Dr. Linus Pauling, the late, two-time Noble Prize winner, said, “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.” Yet most people think about vitamins, amino acids, and essential fats before even giving a second thought to the essentiality of minerals. Minerals are believed to be the single most important key to our metabolic machinery. So important in fact, that a document issued by the U.S. Senate in 1936 stated, “Our physical well-being is more directly dependent upon minerals we take into our systems than upon calories or vitamins, or upon the precise proportion of starch, protein, or carbohydrate we consume.”
Minerals play almost innumerable roles within your body. Aside from being a part of nearly every enzymatic process in the body (functioning as metalloenzymes), minerals are required for the manufacture of and are part of cellular membranes and connective tissue, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, and soft tissues such as veins, arteries, and brain tissue. Even your hormones and chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) are composed of, or require the aid of minerals.
Some minerals also function as electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium chloride [salt], sulfate, and phosphate), acting as buffering agents that help protect the body’s tissues from excess acidity, which more often than not comes from our own poor lifestyle choices. Electrolytes also carry electrical charges that trigger a signal or function somewhere in the body.
The problem is that too many of us may actually be deficient in numerous minerals due to the fact that these minerals just aren’t found in high enough quantities in the foods that we consume. Researchers from the University of Texas published a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that showed that at least six nutrients in fruits and vegetables (including the minerals calcium, potassium, and iron) have diminished quite extensively since 1950.
We live in a time in which bigger and brighter often equates to more water and less nutritive value. Technology has allowed us to tinker with the genetic components of fruits and vegetables and in the process create huge strawberries that deliver very little in taste to broccoli that contains half the calcium and magnesium of its older cousins. Aside from these facts, very few of us consume organically grown produce, and as the saying goes, “If it isn’t in the soil, it isn’t in the produce!”
Researchers from the Agricultural Research Service in Maryland discovered that organically grown fruits and vegetables produce many more antioxidants, polyphenols, and enzymes than commercial produce. This is yet one more reason to supplement with a vitamin/mineral formula that is derived directly from real organic foods without any heat whatsoever!
 US Senate Document No. 264. 74th Congress of the United States of America. 1936.
 Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6):669-82.
 USDA Website. http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?SEQ_NO_115=101867.
 Wang SY, Lin HS. Compost as a soil supplement increases the level of antioxidant compounds and oxygen radical absorbance capacity in strawberries. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Nov 5;51(23):6844-50.