Colloidal Minerals: Fact or Fiction?
Colloidal minerals and trace elements have been stirring quite a bit of controversy recently. Some say they have nutritional benefits to the health, and others say they are useless, and potentially even hazardous. As the dictionary states, colloidal minerals are "aggregates of atoms or molecules in a finely divided state dispersed in a gaseous, liquid or solid medium and resisting sedimentation, diffusion and filtration." What this means is that colloidal minerals are stable aggregates, in other words, the colloids are extremely atomic. Since they are aggregates at least two atoms, the colloid still contains a minimum of two ions even if it's in the ionic state. This is not a reasonable purpose for the use of colloids when we can use exceptional and more affordable ionic mineral sources and receive single ions with more nutritional benefits. This is much simpler than dealing with colloids, as we may have to deal with many minerals at a time. Instead, the body gets exactly what it is looking for by dealing with one mineral at a time.
Colloidal minerals and trace elements do not have the benefits that some may claim they have. They are in fact relatively useless. It is not hard to see the chances are that the aggregates of ions will not be absorbed by the body. Colloidal minerals and trace elements were never meant to be a nutritional supplement. There are absolutely no studies that show anything about the absorption of colloids, it's nutritional benefits, or its effects on metabolism and digestion.
Colloidal minerals and trace elements become popular in medicine in the early 1900's and continued to be a part of this trend until around 1936. They were discovered when physicians found they could use silver in a state of dispersion as an antibiotic. Colloids were very commonly used for this purpose back in these days as it was before the discovery and inventions of modern conventional antibiotics. Around 1935 to 1936, the discovery of more efficient conventional antibiotics came about and the supposed benefits of colloidal minerals were pushed to the back wall. The last evidence of scientific papers on the benefits of colloidal miners and trace elements are from the early 30's. There are no known papers on colloids since 1936, where the trend ended. Although more efficient antibiotics are now in place, it is still important to know about colloidal minerals and trace elements when used as antibiotics and nutritional supplements. What we do know is that colloidal minerals and trace elements are not likely to be absorbed efficiently by the body, are unlikely to have nutritional benefits, and may even prove to be toxic when taken daily.
Colloidal Minerals and trace elements have earned some fame and unrealistic claims surrounding them. Without any evidence to back it up, there are many claims of nutritional benefits of colloidal minerals and trace elements. Some people even claim that colloidal minerals are 98 percent absorbed by the body. Without scientific support, there is no reason to believe this claim as the literature dating back to as far as 1905 shows no evidence to back it up. There are two reasons these people believe this unrealistic claim is true.
The first reason is because colloid particles are very small. This leads believers to think that they are easily absorbed, although this is not the case. Ions are smaller than colloids. The transporter uptake proteins are searching for ions by themselves, so it is very unlikely that they will be absorbed so easily. Claims that state 98 percent of colloids are absorbed and only eight to ten percent of ionized minerals are absorbed are just dead wrong. The only reasons anyone would make these claims are because they have not seen the literature or they are purposely ignoring it or misrepresenting it because the literature very clearly shows that, depending on the body's hunger for a certain mineral, the nutritional absorption rate in the ionic form is between a range of 20 to 90 percent. When the body is hungry for the certain mineral, the absorption rate goes up. It works just the opposite when the body has adequate amounts of the certain mineral, then the rate of absorption decreases.
The other reason for these claims is that they believe these minerals are attracted to the stomach therefore leading to nutritional benefits. The belief is that the minerals are negatively charged and the stomach is positively charged, causing the two to be attracted to each other. This is simply not true as it is common knowledge that the stomach has a very negative charge. This also does not prove any nutritional benefits of colloidal minerals and trace elements.
Overall, the claims surrounding colloidal minerals and trace elements and their nutritional benefits contradict scientific evidence, therefore they cannot be true. The hype about colloids is nothing but a trend, and the nutritional benefits are slim to none. Colloidal minerals and trace elements are difficult for the body to absorb. Simple single ionic mineral sources are much easier for the body to absorb and a much better use of your money.
- Kat Jones