Dr. Paul Eck on Minerals: Nature's Palette of Life
Updated: Jul 24
Minerals are the principal energy-producing components of the human body. It is the relationships between the minerals in your tissues that help determine your physical and emotional destiny. Through an understanding and control of these basic laws of human energy, you can vastly increase the intensity and quality of your life.
One of the most important functions of calcium is not the creation of bone tissue. It is the regulation of metabolism. Calcium tends to slow down the metabolic rate. It is part of the body’s natural ‘braking’ system.
It is no coincidence that newborns, who have an extremely high rate of metabolism – have relatively low calcium levels. As we age, the body begins to apply the calcium ‘brake’. Tissue calcium levels rise higher and higher and the metabolism slows down.
Calcium lines the cell membrane. A low level of tissue calcium allows the membrane to be more permeable – thus increasing the speed of metabolism. A high level of tissue calcium reduces the permeability of the cell membrane, thus slowing down the metabolic rate.
Calcium is one of the most misunderstood nutrients. The unfortunate truth is that most individuals do not have a true calcium deficiency. What they have is an inability to utilize the excess calcium that is already in their tissues.
To consume calcium that you do not need is to accelerate your decline into slow metabolism – and into old age.
Chromium attaches to the cell membrane and forms the binding site for the insulin molecule. Without chromium, the burning of glucose within the cell wall cannot take place. Chromium also forms a complex with three amino acids inside the cell to facilitate the oxidation of glucose – a major source of cellular energy.
For these reasons, chromium has gained a reputation of importance with regard to blood sugar problems. However, in some individuals, chromium may accelerate the elimination of excess copper. This can lead to a worsening of hypoglycemia and diabetes.
Also, excess chromium may cause an iron deficiency, or promote the storage of excess iron within the liver; and thus promote liver problems – and exhaustion. As with all minerals, that which can correct an energy problem can also cause it.
Copper is a ‘feminine’ mineral. It is the dominant element of female sexuality – just as zinc is the dominant element of male sexuality.
An adequate copper level is what gives a woman her ‘warmth’. Copper is involved with the production of estrogen – the female hormone.
Copper is a soft, lustrous mineral that can carry great electrical charge, hence its use in copper wires. Copper appears to lend these same qualities to a woman, It is the basis of a woman’s biochemical softness and charm. Copper’s softness is balanced by manganese, which gives a woman maternal strength and womanly power.
Without the ‘feminine’ mineral copper, the ‘masculine’ mineral iron cannot be incorporated into hemoglobin, and anemia will result. Thus, even in the microscopic world of biochemistry can one see the interplay between male and female.
Iron is a ‘masculine’ mineral. It gives physical and mental strength. Too much iron will cause belligerence and hostile behavior. Too little iron will cause the person to be indecisive and unassertive.
The iron content off foods can have a major effect on emotions. For example, red wine or dark beer, which is higher in iron, will promote assertive ‘masculine’ behavior. By contrast, white wine and light beer, which are higher in copper – a ‘feminine’ mineral – will promote sensuality and softness.
The personality differences between Germanic peoples – who drink dark beer, and the people of Southern France who drink white wine – is in part a reflection of the mineral content of their favorite beverages.
One final note: It is almost impossible to raise iron levels without improving the metabolism as a whole. That is why many individuals who consume iron supplements notice no improvement in energy.
Magnesium is involved in more energy-producing reactions than perhaps any other mineral. It is the first nutrient to be lost during stress. Magnesium, along with calcium, is a shock-absorber. It helps prevent the human system from experiencing excessive stress. Without adequate magnesium, the human system would burn out due to over-stimulation.
High tissue magnesium levels are a common occurrence as an individual ages. They indicate that the body’s braking system is becoming dominant and that the accelerators of metabolism, sodium and potassium, are collapsing.
Magnesium tends to make the personality more flexible. Those persons with low tissue magnesium – as compared to calcium – are more defensive and less open about their true feelings. Your personality shapes your mineral patterns, but your mineral pattern also shapes your personality.
Manganese is the second primary ‘female’ mineral. Together, manganese and copper give a woman her power and personality. Their counterparts in a man are iron and zinc.
In emotional or physical interchange, women give men their manganese and copper, while men give women their iron and zinc. What is interchanged is not necessarily the nutrients themselves – but the personality strengths that they represent.
