The term minerals refers to elements in their simple inorganic form. In nutrition they are commonly referred to as mineral elements or inorganic nutrients. Minerals are vital to health. Like vitamins, protein and other organic compounds, minerals (inorganic compounds) are essential for regulating and building the trillions of living cells which make up the body. Minerals are especially important for intracellular electrical messages which tells cells when to replicate and when to die if abnormal. Cancer is caused by these messages not being present due to mineral deficiencies. Infection and damage can also stop these
messages getting through to these abnormal cells. Many prescribed medications, alcohol and other toxins can block absorption and cause a huge loss of essential minerals through the urine.
The body is made from the following elements and their atomic numbers are included in brackets.
The purpose or cause and effect these elements have in the human body and the natural sources of each one can be found on their dedicated pages.
Many common foods we already consume contain fair amounts of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. But it is also particularly important to add foods to the diet that contain barium, bismuth, boron, bromine, caesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, fluoride, germanium, gold, iodine, iridium, lithium, molybdenum, nickel, nitrogen, platinum, rhodium, rubidium, selenium, silicon, silver, strontium, sulphur, vanadium and tin at least once a fortnight.
This is especially important for those doing any strenuous activities, taking any medications or recreational drugs, drinking alcohol regularly or those suffering from diarrhoea and fevers or illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS or immune system, bone, neurological or degenerative disorders and pregnant women. Everyone else should strive to include these foods at least once a month to ensure the correct balance of minerals in the body and prevent any ailments developing. Athletes and anyone that partakes in intense physical activities are often lacking in minerals as they perspire profusely but do not replace lost minerals so they should consume plenty of the foods highest in
minerals listed below.
Because legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds and whole grains contain high levels of phytic acid which inhibits absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc it is important to soak, sprout or ferment them before consumption.
For more information see
Minerals cannot be made in the body and must be obtained in the diet. Pure unrefined sea salt, mineral water, chlorella, spirulina, hemp seeds, oily fish, halibut, krill oil, shellfish, octopus, squid, sea weed and sea vegetables like kelp are the only certain way to gain all the vital elements required by the body because both modern farming and food processing techniques have stripped the soil and food of these vital elements. Naturally occurring, nutrient-rich soil is becoming increasingly rare. Eons of vegetation growth and intensive modern farming techniques have brought many of the earth’s minerals to the surface
where they have been washed away. Synthesised fertilisers are routinely applied to farms and fields where minerals have been depleted. But man-made fertilisers provide only enough mineral substance to support basic plant life. Numerous trace minerals essential to human life do not get replenished.
Trace minerals do not exist by themselves but in relationship to one another. Too much of one trace element can lead to imbalances in others and most trace elements need to be in ionic form to be well absorbed in the small intestine. Therefore taking mineral supplements is not the answer. Only readily digestible minerals from natural food sources will provide optimum health and protection.
A typical plant makes its own food from raw materials and a typical animal eats its food. For plants, these raw materials include soil-based inorganic mineral salts. Soil-based mineral salts can be depleted through synthetic fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, as well as repeatedly growing crops on the same soil. This is why so many people are often unwittingly deficient in certain minerals especially those whose lifestyles deplete their bodily supplies faster and more often such as those on medications, those that drink alcohol regularly and those participating in high energy activates such as sports and dancing or
those whose system is less able to absorb minerals due to illness or old age.
Minerals taken as supplements are industrial chemicals made from processing rocks with one or more acids. The consumption of this “other half” of the mineral compound is not only unnatural, it can lead to toxicity concerns. Humans were designed to eat food and to get their minerals from foods. Foods do not naturally contain minerals bound to substances such as picolinic acid, carbonates, oxides, phosphates, etc. When supplementation is required it should be in the form of natural foods only.
Body cells receive the essential food elements through the blood stream. They must, therefore, be properly nourished with an adequate supply of all the essential minerals for the efficient functioning of the body. They help maintain the volume of water necessary to life processes in the body. They help draw chemical substances into and out of the cells and they keep the blood and tissue fluid from becoming either too acidic or too alkaline.
The importance of inorganic minerals, like organic vitamins, is illustrated by the fact that there are over 50,000 enzymes in the body which direct growth and energy and each enzyme has different minerals, vitamins and other chemicals associated with it. Each of the essential food minerals does a specific job in the body and some of them do extra work, in teams, to keep body cells healthy and eliminate abnormal cells. Although as yet, it has not been discovered what the functions of some elements have in the human body, many of these 118 elements are present and many have a purpose of some kind. Those in blue are linked to
their known functions, deficiencies, toxicity and natural food sources sections on this page.
Minerals thus play a highly important role in every bodily function and are present in every human cell. Although the amount needed may be small, without even the trace of the mineral, dysfunction is bound to occur at some level in the body. A zinc deficiency may show up in ridged fingernails with white spots. Lack of sulphur can cause lack-lustre hair and dull-looking skin. Less obvious deficiencies may surface as fatigue, irritability, loss of memory, nervousness, depression and weakness. Minerals also interact with vitamins. Magnesium, for instance, must be present in the body for utilisation of B complex, vitamin C and
vitamin E. Sulphur also works with the B complex vitamins. The body needs all the trace minerals in proper balance. A constant lack of minerals in the body results in infection and disease and serious disorders of processes including diabetes, bone disorders, organ failures and cancer.
Coffee, alcohol, excess refined salt, strenuous exercise, stress, sugar and many drugs can rob the body of minerals or make them ineffective. Industrial pollutants cause toxic minerals to enter the body. Minerals at toxic levels also have the effect of destroying the usefulness of other vitamins and minerals. Exercise improves the activity of certain vitamins and minerals while stress and fatigue work against them. Too much exercise, however, can cause deficiencies in minerals if they are not replaced.
A well-balanced diet provides as abundance of minerals and vitamins. In refining cereals, grains, flour, salt and sugar, the food industry has robbed them of their natural vitamins and minerals. Some dietary sources of these nutrients are whole grains, cereals, bran and germ. It is the bran and germ which are removed in processing. To obtain a balance of nutrients, it is , therefore, necessary to avoid refined and processed foods and consume far more organic fish, vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds sea foods and legumes which are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins.
Electrolytes are the smallest of chemicals that are important for the cells in the body to function and allow the body to work. Electrolytes especially
potassium, chloride and magnesium are critical in allowing cells to
generate energy, maintain the stability of their walls and to
function in general. They generate electricity, contract muscles,
move water and fluids within the body and participate in myriad
The concentration of electrolytes in the body is controlled by a variety of
hormones, most of which are manufactured in the kidney and the adrenal glands.
