As children we’re taught to eat a well-balanced diet consisting of four major food groups. As adults we’ve realized that this advice, while admirable and a good starting place, is partly responsible for a nation of woefully undernourished citizens. Even if everyone ate a so-called ‘well-balanced’ diet we’d still be lacking in vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. Why? Two main reasons: 1) the foods we eat are grown from soil that has little, if any, minerals and 2) most of our foods are processed in ways that destroy almost all their nutritional value.
Food gives us energy, but enzymes, vitamins, and minerals are the building blocks that enable our bodies to use that energy to keep us alive and healthy.
Unfortunately, the absorption of many minerals declines with age. Additionally, stress and exposure to environmental pollution raise our requirements for minerals, especially zinc, calcium and iron. This should alarm everyone because deficiencies in these substances are so dangerous that they are responsible for birth defects that affect one out of every 5000 babies. Without vitamins, minerals, and enzymes the body will die.
According to Dr. Gary Price Todd, M.D., the human body requires at least 60 minerals (70 is preferrable) for optimal health. Additionally, it needs all the essential vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids – over 90 in all.
Your Body Is Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Each one of us has been given a body that sustains life through a series of actions and interactions that is mind-numbing in its complexity. There are over 10 Trillion cells in your body. Each of these cells has a specific purpose. Once every 7 years the body replaces almost every cell it has with a fresh new cell (the exception being brain cells). After each new cell is generated, your body must synthesize DNA to program these cells. Simply stated, DNA is a complete map of your body that lists the purpose, placement and function of trillions of cells. Obviously, you don’t want it to become damaged or hindered.
DNA synthesis is not possible without the proper amounts of the 90 essential nutrients. If our bodies produce a cell that can’t be programmed by a specific DNA sequence (a set of instructions) then it becomes dormant (it just sits there doing nothing). If enough of these non-programmed cells are produced they are thought to cause tumors. Proper programming requires active vitamins and minerals.
Even though the body does produce some vitamins, it produces absolutely zero minerals. Does this mean that minerals are more important as a supplement? Not really. There are at least 15 essential vitamins. The term ‘essential’ is used to identify substances that the body cannot produce but which are absolutely necessary for health. Vitamin C is a good example of an essential vitamin. We must supplement our diets with vitamin C because it cannot be produced by the body. Long term deficiency in this vitamin can lead to scurvy and eventually death.
Anyone who is considering supplementing their diet with minerals should also supplement with vitamins. Just as DNA relies on vitamins and minerals to function properly, minerals and vitamins actually rely on each other. The body has to have vitamins to properly use minerals. Minerals, in turn, are necessary for vitamins to function properly. A lack in either can have devastating results.
As important as vitamins and minerals are, enzymes are even more significant. Without enzymes neither vitamins or minerals can function properly. In fact, enzymes are necessary even for thought processes. To paraphrase Dr. Humbart Santillo, if vitamins and minerals were light bulbs enzymes would be the energy that make the light bulbs glow.
If you eat cooked or processed foods and don’t supplement with enzymes then your body must supply all the necessary enzymes to digest them. This can cause a depletion in enzymes that can be potentially deadly. [For info on enzymes see Issue #200.] To get the needed digestive enzymes your body literally has to steal from the immune system and rob itself of metabolic enzymes (the enzymes that keep your brain working). Since you only have a finite supply of metabolic enzymes, once they run-out – you die!
How Much Should I Take?
Unfortunately, due to the fact that we all have individual biochemical needs, there isn’t an easy answer to this question. It should be noted that the body only needs most minerals in trace amounts. Trace amounts are conservatively defined by traditional nutritionists as being within a range of 1 microgram (.000001 grams) to 100 milligrams (0.1 grams). For this reason RDA’s haven’t been established for most trace minerals. Very small amounts go a long way on a cellular level.
Although RDA’s have been established for major minerals and vitamins, many researchers believe that the amounts suggested are woefully inadequate. To optimize your health, the wisest course of action would be to consult a health professional and have tests done to determine what you are deficient in. Remember, staying healthy is much less expensive than treating an illness.
