Chapter 1 Minerals Come First

The world’s healthiest, longest-lived citizens don’t need vitamin supplements. How can that be? Because minerals, not vitamins, pull the cart of health. The body can use minerals without the presence of vitamins, but without minerals, vitamins are useless.

In May 1998 CBS Evening News presented a segment showing a 65 year old Abkhazian man dancing with his 122-year- old grandmother. This is nothing new. You find commentary on unusual health and longevity in the media from time to time, especially if you have been a loyal reader of National Geographic.

The dancing grandmother belongs to one of five groups, racially, culturally, and geographically diverse, whose people live to advanced age and do not get sick nor die like we do. The Titicacans live around Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and Peru; the Vilcabambans in Ecuador; the Hunzas in a remote part of Pakistan; the Tibetans in the northwest of China; and lastly, the Abkhazians in the Russian Caucasus.

With one proviso, these “Healthy Ones” do not get degenerative disease. They have no osteoporosis; no arthritis; no cancer or heart disease. Dr. Robert McCarrison spent seven years in eastern Pakistan looking for a tumor. He couldn’t find one. Ninety-year-old men father children. Their children have no birth defects. Did anybody in your family have the good fortune to die at 110 with a complete set of teeth?

No doubt you’ve heard that tea is bad for you because it contains caffeine. Yet, some of these “Healthy Ones” live at altitude and drink tea all day just to stay hydrated. Some smoke. Some consume more calories than experts believe wise for those of advanced age. What common denominator provides them with unrivaled health?

The food these people eat differentiates them from us. Their food is completely mineralized–no deficiencies exist. It provides exactly what they need, over 70 minerals. This mineral intake produces an immune system par excellence. These people have no written dietary rules. They consume no supplements, have no inoculations, and take no prescriptions.

The lesson is this: they take in exactly what they need. A review of some simple fundamentals makes this abundantly clear.

The microscopic cell is the basic structural unit of life. All the reactions governing life take place in the cell. Each cell’s 2000-plus metabolic enzymes regulate these reactions, and minerals form a part of, or influence each enzyme system.

Our body performs vital life sustaining and repairing functions 24 hours a day. All these tasks require a work force of enzymes and hormones. Minerals must be present to activate this work force.

The mineral magnesium, for example, converts ammonia, the waste product of cellular work, to urea for disposal. Calcium doesn’t wander to our bones. Magnesium must be present to activate TCT, thyrocalcitonin, which sends calcium to the bone. And the mineral zinc must be present to activate the enzyme that lays down the protein lattice for the calcium. Clearly, minerals function interdependently.

We need minerals regularly because enzyme systems wear out rapidly and must be replaced continuously. More than 300 enzyme systems depend upon magnesium. Zinc activates over ninety different enzymes. What takes place when there is not enough zinc to go around? Disaster. The enzyme systems begin to shut down, or the body recruites the toxic mineral cadmium to take the place of zinc.

Our liver breaks down and cleans out toxic substances. The liver has detoxifying enzymes. We want those detoxifying enzymes to be active. Our immune system produces natural killer cells. When they come across a brand new cancer cell they latch on to it and inject a cell killing enzyme. Hopefully that enzyme is active. The mineral gallium activates enzymes in specific areas of our brain. Presumably we want all our brain enzymes to be active.

Because the “Healthy Ones” receive a steady stream of minerals from their food, all their enzymes remain active. We too, must regularly consume food containing all the minerals–over seventy of them–needed by our enzyme systems. But we don’t. Why? Because our food is minerally deficient.

We have minerally deficient food because our top-soil, the surface soil level and growing zone, is minerally deficient. The average depth of topsoil the world over is about one foot. But here in the United States, the depth is only five or six inches. Chuck Pendergast, organic gardener and writer, claims that in the past 200 years over 60% of the topsoil in the United States has been totally lost or destroyed because of ignorance and poor farming methods.


Picture the topsoil of the past as a watermelon with a normal compliment of seeds–the vital minerals which travel from soil to food to mouth. To visualize our present-day topsoil, cut that watermelon in two and discard one of the halves. How many seeds do you have in the remaining half?

The “Healthy Ones” don’t run out of minerals. Why? Because they have glaciers nearby. The expansion and contraction of the glaciers breaks down the rock underneath, and the white water that comes out contains those seventy plus minerals. The people drink this water and irrigate their crops with this water and drink the milk and eat the flesh of animals which consume plants dependent upon this water.

The “Healthy Ones” reap a side benefit. In living systems, minerals help make vitamins. When life first moved, vibrated, or slithered, it encountered minerals and incorporated them in its function. Life did not encounter vitamins lying about. Using the mineral base, life made vitamins.

Minerals have a dramatic effect on the vitamin content of food. Increasing the level of manganese in the soil raises plant carotene content. Deficiency of the mineral molybdenum results in a marked decrease in vitamin C found in tomatoes and vegetables. Plant levels of thiamine and niacin increase with rising boron concentrations.

TABLE 1.1: The influence of copper upon the ascorbic acid and carotene content of green barley. From Lucas


Ascorbic Acid
No treatment

10 lb. CuSO4/acre


100 lb. CuSO4/acre
Increasing copper applications result in appreciable increases of

both ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and of carotene (pro-vitamin A) in barley

TABLE 1.2: Boron concentration as a factor determining tryptophan content in alfalfa. From Sheldon

(parts per thousand)
(parts per million)


The essential amino acid tryptophan’s concentration in alfalfa was clearly correlated to the amount of boron in the nutrient solution

Vitamin A and pro-vitamin A or carotene have been shown to fluctuate with various mineral treatments. As indicated in Table 1.1, R.E. Lucas discovered that copper increases the ascorbic acid and carotene content of barley. Using copper he also obtained increases in carotene content for crops of wheat, oats, spinach, and carrots.

Amino acids are required to make body proteins and many other tissue components. Tryptophan, an amino acid labeled “essential,” is necessary for the production of niacin, vitamin B3. The brain uses tryptophan to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter which transfers nerve impulses from one cell to another. Table 1.2 shows the discovery of V.L. Sheldon that the mineral boron increases the quantity of tryptophan in alfalfa.

The “Healthy Ones” get all the tryptophan they need from the food they eat–because no shortage of boron exists in their soil. Having soil without mineral deficiency means they receive nature’s full compliment of vitamins too! The “Healthy Ones” start off and end up with a balanced diet. Balance refers to a zone of presence for all the nutrients used by the body–somewhere between too little and too much for each nutrient. Neither doctors, scientists, nutritionists nor government determine this zone. It is predetermined. The relationship between our ancestral diet and our evolving body determined this zone. Table 1.3 shows the minerals we need in the zone.

Table 1.3: Atoms found per mammalian red blood cell. From Bowen, et al.

Carbon C
Iron Fe
Sulphur S 5
Potassium K
Chlorine Cl
Sodium Na
Magnesium Mg
Phosphorus P
Zinc Zn
Calcium Ca
Silicon Si
Bromine Br
Rubidium Rb
Fluorine F
Copper Cu
Arsenic As
Boron B
Aluminum Al
Selenium Se
Scandium Sc
Tin Sn
Lead Pb
Titanium Ti
Nickel Ni
Germanium Ge
Lithium Li
Vanadium V
Silver Ag
Strontium Sr
Manganese Mn
Barium Ba
Chromium Cr
Praseodymium Pr
Tellurium Te
Platinum Pt
Thorium Th
Cadmium Cd
660 billion
9.5 billion
.4 billion
4.5 billion
3.5 billion
540 million
120 million
95 million
8.9 million
7.5 million
7.0 million
3.3 million
3.0 million
1.1 million
Molybdenum Mo
Thallium Tl
Yttrium Y
Niobium Nbc
Palladium Pd
Zirconium Zr
Antimony Sb
Lanthanum La
Rhodium Rh
Ruthenium Ru
Erbium Er
Mercury Hg

Iridium In
Tantalum Ta
Europium Eu
Cesium Cs
Neodymium Nd
Cerium Ce
Gadolium Gd
Dysprosium Dy
Samarium Sm
Holmium Ho
Ytterbium Yb
Iridium Ir
Beryllium Be
Hafnium Hf
Tungsten W
Osmium Os
Rhenium Re
Gallium Ga
Uranium U
Terbium Tb
Thulium Tm
Lutecium Lu
Bismuth Bi
Cobalt Co
Gold Au

(< = less than) In excess of 70 minerals are found in our blood, our delivery system.

