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Mighty Minerals: The Ultimate Nutritional Supplement

23 November, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

By: Jason Riley

5 REASONS MINERALS ARE A MUST

  • Poor farming practices and soil erosion have allowed our soil to be devoid of essential nutrients
  • Research directly supports the notion that the human body is dependent upon the ingestion of at least 23 minerals to sustain life.
  • Minerals act as catalysts for many of the chemical reactions that occur within our body and aid in the formation of blood and bones, healthy nerve transmission, as well as enabling the body to increase energy production, growth and healing.
  • Mineral supplements should be plant derived, full-spectrum, organically sourced trace minerals, which can be delivered to the cells for immediate uptake.
  • Minerals are not only fundamental for performance before, during and after athletic events, but they are essential for optimal health.

Minerals for Athletic Performance and Quality of Life

      In order to achieve optimal health, we must provide our bodies with all the raw materials required to function, perform and repair.  However, these raw materials can be challenging to find in todays society. Years of poor farming practices and soil erosion have allowed our soil to be devoid of these essential nutrients. Poor nutrient quantity in the soil equates to poor nutrient content in our food, which means you, the consumers’ health and performance suffers.

     Minerals are the basic building blocks of all things, and they are involved in nearly every metabolic function within the body. They act as catalysts for many of the chemical reactions that occur within the body, as well regulate and manage the normal function of all our organs, muscles, and tissues. They ward of disease states, combat fatigue as well as a myriad of other major bodily functions. Many medical and nutritional specialists have concluded that minerals may be even more important than vitamins. The health benefits associated with proper mineral consumption cannot be exaggerated.

     Vitamins and minerals are two very different types of substances, yet they work synergistically to promote good health and wellness. The body cannot process vitamins without a sufficient supply of minerals. Likewise, minerals will be largely ineffective if not supplemented with a vitamin rich diet. For this reason, it is important to ensure that you consume a diet that is high in both vitamins and minerals.

     Traditionally minerals have been broken down into two categories, macro minerals and trace minerals. Macro minerals are generally known to act as either electrolytes in nerve transduction and/or as crystal like structures to strengthen bones. Trace minerals are commonly known to function as co-factors for enzymes involved in biochemical pathways. To help illustrate how important minerals are to the function of the human body we can look at one of the essential minerals. Zinc is an essential cofactor for at least 70 different enzymes, essential for regulation of gene expression, essential for protein folding, and essential for immunity.[i],[ii] Evidence of mineral malnutrition can be seen in several health conditions such as energy loss, premature aging, diminished senses, and degenerative diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer. What is interesting is that many plants can grow on less than 2 handfuls of minerals, while the body needs a full spectrum of minerals to optimize health.

     Research directly supports the notion that the human body is dependent upon the ingestion of at least 23 minerals to sustain life.[iii] However, over 60 different types of minerals have been found in certain tissues of the body. This suggests that the body may need more than the 23 minerals that research literature has established as essential to life. A missing mineral or vitamin will put the body into a state of imbalance, requiring it to “steal” those nutrients from somewhere else so that we can maintain “normal” living. This will lead to a cascade of deficiencies that the body will continually have to compensate for. This delicate balance affects your health, wellness, energy levels, athletic performance, brain function and immune system. What we need to understand is that not all minerals are alike.

     Plant derived minerals, which have not been destroyed by heat or altered my man-made chemicals are considered living minerals. They are natural, making them easier for your body to absorb and assimilate. These minerals function as the catalysts to enzymes throughout the body. The best minerals are sourced from pre-historic fresh water humate deposits. Humate is a mineral that is mined from the earth. Humate is actually an early stage in the development of coal from organic matter. Humate is rich in humic and fulvic acids, which are active components of soil humus. Fulvic acid increases the availability of nutrients and makes them more readily absorbable. It allows nutrients to work together with one another, breaking them down into the simplest ionic forms chelated by the fulvic acid electrolyte.

     So when looking to maximize your health and performance, make sure your mineral supplements are plant derived, full-spectrum, organically sourced trace minerals, which can be delivered to the cells for immediate uptake. These types of minerals are not only fundamental for performance before, during and after athletic events, but they are essential for optimal health.  Minerals are required for formation of blood and bones, healthy nerve transmission, as well as enabling the body to increase energy production, growth and healing. Although athletes should eat a balanced diet, there are several minerals that are very difficult to obtain in sufficient levels from even a balanced diet since almost all athletes and those exercising require more nutrients than are supplied by the established allowances.[iv]

 Benefits of Plant Derived Fulvic Mineral Supplements:

  • Powerful Electrolyte
  • Powerful Antioxidant
  • Powerful Energy Enhancer
  • Powerful Alkalinizer within body
  • Powerful Immune Enhancer
  • Anti-Viral / Anti-Bacterial properties
  • Aids Nutrient Bio-Availability
  • May Decrease Healing Time

 Here are some examples of Mineral Functions in the body:

 

MINERAL

FUNCTION

Magnesium

Aids in muscle relaxation and lowers anxiety, stress and can lower blood pressure and can help alleviate insomnia

Chromium

Important for glucose uptake which stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis

Iron

Key element in hemoglobin formation which aids in the circulation of the blood and oxygen

Phosphorus

Integral in reducing muscle weakness, boosting brain function and optimizing body metabolism

Copper

Improves brain function, helps boost immunity and helps iron uptake

Potassium

Can increase water flow in the body, alleviate muscle cramps and ensures proper oxygen distribution

 

Research:

Ashmead, Harvey, PhD— “Tissue Transportation of Organic Trace Minerals” J Appl Nutr, 22:42 1970

Motyka, Max, MS— “Minerals, Trace Minerals, Ultra Trace Minerals” Albion Research Notes vol.5 no.2 May 1996

[i] Saper, R. B. and Rash, R. Zinc: an essential micronutrient. Am Fam.Physician 5-1-2009;79(9):768-772.