Minerals, Minerals, Minerals
In the past few years there has been a massive marketing blitz concerning minerals. This blitz has been both good and bad. On a positive note, it has served to help educate people concerning their need for minerals. But, at the same time, these same people have become extremely confused about what form of mineral to take.
Terms such as chelated, ionic, colloidal, elemental, plant-derived, humic shale, rocks, and clay are all used to describe specific types or categories of minerals or their delivery system. There are proponents and detractors of each.
One of the most heavily debated issues on the minds of those interested in mineral supplementation concerns colloidal minerals. Although the terms ‘colloidal’ and ‘mineral’ are often linked together as if they are referring to a specific type of mineral, this isn’t the case. While almost everyone has a basic idea of what a mineral is, the term colloidal, when used to reference plant-derived minerals, is a point of extreme confusion for most people. In order to combat this confusion some purveyors of plant-derived minerals are now using the term ‘ionic’ to better define the size of the minerals contained within these products. This has caused even more confusion. The reason for this confusion may be very simple to explain. Whereas plants absorb minerals in an ionic state, the classification of ‘colloidal mineral’ was originally used by certain mineral distributors to generally denote the microscopic size of the substances contained within their product. Due to the fact that minerals are stored in plants in an ionic state, it doesn’t matter whether they are called ‘colloidal’ or ‘ionic’ – they are ionic.
What Are Colloids?
Colloids can be defined as particles of a substance which are finely divided and mixed in a supporting substance (liquid, gel, gas, etc.). Technically, Merriam Webster’s Medical Dictionary defines a colloid as "a substance that consists of particles dispersed throughout another substance which are too small for resolution with an ordinary light microscope but are incapable of passing through a semipermeable membrane or as a mixture (as smoke) consisting of a colloid together with the medium in which it is dispersed."
What Is Meant By Colloidal Suspension?
Actually, the term ‘colloidal suspension’ isn’t altogether accurate. Substances held in a colloidal state are in a medium (any substance that acts as a surrounding or enveloping base for another substance) that is actually somewhere between a suspension and a solution. However, for simplicities sake, we will use the term colloidal suspension when referring to any substance that is held in a colloidal state (e.g. ionic, plant-derived minerals within a colloidal solution).
The term used to describe the condition in which materials are held in a stable, colloidal suspension is called the ‘dispersed phase.’ In the dispersed phase they are distributed evenly and uniformly throughout whatever medium they are suspended in (e.g., water, gel, etc.).
As stated above, colloids are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. However, not all materials that are finely divided and mixed into a liquid medium are colloids.
Silt or silt-like compounds (i.e., extremely fine earth or salts), are often found in water. Even though silt can be so tiny that we don’t notice its presence, it is not a colloid. A solution that contains true colloids and a solution containing silt is notably different. When left alone and undisturbed, silt will settle out of water. This is due to the fact that it is heavier and denser than the medium in which it is being held. Tap water is a good example of this. Most unpurified tap water contains materials that are not readily apparent to the naked eye. As an experiment, place tap water in a glass and leave it undisturbed for a few minutes or hours. After an hour or two, inspect it. There will usually be sediment at the bottom of the glass. This sediment is composed of materials which have settled out of the medium. This settling action does not occur with a properly formed colloidal preparation.
Once a substance has been transformed into a stable, colloidal state, whether by technologically advanced methods (electro-colloidal, chemical, etc.), they are still too large and insoluble to dissolve but are also too small to settle out of the suspension like silt particles are known to do. This fixed state of suspension occurs regardless of whether the substances are inorganic (metals) or organic (plant tissues).
Are Colloidal Solutions Effective?
The argument against colloid solutions as a delivery system for minerals is two-fold: One argument contests the ability of colloids to be readily absorbed by the body due to their size. The second argument seizes upon the negative charge of the intestinal walls.
It is true that colloids, by definition, cannot penetrate the semipermeable membranes which line our intestinal tract, mouth and esophagus. However, penetration should not be a point of contention. The real argument is whether or not plant-derived minerals that are ionic in size and which are delivered to the body in a colloidal solution, can be assimilated and used.
Does Size Matter?
