Drinking Inorganic Minerals

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 12:06 AM GMT
    Hi Guys!

    I'm curious.

    Isn't it true that the human body can only assimilate and use organic minerals?

    Unlike the roots of a plant that are designed to convert inorganic minerals like those found in the ground to organic, we have no mechanism for doing this, am I right?

    Aren't minerals in mineral water inorganic?

    If I sucked on a rusty nail, would I get my RDA of iron?

    So when we chug mineral water all day long, consuming inorganic minerals, what does our body do with them?

    I guess the main question is can our bodies use the minerals that are in the water or do the minerals just build up in our tissues making us stiff and inflexible over time?

    Thanks :o)

  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Sep 07, 2007 1:16 AM GMT
    The question itself doesn't make sense.

    There is no such thing as an "organic mineral."

    Organic refers to molecules with carbon in them. Or, more recently things grown without pesticides and hormones and such.

    Minerals meet neither of those descriptions, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.

    Minerals in the water (Sodium, Calcium, are common ones) are the same as minerals in your food, root vegetable, meat, or your friend Joe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 1:18 AM GMT
    SSSA (Short Simple Stupid Answer):

    Yes, Our body absorbs them.

    Think about studies that show you get Iron in your diet from cooking in Cast Iron cookware.

    LONG Complex Answer:

    It is way to complex to deal with here, books are written about this stuff.

    Your body does derive some benefit from the minerals you eat and drink - up to a point depending on minerals levels, capacity to process, toxicity levels, etc

    Mineral toxicity is fairly rare in the general population.

    Drink all the mineral water you like, it is good for you for many reasons, and given all other things being equal - very unlikely to be bad for you.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 3:12 AM GMT
    Oops sorry, I was talking in terms of living nutrition so I shouldn't have used the term organic.

    What I mean by an organic mineral is one that can be used by our organic bodies or for a more scientific term a "angstrom-sized water-soluble mineral" which is the only size that can be used intracellularly I believe.

    So while we may know what the TDS levels are, how do we know for sure the minerals in water are not too large, say micron-sized or larger, to be used by the cell and ultimately end up lodged in tissue somewhere in our bodies?

    The reason I ask this is because I have been studying water for an article I'm writing and I came across a book called Water! The Shocking Truth by the late "health crusader" Paul Bragg.

    You can do a Google if you want to find out who this guy is but I highly respect what he teaches as do countless others like Jack Lalanne, Dan Millman, Clint Eastwood, Gabriel Cousens, and so on.

    The book presents a convincing argument that the minerals in water cannot be used by the body and are actually responsible for the hardening of our bodies over a lifetime.

    From the book...

    “The “secret” of health lies in internal cleanliness! To be 100% healthy, a body must be free from deposits of inorganic minerals that come from drinking city tap water and waters from lakes, rivers, wells and springs. The body is contaminated by inorganic minerals from these sources. Encrustations form that clog and obstruct the body’s pipes and impair the vital organs.”

    Of course by inorganic Paul means minerals that are not usable by the cell.

    So is Paul Bragg who I believe was a biologist and definitely a well respected health author and lecturer wrong or are the minerals we athletes consume in high doses from the water we drink ultimately causing things like gall and kidney stones, gout, arthritis, hardening of the arteries, back pain and so on??

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 3:42 AM GMT
    You can absorb elemental metal as well as organically bound minerals. Once absorbed your body makes all kinds of use of those minerals by bonding them in different was. Mineral Ascorbates are one form of minerals bounded to a form of vitamin C.

    If you get into a discussion about how they get absorbed and the rate of absorption I think that is a little more complicated.

    When you think about things like metal poisoning with lead or other elements then you can see that we can absorb some minerals even through the skin.

    Most people that talk of the evils of some element that is a part of your body then I would say they are cuckoo. I true excess of some think can cause problems but I think the normal course of food and even a few vitamin are not going to hurt you. The notion of minerals "hardening" our bodies is out there.

    Don't trust some crusader selling a book to give you the truth. There are hundreds of thousands of scientist in this world that you can trust not to hides some "secret knowledge" so read a variety of sources like encyclopedias, books, internet. Hey Wikipedia is a good free source of information.

    If you are concerned about water, get a nice water filtration system. They are not that expensive these days even though in most cases I have heard, municipal water quality rates pretty high when put to the test.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 4:00 AM GMT
    I had some typos

    "I true excess of some think can cause problems but I think the normal course of food and even a few vitamin are not going to hurt you."

    should have been ..

    "It is true that excess of some things can cause problems but I think the normal course of food and even a few vitamins are not going to hurt you. "

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 4:09 AM GMT
    That is utter nonsense. Drinking water can supply a significant amount of required dietary minerals. How much you get depends on where you live and how your water is treated.

    All minerals are inorganic (except fischer-tropsch carbon and some people would consider coal, oil, and kerogen to be minerals.) The way that "organic" is used by counter-culture types and the USDA, it is completely meaningless buzz-word.

    Micron-sized mineral particles would not be dissolved, and would settle out. Some may be transported some distance as colloidal particles. Depending on their nature, they may or may not be bioavailable. They would not register on a TDS meter or any chemical analysis, unless a digestion step were included. If they are too large to be absorbed by your body, (and not dissolved by stomach acid or intestinal bacteria) they will be passed in the stool.

    While there are areas where some minerals dissolved in ground water reach toxic concentrations, any municipal water supply in the US is perfectly safe. Problems occur chiefly from wells in arid regions. Infamously, arsenic is present at toxic levels in shallow groundwater in Bangladesh and California. Quite a lot of groundwater in the southwestern US has enough manganese and calcium to cause kidney problems (though the taste is so bad that you probably wouldn't drink enough for that.) Some of it has enough sodium to cause hypertension, enough sulfate to cause dysentery, or enough nitrate to cause cyanosis in infants.

    If you want to know exactly what is in your water, my rates are quite reasonable.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 4:19 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit is correct - all municipal water systems are rigorously tested and meet EPA standards.

    If you have your own well or spring, you should have it tested periodically. However, beware of buying water filters. It turns out that water filter sales is one of the few industries, other than porn, that has to pay a premium for internet domains, due to the shady nature of the business.

    The fact is, most water filters are just charcoal cartridges that don't do anything but concentrate bacteria. (Yeah, there are thousands of organic contaminants that they COULD remove from water, temporarily, but those things aren't in your water anyway.) Different kinds of water treatment systems remove different kinds of contaminants. The ones that work are expensive. Before you buy anything you need to get your water tested to see what (if any) kind of system you need.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 4:36 AM GMT
    This is an ultra complex subject even amoung my friends that have doctorates in biochemistry, microbiology, physiology etc. My fall back position comes from Evolution Medicine. Since the body has optimized its function in tandem with chemical compunds it evolved with stick with those naturally occurring compounds. Our country is in a dire obesity crisis now because of high fructrose sugar a compound our body never designed to metabolize ...ditto with trans-fat. So if mineral intake is your concern don't consume ground-up dolomite for calcium or iron filings for iron but instead eat sea kelp which has mineral compounds almost identical to our blood or leafy vegetables which our digestion system and metabolic sytem is designed to use for replacement minerals. P.S. your veggies should be grown in "Good" soil
    so that at least means "organically grown" . Though as someone said "organic" is a totally misused term.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 4:48 AM GMT
    Um... wrong. But thanks for playing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 5:51 AM GMT
    So MindGarden how big does a mineral have to be in order to register on a TDS meter and do you agree or disagree that a mineral has to be in an ionic water-soluble form being as small as at least one-thousandth of a micron in order to enter and be useful to the cell?

    In other words isn't it possible that some minerals in a glass of water are smaller than micron size yet bigger than angstrom so they could potentially lodge in tissue instead of being excreted?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 6:25 AM GMT
    I personally enjoi checking if water has a memory with my e-meter.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 9:55 AM GMT

    For all of the above discussion (though it certainly is enlightening if you didn't know the science already), I will stick with my original answer.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 12:56 PM GMT
    TDS meters actually measure electrical conductance, so the only mineral content they measure is ionic.

    "To be 100% healthy, a body must be free from deposits of inorganic minerals that come from drinking city tap water and waters from lakes, rivers, wells and springs."

    I'm familiar enough with Paul Bragg to know he's one of those who claim the best water to drink is distilled water. The way I look at it, lakes, rivers, wells and springs are where our species has always gotten its drinking water. It's an environmental variable around which we evolved. I would think that early man's access to rain water free of mineral contamination would have been relatively rare. So, I don't buy the idea that the ideal water for humans is a type that we seldom ever drank and only now have available in significant quantities due to technology.

    I don't know why, but the topic of drinking water attracts all manner of extreme, religiously held beliefs and esoteric "technologies", like clustered/structured water, magnetized water, living water, water prayer, etc.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Sep 07, 2007 2:34 PM GMT

    If you feed hamsters only distilled water, their circadian rhythms (biological clocks) get all fucked up and then they die.

    As for the rest, mineral deposits in your body are caused by problems with pH, salt balance, and ingesting too much of said mineral. They're not caused by "large" minerals. Large minerals go through your body and get... flushed.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 07, 2007 2:51 PM GMT
    Also, though a common misconception, rain water isn't distilled water. I mean, sure, it's been evaporated and recondenses in clouds. Clouds, however, have mineral traces in them regardless of anthropogenic pollution--dust particles get swept up and become nucleation sites naturally, so rainwater inherently has mineral content. I know a good number of scientist who have to create artificial rain water by dissolving specific mineral compounds in it for their research on the effects of, say, rain water leaching of potassium from tropical soils.

    Tap water, for the most part, is good for you. Don't drink so much that your potassium and sodium levels are thrown out of whack and you end up with hyponatria, and things will be good. For the most part, crusaders trying to eliminate all metals and "toxins" from your system really don't know either the biology or chemistry which underlie the reality of the situation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 5:08 PM GMT
    MSUBioNerd is correct. Rain drops are not "pure" water. Natural condensation occurs on so-called "hygroscopic" nuclei...the most common one is sea-salt, very small crystals of which gets lofted naturally into the atmosphere and spread around the world by winds. There are other "natural" nuclei as well. When you drink "pure" rain water, you are taking a healthy dose of minerals of one sort or another.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 5:50 PM GMT
    That's true, but in practical terms, rainwater is extremely dilute compared to any other water source that most people have access to.

    However, it's fiendishly difficult to get a good sample, from the surface. Rain barrels collect all kinds of dust and lichen particles that collect on roofs, between rainfall events. Analyzing that stuff gives some weird, though interesting results.

    In suburban neighborhoods, where there's less background of blowing dust around, you can actually find bits of interstellar dust (Brownlee particles), that have fallen onto your roof from space, collecting in rain barrels. How cool is that?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2007 5:52 PM GMT
    True, rain water is not the same as distilled, but it's got far less mineral content than other surface waters. I have a Hanna PWT tester, and distilled water has a conductivity of around 1 microSiemen (uS). Reverse osmosis water comes in at around 20uS. Our tap water is currently rainwater from the cistern, measuring 27uS, and it could be picking up additional mineral content from dust off the roof and stuff trapped in the filters from when the house was on pond water. Right now, the pond is 127uS, but it's had a lot of water flowing through and overflowing this summer because of overflow from a new pond that keeps it full. In years past, when our single pond was always low, and water only left via evaporation, the readings were a few hundred uS.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 08, 2007 5:28 AM GMT
    Thanks guys I got what I was looking for and I appreciate the help.

    I do however feel I need to make a blanket response to some of the comments that where made.

    My question arose from my curiosity of whether minerals could lodge in tissues and cause hardening of the body as suggested by someone whose teachings I respect.

    I still have yet to reach a conclusion on this issue however I do have some strong views on some other subjects touched upon.

