From the June 2008 Idaho Observer:

Who needs mineral supplements?

When something comes to us from three (or more) completely different directions and from three unconnected sources within a short time frame, it suddenly jumps in our editorial hierarchy of priorities. See digestive distress article this month, the water and salt letter in the hardcopy edition of The IO for June, 2008 and the article below. Because our food supply has become so contaminated and mineral deficient due to chemically-intensive monoculture/corporate agribusiness farming practices, our people are quickly becoming mineral deficient. The result is epidemics of vast arrays of minor health problems developing into painful and debilitating chronic illnesses. This information is critically important. Our food is no longer sustaining us. Please take heed. We need you as healthy as you can be. You must begin supplementing with minerals immediately. Fortunately, doing so can be as easy as drinking water and as inexpensive as buying sea salt.

by Parris M. Kidd, Ph.D.

We must have minerals to live. Minerals spark our life energy: they conduct the electronic life force. The human body also uses minerals to activate enzymes and to tie together its structures at every level, from the skeletal bones to the individual cells.

The cell is the most basic unit of life and the human body is made up of trillions of cells. Like the body as a whole, every single cell must have minerals with which to stay alive and carry out its functions. Unfortunately, foods are no longer reliable mineral sources. Most (if not all) agricultural soils have been depleted due to practices that have failed to replenish the soils after repeated planting. Population surveys also consistently find large segments of the population are deficient in one or more minerals, most often magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium or chromium.

In addition to the foods being unreliable as mineral sources in modern times, we live under continual emotional stress and exposure to toxic or infectious agents from our surroundings. All these factors translate biochemically to free radical stress. Free radicals are highly reactive, potentially toxic metabolic products that have been linked to degenerative diseases and accelerated aging. Free radicals tend to burn up our biological molecules, including our antioxidant enzymes, most of which we rely on to stay active. When these enzymes are burned away by free radicals, we often lose minerals from the body. So people who are under stress need higher daily intakes of minerals.

Another group at higher risk of mineral deficiency are those of us past roughly the age of 45. These individuals often absorb and utilize their minerals less efficiently because their digestive functions are off. This is part of the wear and tear of life. Those who get started on exercise and dietary supplements at a younger age may find when they reach middle age they have retained more of their digestive capacity. People over 65 should, almost without exception, take dietary supplements that provide minerals.

Dietary supplements with minerals have, therefore, become a necessity of life. When one looks at the cell biology of minerals, one finds minerals involved in all of the metabolic pathways that make cells work. There are some champions in this department, such as magnesium and zinc which between them keep active well over a hundred enzymes. But even smaller mineral players also have life-giving rolls:

• Manganese is dispensable for at least detoxification enzymes.

• Selenium and copper are also essential for detoxification.

• Chromium is essential for blood sugar control.

• Silicon is essential for building connective tissue.

• Other minerals are essential for life—in very small quantities.

I believe the scientific evidence clearly shows that mineral dietary supplements are necessary nowadays for anyone who wants to have a high quality of life. The bottom line for ionized, bioavailable supplements is that we can all benefit from them.

What do ionized minerals really do and who needs them?

Some of the greatest minds in chemical, biological and clinical research have shown very clearly through their findings that ionizable forms of minerals are the ones that the body is able to selectively absorb and utilize. Ionic minerals come apart in a watery environment and become either positively charged or negatively charged. The body is very discriminatory. The body knows when it needs minerals in greater amounts and when that happens, the body reaches out for those minerals. The density of the transporter proteins increases on the intestinal cell surface and the body is actually looking for those minerals.

For the transporter proteins to bind those minerals tightly, they need to be ionized. The transporter picks up an ionized form (of the minerals), binds it and immediately pulls it in. It then goes into the bloodstream and is delivered where it is needed. Whatever the charge of a mineral, it still needs to get through a dense, negative charge on the surface of the intestinal cell and it may be that its negative charge is designed to keep out certain undesirable agents including undesirable minerals. Transporters have such a high affinity for minerals that, once an ionized form of a mineral can get into the region, the transporter will selectively pick it up.

Note: See the digestive distress article and the water and salt letter in the hardcopy edition of The IO for June, 2008, both of which speak to the problems associated with epidemic mineral deficiency in Americans.