[Transcript] – The Problem With Mineral Supplements, Why Minerals Don’t Get Absorbed, Why You Probably Have A Mineral Deficiency & What To Do About It.

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Transcripts

From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/supplements-podcasts/mineral-deficiency/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:24] Podcast Sponsors

[00:03:29] Guest Introduction

[00:06:21] Sports And Endurance Depleting Your Body's Nutrients And Minerals

[00:12:55] Why Vitamins Are Of No Use Without Minerals

[00:18:09] The Best Way To Avoid Mineral Deficiency

[00:27:11] Podcast Sponsors

[00:29:25] The Importance Of Electron Driving Force And Size Of Individual Cells In The Absorption Of Minerals

[00:37:22] How A Hair Analysis Reveals Your Mineral Levels And Lifestyle Factors

[00:48:05] The Most Common Mineral Deficiencies, And How To Replenish Them

[00:59:49] The Best Way To Ingest Barton's Nano Mineral Products

[01:02:23] Tests and Products of Upgraded Formulas

[01:05:19] Ben's Hair Mineral And Toxin Analysis Results

[01:12:18] End of Podcast

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

Barton:  College educated. I'm in a first world country. Like, how many other people have this problem? It's a grueling thing to do to your body, and it's fine as long as you know how to replenish. But short term, we have to be able to fix this on a cellular level for ourselves based on our individual energy requirements.

Ben:  Why is it that we wouldn't just be able to consume the minerals set aside and just get what we need from nature?

Ben:  Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Hey, what's up? Got a cool podcast for you today on all things minerals with my friend Barton Scott. Now, after we recorded this episode, I should tell you, he sent through a pretty cool review of my own hair mineral analysis that I did after we recorded this episode because I got so interested and I was like, “What the hell? I want to do a hair mineral analysis. See what my values are like.” So, he was kind enough to go ahead and run a mineral analysis on me, and he went through the results of that in the audio that's appended at the end of this interview. Hair mineral and toxin analysis. It's fascinating.

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Alright, folks, I hope you're ready to geek out on all things minerals, not just minerals but mineral particles, and nanominerals, and mineral absorption. And the guy I have on today to talk about minerals, I was actually with him a few months ago. We were at a conference–where was that conference, Barton, that we were at?

Barton:  We're out in California, yeah, as the Metabolic Health Summit session.

Ben:  That's right, the Metabolic Health Summit, yeah, which I guess was fitting for you because that summit tends to be very focused on–at least I feel like it does, keto, low carb, low carb pizza, low carb Pop-Tarts, freaking erythritol and xylitol coming out people's wazoos on the elevator. And of course, a big part of keto and low carb is a lot of people say that mineral deficiencies are one of the reasons people get that flu-ish type of feeling. So, you kind of fit in there, but when I had a chance to chat with you both there, and we've talked back and forth via email and at a few other conferences, too, I've been pretty impressed with your knowledge on minerals.

I know your background is you're a chemical engineer and a nutritionist, but now you've started to get into this idea of mineral absorption, mineral bioavailability, and you gave me a few bottles of these things called nanominerals, very, very small minerals, at least that's my layman's definition of the word “nano,” but teeny-tiny minerals and very, very well-absorbed from what I understand. And I know you've also studied up quite a bit on testing for minerals and how you could know if you're actually at a mineral deficiency and even have gotten into some of the things regarding mineral ratios because–anything from copper to zinc to magnesium and beyond. Apparently, the actual ratios of those are important as well.

So, I'm pretty stoked to talk to you and get into this stuff because I haven't really taken a deep, deep dive into minerals on the show before, unless you count the shows I've done on how to season your food with amazing salt. So, anyways, the shownotes, for those of you listening in, for everything that Barton and I talk about–Barton's last name is Scott, by the way, Barton Scott. His company is Upgraded Formulas. Everything we talk about you can find at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/mineralspodcast.

So, Barton, welcome to the show, man.

Barton:  Thank you, Ben. Yes. A pleasure to be on. Yeah, I'm happy to share some of this knowledge that I find to be so incredibly important for our health, our vitality, longevity, brain function, all of these things.

Ben:  Cool. Well, I guess what I'm curious about is how you went from chemical engineering to nutrition, and then minerals, like what sparked your interest in all this.

