a member of the smectite family is a 2:1 clay, meaning that it has 2 tetrahedral sheets sandwiching a central octahedral sheet.  The particles are plate-shaped and extremely small with an average diameter of approximately 1 micrometer.  Montmorillonite’s colloidal nature lends it well to the transport of nutrients and enhanced bioavailability of nutrients. 

1st pie chart


Book Review of and Excerpts from:
Secrets Of The Soil
New Age Solutions for Restoring Our Planet
© 1989 by Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird
Authors of the Secret Life of Plants
Harper & Row Publishers, NY
Isbn 0-06-015817-4
Lib. Congr. S591.T64


Montmorillonite tetrahedral molecular geometry 



The health of plants, animals, and humans, is linked to the mineral balance of the soil.  Soil makes the food and feed of man and animal.

    If we continually interfere with nature, we must sooner or later pay the penalty.  High chemical fertilization of soil may create trace element imbalances.  Another possibility, is that a deficiency of trace elements may exist for the simple reason that we remove them by heavy cropping, and do not replace them with our routine chemical fertilizers.

    Disease may well be defined as merely a summation of chemical reactions that have gone wrong; a chemical imbalance has occurred.  Health, on the other hand, is chemical balance.




    The word “metabolism”, means the sum total of all chemical reactions that proceed in every single cell of the body, during 24 hours of the day.  The tools of these reactions are the enzymes that are present in vast numbers in each body cell.  If a cell represents a factory, the enzymes are the machinery in that factory.  Each cell manufactures (synthesizes) its own enzymes from the amino acids that are being furnished to it by the blood.

    Enzyme reactions are dependent on trace elements for their activities.  We should also keep in mind that these enzyme activities, or reactions, are extremely sensitive to injurious influences, such as may occur in our foods; and that enzyme reactions, are also influenced by a deficiency of some functional nutrient.  The breakdown of the enzyme system results in disease, or death of the cell.

     The body manufactures from 1,000 to 2,000 different enzymes, every single one a protein.  Enzymes are subject to greater wear and tear than are ordinary catalysts.  Being proteins, they are rather unstable, and are rapidly degraded by many factors.  A large quantity of enzymes, is lost in the secretions of the digestive canal, and also in the urine.  A great part of the protein synthesis that constantly is taking place in the body, consists in the replacement of enzymes, every minute of the day.  Enzymes, however, consist of two parts:  a so-called apo-enzyme, which is a true protein, and a co-enzyme, which is a non-protein material--being a vitamin, generally of the B-complex group, or a metallic element.   

    Many enzymes are inhibited in their activity by metals, whereas, many others are activated by metals, for example, certain elements in trace amounts.  An enzyme inhibitor, may attack the apo-enzyme, but it may also attack the coenzyme. 

    Another important fact is that hormones may accelerate, or retard the production of enzymes.  This point of view is interesting when we consider that in old age, we have a slowing-up of hormone production by a number of glands. However, at the same time, in the process of aging, we have decreased enzyme activity.


     The enzymes that engineer all the complex chemical activities of the living cell, are manufactured by every cell in the so-called “protein factories”,   scientifically known as, “ribosomes”.  Messengers from the genes--directing the synthesis of the protein enzymes--are constantly being carried to the ribosomes.




    It is the opinion of the late Dr. Rudolph Abderhalden, (former Director of the Laboratory for Endocrinological and Enzymatic Diagnosis is Basel, Switzerland, and Professor of Biochemistry at Halle University in Germany) that the majority of all diseases are probably enzymatic in origin.  He states that all hypovitaminanoses (avitamin-oses) of the B vitamins, result in enzymatic deficiencies, and thus constitute true enzyme pathologies.  He is also of the opinion that the endocrine diseases are enzyme pathologies.

    In his writings, Dr. Abderhalden cites further examples of enzyme pathologies, the metabolic disturbances and the myocardial (heart) insufficiencies.  He asserts that metabolism is synonymous with enzyme activity, which no one can deny.  By now, we may definitely say that disease is a disturbance in the harmonious pattern of enzyme activity.  We can readily state that this enzyme activity is dependent on the presence of trace elements.

    The presence of many chemical additives in our food may very well cause some trace elements to become unavailable (fixation or immobilization).  The same can be said regarding chemical fertilizers in our soils. They also may cause trace elements to become unavailable to our plants.

    This point of view has been very well described by Dr. A. Voisin (Member of the French Academy of Science and Professor of Veterinary Science at Ecole Normale in Paris, France).

    Dr. Ira Allison (Springfield, Missouri) mentioned a number of years ago that a man literally might be starving, even while eating an ample supply of what we term “proper foods”; starving because these proper foods were being grown on land lacking in the basic mineral elements needed by the human body.




Similar statements have been made in the past by Dr. William Albrecht and Dr. Arnold Klemma of the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri.  These scientists voiced the opinion that then humans or animals fail to receive essential trace elements, they are more susceptible to the bacteria Brucella, the causative agent of undulant fever; and that they lack resistance to fight off infection.

As I have stated, enzymes contain trace elements as an integral part of their chemical structure