787: Plant-Based Minerals: What They Are & How They Work With The Mineral Geek Caroline Alan

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Plant-Based Minerals: What They Are & How They Work With The Mineral Geek Caroline Alan
Wellness Mama » Episode » 787: Plant-Based Minerals: What They Are & How They Work With The Mineral Geek Caroline Alan
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787: Plant-Based Minerals: What They Are & How They Work With The Mineral Geek Caroline Alan

My guest today is Caroline Alan, a mineral enthusiast, also known as the Mineral Geek. After her own struggles with physical and energetic health, she researched her way into better health, like many of us in the health and wellness world do. She developed very specific plant-based mineral products that have very specific ways of working in our bodies.

In this second episode, we break down these minerals and go deep into what plant-based minerals are, how they’re different from other minerals, and how they’re used in the body. She shares that many of us are operating at 40% of the mineral level we should have in our bodies, which blows my mind. She explains why this is and what we can do about it.

I learned so much from this episode, and I hope you do too.

Episode Highlights With Caroline Alan

  • What plant-based minerals are and how they are much different than other forms of minerals
  • How we can get minerals from decomposed plants 
  • The molecules inside humate: humic and fulvic 
  • Minerals fuel the cells via mitochondria in the cells
  • Fulvic is an intracellular molecule that removes toxins from the cell and humic hangs out in the blood to help remove inflammation-causing elements
  • These can actually be helpful in removing heavy metals
  • There are 70+ minerals in plant-based minerals in the ratio that the body needs
  • How quickly these can work within the body
  • The reason these can be absorbed even without a healthy gut lining!
  • How humic interacts with the cell wall to help it and can improve hydration
  • Specific tips for athletes with minerals 
  • Minerals drive all the biosynthesis processes in the body!
  • How minerals relate to bone health and why to think about this differently
  • The problem with megadosing specific minerals without balancing minerals in the body
  • One theory of why some athletes end up with osteopenia at earlier ages 
  • Mineral usage for kids and pregnant or nursing mothers
  • How humic can help with glyphosate exposure

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

Read Transcript

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

Hello and welcome to the Wellness Mama podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and I’m so grateful you’re here. This episode is with Caroline Alan, and we go deep on the topic of what plant-based minerals are and how they’re different from other forms of minerals and how they are used very specifically in the body and facts that’s blew my mind that many of us are operating at 40% of the mineral level we should have in our bodies. And she explains why this is the case and what to do about it. Caroline Alan is a mineral enthusiast. They call her the Mineral Geek. And coming from her own struggles with physical and energetic health, she researched her way into better health, like many of us do in the health and wellness world, and developed very specific plant-based mineral products that help the body in very specific ways, which we break down today in this episode. I always learn a ton from Caroline, so let’s jump in and learn from her now. Caroline, welcome back. Thanks for being here again.

Caroline: Oh, it’s great to be here. I always love talking with you.

Katie: Well, I feel the exact same way. And I loved our first conversation where we got to myth bust some things about minerals and understand on a cellular level why we need very specific ones and how they work differently in our body. And you shared the statistic that often humans are operating at only 40% of the minerals we actually need. So in this episode, I’m really excited to go super deep on the topic of plant-based minerals because this is, I’m guessing, a new concept for a lot of people. And as you built the foundation for in our first episode, they go a long way toward fixing that massive deficiency that we were talking about. I know we touched on it in the first episode, but can you give us an explanation of what plant-based minerals are and how these differ from maybe what people think of when they hear the word minerals?

Caroline: Yes, so imagine an entire rainforest back when the dinosaurs lived. And a huge meteor hit the earth. It killed 75% of all life on Earth. And all of those rainforests decomposed over millennia into mineral-rich substances. And in the case of our products, we use a material called humate. It’s a black crystalline substance that exists about 10 to 12 feet below the surface of the earth. There are other humic and fulvic substances, plant-based mineral substances around the earth also called shilajit. That’s in the Himalayas. There’s peat, there’s leonardite, other substances that are also decomposed ancient rainforests.

