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From: (Steven B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Colodial Minerals & Joel Wallach
Date: 09 Jul 1996

In <4rsq66$> (JD) writes:

>Please excuse me for starting off by saying this, but if nothing else,
>your post has served to display with clarity the nutritional ignorance
>that the medical field has been known for.    As much as I would like
>to have faith in my own medical doctor, I wonder all too often of the
>lack of nutritional education and knowledge apparent in many medical

   You have the gall to say this, prefacing the howlers you post below?

>Regardless of your views, it is indeed well documented in the
>scientific realms (and supported by many in the medical field) that
>mineral content in the food that you eat is highly dependent on the
>soil where the crops were raised.   For instance, your crops grown in
>Ohio will contain a lower content of selenium than that grown in North

   Selenium is one of the few examples where this is true, but that's
because plants don't have a need for much selenium, and so their
selenium content is all over the board.  Most trace minerals familiar
from biochemistry (copper, magnesium, zinc, manganese, etc) are all
needed by plants.  If the plant doesn't get them, the plant doesn't
grow as large.  But all plant tissue that you do get, has adequate
amounts of these minerals-- the major mineral depletion happens only on
refining the plant (brown flour to white, etc).  On down the line are
ultratrace minerals which we get enough of from probably from simple
dust inhalation, and shown by animal isolator studies where this is
exactly what happens (the famous Mertz studies at Long Beach).  These
include minerals like nickle and silicon.  In between are a very few
trace minerals like selenium, molybdenum, and maybe chromium where soil
depletion may make a difference.  But here again, soils are not
depleted over the entire country, and refrigerated railcars do indeed
act to even things out.  You might live in the Dakotas, but these days
you'll be eating things grown in California.  Nobody has ever seen
selenium deficiency in the US-- this is a disease of places like rural
China, and that's not a coincidence.

>  In addition, there are other factors: over farming depletes
>the soil, as does other factors such as refining of foods that destroy
>fragile minerals, acid rain, and fertilizers that can disrupt the
>mineral balances contained in the soil.     The direct evidence that
>you seek can be found in reading the numerous articles written on the
>subject and by reviewing the endless research completed on soil
>depletion.  This would be far more valuable in increasing your
>awareness than your trying to compare soil depletion with refrigerated
>train cars.

    Would it?  Explain your reasoning.

>I think that you would be truly embarrassed to suddenly discover how
>truly uneducated and cynical your post appears!   A metalic mineral
>from the ground itself is simply not the same as a mineral that a
>plant has taken from the ground.  The metallic mineral is of little
>help to a human being and can, indeed hurt the human being.  That's
>why human beings need to eat plants.

   Nonsense.  Any place you find plant eaters, you'll find plant eaters
licking the ground to get minerals.  And not just to get salt.
Geophagia is widespread in herbivores, and for a very good reason:
plants don't have the same physiology as animals.

>The plant converts the metallic mineral in the ground to a form the
>human being can absorb at almost a 100% rate.  While you want to avoid
>getting metallic minerals such as aluminum, barium, lead etc into your
>body, it is totally necessasary to your good health that you eat
>plants who have those minerals because you need them in your body.

    This is utter nonsense.  There is not shred of evidence that you
need aluminum, barium, or lead in any form.  Why don't you go over to
sci.nutrition and lay your theories on them, and see where you get?
Soon you will need to go from saying that doctors don't know anything
about nutrition, to saying that nutritionists don't either.  Only YOU
know about nutrition, right?  You and the hawkers of mud pills.

                                           Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Elemental Minerals vs. Compounds
Date: 5 Feb 1998 03:55:19 GMT

In <6basai$>
(Michael Zimmerman) writes:
>In article <6b02vl$>,
> B. Harris) wrote:
>>In <6avmdc$>
>>(Michael Zimmerman) writes:
>>>Label claims of RDA pecentages seem to make no sense in the case of minerals
>>>that are not elemental (pure). For example, I have a vitamin/mineral
>>>supplement that contains 15 mg of zinc gluconate.
>>With few exceptions, supplements report minerals as the elemental
>>amount.  Thus, your supplement probably contains 15 mg of zinc
>>(elemental), as the gluconate, which means it contains a lot more than
>>15 mg zinc gluconate.
>>                                  Steve Harris, M.D.
>Thanks for the answer. Makes sense, since citing the elemental amount seems
>like the only way to be consistent. What sort of exceptions are you referring

