Conventional wisdom has it that if we eat a “balanced” diet based on the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) weshould be getting sufficient quantities of all the vitamins and minerals we need to be healthy. However, there are a number of problems with this approach. The RDAs are typically set as minimum thresholds to avoid diseases such as scurvy or calcium deficiency. They are not set to be the “optimal” levels for your long-term health and longevity.
Furthermore, this “one-size fits all” approach fails to take into account the nutritional requirements of individual people, such as those who might be managing chronic diseases (60% of American adults). Lastly, regardless of your current health, accurately tracking your daily nutritional intake is difficult.
The Impact On Longevity
Over the long-term, even small deficiencies of key micronutrients can have a lasting impact on our longevity. According to nutrition scientist Dr. Bruce Ames, when our organism detects limited availability of micronutrients, it will perform a type of “nutritional triage”, prioritizing their use. This appears to be an evolutionary adaptation to give precedence to the biological functions that maximize the possibility of short term survival. The downside of this is that important processes linked with longevity can be de-prioritized.
When faced with the question of adequate nutrition, most of us resort to using supplements as “insurance.” The assumption is that if we are not getting enough of a particular vitamin or mineral through diet, we can cover the gap with a daily multivitamin. While this might be a good strategy, it is still of the one-size-fits-all kind.
Moreover, the question remains: how can we be sure we are optimally covering our needs? Getting too much of a micronutrient might be as bad as getting too little.
Our search for a practical answer led us to Baze. This company offers a convenient service by which you can easily identify any macronutrient deficiencies you may have. It starts with a take-at-home blood test using a specially designed collection device. Based on a detailed analysis of your blood sample, Baze generates a nutrient status report focused on 11 key vitamins and minerals. If the report reveals deficiencies, they provide you with diet and supplement recommendations to address them. Three months later, you test again to track your progress. The company claims that 73% of the people resolve their nutritional deficiencies in that time.
Dig deeper here.