Paleontologists believe our ancestors began walking upright during the Miocene Period, four to ten million years ago. Along the way they started consuming food containing cesium. Over time they incorporated this mineral into a system regulating the ability of nutrients to flow in and out of our cells.

Evolution, the process of slow, gradual development over an exceedingly long period of time, produced our wondrous complexity. At some point our body became able to extract the one cesium atom found in every five million atoms of plant material. Then it learned how to incorporate the cesium in various systems at a ratio of one atom per 15 million atoms of body material.

Our body learned how to obtain cobalt, found in still smaller concentrations than cesium, and incorporate single cobalt atoms as the central mineral component of vitamin B12. Unfortunately, vast areas of the earth are now totally devoid of cobalt.

Conversely, our body also developed the ability to “kick out” unwanted minerals, provided it takes in all the minerals it needs–all that the body’s magnificent systems require.

Aluminum has been implicated as a possible causal factor in a number of diseases. Experts recommend we avoid it. To avoid aluminum we must forego all fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables–even natural water itself–as they contain large amounts of aluminum. Every plant contains large quantities of aluminum and food crops average 30 to 210 parts per million.

However, just as the “Healthy Ones” ferret out the necessary cesium and cobalt atoms from their food, they also eliminate the superfluous aluminum atoms. They can do this because they obtain the full mineral compliment our complex systems require–All they need–as shown in Table 1.3.

A proviso was mentioned with respect to the health of these people. When they adopt the high-tech foods found in our culture, they too succumb to degenerative disease. Why? Because high-tech foods, or industrially processed foods, lose 70 to 90 per cent of their mineral content during refining. The convenience culture we have created throws away vital minerals.

Balance comes about through a routine. A Vilcabamban in Ecuador irrigates his soil with fully mineralized water. He plants his carrot seed in soil containing all the minerals. The fully mineralized soil produces a crop of carrots having their complete array of minerals. Because they are fully mineralized with cesium, boron, manganese, copper, and a few dozen other minerals, his carrots have a full compliment of carotene. His body then sorts out what it needs after he eats those carrots.

In the modern world of nutrition, health experts place great emphasis on supplementing our diet with beta carotene, which has antioxidant activity. Following their advice, we spend millions of dollars on a synthetic form of beta carotene.

However, the carotene family contains many other members such as alpha carotene and lycopene. As an effective anti- oxidant, beta carotene ranks far below the majority of carotenes, especially lycopene.

Because of his fully mineralized soil, the Vilcabamban consumes all the carotenes, both the weak and strong antioxidants. We, because of mineral deficiency, have a diet poor in carotene. We end up with a substandard compliment of the strong antioxidants, and a synthetic version of the weak antioxidant. We waste gargantuan sums of money, as we believe experts truly know and publish what is best for us.

We receive recommendations to take vitamin E. Synthetic vitamin E made under patent number 2,215,398 can be prepared with benzene, a leukemia causing agent. Formulations under patent number 2,680,749 may be processed with benzene, ethylene dichloride, toluene, or naptha, which also can be carcinogenic.

Vilcabambans and the other “Healthy Ones” do not have to worry about synthetic vitamin E. They get nature’s finest version because the flow of minerals from their soil to food to mouth goes uninterrupted.

Ivan Illich coined the expression social iatrogenesis. By this he means the disabling impact of medical science which develops in people a feeling of inability to attend to their own well-being. They have been conditioned to believe the doctor alone knows what made them sick and that technological intervention is the only thing that will get them well. Thus they tend to delegate responsibility for their health to someone else. The antithesis, self-responsibility, is necessary to ride in the cart of health.

The “Healthy Ones” ride in the cart of health because they consume all the minerals. They do not need nor suffer from published nutritional advice. By taking a different look at the health “information” experts publish for us–and our dollar–we too can ride in the cart of health. Let’s now examine the science trap.