© Copyright Bee Wilder
What Are Minerals?
Minerals are inorganic and organic substances that originate in the earth and cannot be made in the body. They play important roles in various bodily functions and are necessary to sustain life and maintain optimal health, and thus are essential nutrients, which include calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, etc. and many trace minerals like zinc, copper, iron, iodine, etc.
Organic and Inorganic Terms are Confusing
Mineral Definition – (1) something that is neither animal nor vegetable matter, (2) a crystalline [crystal-like] substance formed by inorganic processes [process that do not originate in a living organism].
The first point to note is that the claim about the difference between "organic" versus [in opposition to] "inorganic" minerals is relatively vague. The words used are never defined, thus many readers may not know exactly what the claim means.
The term mineral is still not as precise as one would like; one might ask whether metals are minerals or not. By definition (1) under "minerals" above, metals are minerals, but by definition (2) under "minerals" above they might not be.
Cobalt is a metal; hence a mineral by definition above, but it does not necessarily fall under the definition (2) under "minerals" above. Cobalt is an essential part of cobalamin, better known as vitamin B-12.
Copper: For an example from the plant world, Neumann et al.  discusses how the plant Armeria maritima [the botanical name for a type of flowering plant found mostly in Europe] binds a heavy metal (copper, from natural copper in the soil near a copper mine) into proteins within the plant.
There are many metallic minerals needed for health by the body. Some are only required in very small amounts, i.e. "trace minerals", including tin, gold, silver, vanadium, chromium, etc., whereas other metallic minerals are required in higher amounts, i.e. copper, iron, and zinc.
Examples of non-metallic minerals include potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sulphur, etc. In fact two important sulfur-containing amino acids [from protein in foods], methionine and cysteine are found in many foods, including meats, eggs, and vegetables. Sulphur is very important for the the body’s detoxification processes and eggs are high in it, so that’s why many people experience detoxifying reactions when they eat eggs, including an upset stomach, diarrhea, headaches, aches and pains, etc.
Absorption of Organic and Inorganic Minerals by the Human Body
The human body includes both organic minerals, e.g., hemoglobin (red blood cells) contain iron, many amino acids and proteins contain sulfur, as well as inorganic minerals, e.g., salt–sodium chloride–in the blood, lymphatic fluids, and many other body fluids, which includes metallic and non-metallic minerals.
Obviously, you would die without hemoglobin (organic iron) and salt (inorganic sodium, a metal/mineral). Additionally, the body can certainly use inorganic iron; see Fomon et al. , Abrams et al. , and Cook and Reddy  for experimental verification.
However, table salt is 98% sodium chloride [an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as something completely foreign] – no trace minerals, no natural balance. Ordinary table salt is a chemical as clean as Heroin or White Sugar. It almost always contain additives, like 0.01% of potassium-iodide, a chemical form of iodine (added to the salt to avoid iodine deficiency disease of the thyroid gland), sugar (added to stabilize iodine and as anti-caking chemical), and aluminum silicate.
This form of salt is in almost every preserved product that you eat. Therefore, when you add more table salt to your already salted food, your body receives more salt than it can dispose of. This is important since over 90% of the money that people spend on food is for processed food.
Typical table salt crystals are totally isolated from each other. As a food, table salt is absolutely useless, and can potentially act as a destructive poison. In order for your body to try to metabolize table salt crystals, it must sacrifice tremendous amounts of energy. This inorganic sodium chloride upsets your fluid balance and constantly overburdens your elimination systems, which can impair your health.
When your body tries to isolate the overdose of salt you typically expose it to, water molecules must surround the sodium chloride to break them up into sodium and chloride ions in order to help your body neutralize them.
To accomplish this, water is taken from your cells and you have to sacrifice the perfectly structured water already stored in your cells in order to neutralize the unnatural sodium chloride. This results in dehydrated cells that can prematurely kill those cells. You are Losing Precious Perfectly Structured Intracellular Water When You Eat Normal Table Salt
For every gram of sodium chloride that your body cannot get rid of, your body uses twenty-three times the amount of cell water to neutralize the salt. Eating common table salt causes excess fluid in your body tissue, which can contribute to:
- cellulite, which is the dimpled appearance of the skin that some people get on their hips, thighs, and buttocks
- all forms of arthritis, including rheumatism, gout, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, bursitis, etc.
- kidney stones
- gall bladder stones, called gall stones
However “real” sodium, in the form of sodium chloride, plays an important part in the primary processes of digestion and absorption. Salt activates the first enzyme in the mouth which is salivary amylase.
