Natural Food Co
IMPORTANCE OF MINERALS
By Narelle Milekic B Ed NT
It has often intrigued me how these bodies that we live in are really only a conglomeration of minerals and water held together by more minerals, controlled by more minerals and heavily reliant for its optimum functionality on...you guessed it...minerals. There are a few vitamins and some protein tucked away in there too...which are pretty vital to our survival also, but my intrigue is particularly focused on the function and importance of minerals to our ultimate survival.
We have talked in previous journals about some specific minerals such as magnesium and calcium, and iodine in the previous article. However there are some 84 minerals needed by our bodies in order for them to carry out the daily routine jobs...you know...the house work, cleaning, dusting, washing, putting out the rubbish, tidying up and then there is the handyman stuff...fixing the holes in the wall, replacing broken and damaged parts and even making new parts. If this all sounds like hard, relentless, boring, tedious, never ending work...well I guess it is. So for all the home makers, housewives, domestic engineers and mums out there doing your daily chores...your body is doing its’ too.
Let’s think for a moment what it would be like to try and clean the floor without any tools, or wipe the windows without a cloth, or maybe hang a towel rack without any screws or nails. How would we fare if we tried to wash our clothes without any detergent...it would work, but not as well as with detergent. What about those really difficult stains, how do we get them out without a soaker or a good scrub.
Take these ideas as just a starter on how difficult it is for our bodies to clean, repair and produce energy without the proper equipment or solvents so to speak.
Of course there is a whole nutritional gamat of nutrients to take into consideration in the big picture, but let us consider a few of the more ‘minor’ elements, the ones that don't often get a word in edgewise since they are so apparently insignificant. MOLYBDENUM
This minor mineral has some major roles, even though you may never even have heard of it.
Here are some of its’ functions:
Molybdenum - An essential trace element. It helps regulate iron stores in the body and is a key component of at least three enzymes: xanthine oxidase, aldehyde oxidase and sulfite oxidase, needed to detoxify sulphite compounds. These enzymes are involved with carbohydrate metabolism, fat oxidation and urine metabolism. The average adult has about 9mg of molybdenum concentrated mostly in the liver, kidney, adrenal glands, bones and skin. Molybdenum deficiencies are associated with esophageal cancer, sexual impotency and tooth decay.
Molybdenum may facilitate the detoxification of Sulfites (due to its role as a cofactor for the Sulfite Oxidase enzyme that detoxifies Sulfites).
Papaioannou, R., et al. Sulfite sensitivity - unrecognized threat: is molybdenum the cause? J Orthomol Psychiat. 105-110, 1984.
Many people who are sensitive (allergic) to sulfites have molybdenum deficiency.
Laypersons' Publications Mindell, Earl R. The MSM Miracle. Keats Publishing, Lincolnwood, Illinois, USA, 1997:20.
As noted above Molybdenum aids in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. In addition it is also a vital part of the enzyme responsible for the use of iron in the body and as such can help in the prevention of anemia.
According to Earl Mindell’s New Vitamin Bible the only reason you would need to supplement this mineral is if all the food you consume comes from nutrient-deficient soil. Since it has been established that the soils in eastern Australia particularly are mineral deficient it could be useful to take a complete mineral supplement. More on this later.
Sulfites are normally converted to a harmless sulfate form by sulfate oxidase which is dependent upon adequates supplies of molybdenum.
The Molybdenum content of food varies significantly according to the Molybdenum content of soil in different areas. (Vegetarian sources are recommended)
Soft Water contains zero Molybdenum.
Wheat Germ 100
Brown Rice 75
Green Peas 110
Split Peas 130
Green Beans 21
The therapeutic dosage of Molybdenum for children is 50 - 300 mcg per day.
For adults the therapeutic dosage is 150 - 500 mcg per day.
These dosages are in addition to the Molybdenum that is present in the diet.
Dietary intakes could include:
100g cauliflower, lentils, green peas, spinach, brown rice, oats, split peas.
These foods can be added to other foods throughout the day for adequate supply of molybdenum.