Many people believe that the colloidal suspension used to deliver plant-derived minerals in a liquid form automatically predisposes them to greater absorption. Even though this is absolutely true, the inference is often made that all minerals suspended in a colloidal solution have the ability to pass-through membranes and that this is the reason for their enhanced absorption. This is not accurate.
Again, due to their relatively large particle size, it is difficult for most living tissues to directly absorb colloids. In spite of this fact, it should be observed that particles in a colloidal state are much smaller in size than solids. For instance, a cube of silver that measures one inch on each edge has a surface area of six square inches. The small electrical charge that exists on the surface area of the silver would be enhanced if the area were enlarged by breaking the cube into smaller pieces. Therefore, by dividing the cube into pieces that were no larger than .005 microns in diameter, the one inch block of silver (with an original six inch surface area) would now have a charged surface area that could be spread out over 127 acres (over 522,000 inches).
As we move on to the discussion of exactly why the small particle size effects the absorption of minerals in a colloidal or ionic state, keep in mind the electrical charge. This charge will be discussed when we analyze the second part of the proposed argument. For now, let us focus on the surface area that is able to be covered by substances that are colloidal or ionic in size.
Regardless of the type of material that you ingest, supposing that it is digestible and in some way nutritive to your body, there are several complex chemical actions and reactions that have to take place so that it can be absorbed and utilized. As an example, let’s consider how the body absorbs protein.
According to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, once protein is eaten the stomach is triggered to secrete acid and enzymes. These digestive components begin to denature the protein, which alters the configuration of the amino acid chains, and starts to uncoil its molecules. The acid also serves to activate enzymes whose special job it is to sever specific peptide bonds, thus dividing the long amino acid chains into smaller amino acid chains called polypeptides. Once this has taken place, alkaline juices from the pancreas are called upon to neutralize the acidic stomach juices so that the enzymes can break down the polypeptides to dipeptides and single amino acids. These amino acids are then absorbed through the intestinal wall and into the blood where they are transported to the liver.
While the processes of digestion and assimilation are extremely complex, they are not impossible to understand. It should be very apparent that materials which are smaller in size are much easier for the body to digest and assimilate than those which are larger. For instance, protein that is in the form of a liquid drink is easier for the body to act upon than proteins that are in a piece of beef. The same is true of pills which must first be liquefied by your body into a form that it can use. Once this has happened the constituents of the pill must be dispersed in some fashion so that enzymes and acids can produce chemical changes in its structure which enable it to be assimilated.
On the other hand, minerals which are in colloidal suspension, have the ability to immediately cover a vast area. Thus, more actions and reactions are able to be carried out on them by your body. If it is necessary for the body to break down these minerals further, it is an easier task since they are already in microscopic form. Also, plant-derived minerals are easier for the body to naturally chelate than are minerals in larger forms. Chelation is a natural part of the body’s assimilation process in which an amino acid is attached to a mineral to further its absorption.
Since factors of size, density, and surface area contact have to be considered, it is not surprising that minerals which are in hard-pressed pill form are not absorbed very well. In fact, Dr. Earl Mindell has stated that only 10% of ordinary minerals are assimilated by the body. Considering the same factors for plant-derived minerals, it could be logically argued that the potential absorption rate for such solutions could be in excess of 90% – in a much smaller time frame.
What About The Electrical Charge?
There are those who have asserted that the intestines have a negative charge. This does bear some semblance of truth. They argue that if you take a mineral supplement that has a negative bioelectrical charge it is repelled by the intestinal lining, rather than attracted to it, thereby reducing their overall absorption rate.
Based upon this assertion, they propose that minerals which have a neutral or positive charge are better able to be absorbed by the body. Chelated minerals are often proposed as a solution.
Those who suggest that chelated minerals are a better alternative contend that they carry a neutral charge. In relation to their bioelectrical (electromagnetic) charge, this isn’t correct. Inorganic, chelated minerals actually carry a positive bioelectrical charge.
The truth of the matter is that the bioelectrical charge of colloidal minerals and the intestinal walls are important factors that affect the rate of intestinal absorption.
As anyone with a slightest background in chemistry can attest to, all living cells produce an electrochemical gradient (charge) which is positive on the outside and negative on the inside.
