Are minerals important?
Two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling thought so:
“You can trace every sickness, every disease, every ailment to mineral deficiency.”
Adequate mineral content is undoubtedly a vital component for the body’s constant effort to operate all its cells at optimum metabolic vibrancy and resilience.
Healthy people don’t get sick.
So if everything in the physical world is made of mineral elements. What are they, how do they work, and why are they important for our health?
How are you supposed to know what to take to get everything in the proper balance and keep it in the proper balance?
How can some companies say that EVERYONE needs to take THEIR product?
Are we doing harm by guessing what supplements we should be taking or listening to a vitamin store clerk tell us what they think you need or deciding on what to take based upon a book we read?
How are we really supposed to figure out what supplements to take and how much?
Most of us think of minerals as being necessary for strong bones and teeth, but minerals do much more. In addition to providing us with shape and support for our skeleton, minerals are the basic spark plug in the chemistry of life.
Minerals are essential in the diet and each plays unique and often multi-factorial roles as they act at all levels of the body – cells, tissues, organs, and the whole organism. All of our body processes depend upon the action of minerals to activate the enzymes which perform bodily functions we take for granted.
Without proper mineral ratios we could not set into motion the properties and functions of enzymes, vitamins or amino acids. These elemental components are responsible for every activity in every cell of our bodies. Cellular functions require a proper chain of events that start with minerals. Without the proper mineral we could not twitch an eyelid or form a thought.
Each and every mineral that exists in the earth also exists in us and in all living things. Quantum physics shares the philosophy that we are really one with all things. Just as the earth must maintain its balance to function optimally, our bodies need balance, too. When given the right materials in the right form (from nature) the body can do amazing things to promote its own health. The earth naturally gives us minerals via water and food. Today, with current farming practices that deplete soil of necessary minerals and water supplies that have been polluted and poisoned, our population has become mineral malnourished.
According to a paper read at the 1994 meeting of the International Society for Systems Sciences, this century is the first time ever that “mineral content available to forest and agricultural root systems is down 25%-40%.”
Less forests means less topsoil.
In the past 200 years, the U.S. has lost as much as 75% of its topsoil, according to John Robbins in his Pulitzer-nominated work Diet for a New America . To replace one inch of topsoil may take anywhere from 200-1000 years, depending on climate.
Demineralization of topsoil translates to loss of productive capacity. Contributing further to this trend is the growing of produce that is harvested and shipped far away.
Good soil is 45% minerals, yet our soils today are quite lacking due to synthetic fertilizers, mono-cropping and more. In the US our soils contain 86% less minerals than they did 100 years ago (based on a study done in 1992). Minerals are what remain as ash when plant or animal tissues are burned. (approximately 5 pounds from a cremated body.) They come from the earth and will eventually return to the earth. There are 103 known minerals, at least 18 of these are necessary for good health. Mineral imbalance is epidemic.
Several generations of study of cell development and heredity have ignored almost completely the more important study of nutritional habits as these determine and predetermine cell developments and affect reproduction and survival.
The role of nutrition in integration, reintegration, and disintegration has been shamefully neglected.
Minerals are the catalysts that keep our ‘battery’ going and hold it’s ‘charge.’ Minerals compose about 4% of the human body. We cannot produce minerals within our bodies, so we must obtain them through our food. They ultimately come from the earth.
The lack of specific minerals can precipitate both acute and chronic health problems. Sudden heart attacks occurring during physical activity are often the result of mineral depletion of immediate cellular supplies of potassium and magnesium. Always remember that your physical health is dependant on your cellular health. Everything begins and ends on a cellular level.
Life on our planet is built around a relatively small number of chemical elements. The most important ones include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfur, chlorine and phosphorus. These are sometimes called the electrolytes or the macro-minerals. These are found in the greatest in quantity in our bodies.
Blood levels of these elements remain fairly constant. If they vary even a little, especially the first four, the person feels quite ill and it is a bad sign.
However, the levels in the hair tissue vary tremendously, usually offering much more information about them and the metabolic state of the body.
The human body utilizes minerals for the proper composition of bone and blood, and maintenance of normal cell function. Minerals function along with vitamins as essential components in enzymes and coenzymes. If an enzyme is lacking the necessary mineral, it cannot function properly no matter how much of the vitamin is available.
For example, zinc is necessary for the enzyme that activates vitamin A in the visual process. Without zinc in the enzyme, vitamin A cannot be converted to its active form. This deficiency can result in what is known as night-blindness. Only when supplied with both zinc and vitamin A, is the enzyme able to perform its vital function.
Minerals are involved and are necessary for cellular metabolism, structural support, formation of hormones, nerve conduction, muscular activity, immune functions, anti-oxidant and endocrine activity, enzyme functions, water and acid/alkaline balance and even DNA function. According to the late Dr. Henry Schroeder, trace elements (minerals) are “…more important factors in human nutrition than vitamins. The body can manufacture many vitamins, but it cannot produce necessary trace minerals or get rid of many possible excesses.”