Sensors in specialised kidney cells monitor the amount of sodium, potassium and
water in the bloodstream. The body functions in a very narrow range of normal
and it is hormones like renin (made in the kidney), angiotensin (from
the lung, brain and heart), aldosterone (from the adrenal gland),
and anti-diuretic hormone (from the pituitary gland) that keep the
electrolyte balance within those normal limits. Keeping electrolyte
concentrations in balance also includes stimulating the thirst mechanism when
the body gets dehydrated.
Mineral water is a healthy alternative to tap water as it usually contains trace elements that are essential to human health. Depending upon it's source it can naturally contain minerals such as bicarbonate, calcium, fluoride, lithium, magnesium, potassium, silica, sodium and strontium. Water from natural springs, wells and mountain lakes contains minerals which are in the rocks through which it flows and these minerals all have a purpose within the human body. Modern day farming techniques have leeched many minerals from the soil so non organic farmed food often is lacking in them, especially magnesium. The best way to ingest the some of the minerals needed daily is through
drinking mineral water, whether carbonated or still, everyday.
Drinking mineral water is especially important for the elderly and
medications which can force the body to expel essential minerals
in the urine such as
Tap water has little mineral content except fluoride and chlorine which are added
artificially and, in many developed countries, also contains traces of
medications administered to humans such as hormone replacement drugs and the
Read about the dangers of drinking boiled or distilled water, why it is necessary to prevent heart attacks and signs of a deficiency of water in the body here: Water
A - Z OF MINERALS
NOTE: Some nutrients in this section are measured in µg which is the abbreviation for microgram and is equivalent to a unit of mass equal to one millionth (1×10−6) of a gram or one thousandth (1×10−3) of a milligram. One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.
Fluorine is a chemical element with the atomic number 9. Fluoride is an inorganic, monatomic anion of fluorine. An anion is an atom or a molecule which is negatively charged which means it has more electrons than protons. Read more about Fluoride
Industrial use of heavy metals elements has caused spillage and leakages into the environment that have contaminated food and water resources and is cause for concern as they are toxic to animals and humans and can lead to many serious conditions, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, when levels increase in the human body. For further information and natural ways to reduce and eliminate heavy metals from the body see Heavy metal dangers
Iron is an important
trace mineral, with the atomic number of 26, and is part of the vital activity of the blood and glands.
Haemochromatosis is a hereditary disease characterised by excessive absorption of dietary iron
resulting in abnormal high levels of total body iron stores. Excess iron
accumulates in tissues and organs disrupting their normal function. The
hereditary form of the disease is most common among those of Northern European
ancestry, in particular those of British or Irish descent, with a prevalence of
one in 200. For those patients extra iron will likely worsen their symptoms.
Nickel interacts with
vitamin B12 and
vitamin B15. Nickel (Ni) and
Cobalt (Co) are associated trace elements and considered essential
to human health. While a cobalt and vitamin B12 relationship is well
documented, a similar, but less documented affiliation applies to
nickel and vitamin C. Also less documented is the control nickel
and cobalt exert over the muscular walls of the body's
arteries. Nickel specifically affects the left coronary artery,
resulting in vasodilation with low levels, and vasoconstriction with
high levels, while cobalt exerts the same vasodilatation /
vasoconstriction effect on the right coronary artery.
Nickel and vitamin C
share a common antagonist; vitamin E.
The association of nickel to vitamin C is similar to the one of
cobalt to vitamin B12 as far as excess and deficiency symptoms and
their interaction with other nutrients is concerned. For instance,
iron deficiency (anaemia)
is often found in the presence of low nickel, and it is a well-known
fact that vitamin C assists in iron absorption. Both vitamin C and
nickel can also be beneficial for
cirrhosis of the liver,
hypoadrenalism and can improve insulin production in
The cell receptors of nickel and
are neurologically linked to the spinal segment T4, whereby both,
its alignment, and various nutritional factors control the ratio of
nickel and cobalt. Alignment problems of T4, or nutritional
imbalances involving nickel, cobalt,
vitamin B12 and
vitamin B15 can either result in
localised physical discomfort, or they can trigger cardiac,
cerebral, emotional and/or anxiety-problems due to blood flow
changes to the heart or brain through their respective vasoconstrictive or vasodilating changes.
of nickel is less than 10%, with the kidneys controlling the
retention or elimination of nickel, however most of it is eliminated
in faeces, some in urine, and a small amount through sweat.
Nickel toxicity is
usually not a problem unless several grams are ingested from
non-dietary sources or there is a natural tendency to retain too
much nickel, which could lead to asthma, angina an/or other cardiac
symptoms as a result of nickel interfering with vitamin E activity.
Nickel is quite toxic in its gaseous form of nickel carbonyl, and it
has the potential to cause cancer of the sinuses, throat and lungs
when insoluble nickel compounds are inhaled for long periods of
time. This does not apply to soluble nickel compounds such as
chloride, nitrate, or sulphate. Once someone is sensitised to nickel
from an allergic reaction to nickel-containing materials, subsequent
contact will have to be avoided as it will continue to produce these
effects. Skin reactions such as itching, burning, redness or other
rashes are the most common symptoms with nickel sensitivity, however
asthma attacks are another, but less frequent possibility in some
Nickel is a trace
element that has been linked to skin allergies or dermatitis. Nickel
is found in coins, costume jewellery, dental materials,
eyeglass frames, hair clips, pins, scissors and some kitchen
appliances. Regular contact with these nickel products may allow
some absorption into the body. Allergic dermatitis from nickel
products is not at all uncommon, however of the approximately 10 mg in the body,
significant amounts of nickel are found in RNA and DNA where it
interacts with these nucleic acids.
Most of plasma nickel is a
constituent of the circulating proteins nickeloplasmin and albumin,
and it is also thought to be a factor in hormone, lipid and cell
membrane metabolism. Insulin response is increased after ingesting
nickel, which may be related to its activation of enzymes associated
with the breakdown or utilization of glucose.
Nitrogen is part of all amino acids, which
make up proteins including those in
RNA. The human body contains about 3% by weight of nitrogen, the fourth most
abundant element in the body after oxygen, carbon and hydrogen. In respiration,
the presence of nitrogen in the air inhibits oxidation of the lung tissues,
where specialised cells extract the oxygen from the air (normally about 20% by
Nitrogen is essential for the human body to synthesise amino acids. The protein
that is consumed in the diet contains amino acids. These are made up of organic
molecules containing nitrogen. Through the nitrogen obtained from these amino
acids, the body produces other amino acids that are vital for body functions.
