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Why take Minerals? Minerals, a Multitude of Functions...

old message Minerals - Why take them? Darrell Miller 06/09/05


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Date: June 09, 2005 09:04 AM
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Subject: Minerals - Why take them?

Minerals

Minerals, along with vitamins, amino acids and essential fatty acids, are one of the fundamental tiers of nutritional supplementation. Many essential minerals have been depleted from our soils due to modern farming practices, making mineral supplementation more critical than ever in today's world. Minerals are perhaps more susceptible to issues of bioavailability and absorption than any other class of nutrients. For this reason, Source Naturals has devoted a great deal of research to providing more bioavailable, absorbable forms of key nutritive minerals.

MINERALS: A MULTITUDE OF FUNCTIONS

Life on Earth began in the sea. Most scientists now believe that the ancient ocean was a 'primordial soup' of organic chemicals which contained all the necessary ingredients - amino acids, sugars, and nucleotide components, floating in a solution of water and minerals; for life to get started. Millions of years later, when the first creature crawled up on dry land, evolution had contrived a way for it to carry the ancient ocean along with it.

The composition of the fluid that bathes your cells and tissues is believed to be substantially the same as the ocean some 2 billion years ago. The body is extremely particular about the balance of dissolved minerals in this fluid&endash;so particular that it will sometimes sacrifice its own structure to maintain proper mineral balance in the fluids. For example, one mechanism for the homeostatic control of plasma calcium concentration is the flux of calcium into and out of the bones. If plasma calcium remains too low for extended periods the calcium reserve of the bones could be depleted. What functions do minerals serve, and why are they so important?

Aside from providing structure through the bones and teeth, one of the most important roles of minerals is that of electrolytes. The membranes of our cells are flexible and freely permeable to water. The interior of a cell contains an abundance of large and small organic molecules, most of which have an electric charge. These charged molecules will attract inorganic charged molecules called electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, crowding water out of the cell interior. If the cell did nothing to counteract this phenomenon, the difference in water concentration across the cell membrane would cause more and more water to move into the cell by osmosis, eventually causing the cell to swell up and burst.

Minerals act as cofactors in over a thousand different reactions in the human body; magnesium alone is necessary for the functioning of over 300 enzymes.

A proper balance of minerals is essential to optimal health and vitality. Not only are they a crucial component of the internal environment and structure of the body, they are crucial to the enzymatic reactions that create energy, build tissues and protect the body. Minerals, unfortunately, are also one of the first casualties of the processed food revolution. Thanks to decades of "progress" in industrial farming methods, super-fertilizers and other methods have been developed for growing vegetables and grains that travel well and look healthy and pretty, but are depleted of much of the nutrient complexity required to optimally support human life. Many of the minerals that are left are stripped out when these grains and vegetables are processed to make packaged foods. These 'foods' are often preserved with chemical additives and fillers that can make the minerals they still contain impossible to digest.

What all this adds up to is the fact that mineral supplementation is extremely important. It is also important to ensure that the supplements you take are in forms that are absorbable and bioavailable. Unfortunately, there is no simple formula to follow in this regard, for the process of mineral absorption is complex and can be enhanced or hindered by a variety of factors. There is a great deal yet to be discovered about this aspect of human digestion and nutrition.

Because of the complexity of mineral metabolism Source Naturals offers a full series of major minerals and trace minerals in a variety of high quality, bioavailable forms to meet individual needs. In some cases we have gone further, basing our formulations on a knowledge of biochemical principles. For example, the absorption of many minerals seems to be enhanced by the presence of amino acids. Therefore, we offer amino acid chelates, minerals which are specially chelated (bound) with amino acids from hydrolyzed vegetable protein. In addition, we provide Krebs cycle chelates, minerals which are organically bound to metabolites of the body's cellular energy generation cycle.



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