It would be worthwhile for societies to improve their people’s health, especially the poor and elderly, by increasing the intake of micronutrients and metabolites, which could be done at a very low cost.
Though Dr. Ames supports the idea that deficiency states are relieved by Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA’s), this doesn’t address the higher vitamin and mineral doses needed to prevent chronic diseases. The present RDA’s don’t address the issue of “more subtle metabolic damage,” such as DNA damage and oxidative damage.
“Deficiency of Vitamin B-12, folic acid, B-6, niacin, vitamin C, or vitamin E, iron or zinc appears to mimic radiation in damaging DNA.” Deficiencies of the above nutrients are widespread in our population and are not being met by today’s diets, with DNA damage being one cause of cancer. Selenium deficiency in conditions of oxidative stress in human cell culture causes DNA damage and zinc deficiency causes male reproductive dysfunction.
Micronutrient deficiency is associated with cognitive dysfunction. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) deficiency is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and dementia.
Vitamin D deficiency has become a widespread problem, especially in dark pigmented people. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a number of cancers, especially colorectal cancer in addition to bone weakness.
Acetylcarnitine and alpha lipoic acid reverse the oxidative mitochondrial decay that is a major contributor to aging in rat studies.
There are fifty human genetic diseases that are due to defective enzymes and can be improved by high doses of the vitamin B’s.
CONCLUSION: The author emphasizes the importance of prevention of chronic disease through improved nutrition and the low cost of basic essential micronutrients. These would include the above listed nutrients. In addition to the acute problems caused by severe micronutrient deficiencies, mild micronutrient deficiencies can be the cause of more subtle chronic disease. Current RDA’s don’t address this problem.