Health FAQ

What is RDA? What is RDI?

RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance

Defined as levels of intake of essential nutrients that, on the basis of scientific knowledge, are judged by the Food and Nutrition Board to be adequate to meet the known nutrient needs of practically all healthy persons. Scientific information was studied to establish amounts of essential nutrients and food sources of energy needed in diets.

RDI = Recommended Dietary Intake

Defined as amounts of essential nutrients considered sufficient to meet the physiological needs of practically all healthy persons in a specified group and the average amount of food sources of energy needed by the members of the group, applicable to groups of individuals or populations.

Note: RDAs and RDIs are reference values for intakes of essential nutrients. The information is used, primarily, by health professionals in preparing and planning food supplies for large groups of people and in making reliable public health recommendations for nutritionally inadequate diets. They are also used to formulate appropriate modifications of usual diets for therapeutic purposes, and to assess the adequacy of diets consumed by individuals or populations. RDAs and RDIs are not necessarily dietary guidelines for the public, which are distinctively different and complex and also address the need to reduce the risk of chronic and degenerative diseases in the population.

Is it possible for me to get a toxic overdose if my vitamin/ mineral intake is more than that recommended by RDA or RDI?

Unreasonably large doses of vitamins or minerals may be toxic, whether taken all at once or over prolonged periods of time. In some cases, excessive amounts of certain fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and D may be of concern, especially in the consumption of single vitamin products. However, the nutrients in supplements derived from balanced formulations with food based concentrates allows a more substantial intake over the RDAs without concern of toxicity. Generally, the minerals selenium and chromium may be considered toxic substances in excess of 200mcg. However, when a special peptide bonding process is used in processing, it provides a safe, food-based source of these minerals. It is important to take into consideration the differences in age, weight, height, metabolism and current health status, because not everyone utilizes the same product exactly the same way. Moderation and a health professional’s advice is always a good rule. Regardless of product safety, always keep supplements out of the reach of children.

Is it safe to take supplements with prescription drugs?

Generally speaking, yes. However, some drugs may interfere with nutrient absorption, so supplements should be taken at a separate time from a drug to avoid any interaction. For example, take supplements approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour after taking medicine. Supplements such as fish oil and garlic have blood thinning properties and should be mentioned to the physician who may be prescribing blood thinning or blood clotting medicines so that dosages may be monitored appropriately. Herbal supplements are another matter. Because of their complexity in chemical makeup, they may interact with drugs, boost blood pressure or affect various other functions that require medical supervision.

Always inform your medical professional of any vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement you are taking so they may take that into consideration when prescribing tests, drugs and other health care. Please consult your health professional before taking supplements if you are pregnant, nursing, or have any existing illness or condition.

Do I still need to take nutritional supplements even if I eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle?

The word is out among the scientific community that foods are not supporting the complete nutritional needs of the healthy individual, much less that of someone with health challenges. Even medical doctors and athletes take supplements to ensure adequate nutrition. It is also quite difficult to eat the amount of foods necessary to absorb the quantity of nutrients required to reach a therapeutic level. Concentrated food-based supplements support both the healthy individual and the person who seeks complementary nutrition to support their healing processes.

How long do I need to take supplements?

How long do you need life insurance? Supplementing your diet every day with nutrients that support your body systems contributes to long-term health benefits. With supplements, you will have a greater chance of making a positive impact on your health and longevity. Being consistent in taking your supplements is also very important. Keeping optimum levels of nutrients in your system keeps your body ready to meet the challenges of every day life.

Is it better to take supplements with food or on an empty stomach?

It is best to take vitamin/mineral supplements during or after meals because they combine with nutrients from the food that help them work synergistically together to ensure absorption and assimilation. Products that contain enzymes, friendly bacteria and nutritional yeast work best when taken on an empty stomach or before meals because this allows their beneficial nutrients to be absorbed rapidly without competing with foods. These products help prepare the body for better nutrient absorption from the foods that are eaten, and they help improve digestion and rapid nutrient delivery. It is still alright to take supplements at any time, but they work best when taken as suggested.

Should children take supplements?

Children have very unusual and picky eating habits that often do not allow them to get an adequate supply of the nutrients they need for their active, growing bodies. Supplements provide added assurance that their nutrient needs are being met regardless of their dietary habits. Studies have shown that supplemental nutrients added to the diets of babies and children contribute substantially to their mental and physical growth and health. Supplements help children cope with the nutritional drain that is caused by the constant stress placed on their rapidly developing bodies and minds. Keeping children’s nutrition at optimum levels can help them be prepared for healthy adulthood.