Mineral Deficiencies

Minerals are inorganic substances that provide structure and enzyme activity in the human body.

  • Since modern agriculture does not add trace minerals back to the soil, our food is becoming increasingly devoid of essential trace minerals.
  • Selenium, zinc, chromium, boron and magnesium assist in cancer prevention and reversal.

Where Do Minerals Come From?

Minerals are the inorganic substances left over in ashes. Organic matter (based on carbon) can be burned. Minerals cannot be burned, although they will melt or vaporize at very high temperatures. Minerals in the human body work in many different arenas, from the structure provided by calcium in the bones and teeth, to the regulatory effect in enzymes provided by zinc, to the detoxifying effect from molybdenum and selenium. The body is a giant electrical battery, with minerals and water providing the conduction of electricity that keeps us healthy.

Of the 118 elements in the periodic table that form the building blocks for the entire planet earth, 83 are considered possibly useful or essential in human nutrition. Of which 16 have been classified as essential for humans, yet only 3 elements are added to the soil in modern agribusiness: NPK.

The remaining 86 minerals that are found in the human body are not added to the soil, thus are found in ever-diminishing amounts in our diet and bodies. This is not good. There are some crucial minerals involved in cancer prevention and reversal (such as selenium, zinc, chromium, boron, magnesium). Iron is a unique mineral, since it is the rate-limiting mineral in new growth, from red blood cells to spurring cancer growth. It is crucial that iron levels in your body and diet are ideal to recover from cancer and do not favor the growth of cancer.

Calcium (glycinate, ascorbate)  100-500 mg
Electrolyte balance and cellular communication

Calcium for Cell Metabolism

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body.  While 99% of the body’s calcium is bound up in the bones, the remaining 1% that is circulating is crucial for nerve and muscle function as well as regulating cell metabolism.  There are calcium receptor sites on most cell membranes that help to control the flow of nutrients into and out of the cell as well as cell proliferation.

More than 5% of hospitalized cancer patients have elevated levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia).  Abnormalities in calcium metabolism are common and usually caused by a deficiency of vitamin D3 and/or K2.  Hypercalcemia is not because the patient is eating too much calcium, but sometimes caused by either a parathyroid hormone substance secreted by the tumor or tumors cause the release of bone calcium to correct acidic conditions from the tumor.  While some experts have argued that too much calcium increases the risk for health ailments, 1200 mg/d of calcium supplements for 4 years offered no risk and some protection against prostate cancer.  Actually, vitamins D3 and K2 play crucial roles in regulating calcium metabolism.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein, PhD, Nobel laureate 1921

Best Sources of Calcium

Best food sources of calcium include dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables (like kale and spinach), and cooked bones (like canned salmon).  While the RDA of calcium is 800-1,200 milligrams daily, most Americans fall well short of this mark.  Best supplemental sources of calcium are soluble forms of aspartate, citrate, lactate, orotate, etc.  Calcium works with magnesium, sodium, potassium, and some ultra-trace minerals to regulate the “battery of life”, or cell membrane potential that is crucial.  Calcium also works with magnesium, phosphorus, protein, zinc, vitamin C, B-6, boron, and other nutrients to maintain proper mineralization of the skeleton, while dumping just the right amount of calcium into the bloodstream to keep the heart pumping merrily.  Calcium metabolism is truly a delicate balancing act.  Calcium and magnesium levels in drinking water are inversely associated with cancer risk.

immunopower nutrition for cancer patients

Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency

A low calcium intake increases the risk for colon cancer.  This effect may be due to calcium binding to bile acids in the colon to prevent carcinogenic by-products from forming, or due to the role calcium may play in regulating new cell growth.  In human cancer patients, supplemental calcium increased the efficacy of radiation therapy to the bones and vulva.  Half of the patients with colon polyps (pre-cancerous growth) who were given supplements of calcium (1,250 mg as carbonate) had a significant decrease in cell proliferation.  Calcium seems to tame the beast of hyperproliferative growth, like pre-cancerous growths.  Patients at high risk for developing colon cancer all showed a decrease in colon cell proliferation with calcium supplements. 

Magnesium (aspartate, glycinate)  400-800 mg
Essential for energy metabolism, low intake can spontaneously induce lymphoma

Importance of Magnesium

Magnesium is essential in at least 300 different enzyme reactions in the human body, including the pervasive conversion of ATP for energy.  Think of magnesium as the essential “blasting cap” that allows the “dynamite” of ATP to release the essential energy for all of our metabolic needs.  In animals, magnesium deficiency can spontaneously generate bone tumors and lymphomas.  Numerous studies show that a diet low in magnesium will increase the risk for various forms of cancer.  Magnesium not only works with other electrolytes to maintain the sodium-potassium pump, but also has a central role in regulating DNA synthesis and the cell cycle.  Advanced patients of Covid appear to have common magnesium deficiencies with magnesium supplementation offering improved clinical outcome.

The RDA for magnesium has been lowered from 400 mg daily to 350 mg, not because the evidence warranted this change but because few Americans came even close to consuming the RDA.  The average American intake is 143-266 mg/day, which explains why low magnesium intake has been linked to an increase in the incidence of hypertension, heart disease, depression, migraines, fatigue, immune suppression, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, and much more. 

Best Source of Magnesium

Best food sources of magnesium are kelp, whole grains, nuts, and molasses.  Magnesium aspartate is the best absorbed form of magnesium supplements.  Since magnesium is rarely added to soil in fertilizers, there are ever diminishing levels of magnesium in our soil and foods grown on that soil.

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include depression, excess sweating, fatigue, frequent infections, and high blood pressure, which are all common in cancer patients.  Many drugs, including diuretics, and alcohol cause a loss of magnesium from the system.

The Great Mineral Robbery continues and millions are dying as a consequence.  More information regarding other minerals that relate to cancer prevention in future articles.  Eat nutrient dense food from organic farmers.  Take well balanced nutrition supplements with an appropriate array of minerals.

1 Heath, DA, Br., Med.J., vol.298, p.1468, 1989
2 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037851222030284X
3 https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/11/8/719.short
4 https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/14/3/586.short
5 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00984100050027798
6 . Sorenson, AW, et al., Nutr.Cancer, vol.11, p.135, 1988
7 . Iakovkeva, SS, Arkh.Patol., vol.42, p.93, 1980
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9 . Buset, M., et al., Cancer Res., vol.46, p.5426, 1986
10 . Seelig, MS, in ADJUVANT NUTRITION IN CANCER TREATMENT, p.284, Quillin, P (eds), Cancer Treatment Research Foundation, Arlington Heights, IL 1994
11 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07315724.2020.1785971

Dr. Patrick Quillin

Dr. Patrick Quillin, PhD,RD,CNS is an internationally recognized expert in the area of nutrition and health. He has 30 years experience as a clinical nutritionist, of which 10 years were spent as the Vice President for a leading cancer hospital system where he worked with thousands of cancer patients in a hospital setting. He is a Best Selling Author with 18 books which have sold over 2,000,000 copies and also a Keynote Speaker.

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