Forms of Minerals
 
Supplemental minerals come in three main forms: metallic, chelated, and liquid ionic.  The form you choose will have a great deal to do with how well your body will be able to absorb and utilize those minerals.
 
1. Metallic minerals are basically ground rocks. Metallic calcium, for example, includes things like dolomite, limestone, clays, oyster shells, egg shells,  and seabed minerals. These all are forms of calcium carbonate, which is not very absorbable, but because it’s inexpensive, it’s the most commonly used form in most commercial supplements and other calcium preparations, like the popular antacid tablet, TUMS. Calcium lactate is also a metallic mineral. Commonly, in a 2,000 mg. tablet, 250 mg. is metallic calcium, and the rest is lactate. Even if you absorb as much as 10% of it, you’d only get 25 mg. of calcium.
 
At best, if you are young and have a strong digestive system, metallic minerals are 8-12% absorbable. After you reach 40 years old, because of the natural decline in your digestive abilities, they are typically just 3-5% absorbable. Even if you maintained an extremely strong digestive system, your body needs to expend many of its resources to be able to increase the digestible amount of metallic minerals.
 
2. Chelated minerals are a significant step up in bioavailability from metallic minerals. The word “chelate” is Greek for “to claw”. Plants use amino acids to chelate minerals, which increases their absorbability to about 40%. Nutrition scientists have copied that process, primarily using amino acids to chelate minerals, increasing the absorbability.
 
3. Colloidal minerals are the most bioavailable form and are about 98% absorbable. A colloid is any type of mixture where one substance is added to and dispersed throughout another, and the added substance neither dissolves in nor settles out of the other. In liquid ionic form, minerals are dispersed throughout water; they can’t be in pill or powder form. A small percentage of various minerals may appear in ionic form in the liquid portion of fruits and vegetables. As ions, the minerals are about 7,000 times smaller than a red blood cell, and most are negatively charged. The intestinal lining is positively charged, so the electrical gradient draws the minerals to the intestinal lining. We use minerals in our bodies in colloidal form.
 
Why We Need High Quality Mineral Supplements.

Our crops don’t contain many chelated or colloidal minerals any more, because they don’t have the raw minerals in the earth available to them. This is largely due to the common commercial farming practice of using NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) mineral fertilizers, to the exclusion of other soil remineralization. NPK fertilizers basically act like steroids for plants, causing them to grow faster and larger, but leaving them devoid of much in the way of mineral content.  After all, farmers get paid for the volume and weight of their harvest, not its nutritional content. For example, magnesium is relatively plentiful in green leafy vegetables, since it’s an integral component of chlorophyll. Yet ten pounds of spinach yields just 20 mg of magnesium, so you’d have to consume 200 pounds of spinach daily just to get enough magnesium in your diet. And then there are the other 65 or more minerals you need to make sure you’re getting!
 
Most of the longest-lived cultures on our planet, where people commonly live to 100 years and more in good health, all get all their water from “glacial milk”. Glaciers grind up rock, yielding 60-72 minerals in the waters of each of those regions. The glacial milk is white (like milk), or yellow or blue, depending on the mineral content. Some of the minerals are in their ionic form, but most are still in metallic form. From drinking that water, the people may absorb just 8-12% of those minerals, and as they age, only 3-5%, but they water their crops with it--there is not much rain in those regions, which are typically at high elevations. So their fruits and vegetables, which will naturally chelate the minerals, are rich in chelated and colloidal minerals. They do not have diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, cataracts, glaucoma, birth defects, or most of the other diseases that plague modern, developed cultures.
 
If we want to enjoy similar longevity with a minimum of health problems, we need to include high quality mineral supplements that contain 60 or more minerals, since neither our foods nor the more commonly available mineral supplements will supply that.
 
You may find a good quality liquid ionic mineral supplement in a health store near you. If you don’t have a health store near you, or would rather not take the time to go there, my recommendation for a high quality liquid ionic mineral supplement is Essential Minerals, from New Vision. You may order it from them here.
 
 



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