Dr. Ali Expains How Minerals Beat Fatigue
Minerals: Your Body’s Energy Sparks
Majid Ali, M.D.
There are two types of minerals in the study of human nutrition: (1) those that assist oxygen in preserving health and reversing chronic disease; and (2) those that block oxygen-driven healing systems of the body and cause disease. Examples of the first group (“good minerals”) include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, iodine, chromium, selenium, molybdenum, and maganese. Major examples in the second group (“toxic minerals”) are lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium, and arsenic. Most minerals, like most vitamins, are needed in small amounts to support the metabolic reactions, such as digestion, absorption, detox, waste removal, and detergent functions in the body. Appropriate mineral intake amounts have been established for some, but not all, minerals. Supplementation in the hands of experienced clinical nutritionists is extremely valuable in preserving health and reversing chronic disease. Many foods are fortified with nutrients, such as cereals with added vitamins and milk with vitamin D, orange juice fortified with calcium, salt fortified with iodine, and others.
Minerals As Sparks
Nature chose oxygen to drive human evolution. Oxygen harnessed minerals to create high-efficiency energy metabolism. It organized the forerunners of cells called primordial spherules around minerals. The minerals so chosen served oxygen as the spark for the transfer of electron energy in the energy reactions in the body. Electrons are packets of energy within atoms and molecules. For example, magnesium forms the core mineral center of the plant pigment called chlorophyll which is essential for trapping the energy of sunlight in leaves of trees, bushes, and vegetable plants. Magnesium also forms the core mineral center of the system that generates a high-energy compound called ATP in the body.
Minerals As Enzyme and Vitamin Cofactors
In the tutorial entitled “Enzymes: Oxygen’s Workhorses,” I explained that enzymes are oxygen’s workhorses which facilitate biochemical reactions, including the digestion of foods, energy generation, waste removal, and detoxification. Injured cells cannot heal without enzymes, nor the immune system work without them. Most enzymes cannot work without minerals, which in such roles are called enzymes cofactors. Since most vitamins work as enzymes, it follows that vitamins also need minerals as enzyme cofactors.
Basic Information About Selected Minerals
Below is a brief description of important minerals and their healthful roles in the body. Further details are presented in later tutorials in the course on minerals.
Common table salt is sodium chloride and is composed of one atom of sodium and chloride. It is a systemic electrolyte and is essential in the regulation of ATP energy. Dietary sources include table salt (sodium chloride, the main source), sea vegetables, milk, and spinach. Generally required daily amounts range from 1250 to 1500 mg.
It is a systemic electrolyte and is essential in the regulation of ATP energy. Dietary sources include legumes, potato skin, tomatoes, and bananas. Generally required daily amounts range from 4200 to 4800 mg.
It is essential for the healthful structure and function of muscle (including heart), digestive system, and the formation and function of blood cells. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, canned fish with bones (salmon, sardines), green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. Generally required daily amounts range from 1000 to 1200 mg.
It is needed for the generation and utilization of ATP energy. Dietary sources include nuts, soybeans, and cocoa. Generally required daily amounts range from 450 to 750 mg.
Is the core energy center of two of the most important proteins in the body: hemoglobin (which oxygen rides to all regions of the body) and myoglobin (which oxygen regulates for the health of the muscle). Hemoglobin deficiency is called anemia. Iron is essential for the function of many enzymes. Dietary sources include red meat, leafy green vegetables, fish (tuna, salmon), eggs, dried fruits, beans, whole grains. Generally required daily amounts range from 7 to 10 mg.
Iodine is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones and to prevent goiter. It is also needed in other body organs, such as the breast, salivary glands, stomach, and thymus (an immune organ located in front of the heart). Generally required daily amounts range from 125 to 200 µg.
Zinc is required for the actions of a very large number of enzymes. Generally required daily amounts range from 10 to 25 mg.
In trace amounts, it is a cofactor in enzyme functions. Generally required daily amounts range from 2 to 4 mg.
In trace amounts, it is a required component of many crucial enzymes involved with oxidant/antioxidant balance of the body, such as cytochrome c oxidase. Generally required daily amounts range from 750 to 1,000 microgram (µg).
A Historical Note
Civilization began when humans acquired an ability to mold metals into tools. Hunting, and later agriculture became the method for securing food supply. Heavy metal toxicity began when humans turned some of those tools into killing devices-first in conflicts where men and women were murdered individually, then in battles decimating large populations But now—it seems to me—we are entering the most destructive era of heavy metal toxicity. This is an era when heavy metals do not produce fields littered with dying bodies. Rather, it is a period of heavy metal toxicity—mercury leading the charge this time—in which toxic metals destroy humans from within. The brain and immune cells are most sensitive to such toxicity. Mercury and lead are also especially toxic to the acid-alkali and antioxidant-oxidant systems of the body. Additional information about the functions of various minerals and their clinical uses are presented in other tutorials on minerals.
Read more at Essential Vitamins
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