Osteoporosis is on the rise in our nation, 30 million people in the US over 50 are susceptible to fractures caused by mineral deficiencies in their bones. Over 1/3 of the women in America will have diagnosable osteoporosis in their lifetime. Osteoporosis isn’t even diagnosed until you’ve lost 30% of your bone mass. Nearly 100% of Americans have some type of joint degeneration by the time they are 40 years old.
Zinc deficiency is very common, evidenced by such health issues as; prostate cancer, breast cancer, hormonal imbalances, hydrochloric acid deficiency, skin cancer. Magnesium is a key element to keeping the cells metabolizing, involved in at least 300 functions in the body. It is particularly sensitive to stress, and can easily be lost. Most everyone is deficient in magnesium anymore, along will all of the main minerals of the body. It can take several years to re-mineralize the body. It can take 12 months to replace one mineral such as iron, so to replace more can take awhile.
Mineral deficiency is not really a subject of controversy today. Soil depletion has been well documented since the US Senate made their study back in 1936. Their conclusion was that:
“…most of us are suffering from certain diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until deplete soils from which our food comes are brought into proper mineral balance.”
“The alarming fact is that food…now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough…minerals are starving us, no matter how much of them we eat.”
“Lacking vitamins, the system can make use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless.” Senate Document 264 74th Congress, 1936 
For the most part, it has been taken for granted that it matters not what kind of food an organism consumes, so long as it consumes “enough” and more than “enough.”
Plenty of food and lack of food are chiefly considered as of importance. This places most importance upon quantity rather than quality and kind.
The U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils has one answer to the question, “what am I worth?” They have determined that the chemical and mineral composition of the human body is worth less than $5.00. Of highest value is the skin. The average person has between 14 to 18 square feet of skin, depending on his size, which is said to be worth about .25 cents a square foot.
Mineral deficiency has become such an obvious health concern, causing specific diseases because of a lack of a single mineral, and general immune suppression with a lack of several, that the obvious need for supplementation has spawned an entire industry to the rescue. But in any market-driven industry involving pills, we sometimes find the cures are worse than the original problems. Why?
First off, toxicity. Remember, even macrominerals are only necessary in tiny amounts. Most trace minerals are necessary in amounts too small to be measured, and can only be estimated. Toxicity is a word that simply means excess. When extra stuff gets put into the body, it’s a big deal. All forces are mobilized for removal of the extra stuff – the antigens, toxins, poisons, reactants, etc.
Toxicity results from taking a nonessential non-nutrient mineral into the body.
Take lead poisoning, for example. If lead gets into the blood, the body will try to remove it. Since the metal atoms are so heavy compared with the body’s immune forces, removal may be impossible. Lead can initiate a chronic inflammatory response and can remain in the body permanently, which is why we don’t have lead in paint or gasoline any more.
Most minerals can be toxic if taken to excess.
There are many factors that can contribute to mineral deficiency or excess. The following have been established: Diet- the standard American diet is good example. Overly refined, containing chemical additives etc. Stress- physical and emotional can deplete nutrients while reduce capacity to absorb and utilize nutrients. Medications- both prescription and over the counter medicines can deplete stored mineral and can increase toxic metals for example, diuretics, antacids and aspirin. Pollution- the numerous toxins found in water and air and our environment. Nutritional supplements- taking the incorrect type of supplements or improper amounts can produce mineral excesses or other biochemical imbalances. Inherited patterns-they can be inherited form parents. As in nature there is balance so it is with the nutrients in our bodies. We call these relationships synergistic or antagonistic. Synergism means that the nutrients work together in cooperation. Antagonistic relationships exist when nutrients work against each other. TMA (Toxic Mineral Analysis) reveals when this relationship is present.
Like a train that transports passengers to their destination, minerals are the transporters of biological substances to the cells. For example, minerals transports your thyroid, adrenal, male and female hormones from the glands to the cells that require these hormones. Minerals also transport insulin and other substances from the pancreas to the cells.
Therefore a deficiency or excessive amount of any one or more mineral can adversely affect the function and health of many areas of the body, as well as adversely affect healthy hair growth.
When the body has hormones or other substances that it cannot be transported to the cells or any other place the hormones or substances needs to go, the hormones or substances then become bio-unavailable. The body is designed to send bio-unavailable substances to the elimination pathways. In other words, to the places in the body where these substances can be moved out of the body – such as the hair, kidneys, bowels, skin. For bio-unavailable hormones, the body will send them to the blood to transport them to the liver. The liver then changes the hormones to a water soluble substance and sends them to the kidneys to be excreted (removed) from the body.
