Minerals Protect Your Immune System

Want to know why some people exposed to a cold virus come down with a cold, but others do not? Why some folks are able to avoid and recover from deadly diseases like cancer while others cannot? A smooth-functioning immune system provides the answer. Disease results when we fail to protect this wonderful system.

Immune System Components

The skin, tears, mucus and saliva constitute the front-line members of your immune system. The liver produces a series of proteins that cause cells to burst and signal for cell removal. The thymus, spleen, bone marrow, some 130 subsets of white blood cells, lymph, antibodies, and certain hormones comprise the remaining components.

What Cripples a Smooth-functioning Immune System?

Free radicals. Substances foreign to our system such as prescription drugs, pesticides, heavy metals, pollution, partially hydrogenated fats, burned and irradiated foods, as well as our own internal chemical reactions, all produce free radicals. These molecules have a piece missing, so they seek out another molecule to complete themselves. When they partner up with a new molecule, they either damage or destroy it, or with it, form a new and highly toxic molecule.

The Good News

Long ago our ancestors developed sophisticated internal systems to deal with the effect of free radical damage or oxidation of cell membranes, enzymes and the genetic material in the cell nucleus. Oxidation either hardens cell membranes so that nutrients pass through with difficulty, or not at all. Oxidation damages the cells to the point where cell fluid drains out and they collapse. Aged, wrinkled skin provides one example.

To successfully deal with free radicals requires a diet dense with minerals such as, but not limited to: copper, zinc, manganese and selenium. How so?

Our body produces several antioxidant enzymes that neutralize free radicals and protect its cells. Superoxide dismutase or SOD, one of the body’s main antioxidant enzymes, removes the superoxide free radical responsible for cell damaging reactions and disease including arthritis and premature aging. SOD activity depends upon the mineral zinc.

Virtually all components of the immune system from the barrier of the skin to leukocyte activity require zinc. It helps to produce and regulate lymphocytes and cytokines, their messenger molecules, and the cytotoxins in immune response to foreign invaders such as viruses.

Zinc is the activating mineral that propels the thymic hormone, thymulin, into battle. Thymulin stimulates the division, differentiation, and maturation of the immune fighting thymus lymphocytes, aka T-cells, T-helper cells, cytotoxic T-cells, and suppressor T-cells that adapt to recognize and combat pathogens and foreign substances. Our natural killer (NK) cells which destroy foreign cells, virally infected cells, and cancer cells, also depend on zinc.

What happens when you become mildly zinc-deficient? You become susceptible to infection because your T-cell formation decreases. You become predisposed to immune dysfunction because NK cell activity decreases. When rogue cancer cells materialize you need more NK cells on search and destroy expeditions, not less. Zinc, however, is not a be-all, end-all. Why? We have enzyme systems that depend on minerals other than zinc. The version of SOD that protects the mitochondria within our cells from cancer causing free radical damage requires manganese. The version of SOD protecting our cellular cytoplasm requires copper as well as zinc.

Minerals and Stress

Zinc is not the only mineral lost in the urine following acute or psychological stress. The mind and body’s reaction to stressors propels a flood of hormones into the bloodstream, with a resulting increase in the production of chemicals transmitting nerve impulses in the body. In addition to zinc these transmitters use manganese, copper and selenium.

We need these same minerals for the production of SOD and other antioxidant enzymes that scavenge cell-damaging free radicals. The more stress we experience, the more minerals we need to replace those required by increased neurotransmission, and those involved with the enzymes that neutralize free radicals.

The Nitty-gritty

We have over 2000 proteins performing cellular work. These are our metabolic enzymes. Not only do they have minerals within their chain, each metabolic enzyme requires a mineral activator. Note that, as in the thymulin example, minerals also activate hormones.

We need minerals regularly because our enzyme systems wear out rapidly and must be replaced continuously. This is where our challenge-to go against the grain of conventional wisdom-begins.

Experts tell us to take more and more calcium to ward off osteoporosis. But calcium doesn’t head to the bone by itself. Magnesium must be present to activate the hormone thyrocalcitonin, which sends calcium to the bone. And zinc better be present to activate the enzyme that lays down the protein lattice receiving the calcium. Experts do not tell us that large amounts of calcium antagonize or work against magnesium, zinc, and a plethora of other minerals. Experts do not tell us that in living systems minerals work interdependently as a team.

The level of zinc in the cancerous prostate approximates 190 micrograms per gram of tissue. This is 77% less than the 850 microgram level found in the healthy prostate. When a man loads up on zinc he’s home free, right? WRONG! Just as in the calcium example, zinc does not act alone as a magic bullet.

Minerals Work Together Interdependently

Four different cellular transporters have been identified for zinc. But we haven’t a clue as to what minerals activate the metabolic enzymes that make zinc transporters, or the minerals that mobilize newly made transporters, nor the minerals required to form their molecular chains.

In addition, metabolic enzymes in the liver must be activated to make the protein albumin, which in turn must be activated to go out into the bloodstream and bind with the zinc that has made it from our gut into our blood. And that albumin must be destroyed at the cellular walls of the prostate and all other zinc destinations, so as to release zinc for cellular transport. Zinc, clearly, does not make it to, nor enter the prostate, by itself. A healthy prostate depends on a lot of minerals working interdependently with zinc.

Steps to Obtain and Maintain an Excellent Immune System

1 Make sure you have adequate intake for over 70 minerals historically available to all our metabolic enzyme systems.

To do this you must scrap the politically correct advice of experts who tell us to eat the “right” foods found in their food groups, pyramids and ladders. Minerals are no longer routinely available in those “right” foods because there no longer is a consistent and regular supply of minerals in the soil that produces those “right” foods. To confirm this have your computer guru go to Rutgers University, then to the Library, and download the Firman Bear Report of 1948. Next, review the zeros and miniscule numbers found for different mineral contents in hundreds of samples of cremated market vegetables. (1948? Yes, way back then we had information that our food was deficient in minerals)

2 Take advantage of the discoveries of researcher Weston A. Price who examined the diets of arthritis-free, osteoporosis-free, cancer-free, diabetes-free people living in obscure places around the globe. 

Price determined that the diets of these people, prior to their taking on our refined, processed foods, contained four times the minerals found in the American diet of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.

The metabolic enzyme systems of disease-free people have more minerals, variety-wise and quantity-wise, to work with. For example, the eight disease-free groups Price studied in the southern hemisphere consumed 18.6 times the amount of magnesium found in the conventional American diet of that time. Those people had sufficient magnesium-activating more than 300 metabolic enzymes-working interdependently with all the other members of the mineral team. Their native foods that included nuts and seeds, eggs and organ meats, variety-wise and quantity-wise, contained more minerals than any contemporary diet. 

Price documented that when disease-free people gave up native foods and took on the foods of commerce we Americans devour, they subsequently lost their immunity to disease. Arthritis was the first metabolic disease to show up in each group he studied.