   Just the very few vitamin companies that don't do it that way.  I've
seen magnesium lactate, for instance, given as the total weight instead
the elemental weight.  That's because the elemental is so
embarrassingly small for this stuff.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: multi-vitamin multi-mineral tablets
Date: 19 May 1998 08:35:13 GMT

In <>
(Richard A. Goodman) writes:

>On 15 May 1998 05:04:11 GMT, () wrote:
>>On Fri, 15 May 1998 04:31:31 GMT; wrote:
>>: When her scores came off the computer, they showed she was "deficient"
>>: in zinc, magnesium and copper, and "depleted" in chromium."
>>: Her doctor grudgingly gave it.  In fact, when her physician was
>>: telephoned and the results explained to him, he was openly
>>: antagonistic.  he "knew all about nutrition," etc., etc.  He also
>>: didn't see anything wrong with his patient's scores, partyly because
>>: he didn't know how to interpret them and was too arrogant and ignorant
>>: to admit this.
>>How could he not know how to interpret the scores?  Don't they give
>>ranges with the little *** to show when it's not in the range?  I think
>>even now only 20% of medical schools even have a rudimentary course in

    Yes, and if you ask nutritionists with Ph.D.s how they would
interpret "mineral scores" off a computer from some lab or other, they
would be the first to tell you that it's not just a matter of reading
things off the columns and giving supplements of everything that tests
out "low."  You need to know a LOT more about the lab, their controls,
their reproducability, methods, etc, etc.  Each mineral has it's own
peculiarities.  Some of them are easy to test for-- for example, your
serum potassium is usually reasonably reflective of your body stores,
and your serum ferritin provides the same function for iron (with some
health caveats in both cases you have to watch for in order to avoid
bad inferences).  Others minerals are *far* more difficult, and
literally NOBODY knows exactly how to test and what to test to be
certain of body stores and presense or absense of "deficiency."  Let
alone optimal health status.  Chromium is an example.  We know it's an
essential trace element, but we (even the experts) don't yet know many
of the ins and outs of "chromium health."  The statement "You're low in
chromium" actually translates to "I'm a quack," because nobody to this
day knows enough about chromium to know how to tell reliably from a
blood or hair test *alone* if somebody is "low" in it, and is thereby
suffering some health problem which would be corrected with a proper
store.  Some minerals need to have functional tests (glucose tolerance)
associated with their replacement to know if the person is really
functionally deficient in the mineral.  For other minerals (selenium)
we don't even have THAT much.  And when it comes to things like tin and
arsenic, what we know about chromium and selenium makes us look like
experts by comparison.

   Somewhere between potassium and chromium one crosses from
well-established science to nutritional quackery.  The only problem is
that the boundary is a fuzzy one.  Good luck.  And if you're looking at
trace minerals rather than major ones (calcium, magnesium, potassium),
you really have to see somebody with a Ph.D. doing active research in
the topic to get reliable advice about possible deficiency states.
Settle for less than that, and you're just fooling yourself and
spending your hard-earned cash on quack feeding.   In other words, if
you think you might be copper deficient (say), don't come to me.  If
you're not anemic and won't settle for a 3 mg pill, I'll just send you
to the nutrition department, if you HAVE to have definitive tests.
And don't go to chiropractors or naturopaths for that kind of problem,
either.  God knows what kind of quack machines you may meet up with,
before you wise up.

                         Steve Harris, M.D.

From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: drinking reverse osmosis water
Date: 30 May 2005 20:06:50 -0700
Message-ID: <>

>>Providing the soil the plants were grown in are not depleted of
minerals... Plants don't create minerals. They absorb them so if the
minerals are not in the soil, they won't be in the food plant.
Meat has quite a few minerals in it. <<

Meat animals can't create minerals, either, you know.

Generally, plants need all the same minerals animals do, with a few
notable imbalances (plants need more boron and less selenium, iron, and
zinc in their cells than animals).  In general, plants simply do not
grow well in "mineral depleted soil," so it's not a big problem.
Farmers replace minerals as needed to keep crop yields up. The plant
tissue which does grow, is usually fine. Most of the hype about
"mineral depleted soils" comes from people who want to sell you mineral
pills.  About the only mineral animals need that plants don't, is
iodine.  And cobalt, if you count B12.

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