indicates those amounts that will get any single individual to function at the highest level, providing effective protection against illness, against stress and pollution, and providing a high level of immune response.

It is also not a standard which guarantees, individually, the sick, the elderly, the medically poisoned, the hereditarily tainted, the convalescent, the alcoholic, the drug addict, the overworked homemaker, the maladjusted child or – pretty well – anybody who has some sort of a biochemical problem, the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Consequently, it is totally irresponsible and unscientific, when RDA is used as a reference table to limit people’s intake of vitamins and minerals or used as a strict standard of how much anybody can have of this or that nutrient.

But it is exactly in this way the RDA is often used in the consultation room and in the pharmacy, where people are misled and frightened with old wives’ tales about vitamin and mineral "overdoses". It is always the dark side that is emphasized.

The fact that this misleading and so often misused RDA is the only official standard the public normally becomes acquainted with – for instance on the labels of dietary supplements – has of course been resented by a lot of people both in Denmark and in other countries.

In the homeland of the RDA, the USA, some scientists have tried to do something about this. They have established and attempted to introduce their own standard which they call ODA = Optimal Dietary/Daily Allowances.

The ODA may be seen as an initiative to create an average standard of what people ought to take, not just to keep from being seriously ill because of some serious deficiency disease, but to be able to function fairly efficiently. It serves to be well protected against the consequences of deficiencies, to be immune competent and capable to resist stress and a certain degree of pollution and poisoning without going down.

Notice that not even the ODA is a standard of individual needs, or the need for those who are very sick, old, hereditarily tainted, poisoned, malnourished or who in any way have special needs. But the ODA is at any rate a far better general guidance than the RDA.

For the sick, the weakened, the hereditarily tainted, the poisoned, the chronically malnourished we require altogether different standards. This is the area of nutritional therapy, where you do not use only the prevalent daily supplement values. Here often you will need more than the ODA. These are actual therapeutic dosages, e.g. for orthomolecular treatment of disorders like circulatory diseases, gout and rheumatism, fibromyalgia, socalled mental diseases, hypoglycemia, diabetes and cancer, as well as many other disorders.

However, it is no wonder that many people feel confused and unsure when trying to estimate their own need for vitamins and other nutrients. The confusion is made worse by a steady flow of mixed misinformation from the media. At regular intervals we are presented with hysterical outbursts of misinformation that vitamins and other dietary supplements can be dangerous and cause serious diseases like cancer, circulatory diseases and other miserable conditions.

Unfortunately this kind of misrepresentation scares a many people who do not have the mental energy or the time to study the factual documentation. Consequently, they will not take advantage of the possibilities of increased defence against sickness, increased energy, mental efficiency and prolonged life; all within the potential range of the rational use of optimal intake of dietary supplementation.

This scare campaign is meticulously engineered by the so-called official health authorities, which make it very hard for the public civil rights movements to clarify the factual situation. However, only the citizens themselves have the needed political influence to redress this situation and publicly make the health needs of the population known on the basis of incontestable scientific data.

Despite all the official promises about improving public health, it is the destructive forces within the EU that seem to progress the most these years, especially in their attempts of establishing very restrictive limits for EU citizens’ access to vitamins, minerals and other supplements and health improving substances.

The publicly elected representatives as well as the governmental bureaucrats are in their own somnambulistic way unperturbed by this threat and it is nearly impossible to activate them against this brutal attempt to rob people of their fundamental rights to access to health and cure.

In a time when high doses of vitamin E have been shown to be able to save diabetics from complications (12), when intensive treatment with vitamin C can save cancer patients (13), when high doses of vitamin B-3 can eliminate all symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (6), when schizophrenics can be released from their suffering by massive supplements (14) – to just mention a few examples – it is a crime of the magnitude of genocide to cut off the population of Europe from these possibilities of natural alleviation and cure. What is the scientific basis for this? – It just does not exist! – Which is the parliamentary mandate then? – It cannot be found at all!

It is all a deadly dish prepared by bureaucrats, cooked in concealment; in a wider sense it is mortal to the affected citizenry, whose tax paid representatives never pulled themselves together to do their simple job: to protect the citizens who elected them, paid them and showed them their trust.

Provided the Food Supplements Directive is slipped through the corridors of the EU, Europeans will have to say goodbye to something like 250 to 300 vitamin- and mineral substances, which will then in a few years be illegal to process, produce, sell, buy and consume.

Forget about natural prevention of disease! Forget about natural healing! Forget about avoiding the pharmaceutical medicines’ causing harm and disease, because then we shall be left with only those kinds of medicines. And the only ones who will profit from this are of course – the pharmaceutical companies.

One of the few organizations in Denmark who have considered this and are fighting against it, is the civil rights movement, MayDay. MayDay has collected more than 6.300 written protests, but a much wider and more numerous opposition is necessary. All citizens must be informed, all must get active, for themselves, for their children and grandchildren, in order to maintain the health prospects of a society with free access to health and cure.

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Quillin; Patrick, & QUILLIN; Noreen,: Beating Cancer with Nutrition; The Nutrition Times Press, Inc. Tulsa; 1994; ISBN 0-9638372-0-6

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