Minerals are important to our body because they are used in thousands of biochemical processes. For example, magnesium is fundamental to efficient processing of toxins by the liver as is flour in a cookie dough recipe. Without enough flour you cannot make good cookies. The same goes with minerals. Without sufficient quantities of specific minerals, you cannot perform key metabolic functions well.

Let me give you another example. All allopathic doctors know that iodine is important to thyroid function. Yet few M.D.s that prescribe T3 (your thyroid hormone) evaluate your iodine levels or consider what may be blocking cell iodine receptor sites. They nearly all assume that if your blood levels of T3 are “normal” while you taking your thyroid meds, you can actually use the hormone. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Iodine is the key mineral that attaches to the cell receptor sites in your body and “escorts” free T3 into the cell where the cell can then use it. Unless the unbound (free) T3 can actually get into a cell, the cell and that means “you”, cannot benefit and feel better while trying to increase your T3 output and/or while on thyroid medication. If you don’t have enough iodine, then all the free T3 circulating in your lympathic system (the fluid that bathes and nourishes your cells) will not be able to enter the cell where it can be used.

The FDA has long ago acknowledged that we are all deficient in iodine and that the current recommended levels are low and should be raised. It has yet to happen. But that is another issue.

If your iodine cell receptor sites are blocked by bromide or heavy metals, it cannot enter the cell. Therefore, taking iodine may still leave you in no better position; because the iodine you do have in your body cannot attach to the iodine cell receptor site. There are therapeutic protocols that identify and address this issue, and I use them in my clinical practice at Immune Matrix.

However, to stay on point we need to understand this:

  1. Minerals have specific functions in the body.

  2. Taking a mineral does not guarantee that it is absorbed into the cell that needs it.

  3. Your immune system can make a mineral unavailable to your cells/organs

  4. Not having sufficient quantities of a mineral will limit the flow of the metabolic process that needs that mineral and thereby affect organ function

  5. Minerals interact, affect and are affected by other minerals, therefore the ratio of a specific mineral to its mineral counterpart is crucial for health care practitioners to understand when supplementing their patients.

You might be saying “This sounds pretty complicated. How do I begin to know where I stand with my own minerals and whether all my efforts to take supplements and eat well are helping to optimize my mineral balance?” You start with a hair mineral analysis.

My patients at Immune Matrix regularly have a hair mineral analysis. It only takes a few strands of hair and is an affordable test that you can send out from home. It reflects your mineral status for the last 3 months roughly speaking. You can order one here and it includes a consultation about your results.

What will this hair mineral analysis tell you? It will report your levels and more importantly, the ratios of key minerals. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, chromium, selenium, phosphorus, molybdenum, lithium, boron, and cobalt are reported. It will also show levels of heavy metals stored in the hair (nickel, lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum). When I do see positive evidence of heavy metal in the hair, the liver and other organ systems already have a high degree of toxic retention. More importantly, this hair mineral analysis will correlate the nature of your imbalances to your symptoms will help give you a key to the lock that binds you to your symptoms.

            Mineral imbalances support disease states and conditions

                     and contribute to a myriad of symptoms

What are some of the common symptoms and conditions impacted by minerals?

Adrenal insufficiency

Hyper or low thyroid function

Stress induced mineral deficiency

Digestive mal-absorption

Mineral induced mineral imbalances

Lack of absorption of specific minerals

A cause for osteoporosis

Red flag of aluminum exposure

Red flag of copper imbalances

We tend to take for granted our water and food sources for minerals. We tend to assume that if we drink spring water and organic food we have good mineral stores and ratios. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The fact that our bodies today have to deal with more toxins than ever recorded in history makes our body demand more of certain mineral nutrients than others. The fact that most organic food is grown in fields that are depleted of minerals and use fertilizers (phosphates) that inhibit the uptake of magnesium by the plant makes our entire “farm fertilized” food base deficient in magnesium. (I have written an entire article about how important magnesium in this blog)

If you then add bad lifestyle habits such as alcohol, smoking, over the counter medications, sweets, processed food, stress and top it off with a health condition, your mineral balance is out of balance and deficient in key areas. If you add the effect of a prescription drug to the mineral deficiency it creates, you are spiraling downward in your health and are often told you are just getting old. Therefore, we all, no matter how good our diet is, have mineral imbalances. These very mineral imbalances support disease states and conditions and contribute to a myriad of symptoms.

            Your immune system can also cause mineral imbalances

Your immune system can also cause mineral imbalances! A classic example is sulfur. Many of us inherited a genetic defect (called a snp) that slows our ability to break down and use sulfur. Sulfur is essential to enable the liver to process toxins and to repair cartilage among other metabolic functions.

If you are slower at processing sulfur, the metabolites from digesting sulfur build up in your lymphatic fluid and tissues. When the density of circulating sulfur metabolites reaches a certain threshold, it will trigger the immune system to recognize those sulfur metabolites. The net effect is to cause your immune system to now become active in interfering with your use and excretion of sulfur.