Microbes transform nitrogen into forms that get absorbed in the plants.
A deficiency of nitrogen can lead to slow growth of the hair and nails, brittle hair and hair loss,
slower wound healing, muscle wasting, bone fractures, sprains and complex
Excess of nitrogen in the body is harmful. If nitrogen intake exceeds nitrogen
excretion, as can occur with high-protein diets, excess nitrogen leaves the body
increasing the risk for
kidney stones and
osteoporosis. Amino acids of protein are converted to ammonia by the liver.
High levels of ammonia are toxic to the nervous system, with symptoms that
include vomiting and tremors and can lead to coma and death. Therefore, moderate
protein consumption is best. The recommended daily intake for protein in humans
should never exceed the size of the clenched fist of the person consuming it and
that includes children.
Phosphorous combines with
calcium to create the calcium-phosphorus balance necessary for the
growth of bones and teeth and in the formation of nerve cells. This
mineral is also essential for the assimilation of carbohydrates and
fats. It is a stimulant to the nerves and brain.
Phosphorus also contributes to
kidney functioning and lessens
Phosphorus is an
important component of nucleic acids, the building blocks of the
genetic code. In addition, the metabolism of lipids (fats) relies on
phosphorus and it is an essential component of lipid-containing
structures such as cell membranes and nervous system structures. It
also plays a role in the structure of every cell in the body. In
addition to its role in forming the mineral matrix of bone,
phosphorus is an essential component of numerous other life-critical
compounds including adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule that
is the energy currency of the body.
cannot achieve its objectives unless
phosphorus is also present in a proper balance. Too much
phosphorous, though, can cause diarrhoea and calcification (hardening) of organs
and soft tissue and can interfere with the body's ability to use
and zinc. It
is a matter of getting the balance right which is why supplementation is not
advised. Supplements will never provide the correct balance of any nutrient for the particular individual taking them and any imbalance can affect the levels of other vital nutrients..
May bring about
loss of weight, retarded growth, reduced sexual powers and general weakness. It
may also result in poor mineralisation of bones, deficient nerve and brain function.
Phosphorus, in the form of phosphate or phosphoric acid, is often added to processed foods and carbonated soft drinks and, because too much phosphorous can reduce the amount of calcium that the body absorbs leading to brittle and porous bones, it is important to eliminate these foods and drinks from the diet.
Highest sources of phosphorous in milligrams per 100 grams
Baking powder 6869 mg
Pumpkin seeds 1233 mg
Whey powder 932 mg
Poppy seeds 849 mg
Mustard seeds 828 mg
Parmesan cheese 807 mg
Brazil nuts 725 mg
Raw cocoa powder 734 mg
Soya beans 637 mg
Cashew nuts 593 mg
Beef liver 497 mg
Sardines 490 mg
Caviar 356 mg
Tempeh 266 mg
Sun dried tomatoes 356 mg
Brown rice 360 mg
Buckwheat 319 mg
Dried shiitake mushrooms 294 mg
Anchovies 252 mg
Portobello mushrooms 108 mg
White mushrooms 105 mg
Water cress 60 mg
Natural sources of phosphorus in alphabetical order
Platinum is the
rarest and purest precious metal in the world and it's also been
embraced by modern medicine. Platinum-based chemotherapy is used to
treat testicular, ovarian, colon and lung
cancers. Platinum affects the DNA and RNA in cells and since
cancer cells are more actively dividing than normal cells, the
platinum destroys the DNA and destroys the cell.
Platinum is also
used to treat
sexually-transmitted disease (STD) such as
syphilis. It is also useful for treating bacterial, fungal or
virus infections, muscle, glandular, brain or nerve malfunctions,
insomnia, premenstrual tension, back pain, neuralgia, headaches and
chronic fatigue. It can also promote youthful vitality and mental
Up until the 1980's
platinum was abundant in many vegetables like kale and spinach.
Since then, platinum and many other minerals such as
magnesium, have been leached from the soil of many
countries through intensive farming techniques and over cropping.
Sources from the sea and lakes are now richer in platinum and these
other minerals than land grown crops.
Potassium is essential to the life of every cell of a living being and is among the most generously and widely distributed of all the tissue minerals. It is found principally in the intracellular fluid where it plays an important role as a catalyst in energy metabolism and in the synthesis of glycogen and protein. The average adult human body contains 120 g as potassium and 245 g as potassium chloride. There is 117 g found in the cells and 3 g in the extra cellular compartment.
Potassium is most concentrated inside the cells of the body. The gradient, or the difference in concentration from within the cell compared to the plasma, is essential in the generation of the
electrical impulses in the body that allow muscles and the brain to
Potassium is an electrolyte which means it is a mineral with an electric charge that is present in blood and other fluids in the body. This mineral is necessary for growth, electrical activity of the heart, maintaining normal blood pressure, muscle function including the heart and nerve impulse transmission. It also helps overcome fatigue and aids in clear thinking by sending oxygen to the brain.
Potassium is also responsible for regulating bodily fluids which prevents dehydration. It also helps the kidneys in detoxification of blood and acts as an alkalising agent in keeping a proper acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues. It promotes the secretion of hormones which helps to prevent female disorders by stimulating the endocrine hormone production and is also a mineral required for producing healthy sperm in males.
It is also a natural pain reliever that can help to control convulsions, headaches and migraines and promotes faster healing of cuts, bruises and other injuries.
Tear film includes electrolytes, one of which is potassium. One of the first-line treatments prescribed for dry eye is the use of lubricating drops. It is often recommended to choose a drop with an electrolyte composition closest to that of natural tears. Potassium in addition to bicarbonate appears to be one the most important of these electrolytes in tear film. Several research studies have demonstrated that potassium levels have a direct impact on tear film. Researchers have found that lower levels of potassium negatively affect tear-film break-up time and also are integral to the maintenance of corneal epithelium. Another study on animal subjects showed that potassium is necessary for the maintenance of normal corneal thickness. Each of these discoveries highlights the importance of potassium to the optimal health of the corneal surface.
