Most people take a multivitamin, and these are generally subtherapeutic. They quite possibly are not formulated to get the results intended.
When clients visit our clinic, we soon learn that most are taking unnecessary supplements. Some useful? Some doing more harm than good? But mostly not prescribed or are taken on the advice of a goggle search or on a friend’s recommendation?
We love nothing more than undertaking a ‘supplement audit’ with each client.
Our protocols are targeted, and results driven as we undertake Functional Testing to determine the body’s’ nutritional deficiencies, imbalances and toxicities after a full case history is taken.
Most people have covered their (fat soluble) vitamins A, C, D, E.
Our main priority is minerals.
No one has ever really stressed the importance of minerals and here are a few reasons why we are all about minerals.
- Vitamins are critical however without minerals they will not work.
Minerals are the foundation of your health and are essential for your body’s’ biochemistry. If your body is depleted of minerals there will also be a limited capacity to produce hormones.
Hormones needed for: –
- Sex hormones – estrogen, progesterone, testosterone
- Thyroid hormones- TSH,
- Stress (endocrine) hormones- cortisol
This deficient mineral status leads to issues like hypothyroidism, low sex drive and libido, adrenal issues resulting in fatigue and lack of energy.
- Our bodies do not make (synthesise) minerals.
We need to get our minerals from our food, and they need to be well absorbed.
While our topsoil may be depleted by modern farming methods, we also have a high incidence of malabsorption in our population due to compromised gut function.
There are several reasons why gut function is not optimal with more than 60% of the population having flawed intestinal permeability (aka ‘leaky gut’).
When we see poor absorption of minerals on results returned from the lab this usually is a red flag for extensive gut testing to investigate all gut markers and the diversity of gut microbiome.
Quality of food sources also determines how well your body absorbs minerals. A diet high in processed foods is not going to sustain your bodies high demand for nutrients needed to convert to energy.
- Minerals are required for both major and minor processes in the body.
Our bodies are an amazing collaboration of inter-connected systems- digestion, immune, respiratory, endocrine, methylation, cardiovascular to name a few.
These systems are made up of tissue and the tissues are made up of cells. Within cells are a complex number of biochemical reactions that keep our bodies ‘humming along’.
For our bodies to keep firing and for these reactions the body utilises over 40 different minerals.
Not only do these minerals need to be available (supplied to the body through diet) they also need to be in sufficient quantity and be in ideal ratios and in balance with each other.
- Minerals are essential to life.
Minerals are vital; without them there is no spark and therefore no life.
An example of how critical minerals are can be related to our water intake. Our bodies can only survive up to 3 days without water. The minerals and electrolytes prevent us from being dehydrated with sodium one of our key minerals.
Sodium regulates fluid both in and around the cells so not only do we need sufficient sodium, it also needs to be in balance with other electrolytes, potassium, and chloride. These electrolytes play a major role in moving nutrients into our cells so they can perform functions that are vital for life.
We have talked about the importance of minerals and getting the best absorption through quality nutrition and optimal gut function.
There are also other ways minerals in the body become depleted or out of balance!
Here are a few reasons, but by no means the exhaustive list: –
- The concept of anti-nutrients
For every mineral there are a group of related antagonists.
In very simplified non-scientific terms when one nutrient is depleted; let’s say zinc than it is most likely being driven by another nutrient imbalance; in this case cooper, mercury, or cadmium.
When using the HTMA results we work towards ‘balancing the minerals’.
We are just not using ‘replacement therapy’.
To restore mineral balance, we look at the complete mineral picture, symptoms presenting and a much deeper level of analysis.
We look at supporting the complete system of biochemistry; the HTMA provides a cellular storage representation over the course of 3-4 months.
Whilst we also incorporate pathology results into our investigations, pathology is a snapshot in time that the body works very hard to keep in homeostasis. Blood pH is one of the most tightly regulated systems in the body, the body works hard to maintain at the expense of bone and tissue.
