Four Essential Minerals

Four Essential Minerals

Stress quickly depletes calcium,  magnesium and zinc. This applies  to any type of stress, whether it  is physical, emotional or mental.

Stress quickly depletes calcium,
magnesium and zinc. This applies
to any type of stress, whether it
is physical, emotional or mental.

by Dr. Larry Wilson — 

Calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium are four essential minerals that everyone should supplement today. The reasons why these supplements are needed are explained in this article.

1. The soil — Most of the world’s soils are low in these vital minerals; thus, the food grown in these soils tends to be low in them.

2. Agriculture — Modern hybrid crops produce more food per acre; however, each plant contains much less of these minerals than the older, less-hybridized varieties. This is easy to prove by checking the USDA nutrient levels of crops from 100 years ago, in comparison to the USDA nutrient content of modern food crops.

3. Food processing and refining — The processing and refining of wheat, rice, corn, sugar and even salt removes half or more of their zinc, magnesium and selenium. Most people live on these refined and empty foods, such as white flour, white rice, white sugar and corn syrup.

Natural sea salt is an excellent mineral source; however, refined table salt is very low in all the trace minerals. This is why table salt is a very poor quality food. Many other types of food-processing methods also reduce the mineral content of our food.

4. Congenital deficiencies — Most babies are born deficient in calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium because of mineral deficiencies in their mothers. This is called a congenital mineral deficiency. It is not genetic or inherited, but it is present at birth and is a problem today.

5. Stress — Stress quickly depletes calcium, magnesium and zinc. This applies to any type of stress, whether it is physical, emotional or mental.

6. Special situations — Special times and situations in life increase the requirement for minerals. These include childhood, puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding and old age. The presence of infections and chronic illness also increase the body’s need for these minerals.

For example, diabetics need much more zinc than the average person. Also, boys between the ages of 12 to 14, or as they reach puberty, need much more zinc. They need the zinc to develop the prostate gland and their sexual organs.

For all the reasons above, deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium are a major problem for everyone throughout the world. Let us discuss each of these minerals in more detail.



Calcium is the main structural mineral of the body. It has great compressive strength, so it is the main mineral in the bones. Calcium helps regulate cell permeability. It is also very alkaline forming and critical for the maintenance of the acid-base balance of the blood and the body tissues.

Calcium is also involved in the secretion of male and female hormones, cell division and the water balance of the body. It stabilizes cell membranes and helps muscles relax. Calcium increases insulin secretion and inhibits the thyroid-releasing hormone and the sympathetic nervous system.

It is also important as a detoxifier, preventing the uptake of lead and cadmium. Blood clotting and fat digestion depend on calcium.

Why supplement calcium? — There are few good food sources of calcium. Dairy products can be good sources but only if they are raw or unpasteurized. This is not the case with most dairy products on the market today.

Pasteurization alters the calcium compounds in dairy products and makes them less absorbable. Obtaining enough high-quality calcium is a major reason why certified, raw dairy products should be permitted by law in all nations.

Other food sources — An excellent source of calcium is bone broth (but not meat broth). Having some bone broth daily is wonderful. To make it, simmer meat bones of any kind in water for at least three hours, and then drink the liquid.

Other calcium food sources include carrots, kelp, sardines, dried beans, and some nuts and seeds, such as sesame seeds. However, most people do not eat enough of these foods to obtain the optimal amount of calcium.

Calcium supplementation — I suggest everyone take a calcium supplement. Either calcium chelate or calcium citrate is an excellent choice. Adults need about 750 mg daily. All children over the age of 3 need approximately 500 mg daily, even those receiving breast milk.

Children need a lot of calcium because their bones and nervous systems are developing quickly. Children who are low in calcium have nervous system problems, and they may develop bad posture or bone abnormalities, such as bowed legs. Calcium supplements by themselves tend to be constipating, so it is best to take magnesium with them.



Magnesium has been called the energy mineral. It is involved in every bodily function and is required for thousands of critical enzymes in the body. It is also one of the few minerals that cannot be replaced by a less-preferred mineral in many of these enzyme systems.

I also call magnesium “the bright and shining mineral.” This is because it is so necessary for growth, development, and general health and well-being.

Laxative — In addition to its use in many enzymes, magnesium tends to have a natural laxative effect. It works by drawing water into the intestine and holding it there. If magnesium supplements cause diarrhea, which occurs most often in babies and young children, either use less of the supplement or try a different form of it.

Deficiency is common — Magnesium levels are low in almost everyone today, primarily due to low dietary intake. Refined grains, fruits, soft drinks, coffee, teas and cow’s milk dairy products contain very little magnesium. These are also among the most widely consumed foods today. Vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains are good sources, but most people do not eat enough of these.

Stress and too much exercise also use up magnesium quickly. Very few sports drinks replenish it in great enough quantity; most are just sugary junk.

Magnesium supplementation — Even if you strictly follow a nutritional balancing diet, I find that every adult needs about 450 mg daily of supplemental magnesium. The best forms are magnesium chelate or citrate. Magnesium oxide is a less expensive form used in some magnesium supplements. It is also OK for most people.

All children over the age of 3 also need about 450 mg of magnesium daily. Babies and children must have magnesium with calcium, as it is too much of a laxative by itself.