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Molybdenum has been used for anemia and in some cases of copper poisoning as a protective source.
It is destroyed by freezing and consumption of refined foods and excess copper depletes the stores of molybdenum. VANADIUM
Another low lying player needed only in trace amounts but vital for body functioning.
Vanadium - Inhibits the formation of cholesterol in blood vessels, Is necessary for the formation of teeth and bones and is able to mimic the action of the hormone insulin. Vanadium thereby stimulates glucose uptake into cells and enhances glucose metabolism for glycogen synthesis It aids in the prevention of heart attacks, helps control insulin-resistant and type 2 diabetes and improves nutrient transport into cells and increases energy.
Vanadium is needed for cellular metabolism and plays a role in growth and reproduction.
A vanadium deficiency could be associated to cardiovascular and kidney disease, impaired reproductivity ability and increased infant mortality. This could be due to the fact that vanadium is not easily absorbed.
It also appears that there may be an interaction between vanadium and chromium. So if you take chromium supplements and vanadium supplements it is better to take them at different times. This interaction supports the practice of only taking synergistic mineral supplements to avoid such problems.
The use of tobacco will decrease the uptake of vanadium.
There is a biologically active form of vanadium, vanadyl sulfate. It’s a trace mineral that mimics the action of the hormone insulin and has been used by alternative physicians in the treatment of diabetes. CAUTION needs to be taken however not to self medicate as vanadyl can lower blood sugar levels too quickly and cause problems.
Vanadium can be found readily in sea water, Celtic sea salt and soy beans.
Vanadyl sulfate is available as a supplement and body builders claim that it helps build muscle, increasing strength and definition.
Vanadium is presumably thought to enter cells as vanadate through transport systems for phosphate.
Little vanadium is found in the body. Distribution studies indicate that while kidney cells retain most of the absorbed mineral soon after its administration, accumulation later shifts principally to bone, with somewhat lesser amounts in spleen and liver. This is understandable in view of the high content in bone of inorganic phosphate, to which vanadyl binds tenaciously.
Vanadium is destroyed by the processing of foods.
Again this is a very minor player in regard to the amount of it that is needed in the body, but as with the other trace minerals, has major parts to play in body metabolism.
Manganese - Is only required in minute quantities and is needed for protein and fat metabolism, healthy nerves, a healthy immune system, and blood sugar regulation. It is needed in energy production and is required for normal bone growth and for reproduction. It is also used in the formation of cartilage and synovial fluid of the joints and is necessary for the synthesis of bone.
People with iron-deficiency anemia need manganese and it is also needed for the utilization of thiamine and Vitamin E. Manganese works well with the B-complex vitamins to give an overall feeling of well-being. It assists with the formation of mothers milk and is vital in the production of enzymes needed to oxidize fats and to metabolize purines, including the antioxidant enzyme superoxidide dismutase (SOD).
Deficiencies are rare but if found can lead to atherosclerosis, confusion, convulsions, eye problems, hearing problems, heart disorders, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, irritability, memory loss, muscle contractions, pancreatic damage, profuse perspiration, rapid pulse, tooth-grinding, tremors and a tendency toward breast ailments.
The diagram above gives an extremely enlarged representation of the membrane that surrounds every cell in our body. It is through this membrane that the nutrients pass to feed the cell, produce energy and detoxify the cell. The minerals need to pass through the cell and in doing so they take water with them to clean and hydrate the cell. As the water passes through the fibers within the cell wall it makes them move thus producing electric energy. Magnesium is one of the key players in this process, as is sodium and potassium - the more well known minerals. These minerals are the main players in the sodium potassium pump within the cell and are vital to the proper functioning of the cell.
HOW CAN I KNOW?
by Narelle Milekic B Ed NT.
Yes, I am still talking about minerals. Since they are the foundation of the house that we live in, how can we know when we need to take supplements or change our diet?
I suppose that sounds like an obvious question, but it begs an answer for many. You would not probably realize how many of the odd or apparently normal things that happen to our bodies - otherwise called symptoms - are actually related to minerals.
The one trap that we need to make sure that we don't fall in to is that of prescribing a single mineral repeatedly. It is very important to remember that the best way for us to get the minerals that we need is through the food that we eat, not from a bottle. When we get our minerals this way we can be sure that they are in a form that the body can recognize and absorb ie synergistic.
Therefore, to answer the question on a basic level I would say if you have anything wrong with you, from an ache to a wound that will not heal or an inability to function properly in any area then take a look at the mineral content of your diet.
Of course there is one other big problem that raises its’ ugly head at this point. That is the mineral depletion in our soils. I could also add here the price of organic food. But eating store bought organic food does not necessarily guarantee that you will get the needed minerals. Growing organically does not mean that the food is grown in mineralized soils. It is only grown without chemical feritlizers.
So what is the answer?.....grow your own...if you can. If you can’t then the only solution is a supplement. ‘ But’...you say...’you just said to get the minerals from food and not take isolated minerals’. You are right...I did say that, but there is a way to get those minerals without taking isolated minerals unnecessarily. Enter Celtic sea salt. I don’t have to write any more about that as there have been numerous lengthy articles in previous journals on the benefits of using Celtic sea salt. So let’s talk about how much and how often to use it then. Celtic sea salt is a food and a medicine, not a supplement. Just as olive oil is a food and a medicine too.
On average an adult needs about 1 1/4 - 1 ½ teaspoons of celtic salt daily to maintain mineral levels if those levels are already at a normal level. Since most people are on the verge of being chronically mineral deficient it would be safe to say use the salt liberally, listen to your body and take as much as you feel you need. If you like to salt your food, then do it, and if you like salty food then eat it - but only with Celtic salt of course.
There is also another way to ensure that the 84 minerals in the salt get into your cells effectively. This method will not only assist with the mineral deficiency but just as importantly assist with another chronic problem with the average person - dehydration.
By doing this you will help the body to get water and minerals into the cells, provide the minerals needed to carry water and minerals into the cells and assist the cell to function properly and produce the energy that we so desperately need, especially if we are dehydrated and mineral deficient.
Take 500 ml of pure water (not distilled), place 1/8th tsp of coarse Celtic sea salt on the back of your tongue and wash it down with ALL of the 500 ml of water. You need this much water to create an osmotic pressure outside the cells to assist in pushing the minerals into the cell to equalize the pressure. The constituents of the salt will also provide minerals to be used as carriers and ‘door openers’ in the cell.
This process should be repeated 3-4 times a day if possible. Depending on your level of demineralization and dehydration will determine how long it takes to see a change in the symptoms that you may be experiencing.
This is a process that I often recommend, as there are so many stresses on our lives that cause acidity in the body which in turn causes mineral loss to balance the pH again. This is only one cause of possible mineral loss...a sort of vicious cycle...we don't get enough minerals then we lose what we do have through the lifestyle we are exposed to and must live in.
So get into the Celtic sea salt in all the above forms and see the results
This pictorial representation of the sodium potassium pump shows that in order for the cell to let in the potassium (K) from the outside of the cell, the Sodium (Na) needs to move into the places that it fits in the cell membrane to open the ‘door’ to let the potassium in. This happens with other substances as well, but if one is missing or there is not enough of it then the process in impaired or interrupted thus slowing or stopping further processes in the chain of workflow. This missing substance is often a mineral.
It is within the body cell that the processes of life take place. It is an amazingly complex process, yet works like clockwork just as it was designed to do. Our part in the process is to ensure that the ‘clock’ has all it functioning parts so that they can do their work. The production of energy, chromosomes, reproductive processes and many other vital functions require the input of all the spectrum of minerals. Without one or another of these minerals the process is interrupted, and unless the body can take the mineral from another area, such as the bones...causing a new set of problems, it cannot properly complete the process underway. Thus we find so many problems amongst the populous today, mostly related to the body not getting the raw material it needs to complete its job properly. Type your paragraph here.