A factor that complicates the argument even more is that many physiology textbooks state that the wall of the intestine is negatively charged. Understandably, this has caused confusion for many people.
This statement, while true, is only part of the story. It is similar to two people giving an eyewitness account of the same accident involving three vehicles. Depending on how the stories are related, one eyewitness might state that, "One car ran into the other car," while the second witness states that, "There were two parked cars. A third car ran into one of them causing it to burst into flames, which damaged the one that was parked to the left side of it." Although the accident being described was the same, the story was slightly different depending on the view of the person telling it. By mentioning only two cars, the first witness did not deny that there were actually three cars involved. His was simply a more specific reference. The same type of reference could be the case involving the intestinal lining.
Any gastroenterologist can tell you that the endothelium (the covering of the intestinal wall) has a "fuzzy coat" of hyaluronic acid which is a mucopolysaccharide. Only when this hyaluronic acid is in the presence of a neutral pH level (7), does it become negatively charged. At a pH of 7 the carboxyl groups of hyaluronic acid (a monosaccharide of hyaluronic acid), is ionized and creates a negative charge. Only at this time do the intestinal walls repel other negatively charged particles. At all other times, the endothelium is positively charged.
Since a pH of 7 (neutrality) is required for a negative charge to be produced, it is obvious that such a charge would not be continuously present. In fact, it couldn’t be. A continuous neutral pH level will not support human life! Why? Enzyme action demands that the pH levels be either alkaline (above pH of 7) or acidic (below pH of 7). Without either an alkaline or acidic pH level, enzymes do not function properly and death will occur.
It is obvious that since intestinal enzymes are able to function, a neutral pH balance doesn’t exist in the intestines on a continuous basis. Therefore, since the intestinal lining is almost always positively charged, it will more often repel positively charged minerals and attract negatively charged minerals.
Minerals which are sourced from inorganic soil or clay have a positive charge – regardless of whether they are chelated or not. Absorption of these minerals, due to the fact that like electrical charges repel one another, would be drastically reduced. On the other hand, the intestines would attract negatively charged minerals. We’ve already seen that colloids can cover a very large area and the two actions together (attraction and coverage) should result in much greater absorption.
What Is Special About Plant-Derived Minerals?
There are two basic ways to obtain minerals in an ionic form. The best way is to let nature transform the minerals into this state and then extract them from natural sources. The least desirable way to obtain minerals is by first grinding up clay, rock, or other inorganic substances and then forcing them into a colloidal or ionic state.
If you don’t have a background in biology you might wonder why one type of mineral would be better than another. The answer is that natural, plant-derived minerals are fully bioavailable to the human body and can carry with them a natural negative bioelectrical charge.
Plants that are grown in mineral rich soil have the ability to extract and store every mineral on the atomic chart. They accomplish this by using tiny root hairs to absorb minerals in their free, independent, ionic state. Through the presence of fulvic acid [as discussed in Issue # 309] and a complex biochemical process known as photosynthesis, elemental (inorganic) metals are transformed into organic matter and used by plants. During this transformation the polarity of positively charged inorganic (elemental) minerals can be changed to a negative charge. Another benefit of sourcing minerals from plants is that they don’t need to be artificially broken down before they can be used by the body.
What About Heavy Metals and Poisons?
We are told that no one should ever ingest a supplement that contains elemental nickel, lead, arsenic, iodine, aluminum, titanium and other such minerals due to the possibility of toxic build-up. This is good advice. Most heavy metals are toxic to the body.
The problem with this advice is that it often confuses those who don’t know the difference between plant-derived, organic minerals and minerals that are sourced from rocks. The implication is made that these minerals are dangerous in any form - organic or inorganic. This simply is not true. There is a world of difference.
Unfortunately, many nutritional ‘experts’ group plant-derived minerals with metallic minerals regardless of the fact that elemental minerals can come from sources such as soil, clay, oyster shell, limestone, and Sea Salt s – among others.
Due to this illogical grouping, they assert that the heavy metals that are contained in elemental minerals are the same as those found in plant-derived minerals. This just isn’t the case.
