Table of Contents
Why are minerals important?
Minerals only comprise approximately four percent of your body weight but they are at the core of nutrition and life. They are the Sparkplugs of Life!
Minerals are important essential nutrients in countless metabolic functions required in all phases of the life process. However, unlike many vitamins and amino acids, minerals cannot be manufactured by the body.
Minerals must be consumed in the diet. (Yes, oxygen is an element and is an absolute essential nutrient that we breathe in, however, don’t forget H2O! in your diet!)
Minerals have intimate relationships!
Are you aware macro and micro essential minerals are required, at one point or another, by all other nutrients? This is known as nutrient interrelationships and precisely why we (hairanalysisreport.com) term minerals as “foundational” in nutrition!
- Fatty acids require minerals.
- Amino acids require minerals.
- Vitamins require minerals.
- Even each mineral requires other minerals!
Minerals are “essential” nutrients required by the other essential nutrients just mentioned to perform their metabolic functions. In addition, minerals are also required to produce and ensure the metabolic functions of many of the derivatives (metabolites) of essential nutrients.
Each mineral (element) has at least 15, 20, or more direct interrelationships with other essential nutrients and countless indirect interrelationships throughout the nutritional spectrum.
Let’s take a quick look at how this works. For example:
- Dopamine catabolism – copper, magnesium, tyrosine, B3, B6, etc.
- Serotonin turnover – magnesium, tryptophan, methionine, B6, B3, etc.
- Adrenaline and noradrenaline catabolism – magnesium, copper, vitamin C, B6, B3 etc.
- DNA oxidative damage & repair – selenium, zinc, manganese, copper, vitamins E, A, C, etc.
Fatty acids metabolism
- Carnitine (carnitine shuttle) – magnesium, iron, vitamins B6, B3, etc.
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) can be produced from the essential fat Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) ONLY IF cofactors zinc, magnesium, B3, B6, C, etc. are available.
Amino acid metabolism
- Excess Arginine, an essential amino acid, can result from a lack of manganese, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, etc.
- Excess leucine, isoleucine, and valine (BCAA’s) can result from a lack of zinc.
- Excess lysine can result from a lack of iron
- Excess phenylalanine can result from a lack of iron
- Biotin (B complex vitamin known as vitamin H) requires magnesium and uses a sodium transporter for metabolic function. Metabolic pathways of biotin include gluconeogenesis, fatty acid synthesis, and amino acid catabolism.
- Na+–independent, system L amino acid transporters
- type II Na+–phosphate co-transporters (NPT)
- Na+/(Ca2+–K+) exchangers (NCKX)
- K+-dependent Na+/Ca2+ exchangers (NCX)
- Sodium– and chloride–dependent neurotransmitter transporters
Note: Nutrient transporters are unequivocally THE most complex systems involved in human nutrition and human health.
As you can see in this extremely limited example, minerals play pivotal roles throughout countless metabolic pathways and their interrelationships are numerous and complex. However, it is important to recognize that ALL nutrients – essential or nonessential – have complex and intimate direct/indirect interrelationships with each other. As such, THERE IS NO MAGIC NUTRIENT!
Keep in mind, nutrient imbalances (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids) are common and ultimately contribute too subclinical or even clinical malnutrition.
Minerals have interrelationships with every other nutrient. Without optimum mineral levels in the body, the other nutrients are not effectively utilized. Diet And Disease, (1968) ~Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin (author / coauthor of over 700 publications in international science journals and 25 books)
Before moving on, let’s look at one more common example.
Let’s say you consume additional vitamin A or beta-carotene to help improve your eyesight. However, if you are deficient in zinc, consuming additional vitamin A will not be utilized. In addition, excessive vitamin A can become antagonistic to calcium, copper, sodium, and several other vitamins as well as amino acids.
Mineral balance is like a fine-tuned orchestra!
When you think about mineral balance, it is important to consider the average body load of both macro minerals and the trace minerals. For example, the average 180-pound adult averages 980 grams of the macro mineral calcium but only 2.5-4 grams of the trace mineral iron. You know how important each of these minerals are for your health.
However, as just seen in intimate relationships, if you consume excessive amounts of any macro mineral it can easily become antagonistic to other macro minerals and many trace minerals. In the same manner, consuming excess amounts of a trace mineral will antagonize other trace minerals as well as macro minerals.
There are at least eighteen barriers to mineral absorption, which means that the minerals we consume do not necessarily wind up in our bodies. Chelated Mineral Nutrition in Plants, Animals And Man, (1982) ~DeWayne Ashmead
For example, zinc (average 2-3 grams) is involved in many functions including the production, storage, and secretion of insulin and is necessary for growth hormones. Magnesium (average 25 grams) is also required for numerous functions and includes normal muscular function, especially the heart. A deficiency has been associated with an increased incidence of heart attacks, anxiety, and nervousness.
An excess of zinc can become antagonistic to vitamin D and as you know, vitamin D is important for calcium. Calcium is important to magnesium and must be in a proper ratio for a synergistic relationship.
Potassium is required for numerous functions and critical for normal nutrient transport into the cell. A deficiency can result in muscular weakness, depression, and lethargy. Excess sodium is also required for numerous functions and when excessive is associated with hypertension, but adequate amounts are required for normal health.
Potassium and sodium have direct relationships with each other as well as complex relationships with calcium and magnesium. These examples merely reveal how complex the direct and indirect relationships between essential nutrients can become.
Toxic elements can disrupt your mineral balance.
Toxic elements (heavy metals), as well as chemical toxins, can easily disrupt your mineral balance. Toxic elements interfere and compete with nutritional minerals during absorption and at the cellular level. This is why it is equally important to know if toxic elements are present.
However, with sufficient nutritional mineral levels, as well as vitamins and amino acids, toxic elements are more easily removed from the mind and body. In fact, nutrition is the most efficient way to detox the body and helps protect you from toxic accumulations in the future.
Hair analysis reveals both nutritional and toxic elements.
A hair analysis is a simple and convenient means to test both your essential nutritional minerals as well as your toxic element exposures. In addition, our Trace Elements Inc. hair analysis also includes a Toxic Ratios graph. This graph reveals whether toxic elements are potentially interfering with the proper metabolism of your nutritional elements.
Are you ready to analyze your nutritional and toxic elements?
As you can see, this is probably the most important page on this website for understanding how human nutrition actually works.
It is beyond complex!
However, one of the most simple places to begin your personalized nutrition plan is through a hair tissue mineral analysis. In addition, we discuss many of these topics with you during our hair analysis consultation that help you gain a better understanding of how nutrition actually works.
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