Therefore, taking a medication for any hormone imbalance without first obtaining a hair and saliva test is taking action from an incomplete assessment of the organ/gland function. A saliva test will identify if the cells of the gland or organ are actually producing the hormones sufficiently, hair identifies if the hormones are being transported, whereas, a blood test is not a cellular test, like hair or saliva, so all three are required to truly identify hormone function – whether the hormones are thyroid, adrenal, male, female, etc.
Ultimately, the only issue that really counts with minerals is bioavailability. Really doesn’t matter what we eat; it only matters what makes it to the body’s cells.
By analyzing mineral imbalances in the body, one can learn a lot about the causes and correction of hundreds of common physical and mental health conditions.
A specific class of minerals, the toxic metals, are also extremely important today due to a nutritionally depleted food supply and the presence of environmental toxicity almost everywhere on planet earth. Studying toxic metals is thus very important today to monitor their spread and learn about their many damaging effects upon the bodies of human beings, animals, plants and other organisms.
Even more can be learned about human and animal health by studying the ratios of the major minerals in the body. This is a more complex area, but a very important and fruitful one.
A hair tissue mineral analysis is considered a standard test, used around the world for the biological monitoring of trace elements and toxic metals in humans and animals species.
The Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is a laboratory test from a sample of your hair. It provides a mineral blueprint of one’s biochemistry.
A TMA is your personal road map to health and well being.
Most hair analysis patterns can be caused by, or relate to mental and emotional imbalances. Very few, if any, are solely physical or biochemical patterns. This has to do with the holistic and total nature of hair mineral analysis.
The brain is a biochemical organ. This means it has significant nutritional needs that must be met for its optimal functioning. This is well known to brain researchers, but not to the public or the medical or psychological professions nearly as well.
It means that nutrient imbalances, toxic metals, fluctuations in blood sugar and other biochemical parameters can have profound effects upon various parts of the brain.
The role of toxic metals as neurotoxins is also well-understood by toxicologists, but not by medical and psychological professionals, in general. If it were, many of the trends we will discuss would be common knowledge.
The analytical assessment of minerals using hair tissue samples has been an effective diagnostic tool for over 30 years. Thirty six minerals are tested; they are broken down by essential nutrient minerals, toxic minerals and additional non-essential minerals that have not yet been established as nutritive or toxic.
Toxic metals can contribute to learning and behavioral problems in children. Another aspect of the role of testing minerals in our bodies is understanding our metabolic type. Biochemical individuality is what separates us from each other like a set of fingerprints.
As humans we all operate basically the same but we all have our own program. TMA establishes and separates our metabolic type into two categories; the fast metabolizer and the slow metabolizer. The neurological and endocrine systems largely govern cellular metabolism and nutritional status so it is important to know your type. The fast metabolizer will have accelerated cellular activity and be governed more by overworked thyroid and adrenal function.
Blood tests give information about your mineral levels at the time of the test only. If you’ve just eaten a banana, your test can indicate a high potassium level, even though you may actually need potassium supplementation. On the other hand, hair analysis result indicate your overall level of potassium – your actual storage levels over a period of time will only accurately report what is being transported in your blood at the time of the test.
Testing for minerals in the urine measures the minerals that are being excreted from your body – not necessarily what has been absorbed as fuel for your body. So blood and urine tests are like snapshots whereas a hair analysis is the video of your mineral retention.
Unlike blood tests, hair tissue mineral analysis will not vary from day to day, and provides a long-term metabolic blueprint. When you understand this difference, you can avoid confusion and use the long-term reading to a definite advantage. A hair analysis indicates the overall level of minerals stored in your body over a period of time. It reveals the metabolic activity that occurs within the cells of your body and provides a blueprint of the biochemistry occurring during the period of hair growth and development. In other words, hair provides a record of past as well as present levels of trace elements in your body.
A hair tissue mineral analysis is considered a standard test used globally for the biological monitoring of trace elements and toxic metals in humans and animal species. The same technology is used for soil testing and testing of rock samples to detect mineral levels.
Progressive health care providers are now well aware of the vast amount of research linking nutrition to disease. But what serves as good nutrition for one person may not be good for you.
There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to nutritional supplementation. Each of us is unique metabolically and biochemically. And as Dr. Williams demonstrated, nutritional needs can vary significantly from one individual to another. Therefore, you don’t know if you’re getting optimal nutrition until you get tested.
The U.S. has the highest incidence of degenerative diseases of any developed country on earth. In addition, infectious diseases are coming back; antibiotics are getting less effective every year. Americans’ confidence in prescription drugs is weakening. Cancer and AIDS will never be cured by the discovery of some new drug. There will never be another Alexander Fleming; turns out penicillin was just a brief detour anyway.
Bacteria have had 50 billion years to figure out how to adapt. The only way that anyone recovers from any illness is when the immune system overcomes the problem. Allergy shots never cured an allergy; people who take allergy shots always have allergies.
Our only hope of better health is to do everything possible to build up our natural immune system.
Live and learn. We All Do.
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