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An introduction to the biochemics of minerals.

Those 12 salts that Schuessler repeatedly found in human tissue and therefore quite rightfully regarded as essential for life, he called “functional remedies.”

Nowadays, in scientifically orientated medical linguistics they are called essential minerals. Essential means, the body is unable to synthesise the substance by itself. Therefore, it has to be supplied through nutrition; no other substance can act as a replacement for its functions. Essential minerals are necessary for life!!!

The classic essential main elements are Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Chloride, Phosphorus and Sulphur, as well as the trace elements Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine and Fluoride.

Organic chemistry is simply all transactions that are caused by the elements Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon and Hydrogen.

Everything else is inorganic chemistry: stones, earth, and metal. And these substances are as essential as the organics. The body information system, transportation system and the energy yield would be impossible without inorganic minerals. Inorganic minerals are always either water soluble, acid soluble or alkali soluble. In the mouth we first of all have a watery environment; here everything that is water soluble dissolves. The stomach dominates with a strong acidic environment. Here, acid soluble minerals are dissolved. Further down in the intestine the environment finally becomes alkaline, in order the last alkali soluble minerals are made bio available.

Like water that runs downhill without using any energy, ions, in solutions with different concentrations, move towards the vessel with a lower concentration, providing, the two receptacles are not divided by an impermeable but instead, a semipermeable membrane. All cell walls in our body are semipermeable, divisions that contain specially formed channels for Sodium or Potassium or other ions.

If the membrane is not permeable for higher concentrated ions but only for water, the water of the lower concentrated solution will move to the higher concentration instead; until the concentration is balanced. This process is called osmosis, which keeps up an extremely efficient and functioning transportation system in our body without consuming any energy.

Transportation and information systems, the indispensable systems of every complete system are controlled by the inorganic minerals, and even a third system, the supply of energy is unimaginable without mineral salts.

As a matter of fact, we don’t receive the necessary minerals through our diet – a well balanced wholefood diet provides a low risk of becoming mineral deficient, but it still does not provide sufficient mineral needs.

For example, a diet, no matter if for the purpose of losing fat or just as a means of healthy fasting, very quickly causes a potassium deficiency, the reason perhaps why some supervised diets include vegetable juices to prevent a potassium deficiency. A deficiency can occur although the supply is sufficient. A disrupted resorption in cases of bowel diseases, diarrhea and also constipation, flatulence and fermentation processes in the intestine, but also simply in cases with reduced bowel function, i.e. often found in older people, can easily cause deficiencies.

Ligands or chelate producers (chelate = Greek claw) are substances, e.g. phytins or oxalates, that bind cations so close to themselves that they are unable to be set free and therefore lose their function. Wheat for example, contains phytins that bind calcium. But, no worries for muesli eaters, there is enough calcium in the grain to provide the mineral.

The chelate production is a bigger problem, when antibiotics and iron or antibiotics and the “pill” get together – both can become ineffective at the same time.

Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, hard physical workers and very active sports people need a higher amount of minerals.

Many modern medications cause a loss of minerals, e.g. laxatives, diuretics, cortisone etc. and even some therapies, i.e. amalgam detoxification, or chelate therapy will prevent the physiological effects of the minerals.

Some minerals support each other in their effectiveness, others work against each other – antagonists are the ones that disrupt each other. An excess of an antagonist causes a relative deficiency of the other. An excess of sodium, caused by too much cooking salt consumption, reduces the potassium effect and therefore causes a slight increase in blood pressure. Massive Magnesium dosages as they are often prescribed for calf cramps reduce the calcium effect. Antagonists can also disrupt each other in the resorption process. Because of those antagonists Schuessler’s biochemic medicine recommends separate administration of each mineral. Agonists, minerals that support each other are unable to develop their whole effectiveness when the necessary partner is missing. So, there are many reasons that can cause an absolute or relative deficit and therefore functional disorders.

Three things will help you to get onto the right track: a thorough knowledge of the deficiency signs and symptoms, the knowledge, when and in whom deficits have to be anticipated. And finally – accurate diagnostics – therefore ensure a visit to a qualified practitioner.

And the question that is so often asked: “Can I overdose?”

Trace elements yes, main elements – essential minerals only from the point of view of contraindications. The body uses two ways of self protection. The resorption rate of the bowel adapts to the needs – in case of a deficiency, permeable rate is at maximum, if the body receives sufficient, and the permeable rate reduces to a minimum. And even if too much enters the blood, the excess is quickly discharged via the kidneys – providing kidney function is at optimum. (Kidney insufficiency that requires dialysis is regarded as contraindication for an uncontrolled mineral supplementation.) – There are also other contraindications to be considered.

As the body’s need for Trace Elements is minimal, it is easy to overdose and great care should be taken when using such elements.

The Institute of Biochemic Medicine recommends that advice regarding the supplementation of Essential Minerals should be sought from qualified practitioners only. 

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