Presentation by Ann Louise Gittleman in Minneapolis, MN February 1, 2001, Ann Louise Gittleman, N.D., M.S.


Minerals are the spark of life and are even more important than vitamins. You see, plants manufacture vitamins but minerals must be obtained from the soil- and minerals are NOT in the soil any more (we will discuss this in more detail in a moment). This is why EVERYONE needs to know about Minerals.


The secret…that minerals are more important than vitamins…has been kept under wraps for nearly 65 years according to this overlooked document issued by the United States government way back in 1936:


“Our physical well being is more directly dependent upon minerals we take into our systems than upon calories or vitamins, or upon the precise proportion of starch, protein, or carbohydrate we consume.” U.S. Senate Document Number 264 Published in 1936.


Many of us are aware that we can live for a prolonged period of time without food but NOT without water. This is because water provides our bodies with the minerals of life. And where can you get the minerals of life these days?


Let me take you on an abbreviated Magical Mystery Tour of what minerals can do for you. Besides their role in promoting blood formation, fluid regulation, protein metabolism, and energy production: Minerals are also co-factors for enzyme catalysts for every biochemical response in the body. Can you guess which mineral is involved in over 350 biochemical processes like muscle contraction, nerve conduction, the prevention of anxiety, irritability, asthma, and panic attacks? This mineral is widely considered the most important mineral in the body. All of the other major minerals (like calcium, potassium, and sodium) are dependent upon its presence in order to function.


Right, magnesium.


Even sleep can be affected by the lack of magnesium. People who are magnesium deficient tend to fall asleep readily but wake up periodically. They toss and turn and wake up exhausted. I recommend keeping a bottle of magnesium right on your bed stand. Magnesium is designed to support nighttime rest or occasional sleeplessness.


Now try this one:


Which mineral is involved in over 100 biochemical processes like the stimulation of taste, smell, wound healing, immunity, and the maintenance of thick hair (without split ends) and enhancement of healthy blood sugar levels?


If you guessed zinc, you’re right on.


Minerals also maintain strong bones and teeth.


But bet your bones not just on calcium but also on magnesium. In fact, the research of Dr. Mildred Seelig, widely recognized as the most distinguished magnesium expert in the USA, suggests that a 1:1 ratio of both calcium and magnesium is essential for bones, teeth, and the prevention of hypertension and hardening of the arteries.


Excess calcium, without equal amounts of magnesium, can result in calcified arteries and heart valves, migraines, cataracts, gallstones, kidney stones and irritability. Some researchers even suggest that a 2:1 ratio in favor of magnesium to calcium is even better for overall health including bone density.


Magnesium gives your bones the flexibility and strength of ivory. Ivory is a combination of 50% magnesium and about 50% calcium. Chalk, on the other hand, is 100% calcium and looks dense on the outside but is very porous and weak and easily breakable.


The moral of this story is that calcium should not be taken on its own. If it is, it will pull magnesium out of body parts in order to assimilate it creating a further magnesium deficiency.


Minerals maintain organ and glandular strength.


The key minerals for the liver (the body’s head honchos for detoxification of all wastes) are potassium and sulfur. The liver contains twice as much potassium as sodium. Sulfur is an important nutrient because it is needed to make glutathione, the liver’s most important antioxidant for neutralizing those nasty free radicals that are associated with every degenerative disease from cancer to heart disease.


The thyroid gland needs both iodine and selenium to make thyroid hormones while the adrenals need zinc for the production of adrenal cortical hormones.


Minerals can support mood and relieve stress and frustration.


The copper-zinc ratio is THE most important ratio when it comes to behavior. Elevated copper and deficient zinc have been associated with hyperactivity, ADD, violence, and depression. The Pfeiffer Treatment Center in Naperville, Illinois has found that 80% of hyperactive patients and 68% of behavior disordered patients have elevated blood copper levels.


Many high copper depressives experience severe PMS, are intolerant to estrogen, and have a family history of post-partum depression.

This group also has a high incidence of acne, eczema, sensitive skin, sunburn, headaches, and white spots on their fingernails. The ideal ratio in the bloodstream of zinc to copper is 8 parts zinc to 1 part copper.




Minerals are the battery and spark plugs in your body.


There are over 70 trillion cells in the human body and each cell is like a biological battery, a mini dynamo that generates life. Minerals are the catalysts to keep the battery going and to hold a charge. Without minerals in the proper ratio, your cellular membranes cannot maintain the proper liquid pressure between the inside and outside cell walls. Without this balance, the cells become weak and eventually die. Your immune system depends upon this mineral balancing act right down to the cellular level.


Remember that without the battery and spark plugs, the most expensive and well-kept automobile simply won’t run. The minerals of life recharge us on a minute by minute, daily basis empowering every cell, organ, and tissue of the body.


So, where did all the minerals go?


By right we need to get our minerals from the water we drink and the food we eat. The problem is that as a result of past and present farming methods, there are virtually NO nutritional minerals in our farm and range soils these days. As a result, the crops that are grown there are mineral deficient and the animals And people who eat these mineral deficient crops get sick. Many of today’s long-term degenerative diseases like arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis are caused by nutritional deficiencies. And now you can add asthma, irritability, and anxiety to the mix.


A fascinating study conducted at the Earth Summit in Rio in June of 1992 compared the mineral content of soils today with soils 100 years ago revealed some startling facts. Researchers found that in African soils there were 74% fewer minerals present in the soil today then there were 100 years ago. Asian soils have 76% less, European soils have 72% less, South American soils have 76% less, And the soils in the US And Canada contain 85% fewer minerals today than they did 100 years ago.


Other data compiled by Paul Bergner of Boulder, Colorado shows the disappearance of minerals from our soil quite graphically. Bergner compared data from 1914, 1948, 1992. Besides soil depletion, minerals get axed due to other factors like stress, drug interactions, coffee, alcohol, sugar, excessive grains, and heavy metals. Let’s take a look at these now: STRESS: Hans Selye, M.D. a pioneer in the area of stress research recognized that stress, whether it was stress in the form of lack of sleep, injury, pollution, or from stimulants like coffee, sugar and drugs, will cause the body to lose minerals even more than vitamins when you are stressed out. The key minerals most affected by stress are magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, sodium, and copper.


DRUG INTERACTIONS: Many drugs can severely restrict the percentage of minerals we get from the foods that we eat. In fact, some drugs reduce mineral absorption as much as tenfold. The birth control pill interferes with both zinc and selenium absorption, which can lead to memory loss, muscle weakness, and weakened immunity. HRT or hormone replacement therapy like Premarin can leave you short of magnesium. No wonder women report side effects like depression and muscle cramps. Antacids that contain aluminum disturb both calcium and magnesium metabolism. Diuretics, as well as antibiotics, are notorious for flushing potassium out of the body leaving your muscles tight and tense. Cortisone, Tagamet, and Zantac impair zinc absorption making you susceptible to viruses and anxiety. In fact, in many holistic circles, zinc is known as the “good-mood” mineral.


Coffee, Alcohol, Sugar, Excess Grains: These popular food And beverage robbers are major mineral thieves. Calcium, as well as other important minerals like magnesium, are lost in the urine when you drink coffee and/or alcohol. Caffeine is so diuretic that it alone doubles the rate of calcium excretion. A mere three cups of black coffee can result in a 45 mg. loss of calcium – and women between the ages of 35 and 50 drink more coffee than any other age group. Sugar robs us even more because, in the process of being metabolized, refined sugar uses our magnesium, manganese, chromium, zinc, and vanadium. Grains contain phytic acid, a phosphorus like compound that combines with calcium in the intestine and blocks its absorption. Grains can also provide too much insoluble fiber, which binds with and sweeps out minerals like manganese and zinc from the body.


Heavy Metals: When it comes to heavy metals (and we are NOT talking Led Zepplin here) minerals can really save the day. Toxic metals, those unbound, electromagnetically active ions, are everywhere. Time does not permit me to discuss all of the heavy metals, but I would like to discuss two of the most insidious and ubiquitous, mercury and aluminum, which researchers have suggested are at the root of a myriad of disorders.


MERCURY: Found in large fish like tuna and swordfish, silver amalgam fillings, water supplies, seeds treated with mercurial fungicides, vaccines including both infant and adult vaccines, eye drops and contact-lens solutions (thimerosal), nasal sprays, eardrops, and hemorrhoid creams.


