Trace Your Minerals - Part 1

For healthy nutrition for both you and your domestic pets, trace elements are chemicals you need in minute quantities for the proper growth, development, and physiology of your body. In biochemistry, a trace element is referred to as a micronutrient, and micronutrients are nutrients needed in small quantities to support life in plants, animals, and human beings. The human body needs at least 90 nutrients to maintain optimum health, including a minimum of 59 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and 3 essential fatty acids.

The distinction between a mineral and a trace element is the daily amount that your body needs. If you need over 100 micrograms (mcg)/day of a particular element, it is considered a mineral or macromineral. Anything less is considered a trace element.

Microminerals are trace elements that include iron, cobalt, chromium, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, zinc and molybdenum. Trace minerals are elements that are nutrients (typically dietary minerals) that your body needs only in tiny amounts, and trace elements, such as nickel, tin and vanadium, are very important despite their low levels.

Vitamins are really just organic chemicals that every living organism requires in various quantities for good health. The key point here, nonetheless, is that human beings cannot synthesize most vitamins without the help of the other minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids from a balanced diet. The importance of the trace minerals in the synthesis of vitamins is typically overlooked, so my question is, "Are you getting these trace elements every day in your diet?"

If you are eating and drinking highly processed foods replete with a laundry list of lab chemicals and toxic, unnatural fillers, I would venture to say that you are NOT getting the proper amount of trace elements to sustain good health.

The dietary focus on the minerals needed for good health is based on the fact that the trace minerals assist in the biochemical reactions required to take place inside your body. In a perfect world, these health needs can be met with a balanced diet, but over 10,000 food chemicals are in our food supply today deplete the trace minerals we do get, chemicals like:

  • methanol in aspartame
  • chlorine in sucralose
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • food colorings and food dyes
  • hydrogenated oils

Typically, the delicate trace minerals have been destroyed by the time highly processed food reaches your mouth, and these minerals will need to be replaced.

Approximately two billion people (one in three persons worldwide) suffer from a micronutrient deficiency, a form of malnutrition. In the past, micronutrient malnutrition was practically unknown in the more developed countries because of vitamin and mineral supplementation and the diversity of agriculture. Yet, as more and more of our modern-day manufactured food products and medications are filled with toxic chemicals instead of whole food content as in the past, consumers in the more developed nations are becoming malnourished. Consider the increase in the number of epidemic degenerative diseases in the more advanced countries today as opposed to rates in countries with less manufactured foods available.

Here are two examples of some of the most common trace element deficiencies worldwide:

Iron-deficiency and anemia: results in one out of four maternal deaths in most countries worldwide. The cost of fortifying flour with iron is 20 cents (US) per person per year (World Bank estimate).

The solution: don't refine flour; leave the husk on - it is rich in iron.

Iodine deficiency: the world's leading cause of mental retardation; more than 2 billion children suffer from lowered IQ and retardation due to iodine deficiency. More studies on autism and iodine levels need to be performed. The costs of providing iodized salt are estimated at 10 cents per person per year.

The solution: don't refine salt; leave it unprocessed and mine it from dried ocean sea beds where the sodium is rich in plant sources of trace minerals and nutrients.

Do you know your levels of trace minerals?
If you don't know if they are high or low, I suggest having a hair analysis done. My lab shows 32 essential trace elements inside the body, and if you (or your pet) are depleted in any of the trace minerals, it is good to know exactly what you need to restore a strong and healthy constitution.

If you, your children, or your domestic pets eat modern manufactured foods or drink chemical colas and flavored waters, then you are more than likely depleted in some of your trace minerals.

Trace elements such as manganese, boron, copper, iron, chlorine, cobalt, molybdenum, and zinc are all present on the hair analysis.

Boron is involved in carbohydrate transportation; it also assists in metabolic regulation. Boron deficiency will often result in bone loss.

Chlorine (natural chlorine, that is - NOT the chorine in Splenda®) is necessary for osmosis and ionic balance; it also plays a role in detoxing the liver.

Cobalt is essential to hormone health, growth and development.

Copper (organic form) is a component of some body enzymes and of vitamin A. Symptoms of copper deficiency include Fibromyalgia and nerve disorders such as twitching, Restless Leg Syndrome, and nervous ticks.

Iron is essential for energy synthesis and blood health, which is why an iron deficiency results in chronic fatigue and high CO2 levels on the blood.

Manganese activates some important enzymes involved in digestion and the assimilation of food nutrients. The availability of manganese in the body is partially dependent on a healthy body pH.

Molybdenum is essential to health. The body uses molybdenum in the digestion and assimilation of foods.

Zinc participates in many body functions, and also activates many body enzymes. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include blood sugar imbalances and stunted growth.

So, you see how important the Trace Minerals are to good health. Where do you get your trace minerals? Eat raw, organic foods, and steam or lightly cook your meats and meals that require some form of heat preparation. See my 75/25 Eating Chart for suggestions.

If you don't eat enough organic fruits and vegetables, then, as a geologist, I firmly believe in supplementing with a liquid trace mineral from plant sources or plant shale.

Actually, I firmly believe the following need trace minerals:

  1. Children, particularly ADD/ADHD and autistic
  2. Humans with chronic asthma
  3. Pets that eat primarily processed, dried dog foods
  4. Humans and pets with chronic and degenerative diseases
  5. Humans with skin problems, such as rashes and acne
  6. Humans and pets with microbes and/or parasites present
  7. Diabetics
  8. Athletes
  9. Pilots
  10. Humans and pets with compromised immune systems

I highly recommend using a trace mineral supplement at least five (5) times a week. If you are ill with a chronic disease, or if you feel like you are coming down with a cold or the flu, if your children are picky eaters, or if you have an elderly parent living in a nursing facility with sub-standard food and nutrition, the liquid trace minerals are a wonderful supplement to have on the pantry shelf!

My lab makes a liquid Trace Mineral Complex containing 42% fulvic acid with over 72 organically complex trace minerals and elements in a polyelectrolyte structure. (That was a mouthful - no pun intended!) This simply means that the mineral supplement provides all the essential trace elements in a highly bio-available form -- a powerhouse of trace elements from natural plant shales. I personally use it at least five (5) nights a week before bed, and I sleep like a baby.

Scientists have found that fulvic acid is the element that makes nutrients absorbable. It is an actual acid found naturally in plants, in extremely small amounts created by millions of beneficial microbes that decay plant matter. It has the ability to readily dissolve and bond minerals and nutritional elements. So, nutrients that have been chelated by fulvic acid are in an ideal natural form to be absorbed by your living cells. Fulvic acid is so powerful that one small molecule is capable of transporting 60 or more minerals and trace elements into your cells. Cool huh?

So, the question is: Have you traced your minerals lately?

Posted January 2009 | Permanent Link

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