Mineral Deficiencies

    Lifespan minerals sustain life; ageing-oxidant minerals cause premature ageing.

    Examples of lifespan minerals are iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, molybdenum, chromium, copper, cobalt, boron and others. Examples of ageing-oxidant minerals are lead, mercury, aluminum, tin, cadmium, gold and others.

    Science and technology have brought us many benefits. We recognise them fully. Science and technology have also wreaked havoc on our ecology. We do not recognise this fully. Perhaps the damage is nowhere more destructive than in the changes in the mineral content of our water, food and tissues. We are being systematically depleted of lifespan minerals as we are being overloaded with ageing-oxidant minerals.


    Enzymes are proteins that the body can produce freely. In contrast minerals must be obtained from food. Mineral deficiencies occur frequently when sufficient minerals are not present in food or are not absorbed. Enzymes:

    • Sustain life by generating energy
    • Assemble molecules for building tissues
    • Split and reshape molecules for remodelling tissues
    • Add molecules up for storing energy
    • Slice molecules to release energy for life functions.

    In reality early symptoms of mineral deficiency are symptoms of enzyme insufficiency.

    Mineral deficiency is a misunderstood subject. How do mineral deficiencies jeopardise our health? In scientific jargon, minerals are considered co-factors for enzymes. This means that the enzymes depend on minerals for their function. In mineral deficiency states, the enzymes become sluggish or paralysed, enzyme detoxification systems are impaired, and a state of ‘absence of health’ develops. This is the beginning of many chronic disorders. Since the early clinical symptoms of mineral deficiency actually appear as enzymatic dysfunctions, they often go unrecognised. A good example of this is the pervasive magnesium deficiency among Americans. If not reversed, this state of absence of health evolves into a full expression of clinical disease.

    Pro-oxidant minerals

    Three essential minerals stand out in this special category: iron, copper and iodine. All three serve as co-factors for oxygen and facilitate oxidation of many molecules. The deficiency states of all three cause well-recognised disorders – anaemia in the case of iron, hypothyroidism in the case of iodine and anaemia in the case of copper. The overload of all three causes many enzymatic dysfunctions. Therefore supplementation with these minerals should always be carefully supervised by a professional.

    A practical point of considerable importance is that when these three minerals are taken as supplements, they should be taken separately from vitamin supplements, essential fatty acid and amino acid supplements. Most mineral supplements can be taken at night, while others can be taken in the morning.


    Sodium: A lifespan mineral turned ageing-oxidant mineral

    Sodium is an essential mineral for human metabolism. However it has become an ageing-oxidant mineral. It is an excellent example of how the standard Western diet has turned some lifespan molecules into ageing-oxidative molecules. There is such an excess of table salt (sodium chloride) in our common foods that salt has become one of the major risk factors for hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

    Excess sodium is a major cause of sugar craving

    Among the prevalent adverse effects of excess salt in food are sugar craving, water retention, PMS syndrome, arthralgia (stiff and painful joints), mental confusion, short attention span and inexplicable mood swings.

    Editor’s note: The basic building blocks for every cell and organ in the body are the simple nutrients absorbed from food, water and air. Vitamins and minerals in particular are essential for all metabolic processes and their key function is to serve as essential components for enzymes and co-enzymes. We all need to keep in mind the sequential chain of events, from minerals to enzymes to the metabolic functions of these enzymes. A deficiency of any mineral causes stress in the system. Where that stress manifests depends on the enzymes affected and their end points.

    Further reading

    This article is reprinted with permission from Professor Majid Ali. For more information on Professor Ali’s books, the Journal of Integrated Medicine and the Capital University of Integrated Medicine go to www.majidali.com

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