How Much Do I Need? - An Introduction to Vitamin Dosage

The Food and Nutrition Board of the American Institute of Medicine has determined the recommended daily vitamin intake, the minimum amount of a particular vitamin or mineral the average adult man or woman should consume daily, preferably from natural food sources but enhanced by supplements if necessary. Other countries have similar guidelines.

Recently, these amounts have been re-evaluated and adjusted to be the amount required for optimal health and are now officially called Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). However, not all vitamins and minerals have been given a new DRI. Some are found so abundantly in food that people are unlikely to be deficient in them, and so it seems unnecessary to quantify how much one should intake. In these cases, Safe and Adequate Intakes (SAI), a range of intakes or minimum requirements is provided as a general guideline.

New studies are being conducted all the time and, according to some experts, many of these minimum requirements have been set too low. For therapeutic benefits, higher mineral andhigher vitamin doses are most likely necessary.

Furthermore, the recommended amounts vary for children, pregnant and nursing women, seniors, smokers, alcohol drinkers, stressed or depressed people, those with chronic diseases or those who consume less than 2,000 calories per day.

The multi-million dollar vitamin supplement industry is largely unregulated and findings/claims are sometimes based on anecdotal rather than scientific evidence. Different sources seem to advise different dosages for different conditions.

There really aren't any definitive, reliable absolutes when it comes to supplement recommendations and so this website is not going to prescribe specifics. Please consult with your physician, nutritionist or holistic practitioner who will work with you to determine a course of action for your health needs.

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