Do not use magnesium glycinate, a popular form of magnesium supplement, as it is slightly toxic and not as well utilized as the chelated magnesium. Also, I do not recommend applying magnesium oil topically, another popular practice. This is toxic. You may feel better, but it always upsets the body chemistry and can be dangerous.


Some doctors recommend a multiple-mineral supplement to obtain enough calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. However, in my experience, these rarely provide enough of the minerals.

Some doctors recommend a multiple-mineral supplement to obtain enough calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. However, in my experience, these rarely provide enough of the minerals.


Zinc is called the gentle strength mineral and is a balancing mineral, as well. It is one of the most interesting and fascinating minerals needed in our bodies. It is required for hundreds of enzymes that control functions as diverse as hearing, taste and smell, health of the skin, hair, nails and connective tissue, sexual function, digestion, immune response, blood sugar regulation, vision and more.

Zinc is also involved in protein synthesis, a vital function, where it is required for several key enzymes in RNA and DNA synthesis, such as RNA transferase.

Zinc and mental development — In nutritional balancing science, zinc is considered one of the major spiritual minerals. The reason is that zinc activates certain brain centers that are needed for mental development. This is an upgrading of the nervous system and immune system. It occurs in everyone who follows a nutritional balancing program for several years. To learn more about it, read the section of articles at entitled “Development.”

A “male” mineral — Zinc is considered to be one of the most important minerals for males in nutritional balancing science, although females also require it. Zinc confers certain personality traits that are typically considered more masculine qualities. These are subdued emotions, a balanced mental outlook and a more analytical tendency rather than an emotional one. This is why zinc is called the “gentle strength” mineral.

Zinc is also an adaptogen, which means that it tends to correct numerous imbalances in the body.

Zinc deficiency is almost universal. As with calcium and magnesium, few good sources of bioavailable zinc are found in our food supply. The best sources are chicken, turkey, eggs and red meats, such as lamb and beef. Fish also contain some.

All vegetables are low in zinc. Pumpkin seeds, kelp, dulse and other sea vegetables have a little. Vegetarians are usually very deficient in zinc for this reason.

Other sources of zinc include skin ointments, such as zinc oxide, Caladryl® and many others. Zinc is used in these products because it has a soothing and healing effect on the skin. Head & Shoulders® shampoo is also quite high in zinc. It is not the best form of zinc, but some is absorbed from the product. It is used to help overcome dandruff, which is a fungal infection of the scalp. Zinc for this purpose is less toxic than using Selsun Blue® shampoo, a somewhat toxic product.

Zinc supplementation — Everyone needs a daily zinc supplement. The amount that each person needs varies from about 20 mg to more than 100 mg daily. Too much is not good, however, so I suggest that everyone obtain about 20 to 40 mg daily from a zinc supplement.

Zinc supplements include zinc chelate, zinc gluconate or zinc picolinate. All of them seem to work well.

Children need less zinc, depending upon their ages and weights. However, I suggest giving all children over the age of 4 years a zinc supplement.

Simple signs of zinc deficiency are small white spots on the fingernails, stretch marks, and loss of taste and smell.



Selenium is another amazing element. It is another “male” mineral that is required for mental development, as well as for general health. It is essential for the health of the thyroid gland, along with iodine. Most people are low in both of these minerals. Iodine was featured as the cover article of the previous issue of the Az Net News.

Selenium is also a powerful antioxidant, required for glutathione synthesis and heavy metal detoxification, cancer prevention and the immune response.

Deficiency is extremely widespread. While selenium is found in some foods, most refined and processed foods are very low in it. Also, in my experience, the selenium in many foods, such as most meats and seafood, is not well utilized.

Among the best sources of well-utilized selenium are sardines, blue corn, mustard, garlic, onion, lentils, arrowroot powder, nutritional and brewer’s yeast, and sunflower and almond butters. Raw dairy products (not pasteurized) are another decent source of selenium. I do not recommend Brazil nuts, seafood, organ meats, spirulina and a few other sources, because the form of selenium is not as good or the food is too high in toxic metals.

Toxic selenium — Sources of quite toxic forms of selenium are found in Selsun Blue shampoo and Naturaltech Purifying Shampoo by Davines. I do not recommend these products for this reason.

Selenium supplementation — Unlike supplements of calcium, magnesium and zinc, food-based selenium supplements are usually the best. A food-based selenium supplement is included in most nutritional balancing programs for people of all ages. Adults need about 200 mcg or more daily of a food-based selenium supplement. Children need less, based on their age and weight.


Multi-mineral supplements 

Some doctors recommend a multiple-mineral supplement to obtain enough calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. However, in my experience, these rarely provide enough of the minerals. In addition, they often include other trace minerals that compete for absorption of them. These trace minerals often negate some of their benefits.



This article mentions four minerals that are critical for everyone to supplement today. Please add them to your daily diet for optimum health. Along with a supplement of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, these supplements are among the most important and simple ways to improve and maintain your health.

Dr. Lawrence Wilson has a medical degree and has been in the health field for more than 25 years. His books include Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, Legal Guidelines for Unlicensed Practitioners, Healing Ourselves and Manual of Sauna Therapy and The Real Self. or 928-445-7690.


Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 5, October/November 2015.


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