You Need Minerals Research By Carlyle Coash This is the sixth and final article in our series on minerals. To wrap up this series, we wanted to simply give you some information on where to find the extensive research on minerals in the peer reviewed literature. Sometimes reading the research is what is needed to get you to actually take minerals as a supplement. Some of the most basic research can take some work to get to. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) collaborate every five years to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines look only at individual nutrients and the current science on the needs for these nutrients to prevent deficiency conditions. After the discussion on each nutrient, there is a sort of disclaimer. It instructs that if your diet does not contain the minimum recommended amounts of that nutrient, then supplementation is recommended. Sounds helpful, except for the fact that you may not know what to do next. If you then go to the website for the Department of Agriculture, you will find vast tables that give the actual nutrient content of foods grown in the United States. It is a bit of work, but if you calculate the nutritional content for your own diet, you will likely find that it is deficient in many of the nutrient minerals. Therefore, supplementation may be needed. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans uses a shorthand phrase for certain critical minerals, such as magnesium. They refer to them as “shortfall minerals”, meaning they are deficient in the diets of most people. For other specific minerals, there is too much material to include here. But we can give an example issue, and a strategy if you want to know how to research the issue you might be dealing with. As an example, consider the need for zinc in people with macular degeneration. There is research going back to the 1950’s that shows that people become depleted of zinc as they age, and that there are zinc related enzymes in the eye that suffer from this deficiency. Zinc alone as a supplement has shown to slow the progression of the disease of macular degeneration. Ophthalmologists have known this for over half a century, and recommend zinc supplements to their patients with retinal disease. If you want to find this research, there are two places you can go. The database of medical research is called Medline, and the US government makes this information available for free through a portal called PubMed: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed). Searching for things in PubMed is not entirely intuitive, so we recommend an alternative. Go to the subset of Google called “Scholar” and search there (http://scholar.google.com) Your searches in Google Scholar will find mostly scholarly research and you can search using common-sense language. Try a search for macular degeneration and zinc and you will find more than you ever thought possible. The full text of the articles is often not available for free, but if you find something you must read, your public library can often help you get access to a full-text version of the article. As an alternative search, try looking for the results of a search for chromium and diabetes to see the relationship between deficiencies of this trace mineral and diabetes. If you have a health challenge, search for your diagnosis and common minerals that are deficient like magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, etc. As a final word, we want to just mention the work of the scientist Emanuel Revici. He was a controversial figure, but did some very advanced work looking at the various trace minerals and the effects on health when they are deficient. If all of this is complex, please remember that the bottom-line recommendation from us is that you take a high quality mineral supplement on a regular basis. Our recommended products are derived from ancient humus, and are clean, easy to take, and inexpensive. They can be found at our store (Click Here). Adding supplements to your daily diet can have great impact. We see people reverse chronic issues when they change their diet and add in the essential items lacking in their daily routine. If you crave information, then please check out some of the links and read for yourself. You have control over this, and access to this vital information is much improved the last few years. If you have questions about mineral supplements, or anything related to a health challenge, please let us know. We try to respond as quickly as we can. Take good care. To Your Health.