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My keen interest in minerals began when I personally saw the vast improvements in my own health by solely concentrating on giving my body what it needs to function.

Minerals are foundational to good health. Minerals are what sets light to thousands of functions in our body.

The very first step to mineral balancing is maximisation of a nutrient dense diet. We should always try and obtain as much bioavailable minerals from nature as we can. Most supplements don’t come with the co-factors required for the body to regulate the very mineral we are trying to increase. The take this for that approach is flawed in that it is missing the understanding of antagonistic and synergistic relationships of minerals in the body. This in turn can create more issues than it fixes anything.

Taking any mineral the body doesn’t actually need or in excess meaning above the daily recommended dose means the body must utilise stores of other minerals and vitamins to regulate the excess. Not only can this cause further mineral dysregulation, in a failed attempt due to inadequate co-factors or liver impairment the body can retain and store excess minerals in the tissues. We must always remember that no mineral works in isolation. Vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C and B vitamins (especially vitamin B6) all have important roles to play here too!

The problem with obtaining all our minerals from food is that our food today is well over 50% less nutrient dense than 100 years ago. This is where optimisation via bioavailable wholefood supplementation can come in. A Hair Tissue Minerals Analysis is by far one of the most valuable functional tests available. Although analysing them can be tricky and need to be done by well trained professionals who understand the complexity of antagonistic and synergistic relationships as well as the importance of ratios between certain minerals. The relationships and ratios between minerals are far more important to understand and analyse than the effects of a mineral in isolation.

Ionic mimicry is the principle stating that heavy metals more readily accumulate in a mineral unbalanced body. We know from the many studies and clinical practices that heavy metal accumulation in the brain contribute to personality disorders, mental health problems, behavioural issues, anxiety and depression. The heavy metal lead for example decreases IQ and attention spans. Heavy metals more prone to accumulate in bone tissue are aluminium, lead and cadmium (osteophilic). Heavy metals prone to accumulate in fat tissue are mercury, arsenic, and uranium (lipophilic). Some health experts say heavy metal exposure and consequent accumulation in the body is by far one of the greatest health challenges.

Our bodies detoxification systems are overwhelmed by the sheer exposure of heavy metals today. Above a certain concentration threshold, heavy metals can inactivate detoxification enzymes.

To enhance energy efficiency, we must work on all systems and foundations. When we see toxin and heavy metal accumulation, we often immediately feel the need to ‘detox’. But detoxing isn’t something we have to do to our body. Our body has its own detoxification systems. What it is asking for is support of those systems and functionalities via mineral balancing. Mineral balancing is what supports the detoxification systems in the body. Our liver and kidneys also require additional support meaning we need to support opening detoxification pathways in the body. Detoxing is a parasympathetic process which means if we are constantly stressed detox systems and enzymes can shut down. And who is not stressed in today’s world? Stress can be external or internal. Internal stressors are often hidden.

Stress retains stimulating minerals such as Phosphorus (P), Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn) and Selenium (Se) and excretes sedating minerals such as Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn) and Chromium (Cr).

If we don’t support and build up the systems and functionality with minerals, the body will continue to accumulate heavy metals and toxins purely due to mineral imbalances, excesses, or deficiencies.

HTMA’s shouldn’t be used to solely identify deficiencies, they are much more about analysing functionality. The big 4 are Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Sodium (Na) and Potassium (K). These are the bodies primary electrolytes and are needed for every function in the body. The ratios between these minerals can tell us a lot about the bodies metabolic rate as well as thyroid and adrenal health.

To give you an example, the Calcium (Ca) to Potassium (K) ratio is more of a measure of the cellular effect of thyroid hormone than it is about measuring the intake of these minerals from diet. Potassium is the mineral that activates the thyroid. In terms of Calcium and the thyroid, think of the thyroid glands as if they were wings of a butterfly.  Too much Calcium can way down the wings too much, whereas too little can make them go too fast! By balancing the big 4 we can often see other minerals balancing all on their own.

Other important minerals for thyroid health are Iodine (I) and Selenium (Se) which assist in the conversion of our thyroid hormone T4 (inactive form) to the active form of T3 in the liver. Under stress (internal + external) the body doesn’t convert enough of the inactive form T4 to the active form T3.

When we look at adrenal cortical activity (Aldosterone + Cortisol) we know that a low Sodium (Na) to Magnesium (Mg) ratio is pointing the finger at Hypothyroidism.

When we look at adrenal medullary activity (Adrenaline) we know that a high Sodium (Na) to Magnesium (Mg) ratio is giving an indication of Hyperthyroidism.

Hormones are enzyme dependant, and enzymes and binding proteins are all mineral dependants.

Minerals such as Magnesium (Mg), Zinc (Zn) and Iron (Fe) assist in hundreds of different enzyme functions and are used in thousands of different ways in the human body. There is no one drug that could ever work in these types of ways across all systems.

Here are some examples of what medication does to mineral status in the human body.

Blood pressure tablets -> lower Sodium

SSRI’s -> increase Sodium

Benzos -> increase Magnesium retention

Steroids -> increase Calcium retention

I always recommend working on minerals before trying to replace any hormones or enzyme functions in the body. Support function rather than replacing function.

By correcting mineral ratios using mineral balancing understanding the antagonisms and synergisms of minerals within the body we can greatly improve hormonal balance and functionality overall.

Not doing a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis is more costly in the long run when we waste money on supplements our body doesn’t need. And even more costly when we create further imbalances between minerals by ‘willy-nilly’ taking random multivitamins or mineral supplements.

HTMA’s are not just for people who are trying to heal from chronic conditions or are feeling unwell. Anyone can benefit from optimisation of minerals which can increase motivation, concentration, sleep, stamina, performance, creativity and much more. And who wouldn’t love that!?

Further information and resources:,thereb%2C%20hindering%20their%20biological%20function

Great HMTA video example of a child with anxiety, poor concentration, ADHD diagnosis and depression:

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