Barton:  Sure. Certainly. I mean, it was two largely emotional factors. I had started wrestling as a young, young kid. My father was a wrestling coach among other things. Just really depleted myself. You can certainly relate with all the Ironmans and things you've done, but just day in, day out, sweating way more than you're putting in. I mean, I played football, too. I played quarterback, played a couple different sports, but wrestling is just so grueling from a sweating, yeah, and just energy output.

Ben:  Yeah. Well, Ironman too, Ironman too. I'm going to interrupt your intro early on, but I can tell you a couple of things for me when I was racing Ironman. A, we had the physiologist, Alan Lim, who's involved with a few different pretty good nutrition companies, and he came in and he would test my team. I raced for Team Timex. And he did a sweat sodium analysis on all the athletes and I lose like nearly twice the amount of sodium at least, I don't know about the other minerals because this test was only for sodium, twice the amount of the average white male in terms of my sweat sodium loss, which was pretty interesting for me because when I would race Ironman, I would lay in bed at night unable to fall asleep because I could hear my pulse pounding in my ears. And then, when I finally got that test done, it was a little bit of a lightbulb moment for me because I thought, “Okay, I'm going to replenish like crazy,” because up until that point, I hadn't really familiarized myself with the whole myth behind salt really not being bad for you.

And so, I got my hands with some really good salts turned into kind of a salt aficionado, and began to use probably upwards of six, seven grams of salt per day. It took two days for that pulsing in the ears to go away and for me to actually be able to fall asleep at night without hearing my beat of my heart in my ears. So, that for me was probably nine years ago. And ever since then, I've been pretty steeped in just salting heavily a lot of my food, or at least using that as an excuse to buy copious amounts of really good salt like fleur de sel, and Aztec salt, and Kona salt, and black salt. So, I'm just pretty much addicted to salt now. But anyway, so same thing for me, I was in a sport that involved heavy sweating. And furthermore, not only did my sport involved heavy sweating, but it turns out I actually lose more sodium in my sweat than the average person does. So, I've been interested in this stuff for a while.

Barton:  Absolutely. The thing we find, too, with taking a lot of salt–and I was in the same place about 10 years or so ago, and this is part of the problem, it wasn't the whole problem. When you start to really take in large amounts of salt–and I thought salt was bad then, too. That was part of it. And in addition to just years and years of extreme output really, when you combine all those things, you get this nasty chemical equation in the body at a cellular level. And the cells just don't make as much energy so you go, “Wait a minute, my memory isn't really working the way it used to.” Like things that really give you pause.

Ben:  Oh, when you say that, I'm fine with you geeking out a little bit on that. What do you mean you're not able to make energy? Can you get into science behind that?

Barton:  Certainly. So, you need magnesium to make ATP. You need a few other things as well, oxygen being one. This is on both sides and this is why testing is so important. When you've taken a lot of salt–this is if you're not doing the level of research that we're talking about, if you're like sitting at a desk and just pounding. So, I mean, your body pretty much tells you when you've had too much salt if you're eating a clean diet, I find. But that's a different topic. But yeah, to make energy to–our bodies are electrical forces and you have to have electrolytes as an electricity. You really have to understand what your current levels are. Genetics are great, but that tells you the story of what should be.

When we're looking at one of our hair analyses that are–they're done the proper way, and it's really essential to understanding the overall picture of your health. I mean, you get thyroid ratios. We'll get into some of that later, too. You get adrenal, you get metabolism. There's a lot of interesting stuff there. For me personally, the reason I go all the way back to that is because what really started to answer your question was me beginning to lose my memory, my short-term memory. I was in my early 20s and my memory up until that point, like all through school, had been just really razor-sharp. I didn't take it for granted, but because it was very sharp, I really noticed the degradation of it. I was born to older parents, much older parents, and I knew that probably losing one of them at some point would be a real thing that would happen sooner rather than later. But I lost my mother and around that, they say trauma is linked with losing memory, too. You're also increasing your mineral. I mean, from a technical standpoint, you're certainly increasing, whenever you're under stress and trauma–I know you've covered some of these things on the podcast before. It's super, super interesting. Your body's requirements go way, way up.

So, undoing some of those traumas, you've talked about plant medicines, things like that. And really, EMDR, many different modalities can be helpful for reducing your, just kind of, what I call idling temperature or burn rate. And that's super, super fascinating because if we can sit at our desk and not be redlining–like I see so many people do when they just pound copious amounts of stimulants, instead of maybe meditating or getting some great exercise or maybe sleeps off, they're hurting. They don't have the mineral ratios in the right levels, the right ratios, and percentages. So, all of this really feeds back into each other.