As already stated, once fulvic acid acts upon metallic (elemental) mineral and transforms it, the mineral can then be stored in plant-tissues as an organic substance. So, even though the mineral, which is now organic, retains its former title (e.g., lead, arsenic, etc.) it is chemically altered so that it is no longer the same substance. A good example of this is a chunk of coal and a diamond. Diamonds and coal are very similar to one another since a diamond starts out as a piece of coal. However, through a process of heat, pressure, and time the coal is altered in form and becomes something completely different.
This reckless classification has led many people to believe that the so-called toxic minerals are bad regardless of their source. The aluminum which is found in foods is a good example. This type of aluminum is not only tied to oxygen or silica (hydroxide or aluminum silica), but it has been preassimilated by a plant and is naturally ionic. Both of these types of aluminum are organic and beneficial and are used as food additives throughout the world. They are not toxic.
The point is: If you eat vegetables or fruits, you are going to eat aluminum, arsenic, lead, and a host of other supposedly heavy metals and toxic minerals.
The following is a list of plants or foods that contain aluminum in quantities of at least 45 - 160 PPM according to ATL Agronomy Handbook, "Plant Analysis Guide Nutrient Sufficiency Ranges": Bananas, Peas, Coffee, Peppers, Pineapple, Potatoes, Oil Palm, Root Crops, Asparagus, Tomatoes, Beans, Corn (at tasseling), Brussel Sprouts, Mint, Celery, Peanuts, Cucumbers, Small Grains, Head Crops, Soybeans, Leaf Crops, Wheat (High Yield), and Melons.
A chemical evaluation that further supports this data was performed on a random sampling of produce. This evaluation conclusively showed that the following fruits and vegetables contained many ‘objectionable’ elements in an organic form:
Almonds: Aluminum, barium, nickel, rubidium, silicon, strontium, sulfur, and titanium.
Apples: Aluminum, arsenic, barium, lead, nickel, silicon, and titanium.
Broccoli: Aluminum, nickel, silicon, strontium, sulfur, and titanium.
It should be more than apparent that the minerals found in plants are not the same as those found in the ground. They are non-toxic and non-metallic.
According to food chemistry, the elements found in plants are nearly 100% absorbable and usable by the body. Does this mean that the body has to have organic lead to be healthy? The truth is, we don’t know. We do know that many allopathic physicians use minute traces of lead to treat certain allergies.
It may surprise you to find out that our body relies on substances that we normally think of as toxic. For instance, the vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin) is a form of cyanide. According to the FASEB Journal humans need approximately 12 mg/day of arsenic. Studies have shown that deficiencies in arsenic can cause depressed growth, impaired fertility, and myocardial damage.
Chlorine is another fine example of an element that most people are wary of. As you know, chlorine is one of the components of hydrochloric acid. It is also used to disinfect the water that we drink and that we swim in. Furthermore, there is a chlorine gas that is toxic when inhaled. You might want to seriously consider the health risk that you would face if you exposed yourself to these types of chlorine for any length of time.
But, did you know that your body absolutely needs the plant-derived mineral form of chlorine just to maintain proper digestion of foods? It’s true.
As you can see, the phrase "A rose by any other name is still a rose" doesn’t apply in these cases. Sometimes a name or partial information can be extremely misleading. In other words, sometimes your body can benefit from substances that most people mistakenly equate with poison.
We would do well to remember that we are often prejudiced by preconceived notions and/or myths. For instance, if you were given a bowl of applesauce and told that it contained a very high count of living bacteria, would you eat it? Many people wouldn’t – they would be disgusted.
The reason for this negative reaction is that they equate all bacteria with harmful germs. To a certain extent, this reaction can be appreciated. All of our lives, we have been told that bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and a host of others, in high concentrations, can kill us. What we are not repeatedly told is that there are several strains of good bacteria which are necessary for healthy living. Therefore, to many people, bacteria is a bad guy. Period. Again, this is a view that cannot be upheld by scientific or medical evaluation.
If we applied this type of association with other parts of our lives, we would be too afraid to enjoy life. Many people would never enjoy a kiss or have an intimate relationship. We would be afraid to breathe because the same oxygen that helps us to live also causes free-radicals to form in our body. Life would become misery.
If you are currently supplementing with minerals labeled ionic or colloidal, the discovery and understanding of fulvic acid should excite you.
Nature has provided us with every nutrient that we need to live a long, healthy, and active life. Unfortunately, we’re no longer able to enjoy all of the earth’s goodness because of the way we process our already fragile foods to death. It doesn’t help that our soils have been ravaged and that the animals we eat are regularly given steroids to artificially stimulate their growth.
Plants, the Soil, and Your Health
You may wonder why we can’t receive the same nutritional value from the plants that we eat as we can from plant-derived minerals in a liquid form. The primary reason is that the soils that are used to grow our fruits and vegetables today have been depleted of their natural resources. Soil no longer has the abundant vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that it once did.
Today, farmers are pressed for time and force their fields to produce crops that yield high quantities of vegetables and fruits – with very little regard to the nutritional content of the foods that are grown. So that growth can be hurried along, we’ve begun to ‘supplement’ our farmlands with high amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K), but very little else.
It is a widely known fact that when high amounts of nitrates are present, plant protein formation is increased. Such an excess of nitrates can also cause an overabundance of amino acids. If the amino acids aren’t used by the plants, they can attract insects. Of course some organic farms are a bit better, but the quantity of nutrients still pale in comparison to a good liquid, plant-derived mineral product.
A second reason that our plants fail to nourish us properly is because the soil has been depleted of beneficial microbes. These microbes are necessary for plants to convert inorganic substances to organic. Without this conversion the plants become deficient in minerals. This means that those who eat the plants can also become deficient.
Doctors have known for years that everyone needs at least 90 nutrients to maintain their health. These nutrients include a minimum of 70 minerals, 18 amino acids, and three essential fatty acids. To obtain these nutrients we are admonished to eat at least 57 different sources of food each week. For most people this admonition is much less than practical and sometimes completely impossible. The monetary budget required to obtain such a diverse list of foods would be enormous. Even discounting the monetary aspect, almost no one has a large enough selection of foods at their disposal to satisfy these requirements.
Even if it were possible to eat a ‘balanced’ diet which consisted of the proper portions of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc., you would still be nutritionally deficient. Why? It is due to the fact that the foods that we eat are heavily processed (canning, cooking, microwaving, etc.) and nutritionally bankrupt.
The only alternative that we have is to supplement our diets with good, high-quality nutritive substances such as antioxidants, vitamins, and plant-derived minerals.
One of the most popular ways to increase your intake of minerals is through the use of liquid minerals (sometimes known as ionic or colloidal). This type of mineral supplement has special properties that no others do. However, before you run out and grab a bottle, you should be aware that not all colloidal minerals are the same.
In today’s highly competitive marketplace, many manufacturers would have you believe that one colloidal or ionic mineral supplement is just as good as another, it simply isn’t true. Most liquid, plant-derived minerals are a unique and superb source for over 70 different minerals. Since almost everyone, regardless of their social or economic status, is horribly mineral deficient, mineral supplementation is a logical place to start. While this form of supplementation doesn’t fulfill all of your nutritional needs, it may help reduce the possibility of developing several disorders. Osteoporosis, cardiovascular disorders, Arthritis and others are all disorders that have been directly linked to a lack of minerals.
The Role of Fulvic Acid and Plant Nutrition
By definition, fulvic acid is "a water-soluble, natural organic substance of low molecular weight which is derived from humus, often found in surface water. Sources of true, plant-derived minerals are called humate deposits. These deposits, if they contain water-soluble, bioavailable elements, will also contain high amounts of humic acids. Fulvic acid is one of several subclasses of humic acids.
Humic acids are composed of a complex mixture of partially decomposed organic materials. These acids are endowed with the ability to chelate positively charged ions, such as elemental minerals, that are absorbed by plants. This natural chelation allows plants to store both vitamins and minerals and helps to increase their overall bioavailability.
Fulvic Acid and Organic Transmutation
The absorption factor of ionic minerals greatly exceeds traditional tablet supplements. This is one of their strongest advantages. However, those who take plant-derived colloidal minerals are often concerned by the fact that, when the manufacturers list the contents of the supplement, the names of heavy metals appear on the label. While this alarms many people, it shouldn’t. The fact is that true organic, plant-derived minerals do not contain heavy metals.