Now, the important thing to remember is that these were freshwater plants, not saltwater plants. So not, you know, chlorella or those kinds of things. Those are great mineral substances, but they don’t have humic and fulvic in them. Okay, so, that’s the first stage is this material, and I’m just going to use the material humate. So inside of humate are these two molecules, humic and fulvic. And they have really different capacities. Together, I call them Mother Nature’s mineral replenishment and full system detoxification technology.

If you think about your body made of cells that evolved from the earth, this technology also evolved right alongside all of this, the single cell and multicellular organisms on the earth, and they needed particular ways to get minerals inside the cells because if you remember, minerals fuel the cells via the mitochondria that are inside the cells. So minerals, they have to get in your body, in our case, through our mouths. And then they have to be broken down in your digestive tract. They have to be absorbed through the lining of your digestive tract into your bloodstream. And then they have to be assimilated into your cells. So this is a really key point because unless, most minerals have to get all the way inside your cells for them to have their effect in your body.

Katie: That makes sense. And I think like the mitochondria piece that we touched on in the first episode is super important. And I’m glad we’re hearing more about mitochondrial health, even in sort of mainstream health sites. But I feel like this is a part that a lot of people miss. And I know a question we might get for people listening, especially if this is a new concept for them, is, is there any toxicity present in these? Like, for instance, I know plants are kind of a filter for heavy metals. So when plants uptake things, they can sort of store things we might not want to ingest big amounts. So do plant-based minerals like this have any sort of like toxicity or thing to be aware of or maybe people who are sensitive to them for particular reasons?

Caroline: Yeah, that’s really interesting. So let’s talk about, I first want to give a larger context for it, which is if you think about cellular systems, when they were first developing on Earth, you know, single cell, multicellular elements, there were, there have always been environmental toxins. There were volcanoes with lots of sulfur deposits and different things that were really toxic to cellular systems. So of course, the earth developed a mode, a method for removing environmental toxins from cellular systems. And that is the fulvic and humic, the fulvic being the intercellular transporter that removes toxins out of the cell and the humic molecule, which hangs out in the bloodstream and gathers toxins, bio-waste, heavy metals, nanoplastics, like all the, all of these inflammation-causing elements and removes them from your body.

Now, the interesting thing about these minerals, particularly plant-based minerals is, is they are made from the earth. They actually include heavy metals. Okay. There are heavy metals in plant-based minerals, but you have to understand, and I’ve done a huge amount of research because I questioned this in depth. The heavy metals, the way we think about heavy metals, they are a problem in the body when they are free-ranging, when they’re just wandering around through your body or they’re lodging in your tissues, they cause oxidative stress and inflammation. And they cause cancer, etc. However, the heavy metals that are inside and part of the humic molecule and the fulvic molecule, they are completely bound in the molecule, and they do not come loose. They have no valence. They have no ability to fly off. You know, it’s like when you start thinking about how this actually works, you get down to such a minute micro level. And you have to realize this is at an atomic level where electrons and things fly off and things become different molecules. And that does not happen with the parts of the humic molecule.

In fact, humic is very well known for removing heavy metals from all aqueous solutions, whether in your body is an aqueous solution, that’s a water based inside your body it’s water. It’s a liquid solution in there. And it’s the same with streams or in fact, they’ve used humic in Chernobyl to remove heavy metals from the land there. And that the places where they put the humic where the places where the plants grew back more quick, the most quickly.

So, the one thing, so now we’ll talk about people who are sensitive. So one of the things, because humic is such a, it’s a very powerful detoxifier. And so there’s something we call Herxheimer responses. And there’s an article on our website. We could put it in the show notes. It’s really helpful for people who are sensitive. And these are people who have autoimmune, people who’ve had Lyme’s, people who have had mold exposure, people who’ve had long COVID. In fact, since I had COVID, I will get a Herxheimer response from drinking humic. But if I drink it in my water, and people who are watching this can see that I have my water that I’m drinking is brown because I put my humic into the water. When I drink it that way, I have no Herxheimer response.

