So I’m sure most of you know that each vitamin and mineral can influence each other and compete for absorption. The generally accepted solution to this complexity seems to be a bit of a trial and error, with blood tests used to detect any serious problem before damage done. One common line of logic is that, in the worst case, we’re still better off than the standard unhealthy diet of a college student, etc.
I agree with that in principle, and for the most part we still have to wait for research to find all the answers to these issues. But there are some things that we apparently do know about now, and it would be a pitty not to apply that knowledge to get a more optimal set of DRIs and ULs. I’ve seen some of these mentioned here on the forums and I’d like to propose we dump everything we know in one place (Unless it’s already being done somewhere I couldn’t find)
For now, we’ve found this (will be updated as information is gathered):
- Mineral ratios
- Calcium : Phosphorus ratio = at least 1.3:1 (2.5:1 for blood content, not diet)
- Calcium : Magnesium ratio = from 1:1 to 2:1
- Potassium : Sodium ratio = at least 2:1
- Iron : Copper ratio = from 10:1 to 17:1
- Zinc : Copper ratio = from 10:1 to 15:1
- Iron : Zinc ratio = no more than 2:1 (lower limit N/A?)
- Phytic Acid molar ratios
- PA : Zn = no more than 15:1
- Ω Acids
- Ω-6 : Ω-3 = from 1:1 to 2.3:1
- ???Ω-6 shouldn’t exceed 4% of calories??? (debate in progress)
- Any significant presence of phytic acid (molar ratio greater than 0.6:1 wrt to Iron) will inhibit Iron absorption by 60-80%. There is likely no mitigating this.
These are the implications:
- The DRI of 700mg seems to be a good starting point for all that follows
- UL should be dropped from 4000mg to 1900mg because anything more than 1900 would push your recommended minimum calcium past its upper limit.
- This makes the acceptable phosphorus window somewhat narrow. I’m finding that the closer to 700 it is, the easier everything else is to balance. So phosphorus is rather important to keep low.
- DRI should be close to 1.3x Phosphorus
- DRI should be 0.5x Calcium
- UL should be 1x Calcium
- DRI should be 2x Sodium (no UL)
- DRI should be 10x Copper
- UL should be 15x Copper
- If there is any phytic acid (>10s of mg /day), the initial USDA DRI should be raised to 24mg for men, 36mg for women
- 3xDRI for men (only 2x for women to keep safely under the UL) based on USDA recommendations for vegetarians (page 332)
- Also, increase Vitamin C to at least 100mg / meal. (300mg) This part may be critical for women during menstruation.
- DRI should be at least 10x Copper
- UL should be the lowest of:
- 17x Copper
- 2x Zinc (should always be higher if Zinc recommendations are followed)
- Phytic Acid
- UL should be ((Zn[mg] / 1000) / 65.4) x 15 x 660 (preferably significantly lower)
- Omega-3 Fatty acids
- DRI should be Omega-6 total / 2.3
- UL should be 1x Omega-6
- One recommendation is for an UL of ((Calorie budget * 0.04) / 9)
- Likely most useful if the ratio to Omega-3 cannot be met
I’ve made a spreadsheet, where the DRIs and ULs dynamically adjust with cross references. All the ratios are tracked on the top right.