Organic, plant-derived minerals are able to be safely used by your body because of the fact that nature has acted upon them and transformed them into organic material rather than allowing them to remain in their elemental form. This is called organic transmutation.
A driving force behind this miraculous transformation is fulvic acid. The reason that labels list ‘heavy metals’ is that even once elemental minerals are transformed and stored within plants, they retain their original chemical names. Again, once an elemental mineral is reacted on by fulvic acid and photosynthesis, it is changed from inorganic to organic. This process is often called transmutation. As we read in ‘Biological Transmutations,’ fulvic acid can actually transmutate magnesium and vegetal silica into a form of calcium that can be used by humans. The elemental vs. organic aspect of colloidal minerals is discussed further in Issue #305.
Fulvic acid is present in every true plant-derived, organic mineral. The same cannot be said for elemental minerals which are derived from rocks, shells, and certain clays. While elemental mineral supplements may claim to have a wide range of minerals, they cannot compare to the safety and availability of plant-derived substances. It should be noted that fulvic acid itself can contain as many as 60 different mineral compounds – this is above and beyond any other source of minerals with which it is joined.
As is discussed in "The Value of Organic, Plant-Derived Minerals" (Issue #305), when positively charged minerals are absorbed by plants, their bioelectrical polarity is changed to a negative charge. Whenever normally toxic minerals, such as iodine, are absorbed and transformed by plants, they become non-toxic. It may be the chelation factor that accounts for the ability of fulvic acid to neutralize the toxicity of heavy metals such as lead. The actual mechanism that fulvic acid uses to chelate minerals has yet to be ascertained. Although we know that this neutralization happens, the mechanics of the process are still one of nature’s secrets – a secret that we benefit from.
Fulvic Acid Increases Bioavailability
Despite the important role that fulvic acid plays in the production of ionic minerals, it is also renowned for its ability to make vitamins and minerals absorbable to plants. It accomplishes this by complexing elemental minerals into organic forms that are easily transported into and through the roots and membranes of plants.
As discussed in Hippocrates Corner #305, plants absorb minerals and vitamins through root ‘hairs’ – one ion at a time. Interaction between fulvic acid and the elemental mineral must take place before this absorption can happen.
Whenever minerals come into contact with fulvic acid, in a water medium, they are naturally dissolved into an ionic form. These minerals literally become part of the fulvic acid itself. Once the minerals meld into the fulvic acid complex, they become bioactive, bioavailable, and organic. Thus, when elemental minerals are transformed into an organic state, through a natural chemical process involving fulvic acid and photosynthesis, they are safe to be used by both humans and animals.
The presence of fulvic acid also acts as an important protective agent whenever toxins are used to reduce the insect population that often besiege non-organically grown crops. According to A. Szalay, fulvic acid has the ability to dramatically detoxify herbicides, pesticides, and other poisons that it interacts with – this includes many radioactive elements. This detoxification process may extend to animals and humans, since we are the end-users of these plants.
As previously stated, the soil from which our food is grown is severely depleted of vitamins and minerals. For plants to remain beneficial to us, it is imperative that they absorb the greatest possible amount of these substances. For this reason, nature provided fulvic acid. The very presence of fulvic acid enables plants to maximize their uptake of vitamins and minerals.
This means that whenever you eat plants that have been in the presence of fulvic acid, your body can assimilate more of nature’s building blocks with which to build and maintain your body. Another benefit of fulvic acid is that it actually potentiates the availability of essential nutrients. Potentiation is a term that describes how long an ingredient can remain active.
Nature’s Protective Force
The more you study organic substances, such as fulvic acid, the more you will be impressed by nature.
The phytochemicals (plant chemicals) found in nature provide us with an astounding array of benefits and protection. For instance, soy provides us protection against certain cancers and acts as an adaptogen, antimutagen, and is full of active enzymes – if it comes from soy sprouts and not the processed bean. Fulvic acid also acts as a source of protection from environmentally induced oxidation.
Anyone interested in maintaining their health should note that free-radical damage (oxidation) has been implicated in over 60 disorders.