What is a Herxheimer response? It’s just the body going, yay, I can get rid of all this bad stuff and I’m going to do it all now. You might get a rash or you might get a headache or you might get an aching joint or you might get, you know, there’s a huge number of symptoms that are called Herxheimer responses. It’s very easy to manage that. And we just use something called a slow-introduction method. So you just give yourself a very small amount and then you slowly build up over time.

Katie: That makes complete sense. And I remind people, even in like a Herxheimer situation or anytime you have a symptom, I always love to reframe that that is awesome because that’s a message directly from your body that’s loud enough for you to hear, that’s telling you what’s going on. So even just our mindset shift and not viewing that as a bad thing, but a thing to be listened to, I feel like can be really helpful. But it does bring up another question that I had for you, which is what about dosage for these things? If how much is too much or if someone isn’t having a Herxheimer reaction, is there like an upper limit? Because I feel so good on these. I’ve been like wanting to drink them a lot. And I’m curious, what is the upper limit?

Caroline: Well, here’s the interesting thing about plant-based minerals. It’s so cool. So if you’re going to take magnesium, you use the word dosage. We never use the word dosage when we’re talking about plant-based minerals. And why is that? It’s because if you think about the humic and fulvic, the beautiful thing about them is they are naturally formulated. They have a full spectrum of minerals, like 70 plus minerals in them. And they’re naturally formulated in the ratios of minerals that your body is made of and utilizes.

So when you take more, you are putting more into your body, but you’re putting them in in the correct ratios. So you’re not creating imbalance in your gut. So first of all, because most of us are so depleted, our systems are truly depleted of minerals, it would be really hard to get too much. And I wouldn’t say go drink a cup of any one of our minerals, right? Because that might cause some sort of Herxheimer response for you. But, you know, what I do, I’ve been taking them for a long time. I literally wake up in the morning and I ask my body. And I loved what you said, you know, Katie, about if you have some sort of symptom or something that shows up as a result of taking the minerals. Because, you know, we’re used to kind of acting upon our body rather than being in relationship with our body. And if we’re in relationship, you literally could ask your body, how much do I want today? And every day it’s different. I might want more of the fulvic today and I might need more of the humic today. Maybe I feel a little tickle in my throat and my immune system needs a boost. Maybe I, and then I would take more humic, but let’s say I’m just feeling a little, you know, a little brain foggy. I would take more fulvic because it raises my energy and it brings, brings minerals directly into the cells.

Katie: I love that you suggested asking your body. I think developing a friendship with our body where we can ask those questions and get good answers is a tremendous part of healing and just living in a state of wonderful health. And I’m going to ask some specific use cases in a minute. But before we jump into those, I would love to hear if you could explain a little deeper sort of biochemically or physiologically when someone consumes these minerals, what’s happening in the body and then what benefits might someone notice or what might they experience when they start consuming these? Is it a long process before we notice a difference or might someone notice something pretty quickly?

Caroline: It’s really cool. So, and, and again, I’m going to talk about the fulvic first, because the full, the beautiful thing about the fulvic is because the molecule is so small, in the case of our liquid minerals, when you drink them, they start absorbing through the lining of your mouth, your esophagus, your throat. So they don’t require a healthy gut lining to absorb because they absorb through any tissue. In fact, we even have a spray, a fulvic spray, and you can just spray like this. Breathe it in, now I’m getting an immediate infusion of electrolytes directly through my skin and my sinuses, okay.

So we often have worked at the aid stations at bike races, and they’re used to taking these salt-based electrolyte drinks, which bother their stomachs, so they come into the aid station, they’re feeling a little draggy, and they want a lift, but they really don’t want to take the salt-based electrolytes because they know it’s going to make their stomach feel horrible, so they come over to our thing, and they take a shot of our electrolytes, and they literally, moments later, they go, whoa, what just happened? Could I have felt that that quickly? And we’re like, yep. You could feel it that quickly. Because it literally absorbs directly through any tissue. That’s the fulvic.

