The first 25 years of the twentieth century, the US government established requirements for nutrients to prevent deficiency diseases such as Beriberi and Scurvy. The title or term associated was “Minimum Daily Requirements.” These “Requirements” did not have any other effects or intention to address any other medical problems.
During mid-century, some medical and veterinary professionals discovered administering nutritional supplements in excess of those recommended for deficiency diseases, had a profound effect on some diseases. Due to this phenomenon, these professionals requested the National Research Council to increase the Minimum Daily Requirement to include other medical conditions. This was denied, instead, they changed “Minimum” to what we have today “Recommended.”
There is much to gain should the “Recommended Daily Allowances” be increased since many pathological problems are due to our environment including poor diets. It is inconceivable the nutritional requirements are the same as recommended in early twentieth century. One would have to wonder what pathological conditions could be eliminated/prevented with a simple increase in the “Recommended Daily Allowances”.
What makes matters worse, this has been carried into our domestic animals including our pets. Ideally, instead of recommending “Minimums” an effort should be made to establish “Optimum” levels of nutrients. Since many diseases occur because of immune deficiencies, having optimum nutrition to ensure an optimally functioning immune systems would prevent many diseases. The whole idea of nutrition is to promote and maintain good health, which should be the goal of the National Academy of Sciences. Deficiency diseases are almost nonexistent in these modern times and it is time we focus on current nutritional problems by replacing the archaic “Minimum Requirement,” with more realistic nutritional values.