How Important is Mineral Consumption?
Minerals & Nutrition: Those Were the Days
Is My Body Trying to Tell Me Something?
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Clay contains both macrominerals and trace minerals. Minerals are among the basic building blocks of the body. For this reason, it is important to understand:
- what they are,
- how they aid in good health and wellness and
- the current state of minerals in the Standard Diet.
Macrominerals and Trace Minerals
Clay contains both macrominerals and trace minerals. A macromineral is a mineral your body needs for optimal functioning. Clay provides essential Minerals to keep the body healthy.
A trace mineral means that the mineral makes up less than 0.01% of the body’s total weight. Trace minerals are needed only in tiny amounts. Trace minerals are essential in helping your body function properly and to utilize the macrominerals that are present. Unfortunately, for reasons noted below, it is hard to get adequate amounts of these trace minerals in our food anymore.
Mineral deficiencies in soil
Independent laboratory mineral analyses performed on clay demonstrate that it contains more than 70 trace minerals. The three dominant macrominerals and their percentages in clay are:
Silica dioxide (silicon) 45.6%
Magnesium oxide 10.6%
Calcium oxide 8.96%
Oxide simply refers to a chemical compound that contains at least one oxygen atom and one other element. “Most of the Earth’s crust consists of solid oxides, the result of elements being oxidized by the oxygen in air or in water.” A good clay contains these three minerals in order to give it the best positive charge (toxin) attracting ability. The way these minerals are structured in the clay is what gives it the ability to attract toxins.
As the negatively charged clay moves through the body, it attracts positively charged toxins to the outside surface of the clay molecule. The clay absorbs the toxins into its internal molecular structure and is then eliminated from the body. However, it is disputed as to whether or not the minerals in the clay are absorbed into the body because they are so tightly bound together. For this reason, and the others noted below, using clay does not replace mineral supplementation.
Minerals In Action
The three macrominerals in Clay are described below, along with symptoms of mineral deficiencies of each.
Silicon helps the body in forming and maintaining the structural and functional integrity of the skeletal system and connective tissues. Silicon can help improve elasticity and suppleness of skin that has been damaged by excessive sun exposure. It is important in bone formation also. Silicon has the ability to penetrate deep into tissues to eliminate stored cellular toxins. Symptoms of silicon deficiency are:
- brittle nails
Calcium is the most plentiful mineral in the human body, with 99% found in bone tissue. The other 1% is used for blood clotting, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. Calcium is needed for healthy bones, teeth and skin. Calcium helps to regulate cardiovascular function and blood pressure levels. It also aids in metabolism of iron, and is required for proper cell division. The Standard American Diet only provides 1/3 of the calcium needed by the body. Symptoms of calcium deficiency are:
- bone-related problems
- brittle nails
- muscle cramping
- diminished nerve function
Magnesium relaxes both smooth and skeletal muscles. It is an important mineral for the heart, as it helps with preventing spasms of the coronary arteries (which can result in heart attacks). Magnesium is needed for the maintenance/repair/division of cells, hormone regulation and proper nerve transmission. It helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency are:
- loss of appetite
- irregular heartbeat
- personality changes
- impaired muscle skills
- tingling/numbness/cramping of the hands, arms, feet and legs
Aluminum can be toxic in excessive amounts and has been reported to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The aluminum in clay is aluminum oxide. Because of the way the clay molecule is structured, the aluminum oxide is basically “caged” inside the clay. It cannot be released; therefore it will pass through the body completely inert and is eliminated along with the toxins.
Where Did Our Minerals Go? Clay Minerals
Proper diet and exercise are key when it comes to keeping your body running smoothly. However, what most people don’t realize is that even with a great diet full of veggies and fruits, your body may be starved for minerals. Our body cannot produce minerals. They must be ingested. Due to commercial farming methods and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), our soil and food continues to lose important nutrients decade after decade. This is why we promote growing your own food.
In a 2004 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Dr. Donald Davis compared the nutritional density of crops grown in 1950 to the same crops grown in 1999. He examined thirteen different nutrients, including protein, calcium, phosphorous, and iron. What he found is that the nutrient content of the crops in 1950 were as much as 38% higher than the crops in 1999! Add mineral-poor fast food to this fact, along with overcooking and the mass consumption of processed, convenience foods, and you have a nation of mineral deficient people.
