Senate Document #264

Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies, which cannot be remedied until the depleted soils from which our foods come are brought into proper mineral balance?

Woman holding soilThe alarming fact is that foods—fruits and vegetables and grains—now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed minerals, are starving us—no matter how much of them we eat!

You’d think, wouldn’t you; that a carrot is a carrot-that one is about as good as another as far as nourishment is concerned? But it isn’t; one carrot may look and taste like another and yet be lacking in the particular mineral element which our system requires and which carrots are supposed to contain. 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. (Which doubtless explains why our forefathers thrived on a selection of foods that would starve us!) No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health, because his stomach isn’t big enough to hold them! And we are running to big stomachs.

No longer does a balanced and fully nourishing diet consist merely of so many calories of certain vitamins or a fixed proportion of starches, proteins, and carbohydrates. We now know that it must contain, in addition, something like a score of mineral salts.

It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99 percent of the American people are deficient in these minerals, and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease. Any upset of the balance, any considerable lack of one or another element, however microscopic the body requirement may be, and we sicken, suffer, shorten our lives.

This discovery is one of the latest and most important contributions of science to the problem of human health.

“Bear in mind,” says Dr. Northen, “that minerals are vital to human metabolism and health—and that no plant or animal can appropriate to itself any mineral which is not present in the soil upon which it feeds.

“We know that vitamins are complex chemical substances which are indispensable to nutrition, and that each of them is of importance fro the normal function of some special structure in the body. Disorder and disease result from any vitamin deficiency.

“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.

“The truth is that our foods vary enormously in value, and some of them aren’t worth eating, as food.

“Some of our lands, even in a virgin state, never were well balanced in mineral content, and unhappily for us, we have been systematically robbing the poor soils and the good soils alike of the very substances most necessary to health, growth, long life, and resistance to disease.”

We know that rats, guinea pigs, and other animals can be fed into a diseased condition.

And out again by controlling only the minerals in their food.

A 10-year test with rats proved that by withholding calcium they can be bred down to a third the size of those fed with an adequate amount of that mineral. Their intelligence, too, can be controlled by mineral feeding as readily as can their size, their bony structure, and their general health.

Place a number of these little animals inside a maze after starving some of them in a certain mineral element. The starved ones will be unable to find their way out, whereas the others will have little or no difficulty in getting out. Their dispositions can be altered by mineral feeding. They can be made quarrelsome and belligerent; they can even be turned into cannibals and be made to devour each other.

A cage of normal rats will live in amity. Restrict their calcium, and they will become irritable and draw apart from one another. Then they will begin to fight. Restore their calcium balance and they will grow friendlier; in time they will begin to sleep in a pile as before.

Many backward children are “stupid” merely because they are deficient in magnesia. We punish them for our failure to feed them properly.

Certainly our physical well-being is more directly dependent upon the mineral we take into our systems than upon calories or vitamins or upon the precise proportions of starch, protein, or carbohydrates we consume.

It is now agreed that at least 16 mineral elements are indispensable for normal nutrition, and several more are always found in small amounts of the body, although their precise physiological role has not been determined. Of the 11 indispensable salts, calcium, phosphorus, and iron are perhaps the most important.

Here’s one specific example: The soil around a certain Midwest city is poor in calcium. Three hundred children of this community were examined and nearly 90 percent had bad teeth, 69 percent showed affections of the nose and throat, swollen glands, enlarged or diseased tonsils. More than one-third had defective vision, round shoulders, bow legs, and anemia.

So it goes, down through the list each mineral element playing a definite role in nutrition. A characteristic set of symptoms, just as specific as any vitamin-deficiency disease, follows a deficiency in any one of them. It is alarming, therefore, to face the fact that we are starving for these precious, health-giving substances.

The minerals in fruits and vegetables are colloidal; i.e., they are in a state of such extremely fine suspension that they can be assimilated by the human system.

Sick soils mean sick plants, sick animals, and sick people. Physical, mental, and moral fitness depends largely upon an ample supply and a proper proportion of the minerals in our foods. Nerve function, nerve stability, nerve cell-building likewise depends thereon.

[Dr. Northen say,] “Soils seriously deficient in minerals cannot produce plant life competent to maintain our needs, and with the continuous cropping and shipping away of those concentrates, the condition becomes worse.

A famous nutrition authority recently said, “One sure way to end the American people’s susceptibility to infection is to supply through food a balance ration of iron, copper, and other metals. An organism supplied with a diet adequate to, or preferable in excess of, all mineral requirements may so utilize these elements as to produce immunity from infection quite beyond anything we are able to produce artificially by our present method of immunization. You can’t make up the deficiency by using patent medicine.”

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