Manganese is a maternal mineral. Animals deprived of it will desert their offspring and fail to nurture them. Women with adequate manganese are particularly maternal and protective. Those with excess manganese can be too maternal, and can thus be dominating.
Manganese increases the production of dopamine, an important neurotransmitter between nerve cells in the brain. Manganese is also a powerful adrenal and sexual stimulant. In excess, it causes the reverse: astounding exhaustion, sexual collapse, and crippling emotional terror.
Manganese is of central importance to a woman’s strength, as iron is to a man. In the human body, as in the steel-making industry, a small amount of manganese vastly increases the strength of iron. Manganese and iron are needed by both men and women – for each sex contains within itself the attributes of the other. It is only the relative balance that is different.
Phosphorus enters into all the high-energy transfer systems of the human body. Phosphorus metabolism forms the basis of energy production. The molecule Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) contains high energy phosphates that supply the cell with its electrical power.
The high-energy effect of phosphorus fertilizers on plant growth is well-known. Phosphorus has a similar energizing effect on the human system. Meat-eaters acquire phosphorus from animal protein. Vegetarians attempt to gain phosphorus from grains. Unfortunately, grains also contain compounds called phytates which block phosphorus activity.
Most vegetarians typically exhibit tissue phosphorus levels of 8 milligrams/percent, which is one-half of normal. This explains their low state of energy. Individuals who are in burnout may exhibit high phosphorus levels. This is not due to a high level of energy – but is due to protein tissues being cannibalized to supply needed phosphates and sugars.
The widespread craving for ‘junk foods’ and soft drinks is not necessarily a craving for sugars, but for the high-energy phosphates these foods contain. Until the person’s metabolism is corrected, he will always crave sources of instant energy.
Potassium regulates the metabolism of sugars, while sodium regulates the metabolism of salts. Together, they are the primary electrolytes of the ‘human generating system.’
A healthy ratio of sodium to potassium keeps the cells – and therefore the body – in a state of proper electrical charge. Under prolonged and excessive stress, the potassium goes out of balance to the sodium. This results in a serious discharge of energy, and improper control of blood sugar.
A low potassium will cause depression. A high potassium – or high potassium as compared to sodium – can lead to agitated, manic-like behavior. The balance between potassium and sodium plays a primary role in regulating your emotions.
Selenium helps to prevent oxygen damage to the cell membrane. The structural integrity of the cell membrane is critical to the proper uptake of nutrients and to the elimination of toxic wastes. Selenium has gained a widespread reputation as a cellular protector (anti-oxidant) that is important in the prolongation of life.
It is far more important to improve the strength of the overall metabolism than to ingest selenium and other antioxidants. Unless the metabolism has been improved , the major cause of cellular breakdown has not been corrected.
Tissue selenium levels generally do not rise until fundamental problems in copper metabolism have been corrected. Symptomatic nutrition, like symptomatic medicine, is an archaic and inadequate philosophy. lt is more important to restore the entire system than to patch-up a part of it. That is our complaint with the current over-emphasis on selenium supplementation.
Sodium is the most important carrier of electrical activity in the human body.
Sodium is necessary to operate the sodiumpotassium pump that drives nutrients across the cell membrane. Sodium causes the cell membrane to be more permeable. Without sufficient sodium, nutrients cannot adequately cross this membrane to nourish the cell. For this and other reasons, declining levels of tissue sodium are a prime indicator of the aging process.
Many people fear sodium because of its relationship to high blood pressure. The truth is that high blood pressure is often a lack of ‘available’ calcium – and not a sodium excess. One can actually have very low sodium and still suffer from high blood pressure.
Zinc is another ‘male’ element. Like other elements, it is of course needed by male and female alike. Zinc is the opposite of copper. While copper gives a woman her extraordinary sensitivity, zinc filters out excess sensitivity and gives a man his ability to be detached and calm. One can see why men and women are truly incomplete without each other.
Zinc and iron are antagonistic to each other. This too is part of Nature’s balance. Zinc will reduce iron levels and help prevent iron from accumulating in the tissues. However, if there is an excess of zinc, this can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Likewise, too much iron can lead to a zinc deficiency and thus promote an infection.
Zinc, being a ‘male’ element, gives proteins their strength. Copper, being a ‘female’ element, gives proteins their flexibility. The inner workings of Nature are awe-inspiring to behold.
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from Energy: How it affects your emotions, your level of achievement, and your entire personal well-being. An interview with Dr. Paul Eck by Colin and Lauren Chatsworth. Reprinted by permission.