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Minerals & Nutrition > A Clarification of Definitions

Are Minerals that occur in tiny amounts or traces and they generally include mixtures of minerals. They play a major role in health, since even minute portions of them can powerfully affect health. They are essential in the assimilation and utilization of vitamins and other nutrients. They aid in digestion and work as catalysts for many hormones, enzymes and essential body functions and reactions. They also aid in replacing electrolytes lost through heavy perspiration or extended diarrhea and protect against toxic reaction and heavy metal poisoning.


Amino Acid: Any of a group of simple organic compounds, many occurring naturally in plant and animal tissues and forming the basic constituents of proteins.

Catalyst: A sunstance that, without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change increases the rate of a reaction.

Chelate: A form of a mineral or trace mineral whereby it is bound, usually synthetically, to a carbon based or "organic" substance. Chelates can allow high concentrations of certain elements to be more readily broken down into ionic form and absorbed when compared to other minerals which are bound to other non organic substances. Chelates, however, tend not to be naturally balanced.

Colloid: A non-crystalline substance consisting of ultramicroscopic particles.

Colloidal mineral: A suspension of tiny consolable mineral and trace mineral particles in water. Most colloidal minerals are held in suspension by their tiny size and/or a static electrical charge. Many colloidal minerals claim to be organic due to the fact that they come from prehistoric mineral deposits such as humic shale and that some of the minerals are bound to carbon. 
Note: By this same definition, coal and many petroleum products are also organic.Caution: Many colloidal trace mineral products, even though not represented on the label, have aluminium and phosphate as their two most prominent elements.

ConcenTrace: Trace Mineral Drops are an ionic, electrolyte solution of minerals and trace minerals. Trace Minerals Research has developed a special process of tableting so that our tablets rapidly release the minerals and trace minerals provided by ConcenTrace back into an ionic, electrolyte solution.

Electrolyte: A substance whose molecules split into individual ions when dissolved thus allowing it to conduct electrical energies (Clayman, 397).

Elemental Minerals:
1. All minerals are elemental or elements when looked at and analysed individually. Therefore, by this definition, all minerals could be referred to as elemental.

2. A pure mineral which is not balanced with other elements. This is usually accomplished through extensive processing such as extreme heat or electro processing. Examples would include magnesium metal, copper metal or tin metal or chlorine gas. There are several problems which make this type of elemental mineral unsuitable for supplementation including the fact that most, if not all, of the minerals in this form would either become such a tightly bound metal that it would be virtually impossible to digest and assimilate or it would be so highly reactive that the mineral would be extremely toxic. Even though several companies are now warning the public of the dangers and difficulties of taking this type of elemental mineral, Trace Minerals Research is not aware of any companies which are actually selling this type of elemental mineral as a dietary supplement.

3. Minerals in an ionic solution such as found in ConcenTrace are free flowing and are not bound to the other minerals and trace minerals in the solution and could therefore be referred to as elemental minerals.

The minerals and trace minerals in an ionic solution such as ConcenTrace are, however, balanced and in associations such as ion pairs which keep them from being reactive. For example, the chloride which is found in ConcenTrace is associated with many other minerals and trace minerals and is in the same form which is readily absorbed as one of the most abundant minerals in the body. This is very different from the highly processed and separated chlorine which is very reactive and toxic.

Enzyme: A protein acting as a catalyst in a specific biochemical reaction.

Ion: An atom or group of atoms than are inherently either positively or negatively charged due to either additional or missing electron(s). This charge causes the ions to interact, attracting or repelling each other in a search for another ion to join with or to give up an electron in order to make the charge neutral (Clayman, 605), (Dox, Melloni, Eisner, 227).

The fluids of the body are largely ionic solutions. The body uses the movement of ions through these fluids and across cell membranes as an integral part of many vital body processes. For example, ions regulate acid base balance and water balance. Ions also serve essential roles in nerve conduction, muscle contraction, heart action, blood clotting, protein metabolism, bone and tooth formation, and enzyme activation. In fact, every body process is dependent on ions.

Ionic: Of, containing or relating to an ion or ions . Some of the most essential minerals and trace minerals have shown a dependency upon being ionic in order to be absorbed in the intestinal lumen and/ or to be physiologically valid.

Through digestive processes, some of which are dependent upon sufficient stomach acid, the body is able to break down some other forms of organic or inorganic bound minerals and trace minerals to their ionic form so they can be absorbed. Minerals and trace minerals are capable of remaining in a free flowing non bound ionic form in a balanced solution.

Mineral: Naturally occurring inorganic elements having a characteristic crystalline structure and chemical composition. Minerals or macro minerals are those minerals which the body requires more than 100 milligrams of per day for proper maintenance of health. Micro or trace minerals are those minerals which the body requires less than 100 milligrams of per day.

1. All minerals and trace minerals that are not negatively charged (or anions) are inherently metallic. This does not, however, mean that they are either toxic or non-toxic. For example, magnesium is a metallic element which is an essential nutrient and plays several vital roles in the body.

2. Metallic elements can be found in solid metal or metallic form such as a gold nugget, a copper or bronze coin, which is a combination of metallic minerals. Metallic elements can be found in the soil in tiny particles in this form but would be non soluble and fairly difficult to assimilate. Only metallic elements are capable of conducting electricity in solid form.

All metallic minerals are capable of also being in an ionic form and when in an ionic solution , are capable of conducting electricity through the solution. This is essential to human health. Metallic elements are also capable of being in several non-metallic forms.

Protein: Any of a class of nitogenous organic compounds composed of one or more chains of amino acids which form an essential part of all living organisms.

Solution: A liquid made up of water and water soluble components.

Vitamin: Any of a group of organic compounds essential in small amounts for many living organisms to maintain normal health and development.

Clayman C. (1989). The American Medical Association's Encyclopaedia of Medicine. New York, Random House.
Dox, I., Melloni, J., Eisner, G. (1993). Melloni's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. Pearl River, NY, Parthenon.
Griffith, H. (1988). Complete Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements. Tucson, AZ, Fisher Books.
Juo, P. (1996). Concise Dictionary of Biomedicine and Molecular Biology. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press.

Further Readings:
Horne, M., Swearingen, P. (1993) Pocket Guide to Fluids, Electrolytes, and Acid Base Balance. St. Louis, Mosby.Schauss, A. (1995) Minerals and Human Health: The Rationale for Optimal and Balanced Trace Element Levels. Tacoma, WA, AIBR.

© Information provided byTrace Minerals Research International. Permision by Todd Heslop

Minerals Index
Minerals and Human Health
Why We Need Mineral Supplements
Mineral Nutrition of Coastal Cultures In Pre-Historic Times
Minerals And Chi
The Thesis of Body Mineral Balancing
Ionic Versus Colloidal Minerals
Doctors Mistakes
Minerals & Trace Minerals,
A Clarification of Definitions
Mineral Facts
Minerals from Sea Water
Individual Minerals A-Z



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