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Nina E Anderson

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The need for broad spectrum trace minerals in veterinary practice
By Nina E Anderson
Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Last edited: Thursday, February 14, 2013
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The water we give our pets may be missing essential elements that make their body work correctly. What are these and why are they missing from our water?
A car battery runs because of electrolytes. The health of your pet depends on electrolytes too. Each cell has electrical properties and electric potential much like that of a battery. The electron and electrical force facilitates life. This electrical force is transmitted through the nervous system through chemical neurotransmitters which are made from and stimulated by electrolytes and macro (trace) minerals
            When humans think of electrolytes, they immediate visualize rehydrating the body after a sweaty workout with a solution that is predominately sodium and potassium. The sports drink market is huge. But, when we think of our pets, do we want to give them Gatorade or Pedialyte to keep their electrical system running? Cats definitely don’t need all that excess sodium, and dogs fed a high carbohydrate diet with all that salt could become dangerously alkaline. Therefore, many veterinarians will advise against giving electrolytes to pets unless they need subcutaneous fluids due to an illness. What is overlooked is the supplemental need for a multi-electrolyte solution that provides a total complement of trace-minerals. These provide sustenance for the entire body, and without which our pets would die.
            Technically, electrolytes that generate a negative charge are called anions and those producing a positive charge are known as cations. This electrical charge makes cell function normally. Electrolytes operate in the extracellular fluid compartments (ECF) and inside the cell intracellular fluid compartments (ICF). Each individual electrolyte differs in concentration of charge, but the electrolyte totals balance to achieve a neutral electrical charge – electroneutrality. When one electrolyte moves out of the cells another moves in to replace it.Electrolytes have different concentrations in both ECF and ICF compartments and have different responsibilities to maintain impulse transportation and cell membrane excitability. [1] If the electrolytes are deficient this balance with be upset and cellular communication will suffer. The balance of electrolytes is constantly shifting due to fluctuating fluid levels in the body.
                Electrolytes are important because they are what the cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. The kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in the blood constant despite changes in the body. If lost, these electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. Each cell is a biological battery! The force between the inside and outside cell wall is a liquid pressure that's sustained by electrolytes—without the right electrolytes in correct ratios, cells can't maintain this inner-outer pressure, they weaken and become vulnerable to parasites.
            Replenishing the electrolyte solutions inside and outside your cells creates the balance necessary for water to move though the cells. Water moving through the cells not only delivers nutrients and removes wastes… moving water creates energy. We overlook what kind of water we give our pets assuming that if they drink out of puddles they’d be ok with tap water. Unfortunately, most tap water is filtered before it gets to the tap removing many of the good minerals along with the undesirable substances and usually contains chlorine. So, you choose instead to give them bottled water or what comes from that expensive filter you installed. Funny thing about this is that the life-giving trace minerals have most likely also been removed from the very filtering process that cleans up the water.
            Each cell in the body has electrical properties and electric potential much like that of a battery. The electron and electrical force facilitates life. The movement of electrons and electrically charged particles are essential for even the most basic cellular processes. All physiological processes in the body are mediated by electrical force. DNA replication, movement of essential vitamins and minerals in and out of cells, muscle contraction, and nervous system signals all require electric force to make them happen. A study on dogs showed the effect of pH on the electrophysiology of the animal. The effects of changes in extracellular pH and intracellular pH on voltage-dependent Kv currents in smooth muscle cells isolated from canine pulmonary artery were studied. This study revealed that extracellular acidification (pH 6.4-7.0) reduced Kv currents, produced a positive voltage shift in steady-state activation and reduced maximum Kv conductance (gK). Extracellular alkalinization (pH8.0-8.4) increased Kv currents, produced a small negative voltage shift in steady-state activation, and increased gK.[2]
            Cellular voltage differs with the pH of water. Alkaline water donates electrons which facilitate the transfer of energy. Acidic conditions actually steal electrons. Without electrons circulating around the nucleus we lose our “spark.” You don’t just make cellular electricity out of thin air. Our pets don’t wear shoes and when they go outside electrons flow into their body from the earth. Raw foods also provide electrons, but the biggest source for pets is from water. Dogs love to splash in the ocean or a lake. This is electron attractor. Chlorine added to swimming pools is actually an electron stealer. Drinking water is essential to attracting electrons. Filtered tap water with added fluoride and chlorine is an electron stealer. Good well water (unfiltered) is an electron donor. Bottled (most need to be filtered by law) water is and electron stealer. Reverse osmosis and distilled water are electron stealers (low pH). The reason being is the filtering process removes the trace-minerals, thereby diluting the existing minerals in the body and causing deficiencies and reducing voltage. This compromises the body’s ability to utilize vitamins, digest food and “spark” the brain.
            Minerals act as on off switches in the body. Each one has a cause and effect on physiology. Minerals also are the basis for creating neurochemicals that control the brain’s synaptic process and emotions. Many forms of minerals that are added to pet food may be necessary for the health of the animal but they do not form the electrical spark needed. The body takes what it needs off the “chunk” of mineral and discards the rest. Or worse, stores it thinking it will be useful in the future. Happy storage lockers are the joints and when enough debris lodges there, inflammation takes over and you get arthritis or swelling. It is essential that the smallest form of mineral is ingested as well – ionic or crystalloid (further broken down ionic that can pass through a semi-permeable membrane).
            Electrolyte-forming minerals are those that carry chemical messages in the brain and nervous system through neurotransmitters. These are made from and stimulated by electrolytes and macro (trace) minerals, amino acids, choline and other nutritional factors. With a short supply of these electron donating trace-minerals, messages from the brain to the body will be scrambled resulting in sickness and the body’s inability to fight disease. For this reason we advise adding electrolyte-forming trace minerals to your pet’s water and add their spark back.

[2]Ahn DS, Hume JR.  “pH regulation of voltage-dependent K+ channels in canine pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells.” Pflugers Arch. 1997 Apr;433(6):758-65. Department of Physiology and Cell Biology/351, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno 89557-0046, USA.

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