Mineral Testing: Why Minerals are Essential for Health
Mineral Testing: The human body relies on many minerals to operate and function properly—these are called essential minerals. Essential minerals can then be put into two major groups—major minerals (macrominerals) and trace minerals (microminerals). Both of these groups are equally important when it comes to an optimally functioning body. However, smaller amounts of trace minerals are needed more than major minerals. So, it’s essential to keep in mind that the amounts of minerals required for the body are not indicative of their importance. 1
Eating a nutritious and balanced diet will provide the body with all of the necessary minerals. Each one plays a different role in the functioning of the body. Here is a look at some major and trace minerals and their function in the human body. 2
Mineral Testing: Major Minerals
Sodium – Responsible for proper fluid balance, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. Sodium is in salt, vegetables, soy sauce, and unprocessed meats.
Potassium – Responsible for proper fluid balance, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. Found in fresh fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
Calcium – plays a vital role in bone and teeth health, helps muscles relax and contract, and blood pressure regulation. Found in milk, greens (broccoli, kale, etc.), and legumes.
Phosphorus – Vital for healthy bones and teeth, found in every cell, helps regulate acid. Found in fish, poultry, and milk.
Mineral Testing: Trace Minerals
Iron – Helps red blood cells carry oxygen to the body, needed for the proper functioning of metabolism. Found in red meat, egg yolks, leafy greens, and dried fruits.
Iodine – Needed for proper thyroid function, which regulates growth, metabolism, and development. Found in seafood, dairy products, and bread.
Zinc – Responsible for helping make protein, assists with taste perception, and immune system health. Found in poultry, fish, and vegetables.
How Mineral Deficiencies Impact Our Health
Mineral deficiencies occur when the body doesn’t absorb or obtain the necessary amount of a specific mineral. Deficiences generally happen over a long period and can be caused by several reasons—lack of minerals in the diet, an increased need for a specific mineral, or difficulty absorbing the mineral are just a few of the reasons. When a mineral deficiency occurs, it can lead to adverse health consequences like fatigue, decreased immune function, weak bones, and more.
What are the Common Symptoms of a Mineral Deficiency?
Symptoms of a mineral deficiency will vary depending on which specific mineral is lacking. Common and possible symptoms can include3:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramping
- Poor concentration and brain fog
- Decreased immune system
Mineral Testing: Common Types of Mineral Deficiencies
The most common mineral deficiencies are iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc.
Iron Deficiency – A deficiency in iron usually develops very slowly and can lead to anemia. Symptoms of anemia can include feeling weak and tired and slow cognitive development in children.
Magnesium Deficiency – Magnesium is needed to help control blood pressure, brain function, nerve function, and more. Magnesium deficiencies are uncommon but can highly be influenced by diseases, medications, and alcoholism. Symptoms include nausea, numbness, seizures, and abnormal heart rhythm.
Calcium Deficiency – A calcium deficiency, when left untreated, can lead to severe bone issues. Lack of calcium over time can lead to decreased bone density and eventually osteoporosis. Symptoms include muscle cramping, tingling in fingers, and loss of appetite.
Potassium Deficiency – Potassium deficiencies are generally caused by an excessive loss of fluid such as extended diarrhea or vomiting, diuretic medication, and kidney disease. Symptoms can include constipation, muscle cramping, and, in severe cases, paralysis or death.
Zinc Deficiency – A zinc deficiency can decrease the functioning of the immune system, slow growth, and prolong the healing of wounds. Symptoms can be a loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, and loss of hair.
How Hair Mineral Analysis Can Help Find Mineral Deficiencies
Mineral Testing: Hair mineral analysis is a fantastic way to determine if you have a deficiency in a particular mineral. Hair analyses provide a summary of not only current major and trace elements in your system, but also where your levels were in the past. That’s because, unlike blood, hair is an inactive substance that consists of trace elements and fibrous protein. As a person’s hair grows, nutrient and toxic elements (including minerals) are deposited from the bloodstream into the hair follicle. Once those elements have been deposited, they remain in the hair shaft indefinitely.
To have a reliable analysis and report, the hair used for testing should be chemically untreated. However, if it has been chemically treated, allow two to three months for the hair to grow before performing a hair mineral analysis. 4
In addition to revealing any mineral imbalances or deficiencies, hair mineral analysis can also provide an excellent overview of body chemistry, including but not limited to5:
- Metabolic rate
- Thyroid function
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Adrenal fatigue
- Energy Levels
- Nervous system imbalances
With a hair analysis, it allows a person to achieve proper and healthy mineral levels with the help of the report provided, a change in diet, a detox regimen, and supplements.
Want to be able to accurately test all your critical nutrient levels?
This is the best hair mineral testing kit we’ve found, from Upgraded Formulas. It gives you meaningful insights about your health with easy-to-understand mineral test results. You can download and share it with your healthcare provider, family, or friends. They also provide you with additional resources and helpful tips along the way. There is also a personalized report of each marker tested as well as detailed information about what your results mean for you. Ultimately, this empowers you to take action on your health and wellness. Use your report to help guide your next steps. Set up a discussion with a healthcare professional to go over your results further.
- “Micronutrients have a major impact on health – Harvard Health.” 6 Sep. 2016, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/micronutrients-have-major-impact-on-health.
- “Minerals: Their Functions and Sources | Michigan Medicine.” https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/ta3912.
- “Mineral Deficiency | Definition and Patient … – Healthline.” 28 Sep. 2016, https://www.healthline.com/health/mineral-deficiency.
- “Hair Mineral Analysis – MicroTrace Minerals.” https://microtraceminerals.com/en/diagnostic-humans/hair-mineral-analysis/.
5. “Hair Mineral Analysis – Dave Asprey Blog.” https://blog.daveasprey.com/hair-analysis-test/.