For years we’ve known that antioxidants are extremely beneficial in our fight against disease. As such, the scientific community has focused a major portion of their attention towards well-known antioxidant substances. This research has shed light on many extremely powerful free-radical fighting nutrients such as proanthocyanidins (as reported in Issue #208).
If a healthy body is your goal, then you must take action to protect against free-radical attacks. If you are taking colloidal minerals that contain fulvic acid, you’re on the right path. Fulvic acid is a very powerful antioxidant.
According to N. Senesi, Y. Chen, and M. Schnitzer, fulvic acid has the ability to dramatically reduce the oxidative effects of free-radicals. This means that fulvic acid could potentially help your body ward-off disorders such as cancer, premature aging, wrinkling of the skin and Arthritis – all of which are thought to be hastened by oxidation.
Enzymes are Activated by Fulvic Acid
Whenever we eat, our body sets into motion a complex series of actions designed to break down the foods that we’ve eaten. It then converts these digested foods into energy and building materials. The actions that take place on the foods that we ingest would not be possible if it were not for enzymes.
Without enzyme activation, food would simply rot in our stomach, elimination could not take place, thought would cease, and we would die. Enzymes are the ‘life-force’ behind vitamins and minerals.
Obviously, anything that we can do to strengthen and protect these enzymes will further our hopes of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Since you have only a finite number of enzymes that are available to your body, supplementing them from outside sources (such as with raw fruits and vegetables and enzyme supplements) is an absolute necessity [for more information on enzymes, see Issue #200 – Enzymes and Your Health].
The good news is that the presence of fulvic acid actually increases the activity of several enzymes, including: transaminase, invertase, and alkaline phosphates.
Speaking of the potentiation of certain substances, fulvic acid may also have a positive effect on RNA and DNA. According to several researchers, the actual content of DNA in cells and the synthesis of RNA is enhanced by the presence of fulvic acid. Furthermore, if you supplement with traditional vitamins and minerals, their bioavailability may be enhanced by the addition of fulvic acid.
Fulvic Acid and Organic Tissue Growth
A modern day medical wonder is our ability to actually remove damaged tissues and bones from the human body and replace them with healthy bones and tissues. Unfortunately, such transplantation is also very risky. Transplants of this type are sometimes rejected.
To lower the incidence of rejection the most desirable donor tissues come from alternate sites of the same body. Unfortunately, this requires a separate surgery. Extra incisions mean more discomfort and a longer period of healing. The only other alternative is finding a donor from other sources.
In one experiment, patients who required the replacement or transplantation of bone were treated at the University Hospital in Freiburg, Germany using fulvic acid as part of the therapy. Due to the lack of human donor tissues, animal bone in the form of bovine calcium hydroxyapatite, an inorganic calcium compound, was used.
Two problems with such a procedure is that neither animal bones or inorganic calcium are readily absorbed by the human body. However, these problems were circumvented with the use of fulvic acid.
When fulvic acid was inserted into the animal bone before replacement, the patients experienced dramatically improved regeneration of the transplanted bones.
The fulvic acid was so readily accepted and used by the patients that their bodies became highly osteoconductive. This means that new bone tissue began to form at an accelerated pace, thereby enhancing growth and healing. The inorganic calcium was also absorbed by the body due to the fact that the fulvic acid had transformed it into an organic compound. At the end of the experiment it was noted that, without the introduction of fulvic acid into the bone tissues, healing was not accelerated and regeneration did not take place.
Cell Wall Permeability and Absorption
As with any product or nutritive supplement, the only way that your body can benefit from it is after it has been absorbed. The same is true of plants. Before a plant can properly process minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients, they must be incorporated into their structure. Fulvic acid actually enhances this absorption process.
Prior to elemental minerals being converted and stored by a plant as plant tissue, fulvic acids begin to ionize them. Without fulvic acid, the substances that surround plants would not be able to be absorbed since the root ‘hairs’ are single ion chambers that pull nutrients into them ion by ion.
However, when fulvic acid acts upon a substance its molecular size and weight is altered. This enables it to pass through cell membranes – including the semi-permeable membranes that line your intestines.
When searching for organic, plant-derived minerals, make certain that they contain fulvic acid. This will ensure that you get the highest quality available.