    First of all, Paul Bragg probably did more to advance the idea of living a healthy lifestyle than anyone else in the last century. Paul was a pioneer in the holistic living approach that incorporated proper breathing, exercise, eating whole organic foods, fasting, drinking pure water, getting proper rest and so on. The Bragg philosophy is true body, mind and spirit approach to health and fitness and it works.

    I guess I should point out that I had already adopted much of this type of lifestyle before I ever read the Bragg books.

    The younger generations are probably not familiar with Paul Bragg because he died in 1976 at 80 supposedly from complications due to a surfing accident. Strangely, unlike the hamsters, he was robust till the end drinking distilled water every day of his adult life, or so he claims.

    His legacy would probably be greater if it weren’t for the fact that many of his views countered the outdated yet prevailing materialistic-mechanistic principles that nutrition is largely based upon to this day.

    I believe the current paradigm which sees us all as physiochemical machines is a good start to understanding our bodies but falls short mainly because it leaves out the all-important aspect of life force.

    A fresh road-kill has the same chemical makeup as the living creature but lacks the most important thing, the life force. There are many names and opinions on what I’m calling life force is but to keep it RRSAS ( really, really simple and stupid ) let’s just say it is the energy that a thing possesses that makes that thing alive.

    A rock certainly is vibrating energy but does not contain life force like a hamster, plant or a person.

    I happily and quite healthily admit to being one of those esoteric cuckoos because when I look at this mineral issue I cannot factor out the aspect of life force a mineral might or might not possess if I am going to absorb it into my own energy.

    The iron you may get licking a cast iron skillet, though chemically the same is not going to benefit your body like the iron you get from fresh spinach that has been through photosynthesis and absorbed into the dynamic forces of the living plant.

    This is why biogenic and bioacidic foods may look the same in terms of calories, carbs and so on, but can have dramatically different effect on the body.

    I propose we should stop worrying about how many calories we consume and be more concerned with how what we consume affects our own life force. Does what you eat add to your dynamic energies or take from it? For example a fresh-picked apple is alive, has living enzymes and adds to your energy as opposed to say a steak that requires your body to use it’s own vital energy to metabolize. One adds and one takes away.

    Biogenic (living foods) are generally low in calories and always high in life force.

    I’ll be the first to say that from the view of conventional science all this mumbo jumbo new age talk about life force and living energy makes me sound cuckooish (being cuckoo like).

    Science is one of if not the most important of all human endeavors and while it certainly is responsible on most levels for the rapid advancement of our race in a sense by its very nature, it also holds us back.

    If something cannot be poked, probed or measured with an instrument by the current scientific method, it is usually deemed pseudoscience, hogwash, rubbish, etc.

    While it’s easy to see the logic here, what we really say when we accept or reject something based on scientific method alone is that nothing exists that there is not a current scientific method of explaining. If it is not in a textbook, taught by a professor, accepted by peers or can be observed or measured, it does not exist.

    History is full of cases in which the prevailing scientific view was proven wrong over and over again.

    It’s well known that Einstein was very Metaphysical often talking about how formulas came to him in his dreams or as hunches.

    He even said something to the effect that he believed “imagination was before science.”

    100 years ago quantum string theory would have been unimaginable to most scientists and just ten years ago the idea of our food, thoughts and emotions being able to influence gene expression would have been strictly regarded as utter nonsense or “new age” thinking and yet today the rapidly growing field of epigenetics studies this very thing.

    Thinking of a mineral as being organic or inorganic in terms whether or not it is part of a living field reall
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 09, 2007 1:24 AM GMT
    My recollection is that numerous studies have found reduced risk of cardiovascular disease associated with drinking hard water.

    As for all the different claims about what kind of water is healthiest, you can find just as many people extolling the virtues of the mineral rich waters that the Hunza people drank as people extolling the virtues of distilled water. And, for all the talk of "life force", a common complaint about distilled water is that it tastes "dead".
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 21, 2008 11:08 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidI personally enjoi checking if water has a memory with my e-meter.

    omg, i nearly wet myself! That was hysterical, TigerTim :-)