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Minerals key to good health

Rick Aluise

With regard to preventing disease, the general public labors under some general misconceptions based on speculation rather than science. With regard to preventing disease, the general public labors under some general misconceptions based on speculation rather than science. For example, the health community for many years speculated that a high-fiber diet could reduce the rate of colorectal cancer. There were never studies to prove or disprove the speculation – until recently, when studies proved that those on high-fiber diets have the same rate of colorectal cancer as those on low fiber diets. Unfortunately, before the studies disproved the theory, the theory became dogma. Today, many continue teaching that high-fiber diets prevent colorectal cancer. Fiber has benefits, but preventing cancer is not one of them. A similar “theory = dogma” situation existed with eggs. We remember the warnings we received about eggs and their potential to increase our cholesterol levels, causing heart disease. With the latest evidence, the American Heart Association abandoned this belief.What about exercise? Exercise has tremendous health benefits. Exercise alone, however, doesn’t prevent degenerative diseases. Jim Fixx, author of “The Complete Book of Running,” believed that heart disease was due to our sedentary lifestyle and that running was the cure. Ironically, Jim Fixx died of a heart attack at 52 while running. Three to 4 percent of the general population suffers from asthma. For Olympic athletes, the rate is nearly 20 percent. Why? It can’t be genetic, since Olympic athletes aren’t related. Exercise alone is obviously not the answer.Overwhelming scientific evidence now points to nutrients and nutrient density, combined with certain dietary guidelines and moderate exercise, as the key to general health and longevity. In particular, minerals are increasingly becoming the focus for disease prevention. There are only sixteen vitamins for which there is an established Recommended Daily Allowance, but more than seventy minerals that researchers now believe have some known or unknown health function. Five percent of our bodies, by weight, are minerals. Eighty-five percent of that is calcium. After death, our bodies eventually return to mineral ash. Studies demonstrate the power of minerals to prevent disease. Some examples are: — Calcium: A recent study showed that calcium reduces the rate of colorectal cancer by nearly half (University of Minnesota).– Magnesium: A recent study showed that asthma patients with a high intake of magnesium had better lung function and a reduction in the relative risk of wheezing (Britton & Hill).– Chromium: A study completed in the 1980s showed that chromium could control blood sugar in Type II diabetics, according to Dr. Jay Skylar. — Selenium: A study published in JAMA on Dec. 25, 1996, showed that selenium reduced the rate of esophageal cancer more than 65 percent, prostate cancer more than 60 percent, colorectal cancer more than 55 percent and lung cancer more than 45 percent.Minerals, when coupled with vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids and phyto-nutrients have tremendous preventative effects. It is important, however, that you take minerals in a form that the body can use! Contact a naturopath who can assist you in obtaining the forms of nutrients that will be beneficial. Health matters!Have a health matters question for Rick? E-mail all questions to healthmatters382@hotmail.com.Have a health matters question for Rick? E-mail all questions to healthmatters382@hotmail.com.


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