Thanks for your reply!
I guess it depends on what you understand under ‘Recommended Daily Values’.
Recording to Wikipedia (if you type ‘Dietary Reference Value’, which is used in the UK) there are several terms for several nutritional requirements:
RNI - Reference Nutrient Intake (97.5% of the population’s requirement is met)
EAR - Estimated Average Requirement (50% of the population’s requirement is met)
LRNI - Lower Recommended Nutritional Intake (2.5% of the population’s requirement is met)
If you go for 'Dietary Reference Intake, which is used in the US, you get terms like these:
- Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), expected to satisfy the needs of 50% of the people in that age group based on a review of the scientific literature.
- Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), the daily dietary intake level of a nutrient considered sufficient by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine to meet the requirements of 97.5% of healthy individuals in each life-stage and sex group. It is calculated based on the EAR and is usually approximately 20% higher than the EAR (See Calculating the RDA).
- Adequate Intake (AI), where no RDA has been established, but the amount established is somewhat less firmly believed to be adequate for everyone in the demographic group.
- Tolerable upper intake levels (UL), to caution against excessive intake of nutrients (like vitamin A) that can be harmful in large amounts. This is the highest level of daily consumption that current data have shown to cause no side effects in humans when used indefinitely without medical supervision.
I don’t know where you’re from, but I usually use the RDA from the US when I talk about this stuff. Which means it’s 20% higher then the level of nutrients you need before you would get deficiency symptoms.
Apart from that you’re completely right! Everyone is unique and this should be considered when memorizing all these numbers. Maybe one should first adapt them to their unique situation, but then again that also changes over time…
You are right about the gene deficiency. For one example, some people can’t convert vitamin A that comes from plants, so they have to get it from animal sources. Watch out with supplements though, you can get overdosed on some vitamins quite quickly with these.
I will post some numbers when I have more time.