You will read some opinions that emphatically state that not only are rock sourced minerals not usable by the body, but are downright dangerous. Given the discrepancies and the confusion these opinions engender, it is imperative to interject some logic into this debate about what form of mineral is emphatically best for your body.
Of critical importance in this organic versus inorganic debate is to understand what organic means in this context. When addressing organic as a mineral description, it means that the element in question is bonded to a carbon atom, which is another inorganic element. Because all living creatures are carbon based, being bonded to a carbon atom theoretically makes any element more bioavailable and usable by a living organism. Without any research to prove this however, it remains conjecture. Furthermore, if it is a true statement then drinking mineral water in nature would be of no benefit to an animal or human. We know this is not true. In nature, our mineral sources have always been water based (we are 70% water) either from the foods we eat or the water we drink. When minerals come from water, they are inorganic. When one ingests sea salt for the mineral content they are utilizing inorganic forms of the minerals that have been recognized as beneficial to human health.
Today, due to pollution, you take great risks drinking from a mineral stream and sea water at this point in time is problematic. Additionally, most foods grown today are quite deficient in what science has measured as normal mineral content, primarily due to poor farming practices and inadequate soil replenishment, natural erosion, pesticides and chemical fertilizers that create imbalances. Much of the food consumed today is excessively processed to the point of having little or no mineral nutrient content.
Realistically, it makes no difference where you get your minerals. The most important factor is the size and the form they are in. Minerals are most effectively delivered in a water base fully ionized (in their atomic state) as in nature. A plant takes the inorganic minerals from the soil where it is growing. It then synthesizes them into a molecular size and form by uptake through the root where the minerals are combined with water and pushed through the entire plant. A mineral stream that is saturated with inorganic molecules of minerals derived from rocks processes them into ionic form by forces of nature but they remain inorganic. An ionic liquid supplement derived from the elemental mineral is essentially the same process but processed by man. Once ingested, one’s body knows intuitively what mineral is available and exactly what to do with it regardless of its source. Again, the important thing to remember is that it does not matter if you consume minerals from plant sources, water base, or solid pills or even dirt. What matters is how much time it takes the body to break down the minerals into their atomic (ionic) state in order to be effectively utilized at the cellular level.
Food and water are by far the most logical sources, and yet both delivery systems have become so mineral deficient and/or polluted that they are poor sources for a full compliment of one’s essential daily mineral intake. As a result we have become a minerally deficient society. Results of supplementing with inorganic ionic minerals speak to the effectiveness of inorganic individual ionic elements (not bonded to carbon) and can therefore attest to the fact that the body does not need its minerals bonded to carbon for beneficial absorption and utilization. It is therefore the belief of this author, based upon personal history and the history of the human race (with observation and results), that the body intuitively knows what to do with minerals regardless of the form in which they come, and if it didn’t, we would not be alive.
A very important component to understanding all of this starts with understanding the actual time frame that the body has to process a mineral in order to convert it into an ionic (atomic) size suitable for transport to and functionality within all of the cells of the body. The more tightly bound the mineral element (as in a powder or pill), the more time it takes for the body to atomize the element.
The digestive system of the body has only one section where larger more tightly bound minerals can be broken down into usable ions, and that is in the stomach. The transit time of food through the stomach is approximately one hour. If the inorganic mineral compound is not ionized during this time, no further beneficial breakdown takes place. Once the mineral leaves the high acid environment of the stomach and proceeds into the small intestines, all further break down ceases. The PH environment of the small intestines is incapable of breaking down minerals. Once they have left the acidic environment of the stomach the remainder of the non-ionized minerals are in effect never available to our cells, and just pass through our GI tract unusable.
The overlooked concept in this ongoing controversy between organic or inorganic sources of minerals is the feasibility of elemental minerals (rock) in an ionic form performing the same way in the body as a drink from a mineral stream, which is essentially rock minerals broken down to their atomic size by the forces of nature. Water is a very important source for obtaining ionic minerals. A mineral in an ionic form whether it is organic or inorganic alleviates the need for stomach acid to perform the function of ionization.
The sourcing of minerals from ground up concentrations (rocks) of specific elements, while a popular source for the last 100 years or so, proved to be problematic since each person’s ability to break these relatively large particles into atoms was solely dependent upon the time of exposure to their stomach acids and the amount of stomach acid available, which is sub-optimal in many individuals. So, while the body was able to ionize these rock-based supplements only to a limited degree, most of what was swallowed was never used. Never the less, these minerals were still partially effective in providing some missing dietary levels of necessary nutrient minerals. Many have noticed obvious improvement in their states of dis-ease even without an optimal mineral delivery system.
Over the last 20 years or so the concept of mineral delivery mechanisms has been refined to a point where, via ionic minerals in a water base and hair tissue analysis, humans can begin to optimize their balance of all the essential elements. It is now recognized that most dis-ease today can be traced to essential mineral imbalances, excessive levels of some, and deficiencies in others.
We have come a long way from the Stone Age and still have a long way to go in our quest for mineral knowledge and particularly how it relates to optimal health. It is advisable for all concerned to scrutinize available information without bias, in order to avoid jumping to a conclusion about the gifts of Mother Nature and their ability to keep us alive and healthy.
By Rick Wagner, C.N.