Why are minerals fundamental to your health & wellbeing?
Minerals such as zinc, selenium, magnesium, potassium, manganese and boron are powerful and affect every facet of your health. In the right amount they have wonderful effects on health and vitality but on the other hand can be toxic in high doses.
Minerals are essential for human health from creating hormones, energy production, DNA synthesis, healing, development, growth, cognition, organ and muscle function and mental and physical health (Tardy et al., 2020). They are the spark plugs of life because thousands of reactions and processes in the body require minerals!
Unfortunately, mineral deficiencies are common, even with a balanced diet due to a number of factors including stress, chemicals and pollutants, pesticide and herbicide use, synthetic fertiliser, depleted soils, pharmaceuticals etc. Glyphosate aka Roundup in particular has been proven to be a potent chelator of essential minerals such as iron, magnesium and manganese (Seneff & Samsel, 2015). In other words it prevents absorption of essential nutrients from the soil and can remove them from our body.
A number of scientific papers have been referenced in regards to the influence minerals and heavy metals have on our health and vitality in this article.
Minerals & their role in the body
The below are the minerals essential for optimal health:
- Boron – bone maintenance & growth, balances estrogen & testosterone, helps with magnesium and calcium absorption, wound healing and more (Pizzorno, 2015)
- Calcium – the most abundant mineral in the body, mainly contained in the bones, I do not recommend supplementing with this as there is conflicting evidence, it is best to get from natural sources
- Chloride – assists with electrolyte function, electrically charged, fluid balance
- Chromium – reduces & regulates high blood sugar, helps breakdown carbs, sugars & fats, enhances weight loss (National Institute of Health, 2022)
- Cobalt – essential for making red blood cells, nervous system and assists with B-12 function
- Copper – red blood cell formation, cofactor for several enzymes and nutrients. Copper overload is very common in today’s society, it is very important not to take this metal unless you have a tested deficiency.
- Phosphorus – bone health
- Potassium – essential for fluid balance, homeostasis, bone, heart and kidney health (Weaver, 2013)
- Iron – assists with transporting oxygen around the body, energy production, immune function (Abbaspour, 2014), I prefer natural iron from beef liver capsules
- Iodine – extremely important for thyroid health, metabolism, energy
- Magnesium – involved in over 300 different enzymatic reactions in the body (NIH, 2022). ATP / energy production, cardiovascular health, muscle contraction and relaxation, blood cells, neurotransmitter function, bone and blood health (Jahnen-Dechent et al., 2014)
- Manganese – blood sugar regulation, bone formation, reproduction, immune health (National Institute of Health, 2021), mitochondria function, mental health, protects against oxidative damage and gut dysbiosis (Seneff & Samsel, 2015).
- Molybdenum – assists with removing toxins and liver detoxification,
- Selenium – very important for thyroid health, reproduction, metabolism and fighting infections
- Sodium – nervous system, muscle contraction, fluid balance, hydration
- Zinc – immune system, inflammation, skin health, liver health, gut repair, DNA formation, cell growth, detoxifys copper overload.
Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) tests
Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) tests provide valuable insight into your health status and wellbeing by measuring your mineral and heavy metal levels. Heavy metals and minerals affect many aspects of physiological and mental health (Izydorczyk et al., 2021) and therefore have a significant effect on health status. Testing nutritional and toxic elements in hair is reliable, affordable, non-evasive and provide a comprehensive picture of what is happening in the body.
These tests are used by many practitioners in integrative health and are used widely by doctors, naturopaths, and nutritional therapists.
The test measures 35 minerals and heavy metals and their interactions and ratios. The hair sample, along with a request form gets posted to Interclinical Laboratories in NSW Australia. Results are usually available from 2 weeks of receiving the sample. Along with the test results, dietary recommendations and supplements are provided. Once the test results are available, we will go through them in detail and devise a personalised plan on how to get your health back on track.
HTMA tests and health issues
In addition to showing what individual mineral deficiencies are present and the health implications of that, it also effectively shows biomarkers for many different health conditions such as:
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Mineral deficiencies and Imbalances
- Metabolic rate (fast or slow)
- Adrenal fatigue
- Thyroid health
- Nervous system function
- Energy levels
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Mood issues
A couple of sample HTMA test pages
Ready to find out what your mineral status is?
Order your HTMA test & consult today.
You must be able to post or drop off hair sample to Chrissy so she can order and send off the test. Approximately 1 teaspoon of non-dyed hair preferably from scalp is required. Once purchased let me know when and how you can get hair sample to me. When test results are available Chrissy will call you to organise a time to go through your results.
