Mineral Balance is a Game of Cofactors
Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Did you know that humans do not produce minerals within the body? This is why we must obtain them through our food. Minerals come from the earth and will eventually return to earth. Minerals are what remain as ash when plant or animal tissues are burned.
Minerals compose about 4% of our bodies. This doesn’t sound like much, but they are critical for good health. Mineral deficiency can be connected to every single ailment and disease!
Minerals play numerous other roles in the body, including:
- acting as cofactors for enzyme reactions
- maintaining the pH balance in the body
- facilitating the transfer of nutrients across cell membranes
- maintaining proper nerve conduction
- contracting and relaxing muscles
- regulating tissue growth
- providing structural and functional support
Out of the 103 known minerals on earth, at least 18 are necessary for good health. The macro-minerals that we need the most of are: Calcium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Sodium and Chloride. There are many micro-minerals that we need less quantities of but they are critical for our health, including: Iron, Boron, Chromium, Iodine, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Silicon, Vanadium, Zinc, Lithium, Germanium and Rubidium.
Mineral absorption and utilization in the body is dependent on inter-related factors.
There are 7 major co-factors that impact mineral absorption:
- Hydration: Water & Electrolytes
- Systemic pH
- Hormonal Function
- Fatty Acids
- Other Minerals
My blog posts in January were focused on Hydration & Electrolyes and February was about Digestion. In the months to come I will write about the other co-factors but for now, I’d like to restress the importance of these foundational factors:
Hydration: Good hydration ensures the blood is fluid enough to efficiently transport minerals throughout the body to other tissues.
Balanced Electrolytes: ensure the appropriate transfer of minerals in and out of cells.
Digestion: Remember that our body cannot create minerals…we must ingest and digest them. Low stomach acid is a major issue that decreases the absorption of minerals. After being Vegetarian for 15 years, I was digesting foods poorly and realized that I did not have enough stomach acid. Meat proteins require more acid to break them down and after not eating meat for so long my body down-regulated the amount of stomach acid it was producing. It helped me greatly to supplement with HCL (Hydrochloric Acid).
As a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, I teach people how to test and regulate their level of stomach acid through an “HCL challenge”. I am also able to perform specific functional tests to evaluate if someone has a general mineral deficiency in muscle tissues, a Zinc taste test, and Iodine skin test and Iron Deficiency test.
Reach out to me for a discovery phone consult if you are interested in talking more about mineral testing and rebalancing!