Table salt contains no enzymes, thus it is enzymatically inactive and the body cannot use it. Whereas a natural salt such as Celtic sea salt contains over 84 minerals which are enzymatically active and are very necessary for our health.
Sodium chloride is used to make hydrochloric acid, a secretion needed for digestion. Sodium functions best with other minerals, such as magnesium, calcium and potassium, and other trace minerals, which are also in good ocean sea salts like Celtic or Himalayan
We need salt to live. Our own cellular makeup is very similar to sea water. Much more than a solution of salt water, the ocean’s waters contain a complex combination of minerals and elements. It is this coincidence that has likely made salt, which is essential to life, the condiment most used for thousands of years.
Are inorganic minerals "toxic"? Some health advocates make the extreme claim that all inorganic minerals are "toxic." (And note here that, as with the failure to define "organic" vs. "inorganic," advocates are usually also quite sloppy in their use of the word "toxic".)
The fact that a substance (e.g., a specific inorganic mineral) is toxic in isolation and in huge doses does not mean it is toxic at the levels encountered in a particular food, nor does it mean the food is "toxic." One should beware of such "experts" who see toxins everywhere, except, of course, in the very few supplements or foods they promote.
Thus we note that the body needs and/or can use both organic and inorganic minerals, while some extremist claim that the body cannot use any/all inorganic minerals is simply nonsense.
How Humans Obtain Minerals
As humans, there are four main ways we can fully access minerals on a cellular level:
- through the consumption of foods, i.e. meats, eggs, vegetables, etc.
- water that contains natural minerals
- “good” ocean sea salt
- by absorption through the skin, for example, by taking Epsom Salt baths.
Even though our bodies are not able to perform photosynthesis [the process of making carbohydrates and oxygen from carbon dioxide, water, and light] like plants, nor are we equipped to break down their cell walls (cellulose or fibers) of any plant foods [carbs] like herbivores (plant eating animals, i.e. cows, sheep, etc.), our bodies are built to obtain nutrients from animal sources, and we can handle carbs if their cell walls (cellulose or fibers) are broken down prior to consumption – see Raw Versus Cooked Carbs (Plant Foods).
Plants, through the process of photosynthesis attach enzymes to minerals found in soil or water, which act as a "passport" to assist the transfer of the minerals and vitamins into the cells of the human body and aid in the cells utilization of the delivered minerals.
Similarly, animals, like cows, possess 5 stomachs and a digestive system equipped to break down cellulose and fibres in plants and convert them into meat that contains many minerals, vitamins, enzymes and complete proteins (amino acids).
The Need for Minerals
Minerals, including metallic, non-metallic, organic and inorganic, are needed for the proper composition of body fluids, the formation of bone and blood and in the maintenance of healthy nerve function. In fact minerals are needed for many functions important functions throughout the body.
Many vitamins and enzymes cannot function without minerals, and many hormonal responses need minerals to function. Therefore, a lack of minerals can interfere, or even stop, with many important body functions, such a detoxification, processing of other nutrients, cellular communication, detcf.
The Best Sources of Minerals
The best way to obtain enough minerals is by:
- Eating whole foods, i.e. animal meats, eggs, and vegetables that are cooked enough to break their cellulose wall (fiber) which releases nutrients and minerals.
- Consuming plenty of “good” natural fats from animal sources, i.e. saturated fats, which help the body pull the nutrients out of foods during digestion. These fats are also necessary for the healthy construction of all cell membranes which makes them able to transport nutrients in and out as needed, and to also to get rid of natural cellular wastes. See Unnatural Fats & Oils Damage the Entire Body.
- Drinking water that contains natural minerals direct from Nature. Do not drink softened water which contains too much sodium, nor Reverse Osmosis or Distilled water which are devoid of natural minerals and leach minerals from the body. Instead, use a charcoal filter, like Britta or PUR, to filter regular tap water. There are no processed minerals on the market that can possibly duplicate what Nature provides.
- Consuming “good” ocean sea salt which contains over 84 minerals – 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons per day.
- Taking calcium and magnesium supplements as needed, particularly if a person does not have dairy products.
- Crawford, Mark. (March, 1999). Minding Our Minerals. Healthy & Natural Journal.
- Jensen, Bernard. (1973). Empty Harvest. New York: Avery Publishing Group Inc.
- Morter, Ted. (2000). Health & Wellness. Hollywood, Florida: Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc.
- The Dietary Usefulness of Inorganic vs. Organic Minerals
- Does cooking render minerals "inorganic" or less assimilable?