Chapter Eight Minerals

Minerals are just as vital to our health as vitamins. Approximately four to Five per cent of our total body weight is composed of minerals. Without them our bones, teeth, tissue, cells and muscles would cease to function.

The main difference between minerals and vitamins is that minerals are not manufactured inside our bodies as some vitamins are. Minerals are also inorganic substances.

Because they come from inorganic sources, minerals are difficult for the body to break down unless conditions are right. Digestive juices in the stomach must be operating at optimum efficiency, and certain other vitamins and/or minerals must be present to break the minerals down or to aid in their transport throughout the body. For example, without proper amounts of the intrinsic factor available in the stomach gastric juices iron will not be absorbed. Nor will iron be absorbed if copper is not available in proportionate amounts. On the other hand, if there is too much copper in the body, iron will not be correctly assimilated. And any of these circumstances can result in anemia.

Anyone who takes a mineral supplement without the right conditions to help insure the mineral's safe passage into the internal mechanism of the body will simply lose the mineral through discharge or excretion. For this reason many multimineral supplements sold today are ineffective because they are not prepared with a proper balance of other minerals and vitamins that will aid in absorption.

Sulfur, chlorine, potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus are found in relatively large amounts in our bodies. The other minerals, found in much smaller amounts, are known as trace minerals. But deficiencies of trace minerals, such as iron, copper or zinc, can develop just as easily as deficiencies of other minerals.

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