For your body to function properly and not suffer from an immune deficiency, you need 90 essential nutrients: 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids, and two essential fatty acids. The lion’s share of what you need comes from more common minerals like calcium, selenium, and zinc. But we also need the more obscure ones, such as vanadium and ytterbium, which sound as though they could have arrived here on the Star Trek Voyager.

Unfortunately, thanks to modern agricultural methods and unwise farming practices, such as monocultures, extreme pesticide and fertilizer use, years of soil erosion, and virtually no crop rotation, our soil has become seriously depleted of vital elements. One such element is organic fulvic acid, a natural molecule long considered one of the most complete answers to the body’s need for life-giving minerals, oxygen, enzymes, and amino acids — all things necessary to healing an immune deficiency.

“The soil’s immune system, being similar to our gut’s immune system, has become extremely weak and deficient in minerals (like) magnesium,” says Kusha Karvandi, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, entrepreneur, author, and creator of the new fitness app Exerscribe, which monitors users and adapts to their preferences. (Think of it as the “Pandora of workout apps.”)

In Soil We Trust

Minerals can only be found in soil. Animals can’t make minerals; neither can plants. “If they could, we’d be bio-engineering lettuce to produce gold,” says Dr. Glidden. While planting healthy crops (such as green vegetables) can replenish soil, the vast monocultures of wheat and corn so common in the U.S. end up extracting all the nutrients, leaving nothing replenished.

According to Karvandi, since most of our food supply is now grown in this depleted soil, our diets — and our bodies — have become deficient in important nutrients and minerals. Meanwhile, research has found that without adequate nutrients, our cells experience a breakdown that can lead to chronic disease. The body can utilize minerals without vitamins, but vitamins and most other nutrients are basically useless in the absence of minerals.

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immune deficiency

Is Mental Illness Related to Mineral Deficiency?

Did you know that U.S. doctors prescribed more than $10 billion worth of antidepressants in 2013 alone? And these antidepressants, like much of Western medicine, treat symptoms instead of root causes. immune deficiency

The rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) has increased by almost 400 percent from 1988 to 1994 and from 2005 to 2008, reports the National Center for Health Statistics. immune deficiency

According to naturopathic physician Dr. Peter Glidden, the rise in imbalanced brain chemistry can be attributed, in part, to a lack of key trace minerals. Dr. Glidden is the author of The MD Emperor Has No Clothes, a jaw dropping exposé on the shortcomings of conventional M.D.-directed medicine.

Watch Dr. Peter Glidden talk about the reasons for mineral deficiency: immune deficiency

Gluten’s Negative Power

We’re already consuming mineral-deficient food. Now combine that with gluten intake (whole grains like wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats), and you have a real problem, says Dr. Glidden.

Gluten is a protein made up of a long chain of proteins (kind of like a string of pearls). It’s the stomach’s job to break down the amino acids (essential nutrients) in proteins. Yet the chemical bonds that hold gluten together make it very difficult for us to break down and digest.

Today, wheat has a higher gluten content than ever, due to the hybridization of wheat crops over the past 50 years. Most foods containing gluten are also highly processed. So now we have undigested proteins tumbling through the small intestine instead of individual amino acids.

During the second stage of digestion, the small intestine absorbs the nutrients your stomach has liquefied and releases them into your blood stream via villi, small, finger-like projections that protrude from the lining of the intestinal wall. But when the villi attempt to grab this long, complicated chain of unbroken amino acids, they get inflamed or destroyed altogether, adds Glidden. (Doctors only diagnose celiac disease once the villi have been severely damaged.)

The more whole grains you eat, the harder it is for your body to digest the few nutrients it is actually getting from our impoverished foods.

(Editor’s note: I haven’t eaten wheat or gluten since 2008, and I can personally attest to feeling a gazillion times better without gluten in my life.)

“Gluten can make absorbing nutrients especially difficult if an individual’s gene expression has an adverse reaction to gluten,” says Karvandi. He adds that anti-nutrients like phytates (found in grains and nuts that are not soaked or sprouted) also block vitamin and mineral absorption in the gut.

3 Solutions to Heal an Immune Deficiency

You can take back your health. Here’s how: immune deficiency

1. Go Gluten-free

To feel the benefits of going gluten-free, try banning wheat from your diet for at least four weeks. Even one morsel can instigate inflammation, especially if you’ve developed a sensitivity. To learn more about wheat, we highly recommend the book Wheat Belly.

2. Treat Your Gut

The health of your gut microbiome is also important. Most Americans consume too many sugar- and salt-laden processed foods and too much alcohol, all of which exacerbate an immune deficiency by damaging good gut bacteria while growing the pathogenic (bad) bacteria, says Karvandi. immune deficiency

So when a woman becomes anemic, it could be because pathogenic bacteria in the gut are stealing all her iron. A doctor, of course, will prescribe an iron supplement; however, this only makes the problem worse. What we need is to cut back on processed foods, sugars, and alcohol, while eating more fermented foods, such as kombucha, kimchi, natural sauerkraut, and kefir, to restore gut health and to lessen the immune deficiency you might be suffering from.

Take a high-end probiotic. They can improve digestion, promote regular bowel movements, help you look and feel revitalized, and boost your immune system. (Ninety percent of your immune system is in your gut, after all.)

(Editor’s note: Many companies selling probiotics do not use the proper capsule type, meaning the acid in your stomach likely eats your probiotic’s capsule away before a dose can reach the small intestine. Other companies use plastic! We recommend Syntol, which uses a vegetable enteric coating and also contains prebiotics and other ingredients to combat Candida.)

“Good gut bacteria such as E. coli (yes, E. coli should be in your lower gut) actually produces a steady stream of amino acids and vitamins for your body. Water-soluble vitamins and amino acids move through the body quickly, so they require this steady stream, which is why most Americans with damaged gut flora are nutrient-deficient throughout the day, says Karvandi.

3. Play Dirty

Minerals are vital to human metabolism and health. Even a shortfall in just one mineral can cause an immune deficiency and other health issues. Imagine if you are deficient in several! HUmineral has created a line of mineral-rich products that contain more than 71 organic trace minerals and eight major minerals. Their products are all plant-based, vegan, raw, and gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free. Additionally, they are made and sourced in the USA. Finally, read up on and experiment with plant medicine, our customers have had amazing results especially with Superior.

Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.

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HoneyColony and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on HoneyColony is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.