I first heard about atom-sized minerals back in 2006 – also called angstrom, picometer, or nano-sized minerals. As soon as most of us hear the words nano or nanoparticle, we get worried. It sounds so high tech – how can it be safe, or have a proven record of safety?
However, when I looked at the fact that plants naturally absorb and produce atom-size (nanoparticle) minerals, thus indicating that our bodies have been safely absorbing minerals in this form for millenia, that gave me a base of confidence to try atom-size minerals for myself and my family. In fact, here is a fascinating video showing exactly how plants extract and absorb atom-sized minerals from the soil.
I also looked at people/groups who had been consuming atom-sized minerals for years already. A good friend of Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND – veterinarian Terry Wood – had been using atom-sized minerals and nano-sized electrolyte blends with animals and athletes for over 5 years, with no accounts of adverse effects.
Many of the negative reports on nano-sized minerals focused on dermal or respiratory applications – not water-based minerals, ingested orally. Some reports were downright ridiculous with massive amounts of nano iron administered to mice lungs resulting in damage, for example. Yes, perfect, because I normally inhale my iron supplement… not!
The other issue that makes research very difficult is that almost none of the studies define what they mean by “nano-sized”. Are they talking about an artificially-manipulated chemical? Or are they talking about the mineral atom? For example, you cannot make magnesium any smaller than a magnesium atom. If you did, then it would no longer be magnesium!
At that time, in 2007, my daughter was four years old and had two brown, rotted front teeth – entirely my fault as I had transitioned her from breast milk to diluted rice milk, having no idea how high glycemic it was. So after testing atom-sized minerals on myself and my husband for a while, I wondered if they would benefit my kids. To be honest, if we had been able to get raw milk, I probably would not have offered them to the kids, but we did not have any other source of highly bioavailable bone/tooth minerals.
We would all brush our teeth and then swish with the atom-sized minerals for up to 2 minutes, swallow, and head for bed. This is what my gut/intuition told me to do; the idea had been sparked by the dental study where mixing the atom-sized minerals into filling material prevented further decay. Imagine my surprise when after a few months of this, my daughter’s brown, rotted teeth had turned white and were rock hard – the dentist showed me as he tapped on them with his steel pick.
Nevertheless, my family used them regularly for years before I told my readers about them – to give us a chance to test them fully first, and see if any negative issues popped, or longer-term negative consequences arose.
Why are atom-sized (nano/angstrom) minerals better?
My friend Dr. Dean explains this perfectly in an article she wrote for my Infoletter about magnesium:
“Physicists tell us that the size of the mineral channels in our cells, are between 4-5 angstroms in diameter. An angstrom is one ten billionth of a meter, a range between a nanometer and a picometer. If minerals are larger than this size, they are not readily absorbed through the cell membrane. What I call “dirt minerals” may be millions of times larger than the channel they are trying to enter. Colloidal minerals and ionic minerals, while they may claim to be smaller than dirt minerals can still be thousands of times bigger than angstrom [nano-sized] minerals. Therefore, you not only need to take the proper type of magnesium, but it also has to be in an easily absorbed form.”
However, you may be wondering how the body can regulate absorption if atom-sized minerals are smaller than cell channels? Well, you can’t think of a cell channel like a tunnel — molecules that are much smaller than a particular channel won’t just slide in; because their size/shape won’t be able to interact with the charged atoms at the opening and allow entry. So it’s more like a lock and a key, than a ball rolling into a tube. So just like the atom-sized minerals contained in plants, that enter our body when we eat them, if the cell doesn’t want or need any more of a particular mineral, it won’t allow it to enter.
I tested this with atom-sized iron – since I knew from previous experience that iron can be highly toxic if you overdose. Which experience, you might ask? Well, in my 20’s I took a standard iron supplement that was in a liquid suspension/syrup with other herbs and I had reached the end of the bottle. But when I poured it out into my spoon, instead of it being smooth liquid, it had some chunks and slivers in it. Ah what the heck, I swallowed it anyway… and spent the next 6 hours simultaneously projectile vomiting and diarrhea-ing.
