Our diet is the total sum of what we consume; nutrition is the benefit of what we consume.
In this age of readily available global information it is still confusing, for both patient and doctor, when they read articles about vitamin, mineral and electrolyte replacements. Many argue that if you eat right, you shouldn't need supplements. This attitude exists because of the confusion between diet and nutrition-Equally important is not only what we eat but also how our body utilizes and excretes it.
Only recently have minerals received the importance they deserve. The following are example of body system disorders (short circuits) that are either caused by, or affected by, mineral deficiencies and imbalances: cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, muscular, skeletal, neurological, immune and endocrine.
Out of Sync: The Consequences
Minerals do not work alone; they work in synchronicity (in balance) with one another, as well as with the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. When one mineral is excessive, it steals from others, therefore causing a chain reaction of deficiencies.
FYI: It's important to note that the brain stores trace minerals in various sectors. An abnormal concentration or imbalance among these minerals can affect psychological functions, including emotions, memory, perception, learning and behavior.
I personally experienced the effects of minerals that were "out of sync." After my life-threatening accident, the prescription drugs that saved my life almost took it, and left me with multiple chemical sensitivities, leaky gut syndrome, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. As in most of these "invisible" disorders, a condition of malabsorption existed. Malabsorption meant my body was taking in the needed supplement but was unable to make use of it-supplementation was either excreted and provided no benefit or it was stored and could manifest as another set of symptoms and disorders.
Whenever I consumed a mineral or calcium replacement my right eye would "flutter" or "twitch" to the point where it caused me great concern-not to mention the annoyance. I had developed malabsorption from a damaged intestinal tract caused by leaky gut syndrome, clinically known as intestinal permeability. My body was not able to utilize the supplements and was storing them in unsafe amounts-also contributing to excruciating leg cramps and widespread muscle pain.
The Body's Fiber Optic Communication System
The body requires electrical transmitters, "spark plugs," in order to send "messages" as electrical signals within the body. These brain signals are transmitted mainly through body fluids. Many cases of brain fog (inability to concentrate or connect thoughts), ADD/ADHD, muscle cramps/spasms and tingling/numbness can be the symptom of a "low battery"-lacking the electrical impulse stimulus necessary to perform nerve and muscle functions.
Minerals are stored primarily in the body's bone and muscle tissue. The absorbed mineral must then be carried through the blood to the cells and then absorbed, in order for the cell membrane to be utilized. A proper balance of minerals and electrolytes make up the electrically charged ions that help regulate the body's water and acid-alkaline balance, osmotic pressure, nerve impulse conduction and muscle contraction.
Digestion and absorption is especially a challenge for those with symptoms of any disorder that compromises the digestive system including, but not limited to, fibromyalgia, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel, leaky gut, environmental illness, gulf war syndrome and conditions which cause chronic diarrhea.
Four Essential Minerals: Their Job DescriptionCalcium: The Most Abundant Mineral in the Body
The average adult contains 2.5 pounds of calcium. Calcium is not only vital for healthy bones and teeth, it is also thought to be responsible for the high incidence of hypertension (high blood pressure) in the U.S.
Functions: Evidence shows calcium can help prevent colon cancer, regulate heart function, activate enzymes involved in protein digestion and energy production. Calcium transmits nerve impulses and is involved in blood clotting, regulates the relaxation and contraction of muscles, especially the heart, and assists in vitamin absorption.
FYI: It's important to note that if your diet consists of soft drinks, food additives and meats, your phosphorus intake may be too high to maintain a good calcium balance.
Phosphorus: Second Most Abundant Mineral in the Body
The average sized adult carries around 1.25 to 1.5 pounds of phosphorus, or approximately one percent of total body weight. As with calcium, most is found in bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also found in body cells and blood, and plays a role in every chemical reaction in the body-mostly in the utilization of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Functions: Phosphorus combines with fats in the blood to make phospholipids, which become part of the cell that regulates the tissue minerals in and out of the cell walls and transports fats in the circulatory system. Phosphorus plays an important role in energy metabolism, storage and regulation, muscle contraction, transfer of nerve impulses, hormone and protein synthesis, enhancing effectiveness of B vitamins and maintaining proper acid-base balance (pH).
Symptoms of Phosphorus to Calcium Imbalance: Calcium and phosphorus levels influence each other. Researchers have suggested that intake should be equal in ratio of one to one-even though bone ratio is two to one. When phosphorus consumption exceeds calcium, along with long-term low calcium and high protein intake, it is believed to be a major factor in osteoporosis.
Carbonated beverages, high in phosphorus, potentially expose consumers to a higher risk for fractures from bone density depletion.
Potassium and Sodium: Essential for Smooth Functioning Mind and Body
The functions of potassium are many, one of the most important is to neutralize acid wastes. Sodium controls the acid-alkaline balance in the muscles to avoid spasms and cramps.
Because of modern-day food refining and processing, the potassium that was once present in natural foods is removed as whole grains are refined into white flour and fruit is turned into juice or sauce. In order to extend shelf life, foods are loaded with sodium compounds. This causes a reverse ratio, a serious compromise to our health, as the body must consume 10 times more potassium as sodium. Very few mineral replacements contain anywhere near the correct ratio.
Symptoms of Potassium to Sodium Imbalance: Heart irregularity, chronic fatigue, muscle pain, immune deficiencies, bloating, calcium excretion, cancer and hypertension.Benefits of Mineral Whey
- Acid neutralizer-Takes care of chronic acid in the stomach.
- Replenishes depleted reserves-Most valuable in replenishing reserves that are nutritionally depleted through everyday stresses and poor food choices.
- Establishes homeostasis-Minerals are necessary for all systemic functions.
- Supports weak and painful joints-Provides the minerals necessary for healthy bones.
- Supports athletes-By replacing minerals lost due to sweating and exertion, thus preventing muscle spasms and weakness and promoting endurance.
- Supports intestinal tract-By assisting to create an alkaline environment that is not friendly to bacteria and viruses.
- Supplies more than 20 naturally occurring minerals. Is a complex whole food.
- 100 percent bioavailable-Since whey is predigested, it is not dependent on the body's ability to break it down, therefore it is readily absorbed
- Minerals are naturally occurring (nothing added) and in proper ratios as a whole food matrix.
During my own illness, I experimented with dozens of mineral supplements, all without any significant relief. As a doctor who consults with thousands of clients worldwide, I know from both personal and professional experience, only too well, the wide range of symptoms from mineral imbalances including brain fog, muscle cramps, multiple chemical sensitivities and involuntary movements.Finally, I was reintroduced to a mineral/electrolyte replacement made from organic goat milk whey and much to my delight, I was symptom-free-as were my clients with many of the same complaints. This tasty brown powder is essentially predigested; my body didn't have to do the work to break down pills and capsules-it was readily absorbed and utilized. The nutritional analysis of mineral whey confirms it to be high in natural amino acids and minerals. It also contains some vitamins, probiotics and digestive enzymes-a perfect blend to restore and maintain health naturally. The soluble protein lactoglobulins in whey are identical to serum globulin in human blood and contain antibodies that strengthen the immune system. The amino acids in whey are rated higher in bioavailability than those in eggs, soy, rice, wheat and beef, according to the World Health Organization.
Overview of Mineral Function
- Calcium-Builds bones, teeth, muscle contraction, heart action, nerve impulses, blood clotting
- Magnesium-Bones, liver, muscles, transfer of intercellular water, alkaline balance, neuromuscular activity
- Sodium-Electrolyte balance, body fluid volume, nerve impulse condition
- Potassium-Cell membrane potential, nerve impulse conduction, heart rhythm, acid base balance
- Copper-Hemoglobin formation, production of RNA (ribonucleic acid is a chemical similar to a single strand of DNA), elastic tissue formation, cholesterol utilization, oxidase enzyme activator
- Zinc-Protein synthesis, carbon dioxide transport, sexual function, insulin storage, carbohydrate metabolism, wound healing
- Iron-Hemoglobin formation, electron transport, oxygen transport, enzyme activator
- Manganese-Carbohydrate and protein metabolism, connective tissue, joint fluid production, nerve tissue, vitamin B1 utilization
- Chromium-Glucose utilization, insulin activity, heart muscle, cholesterol utilization
- Phosphorus-Builds bones, teeth, energy production, acid-base balance, all metabolism, cell membranes
- Molybdenum-Enzyme activator, uric acid formation, oxidative enzymes
- Selenium-Peroxidase scavenger, glutathione peroxidase, anti-carcinogenic, vitamin E synergist
- Silicon-Bone formation, collagen formation, cartilage formation, elastic tissue
- Boron-Reduces calcium loss
- Vanadium-Strengthens bones and teeth, lowers blood lipids, inhibits cholesterol synthesis
- Tin-Growth, protein synthesis
- Nickel-Activates some liver enzymes
According to Dr. David Watts, an authority in mineral analysis, "minerals are the spark plugs of life because they are required to activate hundreds of enzyme reactions within the body. Minerals are more important than vitamins since plants manufacture vitamins, but minerals must be obtained from the soil," or from a source such as mineral whey which allows the body to utilize the minerals through greater absorption.
Minerals: Their Role in Detoxification
When an individual undergoes any type of detoxification program, it is essential to replenish mineral reserves. Cleansing/detoxification therapies are life saving and health building, however, in the process they not only eliminate toxins but also minerals and electrolytes.
Minerals and Fiber Supplements
Everywhere we look, from magazines and newspapers to radio and television, fiber and fiber products are widely talked about and highly advertised. We are literally being bombarded with commercials and advertisements telling us that eating more fiber is not only the "right" thing to do but will solve practically all of life's problems. Yes, fiber is essential and without it any detoxification therapy would not be successful. However, it is important to understand that fiber supplements should not be taken at the same time as mineral/electrolyte replacements-fiber can draw out the minerals you have just replaced. Therefore, if you take a fiber supplement in the evening, take your mineral replacement early in the day or during the day as a natural "pick-me-up."