7

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Daily nutrient intake

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 13, 2010 at 4:58 PM

From an evolutionary perpsective does it make sense that we should be taking in all the essential nutrients on a daily basis? In my head it doesn't make sense that our ancestors would be getting all the nutrients they need, every day.

So, should i be worried if i don't have the adequate amount of whatever nutrient evey day or should i just not frackin care about it?

361bc16cfdad25411a6f93e10c45aadc

on February 15, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Excellent points. While it makes sense to me, I would like to see some more info on the body being better at absorbing smaller regular doses than a ton all at once.

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5 Answers

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4
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on December 14, 2010
at 04:30 AM

Intake needs probably depend on how long your body can store extra supplies of that vitamin. For some vitamins, like A, D, E, and K (the fat soluble vitamins), it can take weeks or months to run down on it if you have a good supply already in your system because supposedly your body is good at storing these vitamins. However, SUPPOSEDLY the water soluble vitamins like C and the B complex vitamins (B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin and folate) do not store well in the body and therefore it is suggested that you intake these vitamins on a very regular basis.

However, interesting to note that many texts say that water soluble vitamins "are not stored," and some locations even go so far as to say that the vitamin is "gone the next day." But the wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C seems to indicate (under absorption,transport,disposal) that vit C is in fact stored in the kidneys and other areas of the body and the half life can be as long as 83 days when approaching severe depletion (scurvy promoting levels)

Plus there are plenty of sites saying the vitamin B12 can be stored for FIVE YEARS in the body. Hence why vegans can skate a long time before becoming deficient. Perhaps such storage is needed because supposedly severe b12 depletion can cause permanent brain and nerve damage.

Also interesting are sites saying folate stores in the body can last 'only' 4 months. Four months is a long time for something that supposedly can't be stored! So despite many places saying water soluble vitamins are not stored, obviously at least B12 and folate are in fact stored decently and I would not be surprised if the others were too. After all, we don't all become debilited if we eat bad for a day or even if we skip eating for a day. So the body MUST be storing what it needs to some extent.

Personally, I suspect that if you have an average good intake of all vitamins and minerals over the course of say a week or so, then it does not matter if you miss some on one day or another. However, if you were already borderline deficient in anything, I would not be surprised if symptoms were to show up quickly in some cases. The other thing to consider is that the body is better at absorbing smaller more regular doses than it is at absorbing a ton of something all at once. So at least for something you might be at borderline levels, it's likely better to try to maintain very regular intake. And that would go double for anyone with digestive issues or who is sick or weak in any way.

361bc16cfdad25411a6f93e10c45aadc

on February 15, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Excellent points. While it makes sense to me, I would like to see some more info on the body being better at absorbing smaller regular doses than a ton all at once.

5
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on December 13, 2010
at 06:24 PM

I think this is a great line of questioning. My mind is that who knows, maybe it's actually beneficial for us to NOT get the "exact" amounts regularly. Maybe dipping down in say Vitamin this or that and then getting a bolus is good for us. Kind of the way that IFing can actually increase muscle anabolism.

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 13, 2010
at 06:10 PM

That's a really great question!

Obviously paleo peeps couldn't check the iron content of spinach in a nutrition database. Nor did they have the RDA. Not that I think the RDA is so hot - there may be more to health than avoiding rickets and scurvy. Hunter-gatherers seem to have a better natural sense of what they need/what's good for them. Every now and then, I feel like I need some liver, so I have some.

Perhaps there are things like soil depletion that make looking at vitamins and minerals worthwhile--to make sure that a reasonable balance is achieved. I take a few supps that seem to make me feel better (fish oil/magnesium/D/K/potassium) - but I don't want to obsess too much over it.

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on December 13, 2010
at 05:49 PM

I know I don't really spend much time worrying about it. I get my blood tested at least twice a year and if I was severely deficient in something I would know it.

I have just started taking Natural Calm (magnesium) because I have high blood pressure and I'm working on getting off the meds.

0
0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on December 13, 2010
at 05:48 PM

You know I was thinking about this exact same thing the other day. I mean I don't think our ancestors got the exact same nutrients everyday.

Would consuming one big meal a day be less beneficial than consuming three meals a day. For example one day I consume about a pound of salmon, and the next day about 20 eggs as my main protein source. Obviously one day I will be getting a high intake of Omega 3 and another a high Omega 6 intake.

Is that optimal or should I aim to have a varied daily diet? Somethings I just find it easier to cook one large meal a day, and just eat it throughout the day.

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