Managing Minerals

Virtually everyone alive was born deficient in vital minerals and with excessive levels of toxic metals, because most mothers are deficient and toxic.

by Dr. Larry Wilson —

Minerals, from calcium and magnesium, to the trace elements such as zinc, are perhaps the single most important group of nutrients. They are required for every bodily function, from activating muscles and nerves, to digestion, energy production, and all healing and regeneration of the body.

This article focuses on important principles about minerals. Some may seem extreme, but the concepts are based on years of experience with minerals and health. We will not discuss the benefits of specific, individual minerals, as this topic was covered in a previous AzNetNews article, “Minerals For Life,” available at www.drlwilson.com.

Mineral basics

Let us begin with axioms about minerals today.

• Virtually everyone alive was born deficient in vital minerals and with excessive levels of toxic metals, because most mothers are deficient and toxic.

• Any woman even contemplating having children someday ought to begin now to replenish her vital minerals, because deficiencies and toxicity are so widespread.

• Practically all our food today is lower in trace minerals than it was 100 years ago. This has been documented in books such as Empty Harvest. The reasons have to do with modern agriculture and are explained below. Studies by Dr. Weston Price, D.D.S., on healthy primitive tribes, found they were eating five to 10 times the amount of minerals that modern people eat.

• Vital mineral deficiencies in the diet cause the body to absorb toxic metals from the environment. Thus, eating plenty of the vital minerals is essential to reduce the buildup of toxic metals.

• Today, due to industrialization, mining and environmental pollution, we are exposed to levels of toxic metals and chemicals never before seen on this planet.

• Stress causes our bodies to use more minerals. Zinc is eliminated within minutes of a stressful situation. Calcium and magnesium are eliminated in the urine as part of the fight-or-flight reaction. Simplifying your life, slowing down and reducing stress are most important for maintaining healthy mineral levels.

Diet and minerals

Minerals, unlike many vitamins and other substances, cannot be manufactured within our bodies. We must consume them daily through our diets. Furthermore, one must eat organic food to even approach the level of minerals our bodies require for optimal health. A study in the Journal of Applied Nutrition found that organic produce purchased randomly at Chicago health food stores had an average of five times the mineral content, compared to conventional produce.

Using sea salt, rather than table salt, helps one’s body obtain trace minerals. Most minerals are refined out of common table salt. Good-quality sea salt usually does not raise blood pressure or harm the body in any way. Refined table salt, however, is a junk food. It often contains added toxic metals as well as aluminum.

Other mineral-rich foods include organic vegetables, especially root vegetables. Organic grains, nuts and seeds, fish and good quality meats are other good sources of minerals. Fruits are less preferred sources, as they primarily contain water, fiber and sugars.

Eating cooked food is actually much better for obtaining minerals than is most raw food, because cooking helps break down the fiber in food, releasing the minerals and allowing better utilization of the food. Also, cooking often concentrates the food, permitting one to eat less and still obtain the same quantity of minerals. Raw foods are excellent for obtaining certain vitamins lost in cooking, such as vitamin C. However, for obtaining minerals, cooked food is best.

Good-quality spring or mineral waters can be excellent sources of trace minerals. Tap water contains minerals, but almost all of it contains many harmful chemicals as well, and is best avoided. Distilled water can help remove toxic substances from the body. However, it does not contain minerals and for this reason I do not recommend it as a long-term drinking water. Reverse osmosis and bottled “drinking water” also contain no minerals and are often more damaged by processing than distilled or spring water.

Demineralized foods to avoid include white flour, white rice, white sugar, refined table salt and all artificial or chemical-laced foods. They have been stripped of a significant amount of their trace minerals, so you should eliminate them if you want to maintain adequate mineral levels. Brown or raw sugar, honey and maple syrup are better than white sugar, but all are still mineral-deficient.

A digestive aid can help assure that food is broken down thoroughly, allowing the body to obtain the most minerals from food. Excellent digestive aids include betaine hydrochloride and pepsin, vegetable enzymes, pancreatin and ox bile.

Mineral supplements

Almost everyone today would benefit from a mineral supplement. Kelp, an excellent and inexpensive mineral supplement, is available in capsules, tablets or granules, although its taste is not great. Kelp not only contains a variety of vital minerals, but it also contains alginates, which bind toxic metals found in all sea products. Dulse and other sea vegetables also contain many minerals; however, they contain fewer or no alginates to protect against toxic metals.

Most people can take kelp. Its high iodine content is wonderful for almost everyone. It can, however, cause occasional nervousness, if one suffers from hyperthyroidism. Other mineral supplements come in pill or liquid form. For example, brewer’s yeast is an excellent source of chromium and selenium. Beware of mineral supplements derived from “earth deposits,” as many contain toxic metals.

Minerals and the soil

The quantity of minerals in our food is directly related to the soil in which the food is grown. Almost all our food, even organic food, is deficient in minerals for several of the following reasons:

  1. Modern agricultural methods often do not replenish all the minerals in the soil. Most modern fertilizers do not contain all the trace minerals.
  2. Most crops are bred for higher yields, better taste or appearance, hardiness or bug resistance; they are rarely bred for higher mineral content. High-yield crops produce larger harvests per acre, but the food is much lower in mineral content because an equal amount of soil minerals is now spread across the much greater yield.
  3. Toxic sprays, insecticides and pesticides interfere with the microorganisms in the soil that are required to make minerals useful to the crops. This reduction in microorganisms can significantly diminish the amount of minerals available to the crops. Organically produced crops tend to have more minerals in them for this reason.

Toxic minerals

Toxic minerals are prevalent in our water, air and food today. Because they pass through the placenta, almost all children are born with toxic metals they receive directly from their mothers. Once a child is born, vaccines and other drugs may add more toxic metals to his or her tiny body. Prozac, for example, is a fluoride-containing drug. Many high blood pressure medications contain mercury. Stress and common exposures to air, water and food pollution also add to the toxic load the child was born with.

Toxic metals contribute to a wide variety of physical symptoms, from diabetes and cancer to infections, heart disease, kidney problems and much more. The aging process, in many respects, may be understood as the replacement of vital minerals with toxic minerals in thousands of enzyme-binding sites throughout the body.

All toxic metals affect the brain and the nervous system. Common symptoms of excess toxic metals in the body may include depression, anxiety, mood swings, phobias, violence, negative thoughts, brain fog, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and others.

Aluminum is a large contributor because it is widely used in antiperspirants, antacids, cookware and the aluminum foils used in cooking and food containers.

Mercury is a huge problem because it is used in silver amalgam dental fillings, contact lens solutions and other products. It is a notable air pollutant in many cities, and contaminates the oceans, and many rivers and lakes. Avoid eating tuna if you wish to reduce your mercury levels, and limit all fish and shellfish intake to once or twice a week.

Lead is found in old paints, inks, pesticides and solder used on pipes. Arsenic is widely used in pesticides, insecticides and wood treatments. Cadmium is found in cigarette smoke, paint pigments, shellfish and metal plating, such as that used in galvanized pipe. Nickel, in combination with cadmium, may be used to make the hydrogenated oils found in peanut butter, vegetable shortening, artificial whip cream, candies and many other processed foods. Avoid these products in order to reduce your exposure to nickel, cadmium and lead.

Toxic minerals are found alongside vital minerals in nature, and even in food crops. Eating enough of the vital minerals helps protect one from absorbing as many toxic metals. Removing toxic metals from your body will almost always cause improvement in many physical and emotional symptoms.

Correcting your mineral balance

Five general methods can be used to remove toxic metals and help restore your mineral balance. These include:

1. Reducing your exposure to toxins. Diet modification, breathing clean air and avoiding toxic products help reduce your exposure to toxins. Other methods are removing dental amalgams and moving to a cleaner home or work environment, if necessary.

2. Resting more and reducing damaging stress. Detoxification requires energy. Reducing all strenuous activities, including too much exercise, and getting at least nine hours of sleep per night are most helpful.

