The Intriguing Connection Between Earth's Crust and Human Health
Explore the fascinating theory connecting the Earth's crust composition to human health, explaining why we need certain minerals for function and must avoid others. Discover the role of evolution and diet in shaping our nutritional needs.
Published February 20, 2024
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In the vast tableau of elements that make up the world, a select few play pivotal roles in sustaining human life, while others pose significant risks.
The distinction between beneficial metals like copper and zinc and harmful ones like lead and mercury raises a fascinating question: Why do our bodies require certain elements but must avoid others?
While the answer is more complex, exploring this mystery reveals much about our relationship with the natural world and our evolutionary journey.
The Theory Behind Mineral Absorption and Human Evolution
The crux of understanding this complex relationship lies in recognizing that minerals and metals are inorganic substances; our bodies can't produce them independently.
We rely on the external environment for our supply.
As nature's alchemists, plants absorb minerals from the soil, converting these inorganic compounds into forms that can enter the food chain.
Humans then ingest these vital nutrients by consuming plants or animals that have fed on these plants.
This process, or dietary supplements, is our primary means of acquiring the minerals essential for life.
Earth's Crust and Human Nutritional Needs: A Connection
One theory that offers insight into why we need certain minerals posits a direct link to the Earth's crust composition.
The crust, essentially the planet's outer skin, is made up of 98% oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium.
Apart from oxygen (which is indispensable for life but not a mineral) and silicon and aluminum (whose roles in human biology are less clear and not deemed toxic at trace levels), the remaining elements are critical for human function.
Iron is vital for blood production and oxygen transport.†
Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions, including muscle and nerve function.†
Calcium is crucial for bone health and plays roles in cellular processes.†
Potassium and Sodium are key for fluid balance and nerve signal transmission.†
This composition suggests a symbiotic relationship between the Earth's make-up and human nutritional needs.
It hints that our dietary requirements may have evolved to utilize the minerals most abundant and accessible in our environment.
Why Some Minerals Are Harmful
While this theory sheds light on the necessity of certain minerals, it also indirectly explains why others are harmful.†
Metals like lead and mercury are relatively rare in the Earth's crust and have no known beneficial roles in human biology.
Instead, they can interfere with the body's biochemical processes, leading to toxicity and health issues.
This disparity underscores the delicate balance of nutrient intake and the fine line between what sustains life and what endangers it.
A Theory with Room for Exploration
While not definitive, this theory offers a compelling perspective on the interplay between our planet's elemental composition and our biological needs.
It suggests that our bodies have adapted to process and utilize the minerals most prevalent in our environment, a testament to the deep connection between humanity and the Earth.
As we continue to explore the mysteries of human health and nutrition, understanding this relationship further might unlock new insights into dietary needs, evolutionary biology, and environmental health.
It's a reminder of the importance of maintaining a balanced diet rich in essential minerals sourced from a variety of plants and animals, aligning our modern eating habits with the natural world that has nurtured human life for millennia.