by Tony Isaacs
"In the absence of minerals, vitamins have no function. Lacking vitamins, the system can make use of the minerals, but lacking minerals vitamins are useless." – Dr. Charles Northern, researcher and MD
Dating back to the beginning of last century mineral depletion in our soils, and thus in the food we eat, has been horrendous – and it has gotten much worse in recent decades, as we strip the top eight feet of soil throughout the world of the vital major minerals and up to 80 trace minerals that man has adapted to for thousands of years and which are needed for optimum health.
In modern times, we have disrupted the natural cycle of mineral replenishment by clear-cutting the forests and trees to make crop land, removing most of the waste and dead animals, and we have over-farmed virtually all of our soil without allowing time for micro-organisms to convert the remaining minerals into usable forms for plants. Thanks to the advent of petro-chemical fertilizers in 1908, we have mostly returned to the soil only petroleum derived nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus – which produce lush growth but nutrient-poor plants.
To make matters worse, we have applied pesticides and herbicides that have killed off vital micro-organisms which help convert remaining soil minerals to usable forms.
Thanks to the extended use of fertilizers and "maximum yield" mass farming methods the soil in the North American continent has had an average of 85% mineral depletion over the past 100 years – the worst of any other country in the world.
The end result is that a bowl of spinach most of us eat today contains perhaps 1/8th the nutrition of the bowl our grandparents and great grandparents ate. Thus it is no surprise that most of us are deficient in one or more essential minerals. A primary example is magnesium, It is estimated that anywhere from 70 to 95 percent of us are deficient in magnesium and the health consequences are enormous, Magnesium plays a role in no fewer than 300 body processes and magnesium deficiency has been linked to a wide variety of illnesses.
The role of minerals and human health is immense, yet seldom recognized. Two times Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling went so far as to state unequivocally "You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency."
I, for one, do not think it is much of an overstatement, because minerals are the most basic of building blocks for proper nutrition and health. Quite simply, without minerals, nothing else works. Amino acids and enzymes don't work and so vitamins and other nutrients don't get broken down and absorbed properly and we end up with major deficiencies in both vitamins and minerals. The end result is a chain reaction of poor health where nothing works as it should.
Another major area where mineral deficiency manifests itself, in addition to poor health and immune system support, is obesity. Similar to the cats and dogs one sees eating grass when they instinctively know they are either deficient in vitamins and minerals or need extra ones to combat an illness or infection, I believe that the human body also sends such instinctive signals at times that it is missing vital nutrients, but we no longer recognize what it is our bodies are telling us and where to find what we need to silence the signals.
Such confused signals often lead to cravings oftentimes, and so we eat and eat to try to satisfy them, but what we really crave is missing nutrition. Instead of turning to a nutritious diet or other healthy way to furnish minerals (such as supplementing with plant derived minerals from sea plants or from the prehistoric clays in Utah), we turn to the SADS diet, fast foods, nuked meals, sweets, junk food, etc. often to no avail. Perhaps many of us can relate to that familiar quandary of eating and eating to the point of being gorged, and yet still feeling hungry for "something". That something may very often be minerals!