Trace Minerals for Longevity

| Modified: Jan 23, 2018
Add New Post Trace Minerals Health Benefits

There are many minerals which are critical to your health. Some of them are macro minerals – ones of which you need larger amounts, like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, phosphorus, chloride and potassium. These are all elements. The body takes in other elements from water and air, providing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.

The body also needs small amounts of other minerals (elements) and these are called trace minerals. Ideally, the body will get trace minerals from foods. However, due to the depletion of elements in the soil, it is not uncommon for trace minerals to be lacking in the diet and health can suffer significantly from that. Though the body doesn’t need a large amount of trace minerals (less than 20 mg per day of each) they are still critical to excellent health. Inadequate copper intake can cause premature graying of the hair. Insufficient iodine can lead to thyroid problems. And these are only the tip of the iceberg.

Important Trace Minerals Needed by Humans

Sources of Trace Minerals

High Quality Foods

Using whole unprocessed foods will maximize the nutrients supplied from the diet. High quality herbs also contain trace minerals. Herbal tea is a source of many trace minerals.

Sea salt has trace minerals. Table salt usually has iodine added to it, but none of the other trace minerals.

Blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of concentrated nutrients, including zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, iron.

Trace mineral supplements can be purchased and taken on a regular basis according to package directions.

Other Causes of Trace Mineral Depletion

If you use distilled or reverse osmosis water, the trace minerals that are naturally present in water will have been removed. In fact, distilled water will actually pull minerals out of the body. Certainly if a water supply is full of toxins, chlorine and fluoride, filtering or distilling may be needed, but it will be necessary to replace the minerals that are removed.

Store bought bread used to have iodine added to it. Iodine was used as a dough conditioner even in the 60’s. However, it was found that bromide was a cheaper way to condition the bread and iodine was no longer added. Not only did this mean that people were no longer getting iodine, it meant iodine from other sources was negatively affected by the bromide in the bread!

Medications, including over the counter and prescription medications can have chemicals that negatively affect the minerals in the body. For example, many medications, have fluoride in them, which negatively affects iodine levels.

Medical conditions which result in poor absorption of minerals can be a cause of mineral deficiency.

What Health Problems are Caused by Lack of Trace Minerals?

The conditions caused by insufficient trace minerals are too many to list. Perhaps a better question is, "Are there any health conditions NOT affected by a lack of trace minerals?" A partial list of health concerns would include hypothyroidism, immune deficiencies, hormone problems, joint problems, and heart issues.

Have you found a good way to get your trace minerals? Has your health improved? Please send us some feedback! Keep reading to see what our readers have to say about the importance of trace minerals for health and longevity.

Sports Injuries

Posted by Tami (Chattanooga, TN) on 08/04/2007
5 out of 5 stars

My right knee was injured playing softball. A very smart alternative health practitioner told me that all illness, ie staph, strep and any virus, etc goes to the injury area. She said if you want any injury area to heal, you need to give it added nutrition and support. Since I had some liquid Trace Minerals at home, I put a quarter size amount on my palm and rubbed it onto my knee. After doing this for two weeks my right knee felt stronger than my good left knee. Later playing racquetball, I injured my left knee - and the Trace Minerals came thru again! I now apply liquid Trace Minerals directly externally over my heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas and colon. Plus my knees! This is incredible!

Trace Minerals for Health

Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 12/21/2016
5 out of 5 stars

It won't be news to you that we have a bunch of farmers in New Zealand!

You knew that, right?

Some of them have made some dramatic discoveries during their lifetime, concerning their stock's health/sickness, from being placed in a dire position and having to radically alter their stock management practices in order to survive financially on the farm. "Triumph through adversity" (like during the War) etc. I believe it can be instructive to learn of instances where animals' health sometimes change rapidly for the better. Sometimes this knowledge is transferable to us human types also. Take the instance of one farmer we shall call Bruce. Bruce was farming normally and noticing a gradual decline over a decade or more, in growth rates, together with frequent and increasing levels of sickness, (often from worms/ parasites) etc. They were getting thinner and often dying (the stock not the parasites-THEY were getting fatter! ). Yet Bruce was considered a good farmer; he did all the normal farming tricks and to all intents and purposes farmed his patch well. His farming chums would have called Bruce a fair dinkum man of the soil and all round good joker (or some such-you get the drift?) and the farm "looked" a "Picture". The grass looked "lush". What could be "crook" (as we say)? He was spending an inordinate amount of his working day playing catch up and desperately trying to cure his sick stock; the vet was a frequent visitor.

Then he tried adding various trace minerals to their diet in one way or another. Won't bore you with the methods-this is a family show after all! He even spread them over the ground using a top-dressing aeroplane. How cool is that? Apparently the results were both quick and profound. His stock gained weight instead of losing weight and were all-round healthier and performed better on all counts where it matters on the farm. As a bonus, his medical, fertilizer and vet bills dropped significantly. So, more profit with less costs/inputs. Win win situation and farm / farmer saved. Hay presto.

I am most concerned about the lack of (particularly) zinc, selenium, boron and copper in our soils here in N.Z. but others may well be in short supply through either not being here in the first place or through depletion over the years. If it isn't in the soil then it won't be in the food will it (unless it is "fortified" ha)?

So the moral of this story is that you should take your trace minerals seriously and if they ain't in the soil (and they likely will have packed their bags and left in a huff in the 1950s or 60s sad to say) then you had better try getting them elsewhere. So there you have it, more info from Down Under. Live long and prosper.

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile , Tn

MICHAEL,,,,,,, you are upsetting me. I am the best storyteller on EC and you are causing me grief as I might have to take second place. You have a message and you make it interesting. I commend you. Like I say, my tales are 96.4% true, but I reserve 3.6% for embellishment. I have researched what I need to do to add trace minerals to our garden. It's is not that big of a deal. I always add borax to our beets. We add our home heater ashes to our beds where we do not raise potatoes. Also, add epsom salt to most plants. Hope you enjoy the Hollywood stars that are moving to your country after our last election. Maybe the boss will let that comment slide under the radar. An admirer of your prose.


Replied by Michael
New Zealand

Well that's praise indeed coming from you Sir, but I still regard you as the Guru of the Site (but shared with Mama To Many, as you may well appreciate!! ). Your shared title is safe for a while longer I think. That woman is an inspiration! Possibly the only point on which I excel over you in the Deep South is my unfortunate tendency to excessive embellishment! My family claim my exaggeration is a substitute for substance! Cheeky blighters! Humph! Oh well, as one American president once famously said "You can please some of the people...." etc. What I WOULD like to say is "A very Happy Christmas and New Year to y'All" and especially to our Dear Leader (with a capital "D") and her irrepressible A Team of Supporters who have facilitated this Paragon of a Site. Truly 'tis a Gift to the World of Suffering Humanity! Cheers, from Michael from New Zealand (where the sun will still hopefully rise before anywhere else on Christmas Day!! )

Replied by Iowama
Iowa, Us

This subject of micro and macro nutrients in our food has been getting a lot of attention. Thank you ORH and Michael for speaking to it. Here's where my thinking is going... I have a raised bed garden and much of the soil in my beds was bought in bags. Some of my reading made me wonder if I might possibly be growing a bunch of nutrient depleted fresh vegetables. I knew that there were vendors out there selling bags of minerals and was wondering if I should look into buying any. Then I stopped and thought about it. In my years as a nurseryman, I could spot some mineral deficiencies in plants just by looking their leaves. Vegetables will always show signs of nutrient depletion in their leaves. So for example, if you were to stop right now and search " Boron depletion in tomatoes", you would see images of tomato leaves showing that deficiency, or at least we can bring up those photos here in the states. You can run down the long list of essential minerals and the photos are all there to compare to your own plants. When I spent the time searching, then watched my garden all summer, I felt my plants were telling me all was well. Incidentally, I use blood meal and bone meal along with Vitamixed egg shells, and a fall addition of shredded leaves. Am I wrong on this?

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile , Tn

IOWAMA,,,,,,,,,,, got up set when I learned that almost all chickens were fed arsenic and mushroom compost comes from chicken litter and straw. I bought my compost from the manager of the mushroom plant some 20 miles up the road. He told me that they stopped buying chicken litter from arsenic fed houses about 15 years ago. What is so upsetting is that mushrooms absorb whatever they are raised in. Most of these tree huggers are eating arsenic laden mushrooms along with spreading the arsenic compost on their so called "organic gardens". Are you sheeting me? These people are out smarting themselves. I have a Ch E degree that is counter balanced by being a Redneck. Some how that has worked for me. With that diatribe, I think you are right, if your plants look healthy, then you probably on the right track. There is a guy up in one of the Northern states whose large farm is totally operated by using cover crops to enrich his soil. I lost his site but it made you think. He used no commercial fertilizer. The micro organisms told he where his soil was.

Out of spit ========ORH==========

Replied by Art
522 posts

It is also helpful to use sea salt in place of regular salt as the different sea salts are also suppliers of many minerals. Art

Replied by Michael
New Zealand

Thanks Iowama from Iowa! If you are a nurseryman, I would not be audacious enough to start telling you about P.h values and N.P.K. ratings etc. would I? But you ask if what you are adding is enough, so here is some of what we do over here: LEAF MOULD - should be well-rotted preferably or it tends to "layer up"/compact down. Good stuff and under-rated. COW POO - is best I reckon, as with the four stomachs there are less weed seeds surviving the lengthy process emanating from our (grass-fed) stock. BLOOD AND BONE - (it is a combo here) is great when we are far from the farm and can't get the "fresh" stuff. Ah- but fresh is best - the AROMA!! Where was I? Oh yes:- "SHEEP PELLETS" - which you will be relieved to learn are NOT pelletized "sheeps" but pelletized sheep manure. Yes, we have plenty of "sheeps" over here. We are not going to run out any time soon! Confusing I know, but that is the Kiwi term and we seem to be stuck with it. Any other truly organic material such as EGG SHELLS, over which by the way, I pour boiling water before crushing and putting into my complicated composting system, as the rats tend to gather round at the smell if I don't sterilize them. Am I the only person to do this-probably? We have less rats since I started doing this but naturally there are several things you should NOT introduce into your compost heap or you will accumulate many rodent friends you do not wish for. I have a tumbler which helps also, at least until the rats grow big enough to climb up there. GOOD, ROBUST COMPOST - helps with both plant feeding AND soil structure. Remember "The Answer lies in the SOIL" (short test next week-be ready folks). GENERAL FERTILIZER (chemicals) - made up of good ole NPK which is the alternative to going Organic I suppose and if you are keen for a quick fix -a gardening quick fix that is .... WORM TEA - from your worm farm. I will refrain from elaborating. Don't wish to put anyone off gardening too quickly at this stage. The school kids are heavily into this stuff these days: good on em I say. They may know where their tucker comes from one day!! SEAWEED or Liquid Seaweed, or better yet, a combo of this and liquid Comfrey leaves "Steeped and mellowed in genuine oak barrels over many, many months (just kidding! ). Watch the smell doesn't annoy the neighbours if brewing comfrey. (Could it keep rats away though? Mmmm) DOLOMITE LIME - is supposed to be good at breaking down clay soil but it's struggling to break down mine! I am a bit peeved about that. Too big a challenge I suppose. Be careful of accepting the challenge of gardening on clay - it is not for the faint-hearted. Lastly, as my learned colleague ORH mentions in his recent eloquent posting, WOOD ASHES are beneficial so long as the burned wood has not been "treated" in any way. Also coal ashes are a no, no, no! Don't touch them with a poker for your gardening enterprise. That's about it from me for now.

Cheers, Michael

Replied by Iowama
Iowa, Usa

Michael, you have quite an operation going on down there. And you've really put ingenuity and time into improving your soil while fighting off the critters! You were right to call me on putting uncomposted leaves into my beds. I wouldn't want anyone who read what I wrote to try that in their garden. I only mentioned my feeding rituals as an aside, but should have left them out. The leaves are chipped fine and I dig them into the beds, and yes, I do complete my NPK recipe before we close up for winter. You are right that the leaves do some packing and in addition, if I didn't shovel (N) blood meal before planting in the Spring, it would be the ruin of my seedlings. It is my answer to the winter wind that would like to carry them away completely. It's this stuff we all have to conquer that makes gardening fun, right? Best wishes to you.

Replied by Mama To Many

This trace mineral conversation is fascinating, Iowama, Michael and Robert Henry...I will enter in about 2 cents as that is all I have... We have friends who run an organic farm and they use fish meal to nourish the soil. I have made strong comfrey tea for my plants before but didn't follow through. I am intrigued by the use of epsom salt in the garden. We have an abundance of "Nanny berries" (the goat version of Michael's sheep pellets) that I should definitely be using as fertilizer....I have in the past but the goats aren't really near the garden (except if they escape and get into the garden like they did at the end of last summer when they ate every leaf from my huge comfrey plant - didn't kill them by the way, either.) We buy a mineral supplement for our goats. You can really tell when they run out. Once when they were having a parasite problem, we gave them copper (a trace mineral) at the suggestion of another goat farmer and it really helped them a lot and restored the coat color of an older goat. So obviously our soil is lacking in that. Thanks for the interesting conversation here.

Always so much to learn.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Michael
New Zealand

To ORH. Oh dear, how naïve I am! I thought the chooks were only affected in that way by their inevitable contact with the preservative used on their once(?) wooden cage structures. I knew about the excessive anti-biotics used in their feed of course. Necessary perhaps when so many are "cooped" up in a confined space I suppose. Shameful though, all the same! Buy non-caged eggs at least. Pay a bit more for the "privilege". I don't like to use horsey poo on my garden. I used to live close to a big race track in Auckland and some folks would take that product from the stables. What concerned me was not only the weeds that you get from doing that but also the equine medications (doping also maybe, tut, tut, perish the thought??).

Do I now have to give up mushrooms (as well as so much else as one gets older)? is there anything left to live for? Cripes. Help!


Replied by Michael
New Zealand

Hi Mama to Many! Really enjoy your postings! So much to offer there. Just a quick note that when I was farming we frequently tried to let the cattle have 24/7 access to what we called a "Salt Lick Block". It had Molasses and Salt and maybe a swathe of other minerals that I have forgotten about now. They couldn't get enough of it! Got expensive in the wet winters though, as if not protected from the elements, it would just wash away. A square, heavy / cube about a foot x foot x foot in your measurement. Would last for a few weeks if taken care of, as we had only a couple of dozen stock at any one time. Gives you some idea and a boon to stock health and glossy coats. Maybe there is one for goats over your way??

Cheers, Michael

Replied by Michael
New Zealand

Y'all sitting comfortably? Here's the Test I promised you all and the answers could be found in my recent postings :-

“According to Michael”.........

1) The ANSWER lies in the ....... Plants / Gardener / Soil ?

2) Dolomite Lime is used to break up ....... Sand / Clay / Loam ?

3) What does M do to his egg shells... Boils them / Eats them / Feeds them to his pet Rats ?

4) Bruce's Farm looked “Pretty as a ...... Peach / Picture / Portrait “ ?

5) What animal's POO is BEST......Sheep / Cow / Pig / Kiwi ?

6) General Garden Fertilizer is called ...... NPK / PKM / KPM ?

7) From your Worm Farm you get Worm ......Coffee / Tea / Moonshine ?

8) Wood Ashes are use on the garden if they are ....... Mistreated / Treated / Untreated ?

9) Bruce cured his stock and saved his farm by applying ......... Trace Elements / Nice Elements / Major Developments ?

10) Which Country has a high rate of O.A. because of low levels of soil BORON ....... Tonga / Jamaica / Fiji ?

11) During the 1950s and 60s the Trace Elements “Packed their bags and left in a _______ “ ?

12) The terms “Virgin” and “Extra Virgin” are best only used to describe ........ Diesel oil / Olive Oil / Coconut Oil ?

How well did you do ? Been paying attention? Score yourself out of .... /12

Replied by Michael
New Zealand

I just know you have been having sleepless nights worrying about your Test results for "Michael's Test on Trace Elements". You may feel this constitutes "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" so let me put you out of your misery at long last!! The answers are as follows:-

soil / clay / boils them / picture / cow / NPK / tea / untreated / trace elements /Jamaica / Huff / Olive oil

There then, that didn't hurt a bit did it?

I trust you did well? If you felt you did well, then these days that probably counts as being worthy of a passing certificate. Design your own one why don't you? All to the good anyway if it got you to foster an on-going relationship with, and keen awareness of, your Trace Elements.

Whatever you do, kindly do not refer to soil as "dirt", as we depend on the quality of this stuff for our very survival and squillions of tons of our precious top-soil are being gleefully or thoughtlessly flushed out to sea every year with eventual dire consequences for the Planet/ecosystem and us all in the future. Soil sounds so much better than dirt and elevates its status somewhat.

In my gardening practices, my main endeavour is to enhance the quality of my soil: everything else on my patch follows on from that basic premise: "The answer lies in the Soil". Stick that mantra on your 'fridge. Give Mother Earth a leg up!

Changing tack somewhat, I will shortly be seeking your help with one of our endangered parrots. Somebody on this Site may have a good knowledge of Vitamin "D" synthesis. I would appreciate knowing more about this for the benefit of this poor struggling parrot who seems to be having a problem with it. Interestingly enough, this bird seems to be aware that he/she/it has this problem but has only partly figured out the solution. Being nocturnal could be part of its predicament of course

Cheers, Michael

Replied by Michael
New Zealand

Well now, gather round and listen up why don't you? We have already looked at how Bruce in New Zealand saved his farm and I am assuming most of you passed my test on the subject of those "Elusive Minerals" that packed up and left in a huff back in the middle of the last century!

These experiments were broadly replicated in Australia where one Percy Weston embarked on a very similar Farming Quest just after the War (WW11).

In summary, his farming experiences led him to believe that many dis - eases have a common origin: man-made over-acidification! (Collectively) WE ARE DOING THIS TO OURSELVES FOLKS! He claimed that modern farming methods are largely to blame. I am old enough to remember DDT and Lindane and other nasties, used to counter mosquitoes and other insect pests. Sad to say we still have insects affecting our crops but what do you know, the insects have become resistant and we have become poisoned. Wasn't it meant to be the other way around? Doh! He set out to figure out a way to cure or reverse a state of an overly-acidic body/acidification which, he noted, seems to particularly plague Western/industrialized/"1st" World Countries, animals and peoples.

Percy Weston claimed that we can reverse this state (good news there) and return our bodies to how they used to be and function, provided we consume more alkaline foods and less acidic ones in our diet. Because these health problems such as Cancer and Arthritis etc., typically take a long time to manifest themselves (they sneak up on us right?) then they may take a long time to reverse and we need to be patient and "stick with it". Being a farmer, he suspected such substances as "super-phosphate", phosphorous, chlorine etc. found in fertilizers to be the culprits. He wished to consume more organics, leafy greens, vegetables and some fruits, Magnesium and Potassium.

Towards the end of his hundred-year life, he perfected "Percy's Powder" to assist with this problem. He believed that Cancer and Arthritis are linked to the health (ill-health) of the SOIL via the medium of our food and drink. There you go! The Answer lies in the Soil. Told you so. Why don't we pay a truck load of attention and consideration to our precious Soils I will never understand? I am an unashamed Advocate on behalf of the SOIL. First our minerals leave the soil and now the soil is becoming degraded and leaving the land. Whoa!

You are welcome to Google him at your leisure and tell your friends (if you have any) about his good works. One man who left his strong Legacy behind. Good on you Percy!

Cheers and thoughts from Down Under,