Minerals for the Body: More Important Than Vitamins?
Minerals for the Body: More Important Than Vitamins?
Multivitamins are probably the most popular form of food supplement, because people suppose they are getting everything they need quickly and without fuss. It’s perhaps natural to assume that a good-quality multivitamin will address a dietary deficit.
However, the truth is that many people experience little to no benefit from taking a multivitamin. Why? Because they overlook the fact that the body needs minerals in order to correctly utilise vitamins.
We cannot make the minerals we need, we must get them from food and water, but in spite of this, mineral deficiency has become a major problem in recent decades. Indeed, some believe it has been a significant driver of chronic disease.
In particular, sub-clinical magnesium deficiency is understood to be a principal driver of cardiovascular disease.
Minerals in Food: A Diminishing Commodity
The depletion of minerals from our soil is nothing new. Due to intensive farming practices, the problem has continued for close to a century. Sadly, the warning signs have never been given proper attention.
From the widespread use of fertilisers to heavy machinery which compacts the soil and paves the way for increased run-off from soils (and therefore a loss of vital nutrients), modern agriculture has many negative effects.
An oft-cited 2004 study by the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry underlines the nutritional differences between crops from 1950 and those from 1999.
Results showed that there were “reliable declines” in the level of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C during the study period.
The study’s lead author suggested that contemporary agricultural practices intended to improve size, growth rate, pest resistance etc., were to blame. And this is not the only study to reveal such damning results.
If essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements are in shorter supply, obtaining a sufficient intake from our food becomes challenging.
In years gone by, we obtained a healthy quota of minerals from our diet, which included plentiful salt. However, salt has been relentlessly and unfairly demonised and, as a consequence, deficiency further compounds the lack of trace minerals in the body.
Using a good-quality unprocessed salt, either a sea salt or a rock salt, is a wise course of action for just about everyone.
The Benefits of Fulvic Minerals
In nutritious soils, there is an abundance of what is known as humic material, organic compounds composed primarily of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur in complex carbon chains.
But with a myopic focus on low cost and high yield (the intent has been to nurture the plant, not the soil), the result has been inevitable: a reduction in humic material, humic acids and trace minerals.
Fulvic acid is perhaps the best known humic acid. Feted for improving the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients, as well as to detoxify, improve digestive health and aid brain health, it is a fertile source of the trace minerals many of us sorely lack.
Eating organic is the best way of ensuring a proper intake of fulvic. However, eating organic all the time is expensive. What’s more, doing so may in itself be no guarantee if the soils have been historically impoverished.
Luckily, there are a few high-quality fulvic acid supplements on the market – none better than Fulvic Restore – which can help to address this deficit.
Quality fulvic complexes derive from exclusive sources of ancient decayed plant materials rich in minerals, fulvic and humic acids. You see, fulvic acid is found abundantly in decomposed organic plant matter – away from the heavy machinery of industry.
If you want to learn more about individual minerals, be sure to read our article, The Function of Minerals and the Best Dietary Sources. It contains a tonne of information about macro-minerals such as magnesium and potassium, and micro-minerals like selenium and zinc.
Oh, and we’ve got plenty more information about fulvic acid in this blog.
The Importance of Balanced Minerals
One of the reasons we have no trouble recommending Fulvic Acid (ditto our Trace Mineral Complex) is because it provides an assortment of minerals and trace elements. In other words, there is no risk of creating an “imbalance” as can sometimes be the worry when supplementing with single nutrients.
Taking a single mineral in excess can often cause more problems than it remedies by disrupting internal balance. Take calcium supplementation as just one example. While we are often told that our bones are constructed of calcium, we don’t often hear that calcium itself is made of a range of minerals.
When we take surplus calcium at the expense of other minerals, the excess can be stored in arteries, significantly increasing our risk for heart disease and heart events.
Remember to heed the words of Dr Robert Thomson: “Calcium supplements, milk and dietary supplements do not produce strong bones. Minerals in proper balance produce strong bones.”
Some minerals have synergistic relationships, too. For example, calcium cannot be absorbed without sufficient magnesium. It’s the same with vitamin D and vitamin K (and vitamin D also improves calcium absorption). Again, it comes back to the importance of balance and assuring a proper intake of essential nutrients.
If you are deficient in minerals, your body will inevitably begin to leach minerals it requires from your bones, an occurrence which paves the way for conditions like osteopenia and osteoporosis.
It is no exaggeration to say that mineral deficiencies negatively affect billions of people around the world, especially deficiencies in iodine, iron and zinc. Our aforementioned article on minerals has more information.
We must make every effort to ensure a plentiful supply of minerals, not only the primary macro-minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium, but also trace minerals.
Minerals are vital for our hydration, as without them, we will never absorb water and enjoy its rejuvenating effects. Mineral balance is integral for our overall health, and in particular our digestive, neurological, endocrine and circulatory health.
With any luck, this blog will have opened your eyes as to the importance of dietary minerals and motivate you to pursue a diet that places a greater emphasis on minerals.