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Mineral Supplements


  1. Where can I find a dietitian who is smart about mineral supplements? Answer
  2. What is your opinion of colloidal minerals? Answer
  3. I wanted to get your take on why the industry standard for dietitians is to not recommend vitamin / mineral supplements except for those who are not getting the RDA. Answer


Where can I find a dietitian who is smart about mineral supplements?

The Nutrition in Complementary Care dietetic practice group of the American Dietetic Association has an interest in the role of alternative herbal, vitamin and mineral therapies in improving health and preventing disease. Their Find a Comp Care Nutritionist feature will help you locate a dietitian in your state. You can also find a dietitian at the American Dietetic Association. Include your zip code or city / state and the type of service you want (individual consultation) with expertise in alternative nutrition.


What is your opinion of colloidal minerals? Thanks for your help!

Colloidal minerals are molecules of minerals suspended in a liquid. The particles are not dissolved and may carry an electrical charge which enables them to combine with another particle to make a compound and precipitate out as a solid. These electrically charged particles are not the same thing as ions or cations which are electrically charged atoms or molecules.

Most colloidal minerals are clay dissolved in water. Depending on the source of clay, it may contain toxic minerals like aluminum or lead.

I have searched medical research and found nothing that suggests colloidal minerals are more or less absorbable than mineral supplements in pills. In fact I have not seen any research on absorption of colloidal minerals after checking what is available in a Medline search and many nutrition reference texts. To that conclusion, I deemed the information about colloidal minerals to be from testimonials which is passed on as selling propaganda.


I am an exercise physiologist and weight management consultant. I enjoy your web site and your comments, but I wanted to get your take on why the industry standard for dietitians is to not recommend vitamin/mineral supplements except for those who are not getting "The RDA".

I don't really know how you feel, but I fundamentally disagree with this principle. For an exercise physiologist, I have a pretty good nutrition knowledge base, which has shown me that I do not know anyone, not one person who eats the Recommended Dietary Allowances "by the book". In a perfect world, we wouldn't need supplements except in disease and/or preventive states (calcium for osteoporosis, selenium for heart ailments, etc.). I agree that much of the current supplement forms are not very absorbable (except colloidal 98% absorbable), but it would probably be advisable to have all of us taking vitamins and minerals because you and I both know that we will not get the public eating correctly. No way! It just seems logical to recommend people to take vitamin and mineral supplements (which cost about as much as eating out once a month). Sorry to sound cynical, but the "expensive urine" line (which I have used myself) just doesn't seem to have much merit anymore. Just my opinion though. Thanks for your time!

Generally vitamin and mineral supplements are not encouraged, due to their low absorption and high cost. Real food is much cheaper and better absorbed than supplements. Unabsorbed nutrients from a supplement are excreted in urine. For people who eat less than 1600 calories per day, it would be difficult to eat enough nutrient rich foods to achieve the RDA for every nutrient, especially for iron requirements of a menstruating female. Therefore, people who eat less than 1600 calories per day should take a multivitamin that contains 100% of the RDA for all vitamins and minerals as a precaution. Remember though that the RDA's are set to cover the nutritional needs of 98% of all healthy people living in the United States. So an individual's need for a particular nutrient may be less. Generally, the minimum intake of a nutrient should be at least 2/3's of the RDA, which should not be maintained for prolonged periods of time.

What research have you read that substantiates that colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed? I have searched the medical literature as well as searching over 75 nutrition journals and did not find one article on colloidal minerals. To that conclusion, I deemed the information about colloidal minerals to be from testimonials which is passed on as propaganda.

For your information, a lack of selenium can cause disease of the heart muscle, but does not account for all cases of Keshan disease. A toxic virus that attacks the heart muscle may also cause it and a deficiency of selenium may increase a person's susceptibility to the virus.

As to getting the public to eat correctly, people are intelligent and genuinely want to eat healthy as evidenced by the decrease in fat from 42% in the 1980's to around 35% today which has caused a corresponding decrease in heart disease in America. I believe in providing the public with information that can improve their health and quality of life as long as it is substantiated by nutrition research. The public needs this information to make healthy food choices.






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