Alcohol has a serious affect on potassium levels in the body. Beer has high water content and a low concentration of soluble nutrients. The alcohol content of beer impairs the normal anti-diuretic hormones effect so the high water content of beer is retained in the body, diluting the concentration of ions and causing fluid overload in the bloodstream. The decreased concentration of potassium ions causes hormonal imbalance and thirst, so you want to drink more even though the body already has excess fluid.
Because whiskey and other spirits have lower water content than beer, less water enters the body. The alcohol suppresses levels of anti-diuretic hormones and the kidneys process more water from the bloodstream into urine than is consumed, which raises the concentration of potassium and other ions in the bloodstream. This sets up a dehydration effect where your body attempts to dilute the concentrated ion imbalance in the bloodstream by drawing water from cells throughout the body. The resulting ionic imbalance affects individual cells as well as organ functions. The fluid shift from cells to bloodstream results in serious dehydration.
The potassium sorbate used to preserve certain types of wine can increase the potassium content of the wine.
is the medical term for too much potassium in the blood and is a potentially
life-threatening situation because it causes abnormal electrical
conduction in the heart and potentially life-threatening heart
rhythm problems. High potassium levels are most often associated
with kidney failure, in which potassium levels build up and cannot
be excreted in the urine. In serious and advanced cases, emergency dialysis may be required to remove the
potassium if kidney function is poor.
The adrenal glands produce aldosterone, which is the main mineralocorticoid whose function is to cause the kidneys to reabsorb sodium and fluid while excreting potassium in the urine. This helps to keep these two ions in balance. Therefore, diseases of the adrenal gland, such as Addison's disease, that lead to decreased aldosterone secretion can decrease kidney excretion of potassium, resulting in body retention of potassium, and hence hyperkaemia. See below for the foods that are high and low in potassium. Those in green are safer alternatives to consumed when this condition is present.
High potassium levels do not typically cause liver problems unless left untreated for a prolonged period. Liver disease, however, is more likely to contribute to excess potassium in the body, therefore, excessive and regular alcohol consumption can cause and aggravate this condition.
Hypokalaemia is the medical term for too little potassium in the blood usually from causes like vomiting,
diarrhoea, sweating and medications like diuretics or laxatives. It is often
seen in diabetic ketoacidosis, where potassium is excessively lost in the urine.
Since chemicals in the body are related in their metabolism, low
magnesium levels can be associated with hypokalaemia. Potassium absorption is enhanced by consuming foods rich in vitamin B6. Elderflowers can reduce potassium levels in the blood. Low potassium levels can worsened any liver disorders.
Potassium can be lacking in the diet due to intense farming techniques. Intensive physical activity, old age, drinking alcohol and taking some medications can also cause the body to have lower levels of potassium in which case at least one of the following potassium rich foods should be consumed daily.
In simple cases of potassium deficiency, drinking plenty of
coconut water daily can make up for it. It is advisable to
consume plenty of
during the use of oral diuretics. Tender coconut water comes from the fresh young tender green coconuts available where the trees grow as opposed to the older dried and hardened coconuts commonly transported to other parts of the world.
Potassium overdose: Beta-blockers and drugs for hypertension are types of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease and can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as bananas should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers. Consuming too much potassium can be harmful for those whose kidneys are not fully functional. If the kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be fatal.
Potassium supplements should not be taken as they can cause an imbalance of electrolytes and reduce the heart rate down to dangerous levels. Consuming potassium rich foods is important when taking diuretics that lower potassium levels in the blood.
Potassium-rich foods should be restricted during acute renal (kidney) failure and
Highest sources of potassium in milligrams per 100 grams
Rhodium is the only
known substance that can increase the thymus glands actions which
has an incredible healing potential for diseases such as
HIV/AIDS. Rhodium acts as a superconductor of light which
substantially increases the speed of transfer of information between
the left and right brain hemispheres.
Rubidium is the mineral is present in the earth's crust, in seawater and in the human body which contains about 350 mg. Rubidium plays an essential role
in the synthesis of enzymes. One such enzyme, glucoamylase, that rubidium helps to
create is very essential for the proper absorption of glucose in the
body. Without rubidium to help the action of the enzyme, the glucose
molecules would not be able to get absorbed efficiently which can
diabetes. Rubidium also enhances the production of many hormones and various other enzymes. The working of the pituitary gland, as well as the salivary and lachrymal glands, is encouraged with the presence of rubidium. It is also useful in the synthesis of serotonin and ensures
presence of enough serotonin in the body which alleviates
depression and mental imbalances and can help with the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease..
Rubidium, along with
caesium and potassium, has been shown to be effective in preventing
cancer. Rubidium helps to regulate the flow of
iron into the bloodstream, which in turn helps in better
absorption of iron. When there is enough iron present in the blood,
rubidium acts as a block and stops more iron from being let into the
blood which may be one reason it can help to prevent cancer. Cancerous cells thrive on iron.
The incidence of cancer in the Hopi native tribe of Arizona in the US is one in 1000
as compared to one in four in developed nations as a whole. Hopi food
runs higher in all the essential minerals than conventional foods and it is especially rich in
potassium and rubidium because the soil where they reside is
volcanic. These people live chiefly on desert grown flint corn ('Zea maysindurata') products but instead of using
baking soda they use the ash of chamisa leaves (Ericameria nauseosa), a desert grown
plant. The analysis of this ash shows it to be very rich in
rubidium. The Hopi also eat many fruits per day, especially apricots, including the kernels.
In 1985, the
incidence of cancer among the Pueblo native tribe was also one in 1000, the same as the Hopi, as their food at that time was essentially the same. But unlike the
Hopi, the Pueblo began to use certain items from outside their
environment and supermarkets were introduced to the area. Today,
the incidence of cancer among the Pueblos has now risen to one in four. The higher incidence of cancer is obviously due to reduced levels of
potassium and rubidium in supermarket foods.
The natives who live in Central America and on the
highlands of Peru and Ecuador also have very low incidences of cancer and again the
soil in these areas is volcanic. Fruit from the areas has been
obtained and analysed for rubidium and caesium and found to run very
high in both elements. Cases have been reliably reported where
people with advance inoperable cancer have gone to live with these
Indians and found that all tumour masses disappear within a few
also unknown among the Hunza of Pakistan. They are
mainly vegetarian and great fruit eaters, often consuming up to 40
apricots per day including the kernels, either directly or as a
meal. They drink at least two litres of mineral water from the natural springs that surround them. This water has been analysed and found to be
very rich in caesium. Since the soil is volcanic in nature, it must
be concluded that it will also be rich in potassium and rubidium.
NOTE: In the body, because rubidium
substitutes for potassium, too much can be dangerous. Large amounts cause
hyperirritability and spasms.
Rubidium deficiency can lead to hemosiderosis which is a form of iron overload disorder resulting in the accumulation of hemosiderin. Other symptoms of deficiency are:
Selenium and vitamin
E are synergistic and the two together are stronger than each one on its own. Selenium slows down ageing and hardening of tissues
through oxidation. Males seem to have a greater need for this
mineral. Nearly half of the total supply in the body is concentrated
in the testicles and in the seminal ducts adjacent to the prostate
gland. Selenium is useful in keeping youthful elasticity in tissues.
It also helps in
the prevention and treatment of dandruff and improves the condition
of hair and nails.
Selenium is important to mental health as it plays a role in the workings of the thyroid gland and can help to alleviate the mood and reduce symptoms of depression. It is also known to alleviate hot flushes and menopausal distress.
Selenium is an important antioxidant that plays a role in the body's utilisation of oxygen. Alcoholics, as well as patients with candidiasis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and arthrogryposis-renal dysfunction-cholestasis (ARC), have all shown low levels of selenium. In addition, heart disease and cancer are higher in people with diminished selenium levels.
Selenium also has a role in detoxifying poisonous phenols, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, hydrocarbons and chlorine. Many people with allergic reactions to these substances have found relief through the use of selenium. However, selenium can be toxic in large amounts.
A deficiency of selenium can
cause premature loss of stamina.
Too much selenium can cause some toxic
gastrointestinal upset, brittle nails, hair loss and mild nerve
Highest sources of selenium in micrograms per 100 grams
Brazil nuts 1917 µg
Oysters 154 µg
Lamb's liver 116 µg
Tuna 108 µg
Whelks and octopus 89.6 µg
Wheat germ 79.2 µg
Sunflower seeds 79 µg
Amaranth 70.7 µg
Caviar (fish roe) 65.5 µg
Anchovies 68.1 µg
Egg yolk 56 µg
Chia seeds 55.2 µg
Kippers 52.6 µg
Pork 51.6 µg
Halibut 46.8 µg
Oat bran 45.2 µg
Lean beef 44.8 µg
Crab 44.4 µg
Salmon 41.4 µg
Rabbit (wild) 38.5 µg
Chicken and turkey 37.8 µg
Turbot 36.5 µg
Sesame seeds 34.4 µg
Kamut 30 µg
Couscous 27.5 µg
Mushrooms (Crimini) 26 µg
Cashew nuts 19.9 µg
Calf's liver 19.3 µg
Rabbit 15.2 µg
Rye (whole grain) 13.9 µg
Venison 10.3 µg
Spirulina 7.2 µg
Asparagus 6.1 µg
Spinach 5.5 µg
NOTE: One µg is one microgram.
Recommended daily requirement
Around 55 micrograms of selenium per day is considered adequate for an average sized adult.
it is essential for the growth of skin, hair shafts, nails and other outer coverings of the body as well as connective tissues. It also makes
the eyes bright and assists in hardening the enamel of the teeth. It
is beneficial in all healing process and protects body against many
diseases such as
tuberculosis, irritations in mucous membranes and skin
disorders. Silica is lethal to the eggs of parasites in the body and so is a good remedy against infestation.
Silica has a powerful influence
on the absorption of minerals required by the body for optimal health. It
enhances the function of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and boron and is
essential for normal bone development. Silica helps to maintain the correct
calcium-magnesium balance which is essential for bone health.
Silver has shown a very powerful potential to kill
It can also soothe
repair skin and tissue damage and treat scars, rashes, sty's and
Colloidal silver is easily digested and therefore
easily absorbed into the internal organs that need it most. This ease of
absorption helps the benefits of colloidal silver work fast. Colloidal silver is a suspension of sub-microscopic metallic silver particles in a colloidal base.A colloidal substance is any which has the quality of having another substance diffused evenly throughout it.
fighting benefits of silver has been known since Roman times. Soldiers in the
Roman legions would always place a silver coin into their water containers on
their long marches into battle, to help prevent the water from becoming
bacterially contaminated. It is said they would also beat pure silver into a
thin foil and wrap the silver foil around wounds received in battle, to help
prevent the wounds from becoming infected, and thus allowing them to recover
quickly to fight again.
of silver in the human body appears to "prime" white blood cells to go on the
offensive against cancers, pathogens, toxins and other invaders, which may be
why so many chronic degenerative diseases seemed to respond so well to colloidal
silver. It also has the ability to carry oxygen throughout the body,
(much like the
iron in haemoglobin) wherever extra oxygen might be needed. Additionally, it has the
ability to boost the production of red blood cells, which are the body's main
carriers of oxygen to the tissues and organs.
Argyria is a condition of excess silver in the body which can turn the skin
blue/grey in colour. The estimated amount of silver accumulation over a one-year
period that is required to produce argyria is 1 to 5 grams. Whilst silver can successfully treat infection, over use of more than one month is not recommended as a build up of levels of silver in the body can cause irreversible neurologic toxicity,
coma and death.
To make digestible colloidal silver a very small
specially designed generator is required plus distilled (cooled boiled)
water and two six-inch strands of pure.999 fine silver wire, referred to as
"silver electrodes," or "silver rods". Dangle the two silver rods in a glass
of distilled water, hooked the little generator up to them with a pair of
alligator clips that come with the generator and let it run. The electrical
current from the generator flows through the silver rods and drive
microscopic pieces of silver into the distilled water, suspending them there
with an electrical charge. The end result is a solution of pure colloidal
silver. Some generators do not work well and produce molecules of silver
that are too large to be absorbed so finding the correct one is important.
Sodium chloride, the chemical name for common
salt, contains 39 per cent of sodium, an element which never occurs
in free form in nature. It is found in an associated form with many
minerals especially in plentiful amounts with chlorine. The body of
a healthy person weighing about 65 kg contains 256 g of sodium
chloride. Of this the major part, just over half, is in the
extra-cellular fluid. About 96 g is in bone and less than 32 g in the
Sodium is the most abundant chemical in the extra-cellular
fluid of the body. It acts with other electrolytes, especially
potassium, in the intracellular fluid, to regulate the osmotic
pressure and maintain a proper water balance within the body. It is
a major factor in maintaining acid-base equilibrium, in transmitting
nerve impulses and in relaxing muscles. It is also required for
glucose absorption and for the transport of other nutrients across
cell membranes. Sodium can help prevent catarrh. It promotes a clear
brain, resulting in a better disposition and less mental fatigue.