3. Enhancing your energy production. The elimination of toxins and absorption of vital minerals are normal body functions that require energy. Low energy is often the most important stumbling block to detoxification, especially for someone with a slow metabolism.

Methods to enhance your energy include more rest, a better diet, deep breathing and elimination of stimulants. Oxygen therapies and nutrient supplements including B-complex vitamins, vitamins C and E, and minerals such as zinc, chromium and selenium may help. Infrared lamp saunas may also be beneficial.

Balancing the oxidation rate enhances energy efficiency, much like running an engine at the optimal RPM. All enzymes have an optimal rate and temperature at which their efficiency is greatest. Often, detoxification procedures are less effective because energy efficiency is very low, similar to having a great bicycle, but pedaling in the wrong gear. Hair mineral analysis from a laboratory that does not wash the hair can assess the oxidation rate and guide its correction with diet and nutritional supplements.

4. Assisting the eliminative organs. These organs are the liver, kidneys, lungs, bowel and skin. Besides saunas, other ways to assist the eliminative organs and systems include herbs, nutrient supplements, skin brushing, packs, poultices, enemas, colonic irrigation, liver flushes, homeopathic remedies and deep breathing. Massage, meditation, visualization and various healing machines are additional methods.

5. Supplementing with chelators. Chelators bind toxic metals to facilitate their removal. They include drugs such as penicillamine, EDTA, DMSA and DMPS. Vitamin C in high doses of 2000 mg/day or more also acts as a chelating agent. So do sulfur-containing amino acids such as cysteine, methionine and taurine in foods or herbs, or as isolated nutrients. High-sulfur foods, like radishes, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, garlic and onions, also work well, as do minerals such as molybdenum for copper toxicity.

Chelators also remove some vital minerals, which can upset the body’s delicate mineral balance, so they should be used with caution. I find the synthetic chelators unnecessary and less safe than natural methods such as sauna therapy and nutrient therapy. I also do not recommend repeated high-dose intravenous vitamin C therapy for chelation. It often is unnecessary and can disturb the delicate mineral balance because vitamin C also removes vital minerals including copper, zinc, manganese and others.

6. Using other therapies and modalities. A very powerful therapy for restoring mineral balance is the regular use of infrared lamp saunas. Any type of sauna will help sweat out toxic substances, relax the body and improve circulation. One note, however: running or playing tennis in the heat of Phoenix is not the same as sweating while resting in a sauna.

Other natural therapies of many types can help balance and strengthen the body. These include chiropractic, colonic irrigation, energy balancing with acupuncture or acupressure, and many others. All may help improve circulation, oxygenation, digestion and elimination and thus help restore and maintain a healthful mineral balance.

Conclusion

Restoring your vital minerals is a lifelong work, but it does not have to be difficult. Mainly, it involves recalling that our food is generally mineral-deficient, and our environment contains toxic minerals, no matter where we live. Good living and eating habits, and simple supplements such as kelp, can go a long way toward maintaining a healthy mineral level. Other therapies may also be needed to survive and prosper in our toxic world.

References

Albrecht, W., The Albrecht Papers, Acres USA, Kansas City, MO, 1975.

Hall, R., Food For Naught: The Decline in Nutrition, Keats Publishing, New Canaan, CT, 1979.

Jensen, B. and Anderson, M., Empty Harvest: Understanding the Link Between Our Food, Our Immunity and Our Planet, Avery Publishing, 1990.

Price, W., Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Price-Pottenger Foundation, CA.

1993, J. Applied Nutrition, Vol. 45, #1, pp. 35-39.

Wilson, L., “Minerals for Life” article, at www.drlwilson.com.

Wilson, L., Healing Ourselves, L.D. Wilson Consultants, 2003.

 

Dr. Lawrence Wilson has a medical degree and has been in the health field for 25 years. His books include Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, Legal Guidelines for Unlicensed Practitioners, Healing Ourselves and Manual of Sauna Therapy and The Real Self. He also co-authored Toxic Metals in Human Health and Disease and contributed to The Dangers of Socialized Medicine. www.drlwilson.com or 928-445-7690.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 3, June/July 2006.

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