Did you know that a deficiency of mineral in soil, such as Selenium, can manifest as human diseases; anemia, diabetes and cancer? Evidence from Malawi: A case study:
The month of April comes with “April fool’s day" notoriety, but what is shared in this blog article is no fools tale. It is science based evidence of our the interconnectedness of humans with Mother Nature, through the foods we eat (consume) and how these foods are grown has profound impacts on human health and disease, including manifestation on chronic diseases.
Is there evidence of a link between mineral deficiencies and human diseases?
- Iron deficiency causes anemia; the hemoglobin molecule of red blood cells cannot be complete without iron to maximise its oxygen carrying abilities.
- Magnesium deficiency predisposes one to many chronic diseases which include; diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease and osteoporosis, among others.
- Selenium deficiency is associated with many chronic diseases, from cardiovascular dysfunction, musculo-skeletal weakness due to necrosis of joint cartilage, immune system dysfunction resulting in failure to fight infections and dysfunction leading to the body’s inability to fight cancers. Selenium on human disease and health: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ars.2010.3275
Do we have any population based studies that show a link between selenium deficiency and human disease? Yes, we do: The case of Malawi:
- Malawi case study: Bio-fortification of crops with 7 minerals; iron, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, selenium and iodine. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02738.x/pdf
- Malawi’s “hidden hunger”; could enriched fertilizers be the answer? Or Agroecology? http://www.espa.ac.uk/news-events/espa-news/2013-03/38179
- Soil types influences human selenium levels which underlies widespread selenium deficiency in Malawi. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep01425
- The case study of Malawi provides evidence of the need to shift from the current chemical industrial farming approaches, which use external synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, like glyphosate, which chelate and bind useful minerals in the soil and thereby make them unavailable to the roots of plants for vital nutrients for plant health, to agro-ecological organic approaches which enrich soil nutrient content and soil health, which in turn, translate to useful dietary nutrients which confer human health and prevent manifestation of non-communicable diseases, including cancers.