Because of its influence on calcium, sodium can also help dissolve
any stones forming within the body. It is also essential for the
production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and plays a part in
many other glandular secretions. There is some natural salt in every natural
Sodium is most often found outside the cell, in the plasma (the
non-cell part) of the bloodstream. It is a significant part of water
regulation in the body, since water goes where the sodium goes. If
there is too much sodium in the body, perhaps due to high salt
intake in the diet (salt is sodium plus chloride), it is excreted by
the kidney, and water follows.
Sodium is an important electrolyte that helps with electrical
signals in the body, allowing muscles to fire and the brain to work.
It is half of the electrical pump at the cell level that keeps
sodium in the plasma and potassium inside the cell.
Both deficiency and excess of salt may produce adverse effects to
the human body. Deficiencies of sodium are, however, rare and may be
caused by excessive sweating, prolonged use of diuretics, or chronic
diarrhoea. Deficiency may lead to nausea, muscular weakness, heat
exhaustion, mental apathy and respiratory failure. Over-supply of
sodium is a more common problem because of overuse of dietary sodium
chloride or common salt. Too much sodium may lead to water
retention, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, stomach cancer,
hardening of arteries and heart disease.
In case of mild deficiency
of sodium chloride, taking a teaspoon of common salt in one half
litre of water or any fruit juice quickly restores the health. In
severe conditions, however, administration of sodium chloride in the
form of normal saline by intravenous drip may be restored to. The
adverse effects of excessive use of sodium chloride can be rectified
by avoiding the use of common salt and using Himalayan salt crystals or unrefined sea salt instead.
This is associated with dehydration, and instead of having too much
sodium, there is too little water. This water loss can occur from
illnesses with vomiting or diarrhoea, excessive sweating
from exercise or fever,
or from drinking fluid that has too high concentrations of salt.
Drink plenty of bottled or filtered
pineapple juice. Avoid: processed foods, foods on the
list below and salt
This is caused by water intoxication (drinking so much water that it dilutes
the sodium in the blood and overwhelms the kidney's compensation mechanism)
or by a syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone secretion which can be
associated with illnesses like
pneumonia, brain diseases,
cancer, thyroid problems and some medications.
Too much or too little sodium can cause cells to
malfunction. Lethargy, confusion, weakness, swelling, seizures,
and coma are some symptoms that can occur with both hypernatremia or
hyponatremia. The treatment of these conditions is dependent on the
underlying cause, but it is important to correct the sodium
imbalance relatively slowly. Rapid correction can cause abnormal
flow of water into or out of cells. This is especially important to
prevent brain cell damage (central pontinemyolysis).
Cramps in the limbs
can sometimes be due to lack of salt due to sweating from intense
exercise. A quarter of a teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt crystals or unrefined sea salt in water or a fruit juice
can bring instant relief.
Strontium was discovered in 1808 and was named after Strontian, a town in Scotland. It is one of the most abundant
elements on earth, comprising about 0.04 percent of the earth's
crust. At a concentration of 400 parts per million, there is more
strontium in the earth's crust than carbon. Strontium is also the
most abundant trace element in seawater, at a concentration of 8.1
parts per million. The human body contains about 320 mg of strontium,
nearly all of which is in bone and connective tissue.
Stable strontium is one of the most effective substances yet found for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions as it has the ability to replace some calcium and harden the bones making them less likely to break or fracture. However, human contamination with radioactive strontium can come from inhaling or consuming radioactive strontium dust or water or eating crops grown near to nuclear power reactors and certain government facilities such as weapon testing areas. Radioactive strontium particles can also pass through the skin.
Since radioactive strontium is taken up into bone, the bone itself and nearby soft tissues may be damaged by radiation released over time. Bone marrow is the most important source of red blood cells, which are depleted if the radioactive strontium level is too high. Problems from lowered red blood cell counts include anaemia, which causes excessive tiredness, blood that does not clot properly and a decreased resistance to fight disease. Repeatedly administering stable strontium can gradually eliminate radioactive strontium from the body. The stable form slowly replaces the radioactive form in bone and radioactive strontium is excreted in the urine.
Because of its
chemical similarity to
calcium, strontium can replace calcium to some extent in various
biochemical processes in the body, including replacing a small
proportion of the calcium in hydroxyapatite crystals of calcified
tissues such as bones and teeth. Strontium in these crystals imparts
additional strength to these tissues. Strontium also appears to draw
extra calcium into bones making them stronger and thicker.
Strontium can relieve
bone pain, reduce fractures and improve mobility in persons
cavities in teeth and help to gain weight in persons suffering with bone cancer. It also has a a cartilage growth promoting affect which can help
Greece, Italy and Japan are the primary suppliers of sulphur to the rest of the world. These nations as well as people who live in sulphur rich volcanic areas, such as Iceland, Indonesia and South America, all have low rates of depression, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. This has been found to be due to the sulphur content of the soils in which they grow their crops. Some scientists thought that the Icelandic diet was protective against these diseases because of a high intake of fish, but further research showed that those Icelanders who moved to Canada and continued eating a lot of fish did not continue to enjoy the same low rates of these diseases because their diet was then lacking in sulphur.
All living matter
contains some sulphur; this element is therefore essential for life.
The greater part of the sulphur in the human body is present in the
cysteine, or in the double form of the latter known as
cystine. Sulphur is critical to many of the body's biological processes and without adequate sulphur glucose metabolism is inhibited and this can lead to metabolic syndrome, low energy levels, weight gain and muscle and skeletal disorders which causes inflammation and pain.
Sun exposure on bare skin with no sunscreen causes the body to make vitamin D in a sulphate form. While vitamin D is normally considered fat-soluble, vitamin D3 sulphate is water-soluble, which lets the sulphate form of vitamin D travel freely in the blood stream. Vitamin D is vital for the absorption of calcium which makes bones and teeth strong.
The vitamin D3 in supplements is not the same as the vitamin D3 acquired from the sun and is not an adequate substitute.
Flower of sulphur
Known as 'flores sulphuris' by apothecaries and in older scientific works, flower of sulphur, also known as yellow sulphur powder, is a bright yellow powder obtained from naturally-occurring volcanic brimstone deposits and should not be confused with methylsulfonylmethane which is also a source of sulphur. Flower of sulphur has been used as a natural mineral remedy for skin disorders and degenerative diseases for many centuries and is mentioned in ancient texts, such as the bible, as brimstone. Sulphur is an important mineral for both animal and human health and farmers and vets have used flower of sulphur as a natural remedy for animals for a decades as it is exceptionally effective at treating a wide variety of skin conditions especially for cats, dogs, horses and poultry. See Nature Cures for Pets.
Flowers of sulphur has antiseptic and antifungal properties and is suitable for use in humans, animals, vegetables, fruits, flowers and as a gardening additive in the soil. It is safe to ingest in very small quantities provided it comes from a reputable source. Flowers of sulphur is traditionally taken with black molasses (treacle). A very small pinch, less than the size if a match head, is mixed with a teaspoon of molasses and that is a sufficient dose for one day. Normally it is not taken for more than three days in a row. When used internally it has a mild laxative effect.
NOTE: Test with a very small amount on the skin before taking flowers of sulphur internally and then, if no reaction occurs, only take a very tiny amount at first. A few people may react strongly to it.
The main purpose of sulphur is to dissolve waste materials. It helps to eject some of the waste and poisons like heavy metals from the system which can help treat ailments such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. It helps keep the skin clear of blemishes, helps the nails grow strong and makes hair glossy. It is also valuable as a treatment for arthritis and
An analysis of the minerals in the cells of a typical Alzheimer's patient reveals that sulphur is almost non-existent compared with healthy people. Some research has shown that supplementing with sulphur can prevent Alzheimer's and even reverse it if the patient is still in the early stages where little brain damage has occurred. Because egg yolks are a rich source of sulphur and soils have lost much of their mineral content, including sulphur, due to intense farming techniques, the sudden rise in cases of Alzheimer’s disease may be due to the avoidance of eggs in the diet due to the scare about raised cholesterol levels.
Internally flower of sulphur powder can be used to treat anal fissures, bronchitis, Candida and can help to relieve mental stress and lack of energy and will power. It also relieves the tendency to regurgitate food, vomiting and chronic diarrhoea.
For sore throats add a quarter teaspoon in a warm water gargle. For mouth ulcers dab some onto the affected area.
Externally sulphur powder can effectively treat many skin conditions and rashes such as acne, athlete’s foot, eczema, dermatitis, fungal nail infections, haemorrhoids, jock itch, nappy rash, psoriasis, ringworm and scabies and can be applied as an antiseptic to abrasions, cuts and wounds. It is also effective against skin mites which can help to treat rosacea.
Flower of sulphur powder can be used neat or to make a dusting powder mix one part of flowers of sulphur with two parts of corn flour and dust the affected area. This is also useful as a repellent for ticks, midges and fleas. Dust arms and legs and shoes before going out walking in long grass or near to lakes and rivers etc. It is also useful for killing and repelling head and pubic lice.
For sciatica, dust the affected limb with neat powder and wrap warmly. Sweating should be followed by a reduction in pain.
To make an ointment, use cocoa butter, coconut oil, palm oil, petroleum jelly or olive oil. Slowly warm the oil to melt it, add two or three tablespoons of sulphur powder to a cup of oil, mix well and allow to cool.
Sulphur is also a safe way to eradicate ants. Pour a trail of the flower of sulphur powder around the ants’ nest.
Low levels of sulphur may cause
eczema and imperfect development of hair and nails. It is also found to be very low in patients with Alzheimer's disease and is known to be an effective treatment.
NOTE: Those suffering with bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis should avoid sulphur-rich foods.
Highest sources of sulphur in milligrams per 100 grams
Scallops 520 mg
Lobster 510 mg
Crab 470 mg
Prawns 370 mg
Mussels 350 mg
Haddock 290 mg
Brazil nuts 290 mg
Peanuts 260 mg
Cod 250 mg
Oysters 250 mg
Chicken livers 250 mg
Cheese (parmesan) 250 mg
Caviar (fish roe) 240 mg
Peaches (dried) 240 mg
Cheese (cheddar or stilton) 230 mg
Salmon 220 mg
Beef 220 mg
Eggs 200 mg
Apricots (dried) 160 mg
Almonds 150 mg
Rabbit 130 mg
Walnuts 100 mg
Peppercorns 100 mg
Cabbage 90 mg
Spinach 90 mg
Brussel sprouts 80 mg
Chickpeas 80 mg
Figs (dried) 80 mg
Coconut 80 mg
Hazel nuts 80 mg
Mung beans 60 mg
Dates 50 mg
Split peas 50 mg
Onions 50 mg
Leeks 50 mg
Radishes 40 mg
Other natural sources of sulphur in alphabetical order
Tin is an essential trace element for some animals as they do not grow well without it. Although it has been said that there is no known biological function of tin in the human body there have been studies that suggest it could have a function in the tertiary structure of proteins or other bio-substances and the human body does have receptors for it.
There has been very few studies of the function of tin in humans but of those that took place it did prove to lessen aches and pains and skin problems, increase energy and improve digestion, mood and general wellbeing in some people. There has also been studies where it has been shown to lessen fatigue and improve some forms of depression and there have been reports that it has the ability to treat asthma, certain types of headache and insomnia.
When human tissue has been examined for tin after accidental death, it has been found in the aorta, brain, heart, kidneys, liver, muscles, ovaries, pancreas, spleen, stomach, testes and uterus. None has been found in the thyroid while the prostate, which usually shows no other trace element, has contained tin. Traces of tin can be found in the foetal heart and spleen and higher levels in the liver, while no tin has been found in still-born infants.
Tin (as a fluoride carrier known as stannous fluoride) is added to some toothpastes and it is used in the form of stannous chloride as a chemical preservative. It is also often added to tinned asparagus to improve its taste and is known to be a remedy for certain species of intestinal parasites.
Tin is far less toxic than other known vital trace elements, such as copper and cobalt, as it is excreted very quickly.
Rat studies have shown that tin-deficient diets resulted in alopecia (hair loss), decreased efficiency of food utilization, hearing loss, poor growth and changes in mineral concentrations in various organs.
It has not yet been proven but deficiency of tin may be the cause of asthma, depression, headaches, insomnia and shortness of breath in humans. There are many causes of depression, some resulting from abnormal brain chemistry, while others are associated with low blood pressure, thyroid dysfunction, low blood sugar or low (or high) levels of various essential nutrients, such as
vitamin B12and others. Administering extra tin will not work when other chemical imbalances are present, but it could be the missing link when other attempts to resolve depression that involve low or malfunctioning adrenal glands have failed.
