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You Ask, I Answer: DNA & RNA in Food

rnadnaI saw a package of brewer’s yeast the other day that had DNA and RNA levels listed with the rest of the nutritional info.

That seems a little bizarre to me. We’re ingesting DNA all the time from most foods and our own body fluids. Why would the manufacturer choose to list this?

Are any other foods labeled with this info as well?

A quick Google of the supposed health benefits of nucleic acid supplementation yields results that all want me to buy something.

Is there any legitimate reason to care about one’s level of nucleic acid intake?

— Lizzy Foulker
Vancouver, BC

None whatsoever.

Foods high in protein (meats, legumes, nuts, and seeds) are “good sources” of nucleic acid.

I put that in quotation marks because there is no Daily Value or recommended intake figures.

If anyone ever tries to sell you a product by mentioning RNA and DNA amounts, shrug and say “so what?”

I suspect this manufacturer’s decision to promote DNA and RNA values of his yeast are an attempt to cash in on those who follow the anti-aging market and believe DNA and RNA rich diets are the key to youthful looks.

If anything, too much nucleic acid can be problematic.

Our bodies convert nucleic acid to uric acid.  A buildup of uric acid (as a result of ingesting too much nucleic acid) can result in rheumatic condition known as gout.

Last I heard, rheumatic diseases were not exactly a sign of youth…


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