[ii] Prasad, A. S. Zinc: role in immunity, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Curr Opin.Clin Nutr Metab Care 2009;12(6):646-652.

[iii]O'dell B & Sunde, R.A. Handbook of Nutritionally essential Mineral elements. Page 4  Marcel Dekker, New York, 1997.

[iv] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22774482

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Vitamin D: An Essential Vitamin For Athletes?

02 November, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

     

 By: Jason Riley

     

Vitamin D is essential for life... Not just athletes! Research continues to show that virtually every tissue and cell within the body has receptors for Vitamin D. (1) According to numerous reports, Vitamin D is not technically a vitamin at all, but a pro-hormone. The very presence of receptors specifically for vitamin D defines it as a hormone more than a vitamin. (2)

Since vitamin D can alter the expression of your genes like a pro-hormone, then we can postulate from research that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to numerous acute and chronic medical conditions like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc… However, since most our readers are athletes, lets look at how a vitamin D deficiency can effect your acute and long term performance measures, and we will look into quality of life measures in later posts:

  • Increased susceptibility to infections – vitamin D is vital for the immune system functioning and keeping you on the playing field at all times. (3)
  • Decreased adaptive immune response - if you cannot adapt to the stresses imposed on your body, you will not perform at your highest level (4,5)
  • Increased inflammatory related injuries – inflammation in your tissues can increase the susceptibility of non-contact injuries (6)
  • Decreased neuromuscular function – this will impact your bodies protein synthesis capabilities, causing muscle weakness, decreased strength and altered muscle functions (7)
  • Decreased bone density – vitamin D promotes calcium absorption, but it is critical to take vitamin K2 (MK7) with vitamin D3 supplementation.

     Unlike vitamin supplementations, which are heavily used as antioxidants and helping enzyme activity, Vitamin D functions differently. Vitamin D works inside your cells regulating small sections of your gene expressions. Without adequate Vitamin D in the body, your genes will not function adequately.   Physical exercise influences neurotransmitter levels, and there is a possibility that the interactions between neurotransmitters and the specific receptors that they affect can play a role in the onset of fatigue. (8) For example, if our brain is not producing enough neurotransmitters, your brain can call on Vitamin D to ramp up production of an enzyme that will make more neurotransmitters. These connections are crucial for affecting mood, perceived exertion and athletic performance.

     Another function of Vitamin D3 is to promote calcium absorption. Calcium can be absorbed into the bones and teeth and strengthen those structures. Vitamin D supplementation without Vitamin K2 supplementation can also be absorbed into the soft tissues like the arteries. Therefore, vitamin D3 without Vitamin K2 can be a dangerous protocol. Supplementing Vitamin D3 without K2 would be analogous to riding in a car without a driver. You might luck out and end up in the right destination, but chances are you will not end up where you need to be. Taking vitamin K2 with your D3 is like adding a driver to the car. It tells the calcium where to be dropped off, into the bones and teeth and staying away from the arteries.

      As you can see, vitamin D deficiency can wreak havoc on the hard work that you are putting into your performance. In order to take adequate dosing of vitamin D and monitor success, it is important to maintain optimum blood levels of vitamin D. The most accurate way to measure this is thru a serum blood analysis for 25-hydroxy vitamin D. A trained physician or nutritional adviser can assist each client.

 

(1) Norman, AW. From vitamin d to hormone d: fundamentals of the vitamin d endocrine system essential for good health. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008:88 (suppl):491S-9S.

(2) Holick, MF. Vitamin D: evolutionary, physiological and health perspectives. Current Drug Targets. 2011 Jan:12(1):4-18.

(3) Aranow, C. Vitamin D and the immune system. J Investig Med. 2011 Aug:59(6):881-6.

(4) Deluca et al. Vitamin D: its role and uses in immunology. The FASEB Journal. 2001 Dec: 15(14):2579-85.

(5) Peterson and Heffernan. Serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha concentrations are negatively correlated with serum 25 (OH)D concentrations in healthy women. Journal of Inflammation 2008, 5:10.

(6) Willis et al. Vitamin D status and biomarkers of inflammation in runners. Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012 (3):35-42.

(7) Pfeifer et al. Vitamin D and muscle function. Osteoporosis Int, 2002 Mar:13(3):187-94.

(8) Meeusen and De Meirleir. Exercise and Brain Neurotransmission. Sports Med. 20 (3): 160-188. 1995.

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