Tin is linked with iodine the same as calcium is associated with magnesium. Tin may support the adrenal glands while iodine supports the thyroid gland, with both affecting cardiac output. The adrenals control the left side of the heart while the thyroid control the right side. In addition to low
vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and/or
vitamin B1 (thiamine),, low tin could be a common cause of low adrenaline, which can lead to left-sided cardiac insufficiency. While fatigue or depression may be experienced with cardiac insufficiency of either side, asthma and breathing difficulties are more common with left-sided heart failure and swelling of hands and feet is more common with right-sided heart failure.
Tin toxicity studied over the last 200 years in humans, has been linked to the consumption of foods or beverages that were stored long term in tinned, non-lacquered containers and where levels of several hundred to several thousand mg/kg were ingested. Toxicity can cause abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headaches, nausea, palpitations, rash, stomach complaints and vomiting. However, excess tin is rapidly excreted and no long-term negative health effects have been reported although it may cause infertility in men as it reduces sperm metabolism.
Daily dietary intake of tin from various food sources (excluding tinned food) ranges from 1 mg to 3 mg, which is less than one tenth of the daily intake obtained years ago when tin cans were not lacquered or had not been replaced by aluminium cans and when tin cups and pans were still in use.
Estimated intake of tin from a 600 g lacquered tin-lined can with acidic content is approximately 15 mg. Estimated intake of tin from a 600 g non-lacquered tin can with acidic content is approximately 60 mg. These levels vary considerably when other substances, such as copper and iron salts, nitrates, sugar or sulphur compounds, are present as well as acidity, temperature and length of time of content storage. As bronze contains copper and tin, the use of tin with food and beverages has been present since the bronze age.
The prevalence of tin compounds in industry makes it hard to avoid over exposure but limiting tinned foods and avoiding seafood from many coastal areas where there is tin contamination are two ways to lower tin levels in the body. Studies on tin content of coastal waters found high levels around areas where agricultural and industrial plants or tin mines were situated or next to land which was densely populated.
NOTE: Aluminium drink and food cans have a polymer plastic lining which can leak into the food or drinks being stored especially if they are of an acidic nature. See Dangers of Plastics
Vanadium is a trace mineral found
in many foods that is involved in normal bone growth and has a
positive effect in people with
diabetes type 2 by lowering blood sugar levels and improving
sensitivity to insulin. In one study
of people with type 2 diabetes, vanadium also lowered their total
and LDL cholesterol. Like insulin, vanadium is believed
to help shuttle nutrients, like amino acids and blood sugar, into
Vanadium is also important for bone formation, which could help
maintain bone density and fight age-related loss of bone. This
effect seems to be due to an enzyme-stimulating capacity and ability
to enhance calcium metabolism which is important for growth and red
blood cell production.
“Zeolites” refers to a group of silicate minerals that share a similar chemical composition, mineral associations and geologic occurrences. Naturally occurring clinoptilolite is a zeolite that has been used for over 800 years in traditional medicine in its raw form in places like India, China and Russia. In other countries it is used in air purification, animal feed, water filtration and in fertilisers to improve the health of crops.
Zeolite is a negatively charged, crystalline structure formed from the fusion of volcanic lava and ocean water. The molecules in zeolite contain a magnetic energy that attracts and holds several types of toxins at a molecular level which, taken orally, pull metals out of body tissues and into the zeolite itself. It is then passed safely through the urinary tract, without depleting the body of essential electrolytes.
Zeolite also blocks viral replication, does not disrupt the electrolytes in the body and naturally establishes an optimal pH level (between 7.35 and 7.45), which activates healthy brain, immune and liver function and supports the elimination of pesticides, herbicides and xeno-oestrogens. This makes zeolite especially suitable as a detoxifying agent as it can remove common heavy metals like aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury from the body which can help with the treatment and prevention of disorders such
as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease..This can potentially help to heal a range of toxicity-related
inflammatory diseases, including dementia, while supporting (not burdening) the body’s excretory systems.
Zeolite is available in powdered or liquid form. The liquid zeolite is up to 10 times more efficient than the powdered form.
Zinc is the healing mineral and part of the enzymes that helps the body to metabolise protein, carbohydrates and alcohol. It also aids in building bones and healing wounds. There are about two grams of zinc in the body where it is highly concentrated in the hair, skin, eyes, nails and testes. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. It is also a constituent of many enzymes involved in metabolism.
The human body's need for zinc is small but its role in growth and well-being is enormous and starts before birth. It is vital for healthy skin and hair, proper healing of wounds, successful
pregnancies and male virility. It plays a essential role in guarding against diseases and infection and is also needed to transport
vitamin A to the retina. There are 156 enzymes that require zinc for their functioning and healthy growth and sexual maturity are just two of the many functions that depend upon zinc. Copper,
together with zinc improves the absorption of
vitamin D, the vitamin which aids in the absorption of
Zinc has been shown in recent studies to be especially useful in treating the common cold by making recovery quicker.
Those drinking excess alcohol have low levels of zinc because alcohol decreases zinc absorption and increases urinary secretion of zinc. Diuretic medications also adversely affect zinc levels. If an individual ingests excessive amounts of caffeine, drugs or sugar, it is more than likely that a zinc deficiency will develop. Low zinc levels can cause liver deterioration and diminished functioning of the reproductive organs, immune system and skin.
Cadmium found in some foods and ingested through smoking tobacco displaces zinc in the body and can lead to a deficiency. See Heavy Metals.
A developing foetus requires a high amount of zinc, likewise, there is a high amount of zinc lost through breast milk after birth therefore pregnant and breast feeding women may need to consume extra zinc rich foods. Infants older than 6 months should eat age-appropriate foods which provide zinc as the amount in breast milk is no longer ample.
Gastrointestinal surgery, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, short bowel syndrome and other digestive diseases can all decrease zinc absorption and increase zinc loss from the body. For unknown reasons 44% of children and 60-70% of adults with sickle cell disease have low levels of zinc.
Iron can interfere with zinc absorption and therefore, if iron supplements are absolutely necessary, they should be taken alone between meals. Too much phosphorous can cause
diarrhoea and calcification (hardening) of organs and soft tissue and can
interfere with the body's ability to use
and zinc. It is a matter of getting the balance right which is why
supplementation is not advised. Foods that contain these minerals will never
overdose the consumer with phosphorous.
Zinc supplements are not advised as they can upset the balance of other minerals in the body, for instance, excessive absorption of zinc can suppress copper and iron absorption.
Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams
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