Mercury is classified as a poison because it is a neurotoxin and irreversibly blocks protein synthesis. The main target organs and glands for mercury are the kidneys, thyroid, and pituitary. The most threatening mercury compound is organic methyl mercury.


Metabolic Dysfunctions Associated with Mercury Toxicity


Alopecia (hair loss) ¾ causes impairment of Copper Metabolism


Excessive salivation


Vision loss




failure of muscular coordination


muscle weakness


numbness and tingling




Birth defects: higher incidence of cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and neurological deficits Infertility

Hearing Loss: mercury has an affinity for the acoustic nerve


Depression: accumulation in the thyroid and pituitary glands causing a slowing of the metabolic rate


Memory loss


migraine headaches


mood swings




Dermatitis: caused by a mercury-induced zinc depletion


Blushing, rashes




Immune system dysfunction resulting in M.S.


 The minerals selenium and zinc are both antagonists to mercury toxicity.


ALUMINUM: found in antacids like Maalox, Mylanta, and Gelusil, buffered aspirins, aluminum cookware, cans, antiperspirants and deodorants, cosmetics, water supplies, baking powders, salt, and various brands of colloidal minerals.


Aluminum penetrates the blood-brain barrier accumulating in brain cells, impedes the body’s utilization of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, and neutralizes the protein-digesting enzyme pepsin in the stomach.


Metabolic dysfunctions potentially associated with aluminum toxicity:


Alzheimer’s disease: dementia


Kidney and liver dysfunction


Neuromuscular disorders: possible link with Parkinson’s disease


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS


Anemia: due to the interference of aluminum with iron metabolism

Colic: affects bowel activity and can cause digestive disturbances


Dental caries: impairs bone calcification and competes with natural fluoride




Magnesium and selenium are aluminum’s mineral antagonists. Another healing mineral that counteracts metal toxicity is: Calcium is the mineral antagonist to lead and excess iron.


New Horizons in Mineral Research: The Mind, Body, Spirit Connection


By far, the most exciting research in America today is being conducted at the Pfeiffer Institute in Naperville, Illinois where they are exploring the origins of behavior. I mentioned the Pfeiffer Institute earlier as you may recall. The Pfeiffer researchers feel that violent behavior may not be just a matter of genes or upbringing, but may be more related to nutritional imbalances.


In a study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, Dr. William Walsh of the Pfeiffer Institute compared the results of blood tests given to 135 assaultive men to those of 18 controls with no history of violence.


It turned out that the violent young men had lower zinc and higher copper levels than the control group. The more imbalanced the ratio, the more severe the frequency of aggression. When the young men were given extra zinc in the form of supplementation, their violent episodes substantially declined.


I guess you could say “A Deficiency Made Me Do It” and ZINC IS probably one of the three most deficient minerals in our diet these days which is a shame because zinc plays a significant role in brain function and well-being. It is a mood-supporting nutrient.


The Pfeiffer Institute recently made headlines several months ago when Dr. William Walsh released the results of his heavy metal evaluation of Beethoven’s hair. Walsh discovered more than 100 times the amount of lead in the famed composer’s locks. The lead toxicity is now believed to be the underlying cause of Beethoven’s deafness and irrational behavior. Today we know that lead binds to phospholipids of the nervous membrane. Toxic amounts of lead in children have been associated with a reduced IQ, hyperactivity, inability to concentrate and learning difficulties.


Other mineral superstars that you will be hearing about in the years to come include: *Sulfur for pain management and as an anti-arthritic agent


*Vanadium, chromium, and zinc as insulin are co-factors and potent nutritional therapy for diabetes, low blood sugar and Syndrome X. The mysterious sounding Syndrome X, a term coined by Stanford University’s distinguished Dr. Gerald Reaven refers to a group of health problems including insulin resistance (the inability to properly metabolize sugars), elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, overweight, and high blood pressure.




The right mineral balance will provide you with tomorrow’s health remedies today! And one of the very best, non-invasive ways to assess your personal mineral needs is through mineral tissue analysis via a tablespoon or two of your hair.


Uni Key can help to connect you with a FDA approved and regulated laboratory which can perform hair analysis.


Let me close by saying that I believe Health is God’s greatest gift to man. Health is that which we use for the first 60 years of life in order to obtain wealth, after which we use up our wealth to try and recapture our lost health.


And minerals can lead the way!


Official site for Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman is