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Nutrient Depletion Studies

Mineral Depletion of Foods 1940 to 2002 Table 10

The findings in over 225 medical research studies has shown that deficiencies in minerals can have significant effects in a person's mental well being. These minerals are significantly decreasing in our food supply.

The Mineral Depletion of Food Available to Us as a Nation (1940–2002) - A Review of the 6th Edition of McCance and Widdowson. David Thomas. Nutrition and Health, 2007, Vol. 19, pp. 21–55.

Agriculture, both crops and livestock, depletes soils of mineral nutrients, because of the removal of nutrients contained in the produce sold. These nutrients are not being replenished as fast as they are being removed from the soil.

Mineral Nutrient Depletion in US Farm and Range Soils. Michael Karr, Ph.D. ARCPACS Certified Professional Soil Scientist.

Food Alone May Not Provide Sufficient Micronutrients for Preventing Deficiency Table 1

Laboratory tests prove that fruits, vegetables grains, eggs, milk, and meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago. It may be that chronic micronutrient insufficiency from food alone is more fact than fantasy.

Food Alone May Not Provide Sufficient Micronutrients for Preventing Deficiency. Bill Misner. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 3(1):51-55, 2006.

Nutrient Depleted Strawberry
As food production in the world has moved toward corporate farms, the repeated planting of the same crops year after year have pulled vitamins and minerals from the soil, as they are suppose to, but have not been replenished.  Farms do use fertilizer, but just not ones that restore the same full complement of vitamins and minerals that the crop is pulling from the soil.  As the years have worn on, the soils have become more and more depleted. 

As you review the studies listed below, you will begin to see how the foods we have available to us may look a lot nicer because of the sophisticated breeding and farming practices but simply do not have the nutritional value they once had.  Because of the soil degradation, adding a high quality micronutrient supplement to our daily diet becomes more and more necessary to supply our body and brain with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to function properly.

The nutrient degradation studies below demonstrate why everyone needs to be taking a micornutrient. The scientific studies on EMPowerplus Q96, the most studied micronutrient on the market, validates the complex manufacturing process of creating an effective micronutrient that is completely bioavailable to both the brain and the body and actually works.

David Thomas Nutrition and Health. 2007, Vol. 19, pp. 21–55  Download Full Study

Over the past 60 years there have been fundamental changes in the quality and quantity of food available to us as a nation. The character, growing method, preparation, source and ultimate presentation of basic staples have changed significantly to the extent that trace elements and micronutrient contents have been severely depleted. This trend, established in a review of the 5th Edition of McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, is still apparent in this review of the 6th edition of the same work. Concurrently there has been a precipitous change towards convenience and pre-prepared foods containing saturated fats, highly processed meats and refined carbohydrates, often devoid of vital micronutrients yet packed with a cocktail of chemical additives including colourings, flavourings and preservatives. It is proposed that these changes are significant contributors to rising levels of diet-induced ill health. Ongoing research clearly demonstrates a significant relationship between deficiencies in micronutrients and physical and mental ill health.

The impact of nutrition on mental health
The impact of nutrition on mental health

A large number of peer-reviewed research papers written between 1941 and 2003 correlate various mental illnesses with mineral and trace element deficiencies or imbalances. Table 10 summarises these relationships, the data being extracted from 225 papers published in various respected scientific and medical journals. See a full list of references supplied in Appendix 4 of the study.


What a dilemma we have found ourselves in. Research from all over the world has demonstrated the reality of the loss of micronutrients from our foods and provides evidence that micronutrient deficiencies significantly undermine our health, contributing towards chronic physiological and psychological illnesses in people of all ages.

Yet we continue to see the relentless pursuit of farming and marketing practices that emphasize cheapness and durability over quality to the point where the past few generations have become conditioned to accept this as the norm – with palates that have been conditioned to prefer foods containing excessive amounts of saturated fats, refined proteins, salt, sugar and other refined carbohydrates.  Download Full Study

Historical Essential Mineral Depletion




Summary of Results

This chart illustrates the weighted average changes that have taken place between 1940 and 1991 for fruit and vegetables and between 1940 and 2002 for meat, cheeses, and dairy products. These represent the average changes in 72 food products. The results are stark. They speak for themselves.  Download Full Study

Soil Erosion

Michael Karr, Ph.D. ARCPACS Certified Professional Soil Scientist.   Read Full Study

Agriculture, both crops and livestock, depletes soils of mineral nutrients, because of the removal of nutrients contained in the produce sold. Since the 1950’s the increase in farm productivity and efficiency has not always resulted in a corresponding increase in the replenishment of mineral nutrients to the soils through commercially available means. This is because many growers in the US do not have sufficient management expertise to account for or replace all plant nutrient elements removed. In public range and forest tracts leased by ranchers, there has been relatively little effort to replace minerals removed by livestock. Consequently, there is evidence of widespread mineral nutrient depletion in U.S. farm and range soils.

Mineral nutrient depletion continues to be a problem in U.S. farm, forest and range soils. This depletion is caused by natural processes, such as weathering and erosion, particularly in the sensitive soils of the southeastern United States. More significantly, throughout the United States, human accelerated depletion is caused by the production of high yield crops and livestock grazing. Those activities cause nutrients to be removed and organic matter to be depleted from the soil’s natural cycling system. Moreover, when commercial growers attempt to replenish the soils of only some mineral nutrients by fertilization they may exacerbate mineral nutrient imbalances. While methods exist to replenish the soil of its mineral nutrients there is a relative lack of knowledge on how to identify all deficiencies and to fully correct them. In addition, the lack of an economic incentive to implement long term, soil-building solutions perpetuates the relative fragility and inconsistency of US soils’ nutrient supplying power.

Bill Misner Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 3(1):51-55, 2006  Read Full Study

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has stated that the best nutritional strategy for promoting optimal health and reducing the risk of chronic disease is to wisely choose a wide variety of foods. Seventy diets were computer analyzed from the menu of athletes or sedentary subjects seeking to improve the quality of micronutrient intake from food choices. All of these dietary analyses fell short of the recommended 100% RDA micronutrient level from food alone. Therefore, based on diets analyzed for adequacy or inadequacy of macronutrients and micronutrients, a challenging question is proposed: “Does food selection alone provide 100% of the former RDA or newer RDI micronutrient recommended daily requirement?”

Food Alone May Not Provide Sufficient Micronutrients for Preventing Deficiency

The analyzed diets in this study turned out to be only slightly below the Recommended Daily Allowance for calories; 7.4% deficient for the men and 2.7 deficient for the women. However, the men’s diets were on average 40% deficient in vitamins and 54.2% deficient in minerals and the women’s diets were 29% deficient in vitamins and 44.2% deficient in minerals. In order to get the necessary vitamins and minerals from food alone with the diets that were analyzed, men would have to almost double what they ate and women would have to increase what they ate by 35%.

The effect of activity on
calorie deficiency in this contingent demonstrates an increased micronutrient deficiency in athletes (A) and surprisingly, the sedentary subjects (S) in this study also posted food-borne micronutrient deficiencies. Each chronic deficiency proportionately increases the risk of nutrient-deficiency diseases. In highly active athletes (A), micronutrient deficiencies occur at higher rates because calorie deficits are associated with exercise expense. Food alone in all 20 subjects did not meet the minimal Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) micronutrient requirements for preventing nutrient-deficiency diseases. The more active the person, the greater the need to employ a variety of balanced micronutrient-enriched foods including micronutrient supplementation as a preventative protocol for preventing these observed deficiencies. It may be that chronic micronutrient insufficiency from food alone is more fact than fantasy.