Minerals are simple-structured substances that play major roles in many metabolic functions. Many minerals are components of enzymes, which are catalysts of chemical reactions in the body. Additionally, minerals regulate and control the normal function of human and animal tissues, muscles, and organs. For example, sodium and potassium play a vital role in maintaining proper fluid balance. Calcium acts as a major structural component of bones and teeth. Iron carries oxygen throughout the body in blood. The importance of minerals to good health has become increasingly important over the years as the depletion of our soils. Taking any form of minerals does not ensure that the minerals will be absorbed into the body and utilized by the tissues.
The tissues of all living things are comprised primarily of four elements: oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen. These four are the major constituents of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and water, the major compounds in plant and animal tissue. When plant or animal tissue is burned, it releases gases. The ash is the rest of the minerals that were present in the tissues.
Bones, teeth, nails, skin, hair and all other tissues require these minerals for their formation. These same minerals also play important roles in the function of the body, such as the production of energy and the control of body systems. When any of the elements are lacking, the result will be structural weakness and system dysfunction or, in other words, disease. The deficient levels of a particular mineral may not mean that the mineral is deficient, but rather that high levels of another mineral are depressing levels of another mineral by interfering with its absorption.
The tissue requires relatively large amounts of some minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, potassium and sulfur. These minerals needed in larger quantities are called macro-minerals.
The remaining minerals that are essential for good health are known as trace minerals, or micro-minerals. The trace elements generally recognized as essential to good health are chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, silicon and zinc.
Since most people in today’s hurried world don’t have time to eat regular nutritious meals, it is important to supplement our diet with vitamins and minerals. It is especially important that we receive the highest quality product in a form that will be quickly and easily absorbed. And it is difficult to obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals from food because of mineral-deficient soils that are common throughout the world today. It only takes 10 years of intensive farming to exhaust the minerals in any tract of land. The depletion of necessary nutrients by cooking and processing living foods adds to the difficulty in obtaining vital minerals and vitamins from our food. Severe vitamin deficiencies will result in serious illnesses. Even a modest deficiency in certain vitamins, can have a profound effect on health.