This is why it can take a long time before blood starts showing the true state of the body. Blood minerals are always maintained at even levels. When there are fluctuations in blood sugar, mineral or hormone levels these can affect organs and glands that the blood is always in contact with.
An example of this is calcium. If blood becomes low in a mineral such as calcium, calcium is removed from the bones or other tissues to replenish the blood. A person can have osteoporosis or demineralised bones, but their blood (serum) calcium level will be normal.
Another example being magnesium, while a person may have cellular magnesium deficiency, serum magnesium can be normal. This is the case for all minerals which confirms blood serum is not a good measurement of minerals.
Hair however is an excretory tissue of the body so minerals in excess are stored in the hair to be excreted. Likewise, if there is a deficiency in the body this will be reflected as not deposited in the hair so they will also be retained.
Hair and tissues become the storage depots of minerals and if reserves are low it will show up in the hair long before it will show up in the blood.
Hair tissue mineral analysis offers a window of knowledge into the cells and a way to help balance the body’s’ chemistry that is a preventative health measure.
It’s the cellular (storage) picture that provides the best indication of what is going on in the body.
- How are heavy metals implicated in the body’s homeostasis of minerals?
When minerals become depleted for reasons discussed they become easily replaced by heavy metals that have a similar chemical structure and are closely related on the periodic table. The problem that this situation presents is that these heavy metals can only sometimes perform sometimes a ¼ of the function of a mineral. This slows down the efficiency of the body and means the systems of the body are not functioning optimally.
Heavy metals can cause:-
- Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation
- Drive gut dysbiosis and intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut)
- Cause damage to DNA and genetic expression
- Interfere with absorption of key nutrients – Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium, B12
- Affect brain neurotransmitters
- In nutrition therapy traditionally we replace depleted nutrients however for mineral balancing we work a little differently.
When a mineral accumulates in the body (for example calcium leads to calcification and as a simplified example can lead to kidney stones) the body will store what it does not need as a protective mechanism.
With all science there is always a corresponding action and reaction to everything. With minerals when one mineral becomes depleted it results in another mineral being accumulated as natures way of keeping everything in equilibrium.
A clinically relevant example is calcium and magnesium both elevated. Generally, we would see corresponding low levels of sodium and potassium. As mentioned previously zinc depletion will lead to copper rising in the body.
Our body operates a tightly regulated defence mechanism to maintain homeostasis and combat stress.
- Other factors that impact minerals in the body are: –
- Emotional stress; fear, worry, panic, grief, and anger
- Environmental stress and exposure; chemicals, pollution, toxins
- Blood sugar balance and dietary choices
- Use of medication
This is why we are passionate about using HTMA (Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis) as our key Functional Test in clinic.
This valuable tool is an affordable, simple, non-invasive way to check mineral status inside your cells.
This report not only gives an indication of each individual mineral storage but also a comparative mineral ratio that relates to the specific systems they are supporting.
For example: –
Ca/P (Calcium/Phosphorus) Metabolism: how well your food is providing nutrients to convert to energy to carry out everyday processes.
Ca/K (Calcium/Potassium) Thyroid Function: is the body’s endocrine function compromised due to poor cellular permeability and the ability of the hormone to penetrate the cell.
Na/Mg (Sodium/Magnesium) Adrenal Function: an assessment of how your nervous system is coping with stress and busy-ness.
Ca/Mg (Calcium/Magnesium) Blood sugar regulation: whether your body has sufficient energy to support the body and its function or is there an energy deficit.
Na/K (Sodium/Potassium) Acid/Base balance: the regulation of your stomach acid to support digestion.
Clients who have been trying to find answers for many years are very excited by what their HTMA tells them about their symptoms as everything they have been dealing with makes complete sense. It also explains a lot about their health history and more importantly they are then provided with a strong strategy if they are committed to moving forward and achieving their health goals.
Are you ready to truly understand your biochemistry and work towards a solution for your health?