Notes on Mineral Metabolism
The following is a transcription of the July 1959 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
Also in this issue:
- Nutritional Disturbances
- Tip of the Month (Cramps)
- High Points of Orchex
Notes on Mineral Metabolism
Mineral deficiencies are just as critical in modern diets as vitamin deficiencies. We have possibly heard a disproportionate review of vitamin deficiencies, as it is now apparent that in our whole pattern of modern foods the refining processes have robbed us just as much in the mineral aspect as in the vitamin phase.
First, let us consider table salt. We are warned today of the dangers of too much salt. Yes, we all know that too much sugar is bad. But we have not yet become properly aware that the reason they are both nutritionally bad is that both have been robbed by refining.
Whole sea salt contains considerable magnesium, calcium, and potassium as well as sodium chloride. In the normal crystallization of evaporated seawater, the sodium chloride crystallizes first, and the salt crystals are then washed with fresh water before drying to get rid of the other salts, which are undesirable commercially (by reason of their hygroscopic nature).
Clinically speaking, the doctor is constantly confronted with patients suffering from serious deficiencies of these missing elements.
Potassium deficiency depresses calcium transport.1 Selye shows how both potassium and magnesium deficiency aggravate angina pectoris and myocardial infarction.2
Selye in his preface stresses the role of potassium and magnesium deficiencies as possible causes of “necrotic and inflammatory foci in the myocardium.” He also stresses the point that these deficiencies of mineral elements lost in salt refining create a condition of intolerance to salt, just as the use of refined sugar creates an intolerance to sugar. And he incidentally points out that vitamins E, C, and K are involved in the prevention of heart disease.3
This confirms the findings of Dr. Doles some time ago that the loss of vitamin K in deep-freeze-stored food (via oxidation) was responsible for an increase in coronary thrombosis of thirty-to-one in Virginia from 1930 to 1955 (as reported in his address to the Cosmopolitan Club, Norfolk, February 1956). Dr. Doles showed that a decrease in prothrombin is characteristic of coronary thrombosis—and the prothrombin level is dependent on the nutritional supply of vitamin K. (Dr. Doles was careful to observe that “the synthetic K will not do the job like the vitamin in its natural form.”)
Selye mentions muscular cramps as one of the systemic reactions to electrolyte unbalance. Vitamin K has been recommended as one of the specific remedies for cramps.4 Muscular cramps should be regarded as a sign of serious unbalance in blood chemistry. We long ago pointed out the obvious nature of angina pectoris as a cramp—in its real nature due to the same cause wherever it may occur—a biochemical unbalance, no doubt, always preventable and curable by correcting the unbalance. Vitamin K is a new approach, available in the Standard Process product Chlorophyll Complex Perles.
Calcium deficiency is the commonly accepted cause of cramps and convulsions. But magnesium deficiency, too, can cause similar tetanic reactions. Cattle and hens both develop tetanic seizures on diets lacking sufficient magnesium, this being a not uncommon situation in areas where soil contents of magnesium are low. Jacob quotes clinical tests in which the oral administration of magnesium citrate was very effective as an antithrombotic.5 It is of interest to note that organic magnesium is chlorophyll and that in natural foods it is inseparable from the natural vitamin K.
Selye points out his own discovery back in 1926 of the dangerous nature of synthetic vitamin D in causing focal calcium deposits and necrosis of heart muscle.6 Natural vitamin D is totally free of such effects, as shown by Dr. Price in his tests on 540 pregnant women. The synthetic D caused kidney calcification, while the cod liver oil vitamin had no such effect.7 Price concludes, “This strongly emphasizes the great desirability of using natural foods instead of modern synthetic substitutes.”
Hematuria in infants and children is a common consequence of synthetic vitamin D poisoning. In fact, it is the only known cause of such a condition. The resulting kidney damage may be controlled by a heavy dosage of natural vitamin A and Cytotropic Extract of Kidney [Renatrophin PMG].
Selye of course makes much of the endocrine background of mineral unbalances. In hypoadrenia and Addison’s disease, potassium is toxic, and sodium must be supplied in great amounts to keep the victim alive. Test animals with adrenals removed live fairly well if given access to all the salt they want but cannot tolerate high potassium foods. (Licorice has been found useful to the Addison’s disease patient. It normalizes the sodium-potassium ratio in his blood and reduces the need for salt.)
Endocrine failure in general is due to the use of refined foods. McCarrison in his 1921 book Studies in Deficiency Disease listed the effects of vitamin deficiency both atrophy and compensatory enlargement of the endocrine glands. Now we see that the mineral regulation by the endocrine system is upset not only by the crippling of the glands by poor food, but mineral deficiencies from that same poor food is an added reason for disease.
Seawater alone has a well-earned reputation for building health. Dr. R. Quinton in France has long used seawater injections to improve the condition of premature babies and infants that were not properly assimilating their food or were backward in development. He also found prenatal treatment of the mother with seawater very important in insuring a baby of vitality and health.
The making of a whole table salt by evaporating seawater is not a simple matter. To avoid the need for high temperatures, it is necessary to use a plant extract (phytin from corn) that acts in the plant to promote transpiration (water evaporation) in the presence of factors, such as sugar, that attract water. This transpiration promoter is a nutritional mineral in its own right, so its use in combination with sea salt is logical. Such a salt is now available from the Commissary Department of Vitamin Products Company.
Vitamin F in Calcium Metabolism
Vitamin F, the unsaturated fatty acid factor, was reported in 1942 to increase blood iodine, lower blood calcium, and increase blood phosphorus. Its clinical importance was also shown at that time by its statistical consistency in improving the condition of patients suffering from prostate enlargement (Lee Foundation, Report No. 1).
The most striking fact was the great increase in blood iodine (now known as a protein-bound iodine) of 200 percent or so in a few hours. This, we now are certain, insured a thyroid function where such function was inhibited by the vitamin deficiency.
Today we can say that other easily ascertained symptoms can be used to detect a deficiency of vitamin F. One is a reduced amplitude or complete absence of the second sound of the heart over one or another position of the stethoscope. It appears that the deficiency of the vitamin results in a shortage of diffusible calcium in the heart muscle, so the heart fails to finish its normal cycle of contraction, and the weakened primary, muscular sound is not able to create the secondary, valvular sound. The administration of a tablet or two of vitamin F restores the second sound in a few minutes. Only animal sources of the vitamin will be concentrated enough to act this fast.
Excessive exposure to the sun can bring on this condition because vitamin D in excessive amounts tends to raise blood calcium at the expense of the tissues. The muscular weakness of the sunstroke victim is due to this effect. If the victim had been habitually using unrefined sea salt, he would never have become conditioned for sunstroke, since he would have had ample reserves of diffusible calcium in his system.
Potassium deficiency specifically can cause tachycardia. Paroxysmal tachycardia is commonly caused by too many sweets in a meal. Sugar requires potassium to be stowed away as phosphagen (the insulin function depletes blood potassium).8 When the blood potassium level drops below a certain threshold, the heart goes into paroxysmal tachycardia. The remedy is potassium, preferably organic. Potato juice is high in potassium, and alfalfa extracts are very high as well. (In Standard Process products, use Minaplex, or organic mineral tablets).
Potassium deficiency is now recognized as a cause of heart failure, so keep in mind our best food sources are raw sugar, molasses, and natural honey.
Refined sugar and refined salt help cause a million deaths per year from deficiency disease in this country, along with the spending of two to three billion dollars per year on dental repairs.
May we end with this quote from Weston A. Price, from his monumental book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration:
“The nutrition of the people of the Loetschental Valley, particularly that of the growing boys and girls, consists largely of a slice of whole rye bread and a piece of the summer-made cheese (about as large as the slice of bread), which are eaten with fresh milk of goats or cows. Meat is eaten about once a week. In the light of our newer knowledge of activating substances, including vitamins, and the relative values of food for supplying minerals for body building, it is clear why they have healthy bodies and sound teeth. The average total fat-soluble activator and mineral intake of calcium and phosphorus of these children would far exceed that of the daily intake of the average American child.
“The sturdiness of the child life permits children to play and frolic bareheaded and barefooted, even in water running down from the glacier in the late evening’s chilly breezes, in weather that made us wear our overcoats and gloves and button our collars. Of all the children in the valley still using the primitive diet of whole rye bread and dairy products, the average number of cavities per person was 0.3. On an average it was necessary to examine three persons to find one defective deciduous or permanent tooth. The children examined were between seven and sixteen years of age…
“One immediately wonders if there is not something in the life-giving vitamins and minerals of the food that builds not only great physical structures within which their souls reside but minds and hearts capable of a higher type of manhood, in which the material values of life are made secondary to individual character. In succeeding chapters we will evidence that this is the case.”
If you have not added this book to your library, you are not deserving of respect from your deficient patients. Dr. Price shows us exactly how to build perfect health without any technicalities of need for abstruse scientific knowledge. Are we too far gone to find the way out of our maze of disease?
- Rev. Physiol., p. 213, 1959.
- Selye, Hans. The Chemical Prevention of Cardiac Necroses, p. 131. Ronald Press, 1958.
- Ibid, p. 99.
- Modern Nutrition, p. 24, September 1957.
- Jacob, A. Magnesium: The Fifth Major Plant Nutrient. Staples Press, London, 1958.
- Selye, Hans. The Chemical Prevention of Cardiac Necroses, p. 6. Ronald Press, 1958.
- Price, W.A. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, p. 411, 1945.
- Weller and Taylor. Int. Med., pp. 33, 607–612, 1950.
Nutrition Reviews (April 1959, p. 104) reports the discovery that butterfat carries a factor that promotes heparin activity in the bloodstream. Apparently, the old adage “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” is to be applied to those who have told us the use of butter was not good for the high cholesterol patient. Now, we find that butter, through the promotion of heparin activity, does in fact protect us from the consequences of a high blood cholesterol.
“Fickle eating habits often dictate the older person’s diet. One has to contend with edentulous, sedentary, and constipated individuals whose whims of diet are as unpredictable as those of the pregnant woman. It is small wonder that nutritional disturbances, obesity, and vitamin deficiencies contribute to the problem of providing a constant metabolic milieu for the elderly patient.”
—Lane and Massey, “Geriatrics,” Oral Hygiene, February 1959
Tip of the Month (Cramps)
Muscular cramps denote unbalanced blood chemistry. Natural vitamin K, as found in Standard Process Chlorophyll Complex Perles, is a specific remedy to restore balance.
High Points of Standard Process Nutritional Adjuncts
Orchex: This is a natural physiological tranquilizer found to be effective in nervous types of hypertension, insomnia, and mental depression if caused by metabolic imbalance due to malnutrition. The maximum dosage of six to eight capsules per day should be used the first week.
Vitamins C and F [Cataplex C and Cataplex F], and Ribonucleic Acid tablets are synergistic where indicated.