Colloidal Minerals

Summary: Use a chelated multimineral supplement and use Real Salt on foods instead.

Colloidal minerals are low-dose mineral supplements, supposedly made more effective by being dissolved in water. I have never actually seen a "colloidal mineral" product exhibit the Tyndall effect, which colloids do, but I guess the name sounds fancier than "Dissolved Minerals."

They can be helpful for those with marginal mineral deficiencies, but they are never worth the cost in my opinion. There are two types. The first is pretty much just Real Salt (see Salt) dissolved in water with flavoring and sweetening added to cover the salt taste. And not even a lot of Real Salt - probably around 1/16tsp per dose or less - a cent's worth. The second type has the sodium removed most likely using a toxic extractant. This is also not a good choice.

Another problem with colloidal minerals is that they do not contain enough minerals. They typically contain mostly sulfur, sodium, and chloride, which are quite easy to consume in the diet. An entire $20 bottle contains less calcium and magnesium thanone 10 cent tablet of highly absorbable chelates. Add a kelp or other seaweed capsule per day and you will get many of those trace minerals that washed into the sea from farmland, or use Real Salt on food. Take a multimineral with a meal or use an acidic form of cal-mag like Enzymatic Therapy's Acid-A-Cal if there is poor acid production.

Colloidal mineral advertisements are also misleading. They state that because of their much higher absorbtion, that taking tiny amounts of minerals is sufficient. A claim often bandied about is that colloidal minerals are absorbed at 90% efficiency while non-colloidal minerals are absorbed at 10%. This may be true for the worst absorbed forms of minerals, e.g., calcium carbonate, but the figure is closer to 40% or more for chelated products like calcium citrate. However, assume the 90% / 10% ratio assertion is true. A whole liter of colloidal minerals will usually contain less than 50mg of calcium (and 10 mg of magnesium) and costs $15 to $20. You could drink a liter of this, or take a 500mg calcium magnesium tablet, which costs less than a dime.

My recommendation is to take just a chelated cal-mag supplement and use a mineral rich salt like Real Salt on foods and in cooking.