The Dietary Usefulness of Minerals for Pet's Health
Minerals are needed for many functions. For example, vitamins and enzymes cannot function without minerals. Many hormones need minerals to function. Minerals are needed for the proper composition of body fluids, the formation of bone and blood and in the maintenance of healthy nerve function. Therefore, a lack of minerals may lead to immobilization of many metabolic functions in a pet's body.
The best way for pets to get minerals is from food. Alarmingly, we know that pets' foods today seldom contain enough essential minerals and elements. As a result vets recommend that we supplement pets' foods with mineral supplements to offset the lack of minerals in their foods. However, we can easily become very confused within the broad world of supplements for pets, because of the different claims touting the benefits of one mineral supplement over the other. Should the mineral in a supplement form be a chelate, malate, picolinate, collidal, fumarate, ascorbate, etc....? Our answer to that question is very simple, "The best way to provide minerals for your pets is from food!" The following paragraphs should explain why when it comes to minerals or any other nutrient, you should rely on whole foods to nourish your pet's body.
First of all, it is important to explain the terms inorganic or organic mineral. The way elements in a compound are connected determines whether it is organic or inorganic. Here are some definitions:
When a mineral is chemically inorganic, it means that its chemical composition is without carbon. When a mineral is chemically organic, it means that its chemical composition is with carbon.
When a mineral is agriculturally inorganic, it means that it is grown with chemical fertilizers. When a mineral is agriculturally organic, it means that it is grown without chemical fertilizers.
When a mineral is nutritionally inorganic, it means that it is without a protein enzyme attached to it. When a mineral is nutritionally organic, it means that it is with a protein enzyme attached to it. (Jensen, pp. 74-84)
Ted Morter in his book, Health and Wellness , defines organic minerals as easily broken apart and inorganic minerals as tightly held together. (p. 62).
There is much controversy in the scientific community as to whether or not the body can utilize inorganic minerals in carrying out life processes. However, the vast majority of the scientific community recognizes that ONLY chemically and nutritionally organic food can adequately provide substances, including minerals, that can be utilized by the body at the cellular level.
Scientists tell us that all animals do not possess the ability to perform photosynthesis, therefore animals must rely on the plant kingdom to prepare (chemically assemble) their foods (ingredients). For animals, there is only one way that they can fully access minerals on a cellular level and that is through the consumption of offerings from the plant kingdom. Plants, through the process of photosynthesis attach enzymes to inorganic minerals found in soil or water and can make them living or organic minerals. In other words, the attached enzymes act as a "passport" to assist the transfer of the minerals into the cells of the animal's body and aid in the cells utilization of the delivered minerals. The key here, is that the enzyme must be alive (active) and attached to the mineral in order for the animal body to utilize it.
Any form of processing nature's foods such as pasteurization, cooking, drying and canning, breaks the bonds between the food components and their attached enzymes as well as destroys the enzymes. The result is inorganic or denatured food components and thus inorganic food.
Raw foods have active enzymes and thus directly assist the production of life processes in the body. Because they have intact/active enzymes they are organic. Enzymes are catalysts; in this case, the catalysts are substances which help the body work more efficiently in utlizing food for life maintaining purposes.
An example of an inorganic substance is table salt. It is simply sodium and chloride. No enzymes, thus it is enzymatically inactive and the body cannot use it. Animal bodies cannot attach an enzyme to inorganic substance (minerals), except at great cost to their health.
How do animals get minerals?
If you feed your pets raw foods, they will be eating organic minerals from the bones they chew, the raw greens and fruits that you feed them. But if you feed your pets a home cooked diet, canned or dry processed foods, you might want to consider a good source of mineral rich foods like wild crafted micro algae. This algae is the most mineral rich food on the planet. Magnesium, manganese selenium, sodium, boron, chromium, zinc, copper, ......you name it, it's in wild crafted micro algae. All the minerals in wild crafted micro algae are held tightly and deeply within the very core of hundreds of transformative enzyme systems. Minerals in wild blue green algae are naturally-chelated and are directly assimilated and more easily put to work in a pet's body.
Sea veggies, in general are also very high in minerals: Hijiki, wakame, kelp, kombu are the highest in minerals content and of course nori but it has only 1/4th of the amount of minerals in the other sea veggies.
So if you want your pet to be getting minerals and trace elements their body need to stay healthy, the solution is for you to give them foods that contain high amounts of organic minerals such as wild blue green algae and sea veggies. This way your pet is getting chelated (a protein enzyme attached to minerals), assimilable and usable organic minerals the way mother nature intended animals to have them.
Crawford, Mark. (1999, March). Minding Our Minerals. Healthy & Natural Journal. Jensen, Bernard. (1973). Empty Harvest. New York: Avery Publishing Group Inc. Morter, Ted. (2000). Health & Wellness. Hollywood, Florida: Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc.