Oligotherapy: The 6 Most Important Trace Minerals
While most people have grown up hearing about the importance of vitamins (calcium for our bones, vitamin A for our eyes), many people do not realize what minerals do for our bodies or how important they are. In fact, without a proper balance of minerals, our bodies cannot even make full use of the vitamins we take in. In order to maintain our optimal health, our bodies require a wide variety of minerals.
Among these are trace minerals, so called because they are needed only in "trace" or minute amounts - but don't be fooled into thinking that because the amounts needed are small, they are any less important to us. Our bodies rely on ionic and trace minerals to generate the electrical impulses that signal our muscles and brain. Our very cells rely on these nutrients to support osmosis, balance water pressure and absorb nutrients. Of utmost importance, are ions and electrolytes.
Ions and Electrolytes
Ion particles, made either of a single atom or group of atoms, work in the body by carrying an electrical charge. These come in one of two groups: "cations", or positively-charges ions, and "anions," negatively-charged ions. Substances that form them are called "electrolytes/". Common electrolytes include calcium, magnesium, chloride, bicarbonates, potassium, sodium, and hydrogen.
Each type of ion has its own unique an important role within the body. Anion-forming electrolytes like bicarbonate, chloride and phosphate, work to maintain our body's acid-base balance for optimal nutrient absorption and also to supporting digestion and cell membrane structure. Cation-forming electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and hydrogen, support our nerves' ability to signal and conduct messages, the contraction of our muscles, and many other important functions. Ions and electrolytes are essential to maintaining a healthy balance in our bodies.
Within oligotherapy, there are over 80 different elements that may be used depending on the intended purpose. Here are just six of the minerals used by oligotherapists for the pathologies - manganese, cobalt, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.
Functions in the Body: Activates enzymes needed for the use of biotin, thiamin, ascorbic acid and choline. Supports fatty acid synthesis, protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and the production of sex hormones. Activates bone forming enzymes and is believed to support production of a thyroid hormone used to maintain nerve tissue. Important to blood sugar metabolism and special antioxidant enzymes.
Symptoms of Deficiency: Impaired growth, Skeletal abnormalities, Problems metabolizing fats and carbohydrates, Ataxia coordination and balance problems, Nausea, Vomiting, Poor glucose tolerance/high blood sugar, Loss of hair color, Bone loss, Low cholesterol levels, Dizziness, Hearing loss, Reproductive problems.
Helpful for These Health Conditions: Allergies, Asthma, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Heart disease, Learning disabilities, Multiple sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Premenstrual syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, Schizophrenia, Sprains and strains.
Functions in our Body: Supports red blood cell production. Prevents anemia. Supports nerve cell development and the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Symptoms of Deficiency: Red or sore tongue, Tingling or numbness in the feet, Anxiety, Heart palpitations, Depression, Memory problems, Dandruff, Decreased blood clotting, Decreased reflexes, Difficulty swallowing, Fatigue, Menstrual problems, Paleness, Weakness, Weak pulse.
Helpful for These Health Conditions: Alcoholism, Atherosclerosis, Bronchial asthma, Cancer, Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, Dermatitis, Epstein-Barr Virus, Fatigue, Leukemia, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Neuropathy, Pernicious anemia, Rheumatoid arthritis.
Functions in our Body: Helps utilize iron. Reduces free radical damage. Supports bone and connective tissue health. Supports melanin production. Maintains normal thyroid function and the myelin sheaths that protect our nerves.
Symptoms of Deficiency: Iron deficiency anemia, Ruptured blood vessels, Osteoporosis, Joint problems, Brain disturbances, Elevated LDL and reduced HDL, Poor immune function, Frequent infections, Loss of pigment, Weakness, Fatigue, Breathing problems, Sores, Poor thyroid function, Irregular heart beat.
Helpful for These Health Conditions: Allergies, Anemia, Baldness, Sores, Heart Disease, HIV/AIDS, Hypothyroid disease, Leukemia, Osteoporosis, Periodontal disease and ulcers, Rheumatoid arthtritis, Stomach ulcers.
Functions in Our Body: Promotes nerve relaxation. Supports healthy bones and muscle tone. Prevents muscle tension, cramps, spasms and fatigue. Strengthens and forms bones. Required by over 300 different enzymes. Involved in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Symptoms of Deficiency: Changes in Muscle and Nerve function, Muscle weakness, Tremors, Spasm, Arrhythmia, Increased Heart Rate, Soft, Weak Bones, Blood Sugar Imbalance,
Helpful for These Health Conditions: Alcoholism, Angina pectoris, Asthma, Autism, Chronic fatigue, Congenital heart disease, Congestive heart failure, Coronary artery disease, Diabetes, Eclampsia, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Heart attack, HIV/AIDS, Hypertension, Hypertriglyceridemia, Inflammatory bowel disease, Migraine, Multiple sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Peptic ulcers, PMS, Pre-eclampsia, Raynaud's syndrome, Lupus
Functions in our Body: Regulates genes. Supports gene-transcription or reading. Promotes blood sugar balance and normal metabolic rates. Important to sense of taste and smell. Important to white blood cell health and immune response.
Symptoms of Deficiency: Impaired sense of taste and smell, Depression, Anxiety, Lack of Appetite, Growth failure, Frequent colds and infections, Low-Libido, Skin Problems, Fatigue, Copper Toxicity, Adrenal problems, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Helpful for These Health Conditions: Acne, Alcoholism, Alopecia, Alzheimer's Disease, Anorexia Nervosa, Atopic Dermatitis, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, Cervical Dysplasia, Common Cold, Chron's Disease, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Graves' Disease, Herpes simplex, HIV/AIDS, Infertility (male), Inflammatory bowel disease, Influenza, Macular Degeneration, Osteoarthritis, PMS, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Seborrheic Dermatitis, Senile cataracts
Function in our Body: Supports the formation of bones and teeth. Helps utilize carbohydrates and fats. Support protein synthesis. Vital to the production of ATP molecules used to store energy in the body. Important for muscle contractions, kidney function, heart health and nerve conduction. Important to the growth, maintenance, and repair of all cells and tissues. Essential to the production of DNA and RNA. Helps utilize vitamin D, calcium, iodine, magnesium, and zinc.
Symptoms of Deficiency: Anorexia, Muscle weakness, Osteomalacia, Loss of appetite, Anxiety, Bone pain, Bone fragility, Joint stiffness, Fatigue, Irregular breathing, Irritability, Numbness, Weakness, Weight change
Helpful for These Health Conditions: Calcium based kidney stones, Constipation, Osteoporosis, Hyperparathyroidism, Renal tube failure, Alcoholism, Severe burns, Stress.