Millions of years ago, during the Cretaceous period, the world experienced extensive volcanic activity due to the tectonic convergences e.g of the North American and Pacific plates. During long periods of eruptions, immeasurable amounts of ash were disgorged into the prevailing easterly winds as the Pacific plate was forced under the North American plate deep into the earth’s crust. Over millions of years, the ash was repeatedly deposited in the mineral rich Mowry Sea and inter bedded with eroded silts and sediments. Slowly, the glass component of the ash was chemically altered in these low energy marine environments and consolidated into distinct layers of clay, often associated with Zeolite beds, marl, sandstone as well as shale and mud-stone.
As plate drift continued, the North American plate was lifted and folded into mountains, typified by the Big Horn Mountains. The Mowry Sea drained and ash deposition subsided as the clay / silt formations were heaved upwards. The Black Hills and the Big Horn mountains were two areas thrust up during this period. These areas were eroded and weathered over time, exposing numerous clay beds that are commercially mined today.
Mineralogy – clay composed primarily of the mineral CaMg Al Si2O4. It is a three layer mineral formed of several layers of tetrahedron and octahedron sheets, electro-statically held together by isomorphic inter-layer cations. As the electrostatic attraction is low, exposure to polar fluids will cause the formation of a monomolecular lattice of water between the silicate layers. The basis behind clay swelling is that several layers of water dipoles can form into weak “stacked” tetrahedral structures, causing the silicate layers to separate – this is termed inter-crystalline-swelling.
Particle Charge – Each crystal of clay has a large net negative charge. Thus it tends to attract any positive ions (cations), such as Calcium or Sodium ions, to its surface. The net negative charge is located inside the crystal itself. Therefore, cations tend to be attracted to the surface of the particle in an effort to neutralize the charge. The edge of the crystal has a few positive charges thus attracting negatively charged ions or molecules.
The absorbent qualities of clay make it highly beneficial in the treatment of inflammation caused by injury or illness. A clay caste (poultice) can be made by mixing clay with warm oil (e.g., olive oil) and warm water in equal parts to make an elastic paste that can adhere to the inflamed body part. Organic producers may use clay therapy to address inflammation in cattle due to foot rot, while many organic dairy producers use clay therapy to treat mastitis. The clay dressing is spread over the infected parts of the udder after milking and is allowed to dry and set for 3-4 hours. The clay mask can then be removed and repeated 2 or 3 times a day and may be left on all night after the evening milking.
From Dailymail News UK : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2488467/Scientists-believe-beginnings-CLAY.html
All life on earth ‘may have come from clay’
All life on earth may have come from clay according to new scientific research, just as the Bible, Koran and even Greek mythology have been suggesting for thousands of years.
The latest theory is that clay – which is basically a combination of minerals in the ground – acts as a breeding laboratory for tiny molecules and chemicals which is “absorbs like a sponge”.
The process takes billions of years, during which the chemicals react to each other to form proteins, DNA and, eventually, living cells, scientists told the journal Scientific Reports.
Biological Engineers from Cornell University’s department for Nanoscale Science in New York state believe clay ‘might have been the birthplace of life on Earth.’
It is a theory dating back thousands of years in many cultures, though perhaps not using the same scientific explanation. In religious texts from ancient Egypt to Chinese legends, God moulds clay into the shape of man and then breathes life into him through his nostrils.
Even Genesis talks of man being born from dust and returning to dust when he dies, with scholars translating this from the ancient Hebrew as also meaning clay or the earth itself.
In seawater, clay forms a hydrogel – a mass of tiny spaces which soak up other minerals, chemicals and tiny molecules from its surrounding area.
Professor Dan Luo of Cornell said: “In early geological history clay hydrogel provided a confinement function for biomolecules and biochemical reactions.
“Over billions of years, chemicals confined in those spaces could have carried out the complex reactions that formed proteins, DNA and eventually all the machinery that makes a living cell work.”
The conclusions are based on experiments by the researchers using synthetic hydrogels, adding DNA, amino acids and enzymes and simulating the production of proteins.
While it may be one theory on the creation of life on Earth, it may also have modern and moneysaving applications for drug manufacturing.
The report added: “Why consider clay? It’s dirt cheap. Better yet, it turned out unexpectedly that using clay enhanced protein production.”