Book Review: The Earth’s Gift to MedicineGerry Shepherd May 1, 2007
Author: Klaus-Georg Wenzel M.D. and Raymond Pataracchia N.D.
Publisher: KOS Publishing
Book Publication: 2007
The Earth’s Gift to Medicine is an international collaboration between Germany and Toronto. It describes a class of minerals known as trace elements and fills an important niche in the field of supplements. Some trace elements are found in small quantities in the human body and are vital to health. Others are dangerous or downright lethal.
Co-authors Klaus-Georg Wenzel and Raymond Pataracchia cover 39 of the most important trace minerals in health and disease. Entries are listed alphabetically by chemical symbol, so Silver (Ag) heads the list which works through to Zinc (Zn).
Each mineral is portrayed by categories showing the normal daily requirement range (if applicable), its functions, therapeutic applications, negative biological effects, sources and notes. Trace elements may be listed as essential, poisonous, or unclear – because they are still being investigated.
Individual element bios make for fascinating reading and reveal unexpected data. Lithium (Li), the lightest metal, has a subtitle which reads: “poisonous in some cases, beneficial in others.” One needs to grasp each mineral’s characteristics in their entirety, resist the temptation to self-dose, and consult one’s health care practitioner.
In entering the world of trace elements, therefore, we step into a world of paradox. Some are described as antagonistic to other essential trace elements because they inhibit the body’s ability to absorb them. A case in point is zinc which the authors report “is a significant calcium antagonist.” But zinc is vital to human health so it needs to be orchestrated in ratio to other elements.
The number of trace elements in a given human being, his or her unique daily requirement, and the rate of absorption all play into a person’s overall biochemical individuality. While The Earth’s Gift To Medicine is intended for professionals and consumers, it will be of special interest to anyone who has had a hair mineral profile assessment.
Although there is an inclination to skip through the book to investigate one’s favourite minerals, Dr. Abram Hoffer’s foreword and Helke Ferrie’s preface both contain valuable information and should not be missed.
A brief note on the copyright page observes that: “Medicine is constantly evolving through research and experience. It is not unusual, even in other fields, that new knowledge includes contradictory findings. Sometimes, these contradictions lead to new findings. Even though our present knowledge may be complemented or discharged in the future, it is important to pause and gain an overview of what has currently been found.”
Wenzel and Pataracchia round out their research with sections on clinical applications, testing options, and case histories, all of which are informative.
The Earth’s Gift To Medicine is an impressive contribution to nutritional medicine and really scores as a handy reference guide. It is no surprise that Helke Ferrie was delighted when KOS Publishing was approached to handle the English language edition.