The importance of magnesium cannot be overstated when it comes to conditions such as heart disease or osteoporosis. The western world is currently far too over-calcified, and promoting calcium supplementation for people who are low in magnesium (which most are) not only increases soft tissue and arterial calcification while weakening bone structure, it also creates increased risk of heart attack. Many people have high levels of calcium and very low levels of magnesium, and should these individuals undergo an extremely stressful event, or even undergo intense exercise, a heart attack could result. Many individuals are put on blood pressure medication without ever even having their magnesium level checked. In all likelihood, that person has low magnesium contributing to their high blood pressure, yet the blood pressure medication further lowers magnesium - the one mineral most important for regulating blood pressure! A lot of emphasis is also placed on cholesterol levels. An equally important focus should be on the mineral imbalances that affect cholesterol levels. For example, when copper is deficient relative to zinc, HDL decreases while LDL increases. This imbalance can lead to hardening of the arteries, regardless of the total serum cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Copper imbalance, a common factor in adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, depression, anxiety, and a host of other symptoms, is almost always incorrectly assessed through blood testing. Levels in the blood, the transport system of the body, provide very little correlation to the stored mineral status at the cellular level. HTMA can provide a much better understanding of such mineral imbalances and, in turn, provide improved guidance for corrective protocols. Proactive prevention as well as correction of conditions such as those aforementioned should always include an understanding of the body's stored mineral levels.
Mineral imbalances (especially a high level of copper, high calcium, low magnesium, or low Na/K ratios) play a huge role in cases of depression, anxiety, hypertension, ADD, schizophrenia, even Alzheimer's (as discussed in this article, in my article here, as presented in the cases studies described here in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, as mentioned in this short video by Dr. David Watts, founder of TEI), and as explained in great detail (regarding the mineral connection to mental health concerns including violence, emotional deadening, depression, suicide, anxiety, anger, and addictions) here. As one simple example, a person may exhibit anger or fear. This could be caused by anger towards a specific person or situation, in which case psychotherapy can be helpful. However, if this anger is caused by the stress response resulting from a high sodium to potassium ratio, the psychotherapy will do little to help the individual; rather nutritional supplementation to balance the Na/K ratio will be more helpful for alleviating the intensity of the negative feelings. This quote by Cynthia Perkins, M.Ed. provides a perfect summary: "Copper inhibits the brains ability to break down dopamine, increases norepinephrine and decreases histamine, which can result in a wide range of psychological symptoms like mind racing or racing thoughts, uncontrollable speech, anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia, restlessness, irritability, agitation, hyperactivity, insomnia, trembling, shaking, nervousness, inability to relax, paranoia, mania, dyslexia or other learning disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar, Tourette’s, autism, adhd, violence, panic attacks, excessive sex drive, hallucinations, feeling like one is going to lose their mind and more."So, before turning to dangerous psychotropic medications, it would be prudent to first look at the patient's underlying mineral levels wherein, often, a safe holistic solution can be found.
"I would venture to say that divorce courts are loaded with people who's relationships were destroyed by copper toxicity."
~ Dr. Rick Malter, Ph.D.
Copper toxicity plays a frequent role in broken relationships. Copper is linked very closely with estrogen, and as estrogen rises, so too does copper retention. In combination with other copper sources of exposure, the body's bio-unavailable copper level can rise so high that anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability and moodiness take over one's personality, while at the same time libido drops. Left unchecked, a condition known as a calcium shell may be created (easily recognizable through HTMA), which has the effect of numbing a person's emotions and decreasing their awareness to what's happened. The initial love between partners can be essentially erased if the woman's copper level goes too high. Ironically, the birth control pill (or copper IUD), created to bring partners together in intimacy, can create the very rift that tears them apart. (Blood testing by the way will only pick up on the elevated copper level during acute exposure to the copper source, but once the source is removed, blood returns to a homeostatic balance, even though large amounts of excess copper remain stored in tissue and many of the associated physical and psychological problems remain. Only through HTMA testing can a safe and informed detox protocol be designed and progress effectively measured). A high Na/K stress ratio, or a low Na/Mg adrenal ratio can also causes similar apathy and withdrawal. Without addressing such mineral imbalances, partners may never understand that it was a biological process that caused and controlled their split, and counselling alone may not be enough.
Let's look at three scenarios here - a sprinter training for a high level event, a person wanting to gain muscle in the gym, and just someone doing very intense exercise. Once again, minerals play an important role. For the sprinter, it's imperative that the muscles are relaxed and able to fire quickly. Tight muscles will slow the sprinter down, and lead to potential injury. This is where having an understanding of the athlete's magnesium can be important. Magnesium deficiency causes muscle tightness, spasms, and cramps. Ensuring an adequate magnesium level can assist the muscles to work at their optimum efficiency. As for the bodybuilder wanting to maximize muscle, a low phosphorus level and/or a low sodium to potassium ratio can make this an uphill battle. With low phosphorus, protein is not being adequately synthesized, leading to tissue breakdown. Meanwhile, with a low Na/K, the body's ability to metabolize sugars and burn glucose is reduced, leading the body to cannibalize its proteins, in turn leading to reduced muscle mass. In terms of overall adrenal health (which we can view through the hTMA levels of sodium and potassium), intense workouts and endurance events such as running can whip up the adrenals, giving a burned out person a false sense of energy, even though under the surface it only prevents their adrenals from ever fully recovering - this then affecting their long term sustainability in athletics/fitness. Intense workouts can also sometimes result in the sensation of nausea or vomiting. If this happens, it's often because the person's potassium has been depleted and/or their Na/K stress ratio has gone too high (which then further triggers magnesium loss). On that note, how many 'healthy' professional athletes have suddenly died on the field from a heart attack (often caused by depleted magnesium in the presence of a stress-induced high Na/K (indicators which would not be seen in a standard blood test). Through HTMA, these indicators would be seen, and it's possible some of these deaths could have been prevented had they been properly screened. Again, for optimal performance in fitness and sport, as well as injury prevention and and overall recovery and safety, mineral levels should not be overlooked.
The amount of attention currently given in most nutrition schools to the interrelationship of minerals and how mineral levels and ratios affect health is quite lacking, and yet this is at the foundation of nutrition. Most nutritionists are familiar with the concept of bio-individuality. We are all different, and so-called healthy food that may be great for one person can be devastating to another. Yet, when it comes to dietary program design, this bio-individuality at the mineral level is almost always overlooked. We can say that avocados, kale, and sesame seeds are healthy. But, due to their high copper content, for a high-copper person, in excess they will only further increase the copper level, creating further imbalance. Citrus fruits (if we overlook the sugar factor) can be beneficial for slow metabolizers (those with higher calcium, magnesium and copper relative to lower sodium and potassium) as they can help bring down the high calcium level. However, for the fast metabolizer with an already low calcium level, citrus fruits would not be advised. Fast metabolizers can tolerate more fat than slow metabolizers. Vitamin D supplementation, which directly lowers potassium, can be highly damaging to the slow metabolizer with an already low potassium level. The examples can be endless, but the point is made. Without the evidence of HTMA to provide an understanding of a person's mineral levels, any nutritional program is really being done blindly at the expense of creating further mineral imbalances. And yet, this blind approach still pervades throughout the field (though slowly shifting as more and more nutritionists come to understand the powerful tool that HTMA offers). Dietary programs can certainly help achieve short term weight and fitness goals, but at what long term cost of imbalance? With HTMA, the educated nutritionist can be infinitely more powerful in designing a dietary plan that addresses not only the client's immediate goals, but can also provide life saving long term benefits.
In addition to working with clients one on one, I also contract my HTMA assessment service out to health professionals. I am happy to provide you with my specialized experience, detailed assessment and nutritional suggestions which you can then take and adapt as you wish into the work you do with your clients. Giving them the gift of this vital information adds further value to the health care / support you offer. If you are a health professional and would like to set up an account with me, please contact me at email@example.com to discuss further.