Now, the humic can be an incredible support for people, like, let’s say you have a child who has diarrhea, you know, because there’s some sort of bug in their gut, right? This is a great way to kill that bug or get those bugs out of it. It doesn’t necessarily kill the bugs, but it takes the bugs out of the system much more quickly. So it can really support. You know, there’s one other thing that humic does that’s really cool. And I don’t always talk about it, but it’s useful here. So this Velcro ball, this humic molecule that’s like a Velcro ball, and it hangs out in your bloodstream, it also interacts with the cell wall. And it causes the cell wall to become more permeable. It opens more channels in the cell wall. The beautiful thing about that is it helps with hydration. Now, what we want, we don’t want to just water, drink it, and it flows right through. We want it actually to absorb into our tissues so that we get hydrated, particularly for athletes. Like your kids, this is incredibly helpful to use the humic and the fulvic together. The humic creating more cell wall permeability, more channels in the cell wall. So imagine if you’re in a room and you have one door and one window, and now imagine three doors and three windows, and they’re all open. Now more things can go in and out more efficiently. So when you have a system that is infused with humic and fulvic, you make nutrient uptake extremely effective, intercellular detoxification, the removal of toxins from your tissues, because that’s what your cells are very effective, and you also provide this incredible vehicle for detoxification of your full system via the humic.

Katie: That’s so fascinating. And it brings me to some specific use cases I wanted to especially talk about. So we’ve mentioned athletes a little bit, and I’m an athlete now, and some of my kids are athletes as well. And I know a lot of people listening might be in some capacity also. And I’ve read statistics, for instance, that people who live in hot climates or sauna often or are athletes and sweat more than the average person can lose more minerals in a much more rapid amount of time than someone who’s very sedentary, for instance. And you mentioned cramping with athletes. I’m curious if there’s specific tips for people who are athletes or who know that they’re losing a lot of sweat, for instance, to help replenish or protocols that seem to work really well for athletic performance.

Caroline: Yeah, I have a lot to say about that because I’ve worked with trainers and also athletes. There’s a great story on our website called Bob’s Story that people can look up. And it’s about a cycling athlete who came to us with incredible cramping. He also had something called fasciculation, which is they call it the creepy crawlies. It’s like under your skin, your muscles are just like they’re doing little twitching. And it’s really uncomfortable. And he came to us with, he’s like, what can I do? And I said, you’re incredibly mineral depleted. He’s like, but I take all these electrolytes and, you know, he megadoses magnesium and all this stuff. And I said, well, what I want you to do is for one month, I want you to completely stop all that, all the salt-based electrolytes you’re taking or megadosing of magnesium or whatever. And I just want you to use these minerals, these plant-based minerals.

And after one month, completely all his cramping stopped. Now it was in the fall and then he went into winter, and he didn’t really, it wasn’t in a major training cycle. He’s just doing great. He’s like, I feel incredible. He felt hydrated. He did his, you know, his cycling at home just on his practice bike, but not going out on the road. Then spring came and he was training for a race, and he went out and he thought, well, I’m going to be doing this big training run. I better take some extra magnesium. So quickly, you know, he popped his magnesium citrate I think it was. And he came home and that night immediately bang, terrible night cramps, like just terrible. And he, then he was like, well, maybe it was the kind of magnesium I took. So the next day he took magnesium gluconate or something. And he went out on his training run again. The next, after that, that evening had terrible, terrible fasciculation, the creepy crawlies cramping. And he, he texted me this long text and sent me a video and he’s like, what’s wrong? What’s happening? And I said, well you just threw your body into complete imbalance. And it’s freaking out. Why would you even consider needing to take extra magnesium? And he said, well, I always do that. And I said, yeah, you always do that. And that’s why you always had cramping. I said, if you want to take, if you need an infusion of electrolyze, take a shot of our electrolyze product, which is the fulvic. There you’ve got immediate absorption and immediate access for your body of a full spectrum of minerals it needs.

Now, the beautiful thing about it is when you give your body the full spectrum, your body in its infinite wisdom says, oh, I need some boron here. I need some phosphorus here. I need some molybdenum here. Oh, I need some copper here. Oh, I need some selenium here. Oh, I need a little magnesium here, potassium, et cetera. You see? Imagine being able to put the full spectrum in because your body knows what it needs, where it needs it, when it needs it, even how it needs it because it can actually take those minerals and put it together and make magnesium citrate, gluconate, et cetera. Okay? Citrate.

Katie: That makes sense. And that’s such a fascinating story. You also touched on thyroid briefly, and I would love to expound on this because that was part of my journey. I used to have Hashimoto’s and no longer do. And I know many people listening might’ve been given the word related to something related to thyroid as a diagnosis with their health. And in hindsight, I would do a lot of things differently if I knew what I knew now, but I’m grateful for that journey. But I’m curious how these plant-based minerals relate to thyroid health for the people listening who that’s acute for them.

Caroline: So one of the things that I want people to understand relative to minerals and well, first of all, when we think about thyroid, we have to actually think about what I call the three-legged stool. Okay, so you have thyroid, you have your reproductive hormones, and you have your adrenals. And they’re all connected. If one is out, usually one of the others is out as well. You can’t just manage one. You have to manage the whole three-legged stool.

And what drives all of the biosynthesis processes in your body? All of the biosynthesis processes in your body is minerals. Okay, if you follow those biosynthesis processes down, every single one will end up with mineral cofactors required. Okay, and certain amino acids, etc. Now, one of the things that I want us to be aware of is that the adrenals, and I know we’re talking about thyroid, but adrenals are really important to think about in here because your adrenal gland stores minerals. Your thyroid gland stores minerals in very high amounts. When your mineral depleted, the first places that get affected are your adrenals and your thyroid.

Katie: That makes sense as well. And I noticed at least anecdotally for myself, I did take thyroid medication for a while and I don’t anymore. But it did seem like things like nervous system regulation and getting these mineral levels in the right range, like we talked about, really made a difference. And it makes sense because like you said, it gives us those cofactors and the enzymes and all the things we need for the cells to function properly. And just like we mentioned with symptoms, they’re a messenger. So what was my body telling me that I didn’t know how to understand at that point? Another area you mentioned in passing that I would love to hear more about is the topic of bone density because I know this is something that people think about, especially as we get older. And we know that bone density is important for avoiding things like fractures, which have some pretty stark statistics for longevity. So how do these plant-based minerals relate to our bone health?

Caroline: Well, so bone health is really interesting. I’ve actually been studying it quite a lot recently because there’s been a lot of questions about it. So this is, again, when you think about how minerals operate in the body, and your bones are certainly made of minerals. And one of the things people are doing a lot now is megadosing magnesium, whether it’s for sleep or for elimination issues. Usually those are the two main ones, but also athletes do it just for their, because they’re hitting their system so highly all the time. The challenge is that when you megadose one particular mineral, your body tries to balance that. Okay.

So minerals work in these really important ratios. And if you have high magnesium, your body will try to balance that with calcium and potassium. So one of the challenges that, and I was just researching this this morning for another project I’m involved in. Aging athletes, particularly runners and cyclists and triathletes, end up with osteopenia and in some cases osteoporosis. And one of the theories that I am working on, and there haven’t been studies about this, but from my understanding of replenishment and how it works in the body and how mineral balance works, my theory is that the megadosing, the body is actually pulling the minerals from other locations to balance out the megadosing of the magnesium. So as you know, we know now, like used to be, if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, you should take a lot of calcium. But doctors don’t know that, they know now that that doesn’t work. You can’t just throw a whole bunch of calcium in your system and expect your body to be able to absorb it, assimilate it, and utilize it to increase your bone density. There are studies, and I’m happy to put them into your show notes as well, about fulvic being effective in increasing bone density. And why is that? Again, if you think about how fulvic works, it’s that intercellular transporter. It brings the nutrients into the cells. You have to remember, your bones are made of cells.

