By Dr. SUSAN DUVE
Special to the Parade
“One of the main costs of refining foods is their demineralization, white sugar being devoid of its mineral components, white flour having lost most of its mineral components as well. The intricate mineral-protein complexes are also disrupted by cooking and heat. In the face of these abuses of natural foods, is it any wonder that mineral deficiencies and imbalances rank as high as vitamin deficiencies as causes of malnutrition?” -Royal Lee, 1960, From the Pen of Dr. Royal Lee.
There is a natural order to life on earth. The sun appears each day on the eastern horizon, bathing the earth in sunlight. From the water, air, minerals and sunshine, life flows into the lifeless earth. The air breathes life into plants, energized by the sunshine on the bright green leaves. Minerals, dissolved by the fungi of the soil, flow with the water into the roots of plants. Plants turn lifeless minerals into essential nutrients for animals and humans. Every part of nature is orderly, organic, integrated and whole.
When one considers nature, we see that nutrients have a natural progression through the environment – from the mineral kingdom to the vegetable kingdom, then on to the animal or human kingdoms. These are referred to as “kingdoms” because they are distinct and have natural laws that govern each of them. At the same time, all of nature follows universal laws.
An example of this distinction is in the food that is appropriate for each kingdom. An animal will not eat rocks for its essential mineral needs. Directly or indirectly, animals are only fed through the plants.
Animals are governed by the laws of nature, and no matter how nutritionally deficient they become, they do not break these laws in search of nutrition. Cows grazing in a field do not begin eating the dirt when the grasses are all consumed. They find another field or starve.
The natural laws reveal that the mineral kingdom must be “prepared” for animal and human consumption. One type of preparation is done by the vegetable kingdom. Minerals from the soil are absorbed through the roots of the plants. Plants are nourished by these minerals and the health of the vegetable kingdom is “rooted” in the mineral kingdom.
The health of the animal kingdom is “rooted” in the vegetable. Even carnivorous animals eat animals that ultimately were sustained in the vegetable kingdom. The common denominator in this natural order is organically-bound minerals.
Organically-bound minerals are more than rocks and dirt. They are minerals that are part of a whole. Organic minerals are bound to proteins, fats, trace minerals, vitamins, enzymes and as yet unknown organic nutritional essentials.
Organically-bound minerals are essential to the function of the plant or animal— no other form will do.
Minerals that have not become “organic” by passing through the vegetable kingdom are considered inorganic minerals.
Some inorganic minerals are nutritionally essential for animals and humans, such as the calcium bicarbonate found in spring or well water. But boil or cook that water and the calcium is altered into a form which is unhealthful. Most inorganic minerals, however, are challenging to one’s health. Let’s learn why.
Inorganic minerals which enter the body as nearly insoluble compounds require many more metabolic processes to become assimilated in the body. In other words, some inorganic minerals draw more nutrition from the body than they give to the body. This causes a nutritional debt. Imagine that the body is similar to a bank. Your body can store some of the nutritional essentials in your “health bank.” When vitamins or minerals, enzymes or co-enzymes are required to complete a metabolic process, the body draws from the “bank.”
Continuous consumption of inorganic minerals can create a nutritional debt that leads to the breakdown in health.
Some so-called “supplements” are made from inorganic minerals and are not readily available for use in the body.
Some examples of inorganic minerals are:
• Calcium carbonate,
• Zinc picolinate, sulfate or zinc oxide
• Potassium chloride, citrate or gluconate
• Magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate
• Ferrous sulfate, fumarate or gluconate
Do you recognize any of those minerals in your supplements? If so, they may be contributing to a nutritional debt.
Healthful foods are actually complex combinations of minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, co-enzymes, vitamins, fatty acids and proteins, integrated into functioning organic mechanisms. In this way, nature provides completeness. The body can take from these complete nutritional complexes what it needs and stores or eliminates the rest without creating a nutritional debt.
Calcium: Known for its important role in bones and teeth, virtually every other function of the body has some relationship with calcium, such as muscle contraction, blood vessel contraction and expansion, secretion of hormones and enzymes, activation of the immune system, sending messages through the nervous system and more. Calcium needs to be in balance with magnesium and phosphorus.
Magnesium: Needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Manganese: Strengthens tendons, tissues, ligaments and tissues supporting organs. Production of sex hormones is aided by manganese, which also can help reduce menstrual cramps and PMS. Manganese increases resistance and recuperative ability and, like iron, aids in oxygen transfer from lungs to cells. Manganese, also called the “brain mineral,” is important for all mental facilities/functions.
Zinc: Stimulates the activity of approximately 100 enzymes, supports a healthy immune system, wound healing, helps maintain your sense of taste and smell and is needed for DNA synthesis. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, adolescence and – for men – prostate health.
All minerals have diverse health building functions, just like calcium, magnesium, zinc and manganese.
A few brief examples are:
• Iron for healthy blood and vitality
• Potassium for an efficient nervous system and stable heart
• Iodine for a healthy thyroid and energy
• Cobalt for healthy blood and vitality
• Copper for enzyme and energy production
What you can do to enhance your mineral health:
1. Eat plenty of wholesome, fresh vegetables and fruit. Greater consumption of fruits and vegetables provide vitamin/mineral complexes.
2. Avoid sugar and refined foods. All of these “foods” contribute to nutritional deficiency and “debt.”
3. Avoid toxins in your food, water, air and environment. Toxins require nutrients and lead to “debt.”
4. Support your health with organic minerals from whole food concentrates.
As always, visit with your wellness practitioner to find out exactly what your body needs. I see many patients who are taking “supplements” for years on end and sometimes it is the wrong supplement and for too long. There is such a thing as giving the body too much of a good thing and causing excess stress and severe nutritional debt. This is why I always recommend wholefood concentrates which abide by the natural laws of physiology.
So, you may want to think again when you stop at Walmart or Sam’s Club to pick up some cheap supplements in bulk! I believe you can certainly do better. I may trust Walmart for buying my socks and underwear, but I definitely do not trust they offer what is good for my health. The laws of nature clearly demonstrate that our bodies require wholefoods. If you are sick or simply want to stay well and you are not actually eating the foods that naturally provide what is required, then the wholefood concentrates made by Mother Nature are your real health insurance. Give the body what it can use and it will heal. Give it chemicals that causes a burden of nutritional debt and it cannot heal. Period.
The most common question I get is, “Doc, what do I need and how long do I take it?” Just enough of the right mineral for as long as it takes and no longer is what I practice. We run blood chemistry and hair mineral analysis to determine what you need and for how long. There is a complex science to the process and we can help sort it all out to get you on the appropriate path to wellness and a high quality of living the natural way.
Wellness is a choice. Be well.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Susan Duve of the Duve Wellness Center & Natural Living Shoppe, located at 201 W. Queen Isabella, Port Isabel, can be reached at (956) 943-2300. Also, visit the website at www.duvewellness.com.