Why Micronutrients are Vital for your Longterm Health:
The Triage Theory is an innovative approach to health created by Dr. Bruce Ames, a professor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The Triage Theory is based on evolutionary principles of natural selection, suggesting that our bodies favor short-term survival for reproduction over long-term health. The only way to prevent this long-term damage is to have a sufficient supply of micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals, in your body at all times. And unfortunately, most of the world’s population, even those in developed countries like the United States, have insufficient levels of micronutrients. Even the suggested amount of vitamins is not enough to sufficiently provide for your entire body.
Without the necessary vitamins and minerals at your body’s disposal, DNA repair is forgone for more immediate benefits. When DNA repair is ceased, you are at a higher risk of developing degenerative diseases that accompany aging, such as cancer, immune dysfunction, strokes, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive decline. But the Triage Theory posits that these chronic diseases can be avoided by simply keeping your micronutrient levels at a sufficient level.
What are Micronutrients and What is the RDA?
There are around 30 vitamins and minerals necessary for your metabolism to function adequately. This includes: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, biotin, C, choline, D, E, folic acid, K, niacin, pantothenate; and minerals/elements calcium, chloride, chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulfur, and zinc.
RDA stands for the Recommended Dietary Allowance, as determined by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. The RDA consists of a list of reference values used to assess and plan nutrition intake of different vitamins and minerals. The RDA is what is found on food labels when advising the daily percentage of different vitamins. The problem with the RDA lies in that the amount given is only enough to prevent disease, not enough to sufficiently supply the body with enough micronutrients to fulfill all requirements. To avoid falling victim to the Triage Theory, you're intake of vitamins and minerals must be higher than that of the RDA suggestion.
An Example of Triage Theory:
Vitamin K: Critical metabolic functions in the liver are dependant on Vitamin K. If the body is low in Vitamin K, it will supplement liver function over other uses of the vitamin in the body; such as bone-building, cancer prevention, and heart protection from atherosclerosis. The Western Diet is very limited in Vitamin K, as the micronutrient is mostly found in leafy greens and other vegetables, so most of us should be taking Vitamin K to avoid developing cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis- which can develop from long term Vitamin K deficiency.
Vitamin C: Our body will prioritize short-term avoidance of scurvy over long-term health benefits from Vitamin C. The RDA suggestion for Vitamin C is only enough to prevent scurvy, not enough to maintain healthy blood vessels, bones, and cartilage. Vitamin C is also a micronutrient that our bodies cannot synthesize, so we must rely on obtaining the vitamin from our diet. Which complicated things, as our food supply is very low on Vitamin C due to high amounts of pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics (glyphosate) in our soil. So a Vitamin C supplement is necessary for most to ensure the full benefits of the micronutrient.
Long Term Effects of Triage Theory
The Triage Theory predicts that optimizing your levels of the essential micronutrients mentioned above will lower your risk of developing chronic diseases associated with aging and lengthen your lifespan. When your levels of micronutrients remain optimal, your body will not have to choose between short term benefits or long-term health. If you’re lacking in certain vitamins and minerals, you may feel healthy in the present, but your body is forgoing DNA repair, which can result in cancer after a 20-year delay. Heart disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and immune dysfunction are all disorders linked to micronutrient deficiencies.