Katie: That makes sense. And nothing is in isolation. And so sort of like what applies to one applies throughout the body. We can’t just think of the bones that they’re separate. We’ll just handle them on their own. Everything’s so connected. I know many of the parents listening may also be wondering about the use of minerals like this in children and if that’s okay, also, of course, we always get the what about pregnant or nursing moms? Are these safe? I would guess that because these are natural substances from the earth that are essentially more like a food that used to be in our food, that there’s a safe range for them. But how are they used in children and pregnant and nursing moms?

Caroline: Well, let’s first talk about the moms. I don’t know what the chicken and egg, we’ll talk about the chicken. But they are very safe and they’re excellent for women. We’ve had lots of reports of women for gestation, supporting gestation because your body, how is your body making that baby? It’s pulling minerals from your system to create the structure of that baby. So full spectrum mineral supplementation is extremely important during pregnancy and gestation. And then once your baby is out, when you’re trying to produce all of that milk, the humic and fulvic are extremely effective in supporting lactation in women. And we’ve gotten many, many reports from women about that, just anecdotal. I don’t know if there’s any actual studies about that. I just haven’t looked into that.

One of the things women ask is because the minerals do have heavy metals in them, and I know I’ve talked about how the heavy metals that are in these natural substances are completely bound in the molecules and do not come loose. But so for women who are doing lactation, they’re worried like, well, would it come out in the milk? And first of all, one thing you should understand, and because humic is a detoxification agent, mother’s milk is not an elimination channel. Really important to note. Because humic will use all of your elimination channels like your tears, your sweat, your snot, your spit, your breath, rubbing your hands together, the bottoms of your feet, of course, your urine and feces, but not the mother’s milk. Okay.

And then using minerals with your kids. One thing I love about our minerals is because they taste like water, the kids will take them. And most, we haven’t had any kids say they wouldn’t. Some kids are really sensitive or concerned about the dark color of our humic. But it’s that once they taste, they’re like, oh, no problem. You can also throw it in their water bottle and chances are they won’t even know. We do have a kid’s dosage, not dosage, but a recommended amount chart. And we could also give that to you if you want to pop that onto your show notes or we’ll make that available to you. You just adjust by weight.

One of the things I want to mention about kids. So we have, this is probably a whole other section we could talk about, which is about glyphosate exposure. One of the, we’re all dealing with glyphosate exposure and because kids’ bodies are smaller, they’re actually more affected. And there’s a huge rise in all sorts of different symptoms with chronic symptoms with younger and younger kids with ADHD, mood disorders, anger issues, depression, cognitive issues, etc., etc. And many of them have been correlated with glyphosate exposure. Now, the beautiful thing is that guess what remediates and removes glyphosate from your system? Humic. Humic is well known as one of the most effective substances for remediating and removing humic from the body.

Katie: And that’s a fascinating fact. And perhaps that we can do a whole follow-up episode specific to things like that, because I think there’s a whole world beyond what we were able to cover in just these two short episodes. I would guess most people are very curious about incorporating these things now, and I’ll make sure there are links in the show notes. But can you explain where people can A, learn more about these things, and B, find them if they want to try them?

Caroline: Sure. People can go to beamminerals.com. It has two Ms in the middle. We’ve got a lot of educational material if you want to read more. We’ve really tried to help you see your issues on our website. So I think there’s a lot of information there. We also have incredible customer service. If you have any questions, just send it in. You can also set up a chat with me if you have a specific set of questions. Our customer service will set you up with a 15-minute little consult with me, and I’ll talk to you.

Katie: Wonderful. And those links will be in the show notes for all of you guys listening. And Caroline, I hope we get to have many more future conversations because I enjoy talking to you so much. But for today, thank you so much for your time and for all that you’ve shared and for all the work that you do in the world to help bring awareness about this to so many people.

Caroline: Thank you so much. It truly is my mission to remineralize humanity.

Katie: And thanks as always to you for listening and sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy, and your attention with us today. We’re both so grateful that you did. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of The Wellness Mama podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


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