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Behind Most Health Problems
excerpted from ReallyWell: Secrets of Wellness Made Simple
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Copyright 2003-2014 by Jonathon Miller, M.A., M.Div.
natural health educator & author
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Where Have All The Minerals Gone?
It has long been known that our soils are depleted of minerals important to the life and health of plants, animals and humans. In 1936 the United States Department of Agriculture issued U. S. Senate Document 264 stating that "virtually all soils in the United States are mineral deficient."
Scientists at the 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil submitted documentation that soils worldwide are depleted of minerals. The agricultural soils in the United States rated as one of the worst with 83% of essential minerals missing.
This is a serious problem. History reveals that civilizations fall as the quality of their soils diminishes.
Minerals are basic elements of the known universe, as are water and gases. We do not know how to create or destroy them.
While a plant can make proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients and other compounds, it cannot create a mineral. In fact it needs minerals to build these other compounds.
As the minerals move from the soil into plants, if they are not replaced by decaying organic matter, or by farmers and other soil tenders, the soils will be gradually reduced in mineral value and unable to support lush plant growth. Soils were once rich with life-sustaining minerals, but these have been drawn from the soils by plants and trees, many of which have been harvested or cut down for farming, wood and development.
Abundant plant life is needed to keep the oxygen/carbon dioxide balance proper for a healthy Earth. Plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.
Most of us are aware of the astounding destruction of the planet's great forests and jungles in the last 50-100 years.
As a counter to the Greenhouse theory, alternative scientists have warned that soon a new ice age will result, possibly from diminished plant-life. They theorize that as the carbon dioxide builds up, reducing sunlight, it will naturally bring on ice glaciers to grind rocks and re-mineralize the soil for a renewed cycle of vegetation 1000’s of years from now. They believe their studies have revealed this pattern in past ice ages.
NOTE: Although there have been a few isolated regional temperature increases since, the brief period of "Global Warming" ended about 18 years ago. Such temperature variations are thought to be characteristic of the beginning of an ice age. We had the most snowfall in recorded history in northeastern Ohio during the 2004-2005 snow season. More recently, the 2013-14 1014-15 winters was particularly cold and bitter for much of North America.
Either way -- too hot or too cold, we have a planet in serious trouble.
Many farm lands have been in production for a 100 years. With modern agricultural practices, promoted by chemical interests since the 1940's, that put little more than nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers, and perhaps lime, back into the soil; most of the minerals were taken up by crops and gone long ago.
Fertilizers may cause plants to grow, but the produce is a hollow food. In addition, synthetic fertilizers may convert mineral ions into insoluble complexes, which the plants cannot well absorb. The plants raised are malnourished and susceptible to pests and diseases.
So the chemical agriculture industry wheels out the chemical pesticides and herbicides, which are toxic to the soil, the plants and the consumers. Further, these chemicals kill or inhibit soil microorganisms responsible for assisting in making minerals soluble for absorption by the plant roots.
"Organically-grown" food is obviously a much better choice, but that term just means it is raised avoiding chemicals. The "organic" label does not insure that a full array of minerals have been restored to the soil. That takes time and heroic measures.
In sum, modern agriculture assures us of mineral-deficient food. If you were to raise your own garden, and keep the soil well-mineralized, this would be your best food.
Minerals Are Crucial For Health And Life
Every cell in your body must have minerals to live and function. Every beat of your heart requires minerals to happen. Your brain cells and nervous system utilize minerals to deliver electrical signals to every part of your body. Vitamins, enzymes, hormones, the immune system and almost all biological activities need a wide variety and amount of minerals to work right. And the skeletal structure, the skull, bones and teeth, depend on an adequate mineral supply to stay strong.
As an example, magnesium is the activator for over 300 enzymes. Also it is integral in the production of ATP, the energy compound of the body. Magnesium is seriously deficient in the average diet, yet mainstream medicine gives little attention to the body’s critical need for it.
Similarly, zinc is a component of all cells. It is a cofactor in nearly 70 different enzymes, and provides significant benefits for the immune system, growth and development of muscular and skeletal structures, and tissue repair. Today’s foods contain too little for our needs, especially those of children.
Many scientists realize that mineral deficiency is a major cause of much of the sickness, disease, aging and premature death that so dramatically effects the health of our population. Tragically, the World Health Organization estimates that two million children die per year from malnutrition.
Most ailments like osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, kidney and liver ailments, cancer, M.S., lupus, birth defects, mental impairments, and nearly all the others, are directly linked to deficiencies of minerals, and of enzymes, pigments and vitamins, which all three require minerals to be made. Such poor health conditions have nutritional deficiency at the root of them, and are mostly avoidable.
Dr. Alexis Carrel received a Nobel Prize for proving that a living cell would be immortal if it had sufficient amounts of nutrients in proper balance of all elements needed. He was able to keep a chicken heart alive in a regularly cleaned, nutrient-rich solution for 34 years. He proved that cells simply need proper nutrition and to have wastes and pollutants removed to live indefinitely in their life-supporting fluid.
Acting on this knowledge can extend your life!
Carrel found that only minute amounts of nutrients are required. Our health, energy and vitality depend more on small amounts of minerals in usable form than on the amount of protein, carbohydrates or calories we consume.
Each bodily process, including the functions of vitamins and enzymes, requires specific minerals. If they aren’t in the soil, they aren’t in the food supply, and they aren’t provided to you by eating. Therefore, to avoid much pain and suffering, and early death, including terrible childhood afflictions, it makes sense to utilize good nutritional supplementation.
Sources Of Nutritional Minerals
As a base of good nutrition, well-grown foods and super foods are where to get the natural minerals the body needs. However, even the best of organic produce and super foods may not be able to provide all the minerals the body needs, especially with a long developing deficiency, and the stress levels of the modern lifestyle.
The inorganic "crushed rock" minerals used in most supplements and as food additives, are very poorly absorbed and used. As an example, calcium carbonate is the most commonly available type of calcium supplement. Consuming this is like trying to eat and digest chalk. It is very poorly absorbed, but very inexpensive.
Chelated MineralsChelation is a "chemical bonding" process. The term "chemical" does not necessarily mean that harmful chemicals are used. That word does not only apply to synthetic chemicals. It refers to any interactions between elements or compounds, whether synthetic, natural, inorganic or organic. Everything in the body is a "chemical" compound with chemical bonds. Natural biological processes in the body are "biochemical" reactions.
The idea of chelation in making a mineral supplement, is to bond a mineral with a food acid to form a compound recognizable by the body as food for better absorption and utilization.
Carbohydrates and sugars work better for absorption, as they carry a positive charge. Amino acids chelate readily, but usually are neutral, so some of them may not be attracted to the intestinal wall for absorption as well. However, proteins are by nature better carriers of minerals into the cell.
Generally, the best chelated minerals are in the aspartate form, bonded with aspartic acid, an amino acid (protein). However, even these are utilized to a lesser extent than minerals actually from foods.
There is a potential for harm from long term excessive use of certain mineral chelates. For example, there is information that suggests that "polynicotinate" chelation is better for you that "picolinate" compounds.Some chelates are the same chemically as compounds found in natural foods, such as calcium lactate (found in raw milk and dairy products). Something being a "natural" compound doesn't mean that a lot of it will be good for you, however.
The term "colloid" refers to a mineral particle or cluster that can stay in suspension in a liquid. In a complete colloidal suspension there would be no sediment at the bottom.
Colloids are generally much larger than the crystalline or ionic forms of minerals, such as salt, which will dissolve in water. Colloids do not dissolve. They stay in suspension by "brownian movement". "An object in motion tends to stay in motion."
You may have been exposed to all the excitement about colloidal mineral supplements over the several years. There are many brands on the market, and many claims made that may or may not be valid. Indeed, the subtleties of understanding these minerals, where they come from and how they function in living organisms, has caused error, misinformation, and confusion.
Colloids are too large to be of much benefit in the body, and they are insoluble. Soluble elements are more absorbable than insoluble. A colloidal mineral product is basically clay mixed in water. There are a few dry colloidal products, but they need water to get anywhere at all in the body.
Despite what is said about colloids, even the smallest colloids are much too large to be well-absorbed through the intestinal wall, or transported across cell membranes readily; thus they are generally unusable by cells. It has been found through microscopic analysis that these colloid products often contain many sharp-edged particles that cut blood cells.Further, certain colloids have the potential to be toxic to the body. Colloidal mineral products are usually high in toxic metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, nickel, and especially aluminum. These are actually problematic.
Promoters make a great issue of "colloids" from plant materials, so-called "plant-derived" or "organic" colloids. eposits of mineral=rich ancient plant materials are found throughout the world. These beds are abundant with the minerals from plants that lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago.Most of these plant deposits are embedded in clay, which is loaded with colloidal minerals. Plants cannot absorb colloids, which are larger particles, and make them into nano sized ionic minerals. There are special agents in the soil that break down the minerals so plants can absorb them. This is accomplished by fulvic acids with the assistance of worms, bacteria, fungi and other living things in the soil.
Living organisms require their minerals to be in smaller particles than colloids. Most of the colloids in colloidal products are from inorganic clay which is intermixed with the organic material in various ancient plant deposits.
Colloids are too large to be well-absorbed by the cells of plant root hairs to get into the plants and become "organic". If they could enter plants, they would still be too large to be easily absorbed in the human intestine and too large for human cell membranes.
Extremely high absorbability of a mineral product is rare. A multi-mineral supplement that does absorb well, does not have a high amount of each mineral. The body has mechanisms that will not allow minerals through to the cells at a very high rate, as too much could cause problems as much as too little minerals. The better absorbed the mineral product is, the less of it is needed.
The better choice for mineral supplementation is ionic minerals in a properly balanced array.
Ionic minerals are extremely small particles that carry the electrical charge needed for the minerals do do their work properly. These tiny molecules may be as small as 1/1600th the size of a red blood cell. Ionic minerals are much better for absorption and assimilation.
How minerals biologically complement each other is not yet fully understood. We do know that we are made up of these elements and their combinations, so to have them in proper form and balance is essential for them to perform their functions.
Combinations of minerals are needed for all the various organs and metabolic processes of the body. Every compound in the body -- proteins, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes, hormones, DNA, etc.; every cell, every tissue, every organ, -- all are made up of combinations of the elements, including minerals.
Minerals as they are found in natural humic soil deposits from decayed plants, are accompanied by fulvic acids. When these catalytic agents are present with minerals, they assist the minerals to function optimally in biological systems.
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Zinc is second to iron as a trace mineral of the body. It is involved in many functions, playing roles in enzyme activity, immune strength, forming DNA, the retinas, bone development, metabolism of sugars and proteins, energy production and prostate health in men. Women who are pregnant or nursing should have extra zinc.
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