Mineral Deficiencies and Disease
The term mineral deficiency is considered a condition where the concentration of any one of the minerals, proven to be essential to human health is abnormally low.
The conventional definition is defined as an abnormally low mineral concentration as a level lower than that found in a specific healthy population. However, in some cases, an abnormally low mineral concentration is defined as that which leads to an impairment in a bodily function dependent on the mineral.
Minerals make up four percent of the body's total weight, they are found the body's fluids and tissues. Working in conjunction with vitamins, enzymes, hormones, and other substances, minerals play an important role in numerous biological functions.
The mineral content of the body may be measured by testing samples of blood plasma, red blood cells, or urine. Calcium and phosphate deficiency may also involve taking x rays of the skeleton, and in the case of iodine deficiency, the diagnosis may include examining the patient's neck with the eyes and hands. Iron deficiency are sometimes diagnosed using a stair-stepping test by the patient. Because specific minerals may serve different functions of the body, different tests are sometimes required.
New research is stacking up on the vital role minerals, trace minerals, and other micronutrients serve in preventing catabolic and debilitating disease.
Sceintific studies with animals have revealed that severe deficiencies in any one single nutrient can result in a specific symptom, and in many cases death due to the failure of bodliy functions associated with the depleted nutrient. In humans, deficiency in one nutrient may occur less often than deficiency in several nutrients.
For example, studies have shown that the adrenal glands, blood, bones, capillary walls, cells, connective tissue (skin/ligaments/bones/gums), heart, mucous membranes, nervous system and teeth are effected with deficiencies in Vitamin C. On the other, the functions of the body that are effected a Sodium deficiency are; Blood, lymphatic system, muscles and nerves.
Some of the diseases and health issues associated with mineral deficiencies;
- Calcium Deficiency: Arthritis, High Blood Pressure, Osteoporosis
- Copper Deficiency: Anemia, Hair Loss, Arthritis, Aneurysms
- Selenium Deficiency: Cancer, Cataracts, Age Spots, Multiple Sclerosis
The most startling fact is that foods that consist of our main dietary foods, i.e. fruits, vegetables and grains, are being grown on land that is depleted of the essential minerals needed to maintain proper health. A vast majority of the American population is "minerally starved." No wonder we are seeing such a large increase in disease. Americans are eating more but consuming less!
The Senate Report
Is this new news? How long has the government, the medical and food community known about this serious issue? For decades now mineral content in a large part of America's farming land is seriously deficient in vital trace elements. This issue, as it regards to personal health, has been known since 1936! The situation is so serious that the United States senate in 1936, 74th Congress, 2nd Session warned the American people of major mineral depletion due to "modern" farming methods. The Senate Report was based on a study conducted by Dr. Charles Northern. It was further supported by research completed at Yale, Rutgers, John Hopkins, Columbia and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Northern demonstrated "that countless human ills stem from the fact that impoverished soil of America no longer provides plant foods with mineral elements essential to human nourishment and health."
Other excerpts from this eye opening report;
"Our physical well-being is more directly dependent upon minerals we take into our systems than upon calories or vitamins, or upon precise proportions of starch, protein or carbohydrates we consume."
"Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until depleted soils from which our food comes are brought into proper mineral balance?"
"Laboratory test prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs, and even the milk and the meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago"
"It is not commonly realized, however, that vitamins control the body's appropriation of minerals, and in the absence of minerals they have no function to perform. Lacking vitamins, the system can make some use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless."
Has anything changes since 1936?
Has modern technology solved this decades old problem? The 1992 Earth Summit Report documents declining mineral values in farm and range soils over past 100 years: North America 85% South America 76% Europe 72% Asia 76% Africa 74% Australia 55%. North America is leading the pack for the worst mineral depletion!
Organic versus Commercial Foods
Is the mineral deficiency issue confined to just commercial farming?
Foods grown organically do produce a higher amount ot the essiential minerals required to maintian proper bodily function. However the cost associated with a organic diet can range anywhere from 20 to 100% more then standard commerically grown foods. Also, the lowering of the orgainic food standard in recent years calls into question the actual mineral content of present organics.