So back to the atom-sized iron… by this time I’m in my 40’s and although I’m healed from Crohn’s, I know how super sensitive people with IBD are to iron (it can cause intestinal bleeding). So before I recommend these products to my readers, I want to make extra sure they are going to be safe for ingestion. After taking atom-sized iron at the regular dosage for a few weeks, I then increased to 8x the daily dosage (in one dose) to see what might happen. All fine. So then I gave it a few days and took 16x the daily dosage (all at once) and the only sign that it was too much was my stool turned a bit green.
But the RDA doesn’t make sense…
When you look at a QuikPlus mineral label (atom-sized, ionic minerals), you may be confused by the % of Daily Value column and why it’s so low. Remember that this column is based on FDA-approved Recommended Daily Amounts (RDA). But, as these are atom-sized minerals, their absorption rate is much higher than standard minerals which average only 10-15% absorption, thus, you need to take far less of these atom-sized minerals for your body to derive the same benefit.
Note that the chloride form of minerals (in QuikPlus) is also used in intravenous solutions (like lactated Ringer’s) that you would receive in the hospital.
Unfortunately, we haven’t had enough clinical trials done on atom-sized minerals to know how much is needed, used, excreted, etc. But if we look at other nano/angstrom/atom-sized products (who’ve been selling for 5+ years) many of them contain even less calcium than my formula for QuikPlus Bone Matrix. One of them (with a large market in Europe) has only 2 mg of calcium per serving (Bone Matrix has 10 mg). So in cases like this, I have to go with my own family’s experience with atom-sized minerals (which we’ve been taking regularly since 2008). If these minerals can turn brown, half-decayed teeth white and hard, then they are obviously working at a level far superior to powdered/regular minerals.
My daughter is also a competitive gymnast and has never had an injury (beyond 1 slightly sprained ankle when someone moved the mat right before she landed). My parents are 76 and 82 (my Dad even smokes and has diabetes) but their bones remain strong and they can both lift furniture, a hay bale, etc. with no trouble. My mother (who has no vices) has not lost any height.
HOWEVER, of course you must listen to your own body and see what and how much feels good to you. If you want a higher dosage of calcium (for example), you can also supplement with additional calcium from the Angstrom line if you wish, which has 67 mg per serving.
BUT do not take it at the same time as Bone Matrix – because calcium is not the only mineral required to build and sustain healthy, resilient bone. And the ratio of these companion minerals is of crucial importance. For example, this study shows that manganese combined with zinc is helpful for improving spinal bone loss. And this study concludes that a lack of boron is detrimental to bone formation and maintenance.
I think the ‘magic’ of the Bone Matrix formula is contained in the ratios – my formula is not the same as any other brand/product. And I don’t think anyone has put the time into researching the data the way I have – not just from clinical trial results, but cross-referencing with amounts/ratios contained in traditional foods from healthy tribes (data from Dr. Weston A. Price).
My parents take 2 tbsp of Bone Matrix per day. I take 1 tbsp. Some people I know take 3 tbsp per day. Follow your own gut and supplement with that additional calcium if your body wants it – just take it 2 hours away from Bone Matrix. If you are having any tests or metrics to track your bone density etc. then create a chart, so you can see if your dosage is having the desired result.
I also have a post specifically on silica and joints. There is a good dose of silica in Bone Matrix as it’s crucial for bone/tooth formation, but it’s also particularly good for joints and connective tissue. So I also supplement with extra silica on days when I’m doing a lot of hard labour out at my horse pasture – this prevents my thumb joint from getting sore. I will also take extra magnesium and trace minerals – either in my tea or with a packet of Emergen-C vitamin C. The QuikPlus line is simply all the atom-sized, ionic minerals that my own family uses regularly – and used to heal our abominable tooth decay!
At any rate, my purpose here is to share my own family’s experience and a brief look at the science, but above all else, listen to your own gut! We can never second-guess our unique body’s wisdom – so if your body tells you something isn’t safe for you, please listen to it.