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The Benefits of Minerals to Our Health

Aug 15, 2008
Vitamins have had such an astonishingly good press, perhaps because they lend themselves to commercial exploitation, that you may be excused for thinking they are the complete answer to buoyant health.It isn't so. It is time for minerals to take a bow. They make for chip-on-the-shoulder vitality too.

Without minerals you wouldn't be able to think, you wouldn't be red-blooded, you couldn't lift a finger. Yet, if you were properly incinerated and could have a good look at your personal minerals, you would be pretty disappointed. They would look like six or seven pounds of fine ash out of the fireplace.

But the things this handful of dust does for you! In the interesting, not to say spectacular event that your living heart were removed from your breast, it would swell up and stop if dropped into pure water.

If a little common salt were added to the water the heart would beat happily for some time. A pinch of potassium would give it another lift when it ran down. Finally, a little calcium would keep it ticking for days. Not even the vitamins can do a job like that. In fact, the famous Carrel chicken heart that has been kept alive for a quarter of a century owes its existence to a nutritive solution that was devised long before most of our vitamins had been established.

A large proportion of your mineral salts break up in solution and go wandering around your fluids as ions, which are lonely atoms carrying either a positive or a negative electrical charge. In this capacity they act as electrolytes conductors of electricity just as ions do in a storage battery, which would be dead if it contained nothing but absolutely pure water. Your nerves and body cells have vital electrical activities that depend on minerals to keep the circuits active.

Moreover, positive and negative ions are constantly being joined in matrimony and this helps to maintain your alkaline reserve ions which would otherwise form undesirable acid products are tamed by marriage and hustled out of the body.
Then there's osmosis.

This is one of the best things you do. You can exert an osmotic pressure up to 350 pounds per square inch, substantially more than you exert on a lawnmower. What osmosis amounts to is this: it is the force that causes body fluids of high water concentration to percolate right through intervening membranes into regions where the water concentration is lower that is, containing more dissolved minerals and other substances.

Thus one job of minerals is to keep you from being dissolved to death by preserving the balance between cell and circulatory fluids.

This isn't a perfect balance, and a lucky thing it is, too. If it were, the food elements in your bloodstream would be deposited on the doorsteps of hungry cells but they
couldn't get through. Osmosis carries the basketful of food right through the cell walls and brings back the basket filled with cellular debris for disposal.

Too, minerals unite with other minerals to make bone and teeth and tissue, and help to form important hormones secreted by the glands.

Of all the minerals, calcium and phosphorus are of greatest practical importance because they are needed in considerable amounts and it is quite probable that the average diet does not supply them adequately particularly calcium.

Bones and teeth need calcium; if we weren't all bone-heads our brains would be exposed to contemptuous public gaze. But some of its other functions are more spectacular.

Uncontrollable muscular twitchings, spasms, and even convulsions follow when calcium in the blood drops below normal. It is a powerful regulator of the ability of muscles to contract, and therefore important to your heart, which is just a hollow muscle. The pretty rhythm of its beat would become erratic or stop if there weren't a tiny amount of calcium in your blood.

If your paring knife slips and you peel your finger instead of the potato, it is calcium that helps the blood to coagulate and plug up the injury. It calms your nerves too. It is a great pacifier, assisting nerve impulses to fly through the body with the greatest of ease.
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