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The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 15, 2nd Quarter 2000


The NAS Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Upper Intake Levels for Nutrients: A Critical Review from a Psycho-physiological Perspective


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The article being reviewed here, 'A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Upper Intake Levels for Nutrients, has an unusual title and theme. "Risk" assessment implies that there is serious danger, hazard, or peril. When I think of risk in association with ingested substances, I usually think of polluted, chlorinated or fluoridated water, fish contaminated with mercury as well as mercury in dental amalgams, toxic drugs, medications, synthetic hormones or aspartame. Therefore, when I first heard about the National Academy of Sciences paper, 'A Risk Assessment Model for Establishing Upper Intake Levels for Nutrients" and downloaded it from the internet, it struck me as quite an odd title.

The concept Of " Super nutrition" makes a lot more sense to me; it suggests that we should be doing a better job of educating people about the critical role that optimal nutrition plays in health maintenance rather than seeking ways to limit their choice of nutrients. It is ironic that twenty years ago (1977), the National Academy of Sciences recognized the critical im- portance of calcium and magnesium in cardiovascular health. At that time the NAS recommended that the addition of calcium and magnesium to soft water might reduce the annual cardiovascular death rate in the U.S. by 150.000! Therefore, I expected that the Introduction to the present NAS risk assessment paper would provide some urgent or compelling health concern as a rationale for the extensive project described in the paper.

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