Your body begins to store sulfur and it builds up in tissue, especially aggravating to fibromyalgia patients. Immune triggered sulfur sensitivities hinder the efficient elimination of toxins. It increases one’s sensitivity to dark green leafy vegetables, especially for those that try to juice with high sulfur vegetables. These individuals will feel more and more body aches and joint pains as the sulfur metabolites build up in tissues all due to their having activated the immune system to react to sulfur.

Immune Matrix has researched the metabolites of sulfur and tests their patients for immune sensitivities to them as their first base in helping people to become more efficient in clearing toxins from their body. Point in fact is that once the immune system is triggered to recognize a mineral, you will become reactive to that mineral in food, supplements, or drugs. Your body will be robbed of the benefit that mineral. Your hair mineral analysis will often then report an EXCESS of that mineral because it is circulating and not being absorbed! Therefore, you can have an excessive amount of a mineral in the body and be deficient in that mineral because it is not bio-available and/or your immune system has taken it out of circulation.

This is why understanding how minerals are processed by the body is as important as knowing how much you have in excess or deficient quantities of. That is why taking the hair test on face value without understanding mineral metabolism will surely get you the wrong results.

Who needs to have a hair mineral analysis? Everyone should have a hair analysis, especially children. We see high levels of aluminum in children as young as 2 years old. We see copper toxicity in children through adults. We see alarming levels of aluminum in adults and it is rising in levels and frequency in the last year.

Anyone taking a prescription medicine needs a hair mineral analysis as most prescription drugs cause specific mineral imbalances that will then cause other symptoms and conditions. Statistics support that most “healthy” retired adults are on a minimum of 4 prescription drugs and no M.D. looks at the mineral imbalances from that patient’s diet and lifestyle and their meds combined!

Anyone diagnosed with a disease or condition must have a hair mineral analysis as the very imbalance can be what causes the condition and prevents the disease and/or condition from resolving. Taking a prescription medication for that disease or condition will not balance the mineral imbalance in the body.

Anyone trying to undergo a detox protocol, even as simple as juicing needs to know what their mineral issues are. Many chelation doctors assume their vitamin i.v.s are sufficient. I assure you they are not! When you proceed to try to chelate heavy metals in a deficient mineral state, you risk developing an immune sensitivity to the very metals that are mobilized with chelation that then results in low or no excretion levels and re-deposition of the heavy metals in brain, kidney, liver, joints, connective tissue etc.

If you are a Lyme disease patient, or are undergoing treatment for candida, you must know your mineral status because the very act of killing pathogens in the body can increase circulating heavy metals as the pathogens release their “hold” on these metals. Often we see symptoms from heavy metal toxic retention confused with pathogen symptoms when the treating practitioner fails to support proper liver detox of metals while undergoing pathogen elimination.

San Diego recently announced their solution to providing drinking water during the long term drought with a water desalination plant. I heard an official involved in the project mention that they are using reverse osmosis to do this. This means that the water will be drinkable as in clean, but deficient in minerals necessary for long term health.

Reverse osmosis, especially when converting sea water to drinking water is the only effective technology that can remove contaminants such as arsenic, and inorganic harmful minerals. However, reverse osmosis does remove the much needed alkaline minerals from the water. The official position about that as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2009 was that we get most of our minerals from food or supplements and not from drinking water. That is an interesting statement as they assume we “all” take the proper supplements to fill in our mineral gaps!

Since reverse osmosis removes more than 90-99.99% of all contaminants including minerals the long term health ramifications to the public to drink this water without additional mineral supplementation is warranted considering the WHO’ broad assumption that the public is already taking appropriate mineral supplements. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As you can see, assumptions are broad sweeping and no one but you is watching YOUR health. Therefore, know your mineral imbalances and that hair analysis done!

            Everyone needs to know the ph of their drinking water.

 Furthermore, the San Diego water official did not mention the ph of the water that the San Diego population would be drinking. Everyone needs to know the ph of their drinking water. It needs to be at least a 7 if not higher, making it alkaline.

I once tested a local retail water provider to that supplied water for my household and my clinic and I was aghast when I found their water an acid ph of 5! Drinking acid ph water will pull alkaline minerals from your body and deplete you of alkaline minerals.

Many confuse the acid of a lemon in water. The lemon makes the water acid; however, how the body metabolizes the lemon juice helps to alkalinize the body! This is not the same as drinking water that is inherently acid.

Ph test strips can be easily purchased anywhere where pet supplies are sold because aquariums require periodic ph testing. This can be a fun and educational home family project testing the ph of soda, tap water, and bottled water.

In summary, don’t assume your water is helping you have a good mineral balance or helping you to replenish your mineals; test it and get your hair tested now!

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Thomas Girard
Thomas Girard

AMAZING ARTICLE ANNA!!  I can't believe I am the first one to comment on this article!  This is all very valuable information that people need to hear if they want to live happier lives.   I wish you had a clinic in NY somewhere...

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan