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|Trace-mineral/electrolyte efficacy in neurotransmitter function.
(Compiled from scientific resources noted as endnotes.)
Mineral deficiency relates to the quantity of life energy or, more specifically,
electricity, in our bodies and is the catalyst for neural function. The nervous system
is the body’s primary communication system. Comprised of a network of nerve cells
called neurons, it relays information from neuron to neuron by receptors providing
both electrical and chemical stimulation. Chemical stimulation naturally occurs by
transmitting chemicals called neurotransmitters. Through a highly regulated
electrochemical chain of events, the brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate
with both itself and other organs and tissues in the body.
In this manner information is transmitted, neuron to neuron, from one area of the
brain or body to another. When this information eventually reaches its final
destination, the message is translated into an emotion or action. Neurotransmitters
define our moods, actions and our overall health. The body synthesizes
neurotransmitters from nutrients (amino acids & proteins) obtained through our diet.
The list of clinical problems associated with neurotransmitter imbalance from alcohol
and substance abuse is long and continues to grow as researchers establish
important links between the scientific and clinical effects of neurotransmitters.
To quote Dr. R.J. Wurtman, "There is no longer any real controversy over whether
nutrients can affect behavior." Dr. Wurtman and colleagues began studying the
effects of food on brain biochemistry at M.I.T. over ten years ago. Their work
appears to be focused on the investigations of amino acids and their role as
precursors of neurotransmitters. However, vitamins and especially minerals are also
known to affect brain function.
Studies have shown that the emotional status of an individual can affect the
absorption and excretion of Minerals. Henkin reported that "Trace metals have been
shown to influence hormones at several levels of actions ... Similarly, hormones
have been shown to influence trace metal metabolism ... including excretion and
transport." Since it is well known that psychic factors can trigger an increase in
mineral excretion and/or absorption, it is reasonable to assume that chronic
emotional stress may be reflected in TMA(Tissue Mineral Analysis) patterns.
Animal studies have revealed the association between copper deficiency and
myelination defects. TMA studies have shown low tissue copper levels in patients
suffering from multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. Low dopamine levels have
been found in animals and patients with Parkinson's. Menke's disease, an inherited
inborn error of copper metabolism in infants, is characterized by abnormal CNS
(central nervous system toxin) development. Progression of the disease leads to
psychomotor disturbances, mental retardation, seizures and death. The late Dr. Carl
Pfeiffer, et al postulated the relationship between copper toxicity and some types of
schizophrenia, i.e., histapenic.
Disturbances in sodium and potassium metabolism are commonly seen in
psychiatric patients. Manifestations of sodium and potassium deficiency include
severe depression, apathy and schizophrenic syndromes. Clinical studies have
indicated that post operative psychosis is produced by potassium depletion due to
the administration of low potassium dextrose or sodium chloride solutions.
Psychiatric symptoms are quickly relieved with normalization of these electrolytes.
The main mineral deficiencies; associated with psychiatric diseases are zinc and
manganese with schizophrenia, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and
zinc with organic mental disorder and calcium iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc
with depression. Manganese is the brain mineral involved in memory loss and lack
of concentration. Manganese delivers nutrients to the brain.
Zinc is probably the most important mineral with psychiatric disorders in general.
Over 90 metallo-enzymes require zinc and the functioning of the brain is dependent
on adequate levels of zinc. Deficiency can cause amnesia, apathy, depression,
irritability, lethargy, mental retardation arid paranoia. A study found a 30%
reduction of brain zinc content in early onset schizophrenics as compared to
normals. In another study autopsies were performed on schizophrenics and their
brains had only half the zinc content of control brains. A part of the brain, called
hippocampus, next to the pineal gland has the highest zinc content in the brain. The
hippocampus is involved with the integration of thoughts, memories and emotions
Dr. C.C. Pfeiffer (NJ) and his biochemical co-workers provide case histories of the
essential role of zinc in the treatment of a subgroup of schizophrenic, called
pyrolurics. Naturally, all the vitamins and nutritive trace minerals are needed for
general health, but particularly vital to our emotional well being are: B vitamins: B-
1, B-3, B-6, pantothenic acid, folic acid, and B-12; vitamin E; vitamin C; minerals:
calcium and potassium; trace minerals (needed in tiny amounts): zinc and
magnesium. One case of minimal brain dysfunction and learning disability with
severe behavioural problems is described in which zinc alone was responsible for
normalising the condition. Generally, however, zinc is required together with vitamin
B6 and other supplements for effective treatment. The magnesium content in the
cerebrospinal fluid of patients with schizophrenia or major depression who had made
Magnesium works with calcium (needed for nerve impulse transmissions) to help
transmitting nerve impulses in the brain thus aiding with the neurotransmitter
problems associated with parkinson's disease. In addition to its involvement in bone
structure, magnesium aids in the transmission of nerve impulses. Magnesium
deficiency can cause restlessness, nervousness, muscular twitching, and
unsteadiness. Acute magnesium deficiency can progress to apathy, delirium,
convulsions, coma, and death. In 2004, Guosong Liu and colleagues at MIT
discovered that magnesium might have a positive influence on learning and
memory. “We found that elevation of brain magnesium led to significant
enhancement of spatial and associative memory in both young and aged rats,” said
Liu, now director of the Center for Learning and Memory at Tsinghua University.
Potassium also helps in nerve transmissions and people get irrational when
potassium levels are low.
Some electrolyte imbalances can lead to memory loss and confusion. These two
symptoms typically go hand-in-hand when it comes to electrolyte imbalances. When
a high levels of calcium in the blood occurs, otherwise known as hypercalcemia,
confusion may also occur. Hyperchloridemia and hyochloremia may cause memory
loss. In fact, every electrolyte imbalance causes confusion and memory loss. This is
due to the fact that electrolytes play a part in most major functions, such as blood
Body mineral content and balances control the quantity of electricity in our
bodies. The speed at which the electricity flows is controlled by the body's pH
balance. Minerals are as important as, if not more important than, vitamins.
Minerals are co-enzymes which help vitamins function. In the absence of minerals,
vitamins can't do their job. Many minerals are referred to as trace minerals, which
might make it seem as though they are of little importance, but nothing could be
further from the truth. Minerals and their deficiencies have been implicated in a wide
range of off-balance health conditions.
pH control impacts every biochemical process in the body including enzymes which
are part of that biochemical process. If blood pH is off balance even a little, some
important pegs are not "fitting" their respective slots. Enzyme function and thus life
itself begins to suffer. Mineral assimilation is affected by pH. Minerals have different
pH levels at which they can be assimilated into the body. Minerals on the lower end
of the atomic scale can be assimilated in a wider pH range, and minerals higher up
on the scale require a narrower and narrower pH range in order to be assimilated by
the body. For example….Iodine, which is high up on the atomic scale, requires near
perfect pH for its assimilation into the body. Iodine you may know, is one of the
most important minerals for proper functioning of the thyroid. But, the thyroid
doesn't get access to iodine unless the body pH is near perfect. Therefore,
maintaining a balanced pH with trace-minerals is essential to the function of the
body. Potassium and magnesium (along with organic sodium) are some of the most
important minerals for rebalancing the electrical properties of the cell, for
eliminating excess acidity, and for helping to balance calcium.
Since modern farming methods and water filtration tends to remove essential trace-
minerals from our food and water resulting in a low pH. It is then necessary to
normalize pH by supplementing with a trace-mineral combination which also
benefits the neurotransmitter function if this combination contains the essential
trace-minerals that form electrolytes.
-“Enhancement of Learning and Memory by Elevating Brain Magnesium,” Inna Slutsky, Nashat Abumaria, Long-
Jun Wu, Chao Huang, Ling Zhang, Bo Li, Xiang Zhao, Arvind Govindarajan, Ming-Gao Zhao, Min Zhuo, Susumu
Tonegawa and Guosong Liu in Neuron, published Jan. 28, 2010.
- the Huxley Inst for Biosocial Research, Lakewood NJ, 29 Medical Causes of "Schizophrenia" - Excerpted from
Nutrition and Mental Illness
-Wurtman RJ: Behavioral effects of nutrients. Lancet, May, 1983.
-Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 5, No. 3, 1990. -Lai JC, et al: The effects of cadmium, manganese, and
aluminum on sodium-potassium-activated and magnesium activated adenosine triphosphatase activity and
choline uptake in rat brain synaptosomes. Biochem. Pharmacol, 29, 1980.
-31. Dreosti IE: Zinc in the central nervous system: The emerging interactions. The eurobiology of Zinc.Part A.
Frederickson, Howell, Kasarkis, Eds. Alan R. Liss, N.Y. 1984
-Carman JS, et al: Electrolyte changes associated with shifts in affective states. Electrolytes and
Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Alexander, P.E., Ed. Spectrum Pub. N.Y., 1981.
-Westermarck T., M.D., D.Sc. and E. Antila, M.D., Ph.D. "Diet in Relation to the Nervous System." In Human
Nutrition and Dietetics. 10th edition. Edited by J. S. Garrow, M.D., Ph.D., W. P. T. James, M.D., S.Sc., and A.
Ralph, Ph.D. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 2000. -----.--http://www.healthnews-nz.com/minerals.html
|Rehydration with more than pure water.
According to the International Sports Medicine Institute, many Americans are
dehydrated, even before exercise, because they don’t drink enough water. The
average person normally loses between 3-6 liters from normal bowel and urinary
elimination. Moisture is also lost just from breathing. Some of the more obvious
signs of low water levels in your body include headaches and fatigue. Sports
endurance will be compromised as dehydration worsens. Heart rate increases and
oxygen (and nutrient delivery to the muscles) can drop 10 percent even with mild
exercise like hiking. Unreplaced water losses equal 2 percent of body weight and
will impact heat regulation. At 3 percent loss there is a de-crease in muscle cell
contraction times and when fluid losses equal 4 percent of body weight there is a 5-
10 percent drop in overall performance, which can last up to four hours. Lost with
this fluid are electrolytes and essential minerals. Mineral replacement is essential
to helping restore proper blood volume and blood sugar levels, and is necessary for
enzymatic reactions that promote proper blood volume. Without them the quality of
performance during long-term or explosive short-term exercise decreases. Does just
drinking water suffice?
Pure water out of the tap is becoming more difficult to find. One of our biggest
environmental challenges is to find good mineral-rich drinking water. To avoid the
pit-falls of bacteria, chlorine and bad tasting water consumers are choosing bottled
water. But did you know that most bottled water has been filtered, removing most
of the life-giving minerals. To remedy this some companies are putting back in
sodium, potassium and magnesium, mostly to improve the taste of filtered water.
Adding some minerals is better, but the body needs its 11-15 elemental trace
minerals (Selenium, Chromium, Manganese, Zinc, Cobalt, Silica, Sodium, Potassium,
Magnesium Iodine, Boron, and Copper) in order to function properly.
These trace minerals called electrolytes, are the life-giving force lost in the
dehydration process that account for the risk factor. It is essential to choose a
sports drink or a supplement that provides you the basic elements — minerals that
form electrolytes. Trace minerals work in combination to provide the proper
environment for electrolyte formation and maximum absorption. The body has the
ability to use these trace elements as a key to unlock additional minerals from
food. Water alone without the life-giving spark of ionic electrolytes is limited in its
effectiveness for maximum hydration.
-Tilton, Buck, “Just Add Water; why powdered “sports” drinks belong in your pack.” Backpacker, Feb. 1993,
Vol. 21, No.1, p. 16.