This test is $209 & the 45 minute consultation is $95, the follow up email support is complimentary. Total investment: $304
Afonso, R., Marques, R. C., Borges, H., Cabrita, A., & Silva, A. P. (2022). The Usefulness of Calcium/Magnesium Ratio in the Risk Stratification of Early Onset of Renal Replacement Therapy. Diagnostics, 12(10), 2470. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12102470
Barbagallo, M. (2015). Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World Journal of Diabetes, 6(10), 1152. https://doi.org/10.4239/wjd.v6.i10.1152
Carranza-Leon, D., Octaria, R., Ormseth, M. J., Oeser, A., Solus, J. F., Zhang, Y., Okafor, C. R., Titze, J., Michael Stein, C., & Chung, C. P. (2018). Association between urinary sodium and potassium excretion and blood pressure and inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical Rheumatology, 37(4), 895–900. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10067-017-3935-8
Faber, E. S. L., & Sah, P. (2003). Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels: Multiple Contributions to Neuronal Function. The Neuroscientist, 9(3), 181–194. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073858403009003011
Grabeklis, A.R., Skalny, A.V., Skalnaya, A.A., Zhegalova, I.V., Notova, S.V., Mazaletskaya, A.L., Skalnaya, M.G. and Tinkov, A.A. (2018). Hair Mineral and Trace Element Content in Children with Down’s Syndrome. Biological Trace Element Research, 188(1), pp.230–238. doi:10.1007/s12011-018-1506-8.
Izydorczyk, G., Mironiuk, M., Baśladyńska, S., Mikulewicz, M., & Chojnacka, K. (2021). Hair mineral analysis in the population of students living in the Lower Silesia region (Poland) in 2019: Comparison with biomonitoring study in 2009 and literature data. Environmental Research, 196, 110441. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110441
Jahnen-Dechent, W., & Ketteler, M. (2012). Magnesium basics. Clinical kidney journal, 5(Suppl 1), i3–i14. https://doi.org/10.1093/ndtplus/sfr163
Jeruszka-Bielak, M., & Brzozowska, A. (2011). Relationship Between Nutritional Habits and Hair Calcium Levels in Young Women. Biological Trace Element Research, 144(1-3), 63–76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-011-9030-0
Krishna MCS, Kumara HDS, Vishwanath HL, et al. Study on “The Electrolytes And Hypothyroidism – A Case Control Study”. Biochem Ind J. 2018;12(2):130
Lee, Y.-A. ., Kim, H.-N. ., & Song, S.-W. (2022). Associations between Hair Mineral Concentrations and Skeletal Muscle Mass in Korean Adults. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 26(5), 515–520. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-022-1789-5
Marlowe, M., Moon, C., & Errera, J. (1983). Hair Mineral Content as a Predictor of Mental Retardation [Review of Hair Mineral Content as a Predictor of Mental Retardation]. ORTHOMOLECULAR PSYCHIATRY, 12(1), 26–33. Research Gate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237397958_Hair_Mineral_Content_as_a_Predictor_of_Mental_Retardation
National Institutes of Health. (2016). Office of Dietary Supplements – Magnesium. Nih.gov. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
National Institute of Health. (2021). Office of Dietary Supplements – Manganese. Ods.od.nih.gov. Retrieved 13 September 2022, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Manganese-HealthProfessional/
Rimland, B., & Larson, G. E. (1983). Hair Mineral Analysis and Behavior. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 16(5), 279–285. https://doi.org/10.1177/002221948301600507
Seneff, S., & Samsel, A. (2015). Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies. Surgical Neurology International, 6(1), 45. https://doi.org/10.4103/2152-7806.153876
Shrimanker I, Bhattarai S. Electrolytes. [Updated 2022 Jul 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541123/
Sun, M., Wu, X., Yu, Y., Wang, L., Xie, D., Zhang, Z., Chen, L., Lu, A., Zhang, G., & Li, F. (2020). Disorders of Calcium and Phosphorus Metabolism and the Proteomics/Metabolomics-Based Research. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2020.576110
Russo, A. J. (2011). Decreased Zinc and Increased Copper in Individuals with Anxiety. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, 4, NMI.S6349. https://doi.org/10.4137/nmi.s6349
Tardy, A.-L., Pouteau, E., Marquez, D., Yilmaz, C. and Scholey, A. (2020). Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients, [online] 12(1), p.228. doi:10.3390/nu12010228.
Workinger, J., Doyle, Robert., & Bortz, J. (2018). Challenges in the Diagnosis of Magnesium Status. Nutrients, 10(9), 1202. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10091202
By Holistic Nutritionist Chrissy
Chrissy is a university qualified nutritionist who graduated with honours at La Trobe University in Melbourne. One of her favourite hobbies is to read the scientific literature on how to optimise health. When she’s not reading, writing or working she’s with her 3 children outdoors, practicing yoga, jogging or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Chrissy has overcome some debilitating chronic health issues (low mood, adrenal fatigue, insomnia, very bad acne to name a few) with the power of nutrients and correcting gut health, at 39 she now feels better than she did in her 20’s.