Why are minerals important?
Minerals are the spark plugs of life because they are required to activate thousands of enzyme reactions within the body. In a way they are more important than vitamins since plants manufacture vitamins but minerals must be obtained from the soil. If the mineral is not in the soil, it can not possibly be in the plant. Since our very existence is dependent upon the body’s ability to utilize minerals because minerals activate enzymes, some discussion of enzymes is appropriate.
What are enzymes?
Enzymes are chemical substances produced in the living organism. They are marvelous organic catalysts which are essential to life as they control all the chemical reactions that take place in a living system. Enzymes are part of all living cells, including those of plants and animals.
It has been estimated that there are over 20,000 enzymes in the human body. This estimate is based on the number of bodily processes that seem to require action. However, so far only about 1000 enzymes have been identified but their essential role in nutrition and other living processes has been firmly established.
Enzymes are protein molecules that play a vital role and work very efficiently. For instance, a chemist can separate proteins into their component amino acids by boiling them at 166 degrees C for over 18 hours in a strong solution of hydrochloric acid, but the enzymes of the small intestines can do so in less than three hours at body temperature in a neutral medium.
How do enzymes work?
A striking feature of enzymes is that while they enter into chemical reaction, they remain intact in the process. They however, act with maximum efficiency at a certain temperature. Lowering the temperature below or raising it above this level slows the reaction. A high degree of heat, that is above 60 degrees C, permanently destroys their action.
What makes enzymes so special is that they are absolutely specific in their actions. A particular enzyme can only cause reactions involving a particular type of substance. The substance must fit the enzyme like a key fits a lock.
Enzymes form part of the food we eat. Raw foods contain enzymes in abundance. Cooking, pasteurizing, pickling, smoking and other processing destroys enzymes. It is, therefore, essential to include in our diet, substantial amount of raw foods. Studies have revealed that the body without sufficient raw materials from raw foods, may tire and produce fewer enzymes year after year. This may lead to wearing out of body processes and consequently worn-out appearances.
Back to minerals
We just discussed the importance of minerals to our bodies ability to produce enzymes. However, minerals do not work alone. They must work in balance with one other as well as with the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. When one mineral is excessive, it steals from others, thereby causing a chain-reaction of deficiencies.
What about diet and nutrition?
There seems to be a lot of confusion about diet and nutrition. Our diet is the total sum of what we consume. Nutrition is the benefits of what we consume. It is important to keep in mind that it’s not only what we eat but how our bodies utilize what we eat and what is excreted unused.
Many people for various reasons are incapable of absorbing certain minerals. Therefore, they can eat massive amounts or take mega-supplements of said minerals to no avail because the body can not use what it can not absorb. As in the chart above, excessive amounts of one mineral depletes another, likewise a deficiency renders the others useless. The chain reaction sets the stage for a system that could be totally out of balance, even though a proper diet was followed.
How do our systems get out of balance?
Here are some examples of how nutritional supplements can cause imbalances in our system.
Vitamin C can form chelates in the bowel with known metals such as zinc, copper, iron and magnesium. This means that the chelated metals are prevented from being assimilated through the bowel wall. So do not take Vitamin C at the same time you take a mineral supplement.
Fiber supplements, essential for any detoxification program, should not be taken at the same time as mineral/electrolyte replacements because it can pull out the minerals you’ve just replaced. So take your fiber supplement away from your mineral supplement.
It’s also important to note that we also lose minerals through exercise, sweating and consumption of laxatives. Minerals/electrolytes are also acutely depleted during such medical procedures as kidney dialysis.
Minerals are the bodies electrical transmitters… sending electrical signals to every cell. Brain signals are transmitted through bodily fluids. Intestinal disorders, particularly leaky gut and diarrhea, cause deficiencies of minerals. Since minerals are stored primarily in the bodies bone and muscle tissue, the absorbed mineral must be carried by the blood to the cells and then absorbed by the cell membrane to be utilized.
Individuals with inflammatory and circulatory disorders like fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes and hypothyroidism, especially experiencing muscle spasms, tingling, numbness and/or brain-fog should know that these symptoms can be caused or accelerated by a deficiency of minerals and the compromised ability for absorption. Proper testing by a qualified alternative doctor should be done to pinpoint the cause of the problem. See Health Equations Blood Test Evaluations under the Physicians sections if the Links page on this site.
It is inadvisable to take isolated mineral supplements because of the synergistic balance issue discussed above. One can not know that the isolated mineral being taken is actually being absorbed. It can also do more harm than good by pulling it’s counterparts out of your system causing deficiencies in other areas as discussed earlier. It is often better to take minerals in a food based form, such as Capra Mineral Whey Powder, which can be mixed with water or juice or sprinkled on cereal. It is made from goats milk and processed without heat to maintain the natural enzyme and mineral balance.
It has become clear that, due to environmental pollution and the exploitation of the once mineral-rich soils on our planet, eating right just isn’t enough any more. Diet alone can not substitute for good nutrition. The only way we can be sure that we are getting the right raw materials to build strong bodies is to test for such and, if necessary, eat foods or food-based supplements that are easily assimilated by our bodies.
Source: Alternative Medicine Angel