Our species is tough, resilient and durable. Human expected average lifespan is around 80 years in most developed countries, along with more centenarians every year. Increasing scientific, biological and medical knowledge is now showing all of us that there are a lot more elements than the easier obvious short-run results of diet and stress. There’s also critical (and oftentimes subtle) long term consequences that should often be taken into account.
In nutrition, this means that there is a minimum amount of Vitamin C we need to keep from getting scurvy. So the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C was once set just high enough to keep people from getting scurvy. Later we began to realize that while low amounts of vitamin C kept us from getting sick, they did not promote optimal health.
If you don’t get any Vitamin C, you will contract scurvy in a few months. But the goal in nutrition is not just to avoid obvious short-term vitamin-deficiancy diseases. It is to promote optimum health, energy levels and well being. For that we need many times the scurvy-prevention level of Vitamin C intake.
There are still longer cycles of nutrient deprivation and lifestyles involving many different nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants, etc. Long-term deprivations of these seem to lead to problems usually associated with aging, like diabetes, heart disease, senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
On the dark side there are pollutants, toxins, carcinogens and other substances, both known and as-yet-unknown, that have cumulative life-shortening effects on people.
Knowing this encourages us to avoid commercial drugs in favor of natural cures .
Technology marches on, delivering new understandings and suggesting completely new possibilities every day. As research workers continue to unravel the secrets of how our body chemistry really works, down to the molecular level, our perspective and our abilities to enhance and prolong human life are continually increasing.
Disclaimer: This posting is based on information freely available in the popular press and medical journals that deal with medical matters. Nothing herein is intended to be or should be construed to be medical advice. For medical advice the reader should consult with his or her physician or other medical specialist.
Courtesy of Ignacio Montoya