Ben:  And I want to harp on what you just said about stress, and specifically electrolyte needs because if you look at cortisol, it interplays with aldosterone quite a bit. And aldosterone is a steroid hormone. It's secreted by your adrenal glands, it helps to regulate the balance of water and electrolytes in your body. And generally, if sodium intake drops too low, or you could even argue mineral intake overall, that stimulates a hormone system. It's your renin-angiotensin–aldosterone hormone system, and that maintains your osmotic balance and your adequate blood pressure. That's why, for example, when I was racing Ironman, I would lay awake and I could hear my blood pressure in my ears. And that's because when renin goes up and aldosterone goes up, that occurs in response to mineral insufficiencies.

So, you tend to get these really pronounced blood pressure dysregulation type of issues. And the interesting thing is that in many cases, that can be associated with paradoxically an increase in blood pressure, meaning that decreased electrolyte and mineral intake can cause your blood pressure to go up due to those renin-aldosterone mechanisms, not down, which is ridiculous. There's a really great book about this, by the way. Dr. James Nicolantonio, or DiNicolantonio is his name, he wrote a book called “The Salt Fix.” And I'll link to that in the shownotes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/mineralspodcast.

But it's super interesting the interplay between that renin-aldosterone system and cortisol. And then of course as you noted, a big part of this is James Tennant talks about–or Jerry Tennant is his name, he talks about this in his book “The Body Electric,” this idea that our entire body really operates on these electrochemical gradients. And sodium is the extracellular cation in that. I mean, you'll find it in blood, you'll find it in lymph fluid. The maintenance of extracellular fluid volume is pretty much up to sodium. And I'm not necessarily arguing that you need copious amounts of isolated sodium from, say, like table salt or sodium chloride, but a full spectrum of minerals is going to allow you to maintain those proper electrical chemical gradients. And then, it's also going to allow you to ensure that you're not getting that huge increase in renin and aldosterone that's going to cause the blood pressure dysregulation. So, I mean, those really I think are the two most important physiological mechanisms underlying a lot of this stuff.

Barton:  I think those are great points and you explained that really, really well. The one thing that we do want to be careful with, because it varies with activity, is sodium and magnesium and how those play together as well as sodium and potassium. So, sodium, as sodium goes up, our magnesium will tend to go down. It's part of that osmotic dance that you talked about. So, that's just something to be aware of for people out there. Well, if you're getting cramps, I mean, cramps can come in the form of low sodium, low potassium, low magnesium.

To go back to where we were before, as this is happening, my memory is really slipping. I'm thinking I can be at peace with losing someone close to me. That's part of life, but it's still, it was from degenerative diseases. And now, that's something that I'm very aware of the signs and symptoms and what you can do to reverse many of these things because really, all of it comes down to were elemental. Let's figure out what elements are out of balance and let's fix it. So, longevity became a focus. So, I started to think about, “Well, what influences longevity? What influences memory?” And you get really quickly to not vitamins, but minerals. It's kind of like saying fruits and vegetables, they are quite different. I know you've said that before, too. It's just a common vernacular, right? So, we should separate those out because without minerals, vitamins are useless, and you have to have them activated.

Ben:  Now, when you say, “Without minerals, vitamins are useless,” are you meaning because multivitamin companies will chelate their vitamins to minerals to allow for adequate absorption, or you're referring to something else?

Barton:  Just that you have the enzymatic sort of process that minerals activate. I mean, magnesium alone activates. We used to think it was around 300, now it's somewhere around 800 different pathways in the body.

Ben:  Alright, got it. So, what you're referring to then would be a magnesium deficiency limiting the enzymatic activity that's necessary for proper absorption of vitamins and nutrients?

Barton:  Right.

Ben:  The other thing to think about when it comes to absorption is that a lot of people don't realize–think about hydrochloric acid. People are familiar with that as being vital to the digestion of food, particularly protein. Well, hydrochloric acid that–the chloric in that, the chloride ions are provided by salt, right?

And so, if you don't have adequate minerals, you're not actually producing enough HCL. Therefore, you're not going to be able to do things like digest protein and assimilate amino acids. I mean, I would argue it's not just a magnesium, it can even be the sodium chloride that you'd find in salt.

Barton:  That's 100% true. People talk about–when we look at their levels, we'll say, “Well, I'm low in phosphorus, and what's high in phosphorus?” It's like, “Well, many grass-fed meat, eating those that's high in phosphorus.” But will you absorb it if you have low stomach acid? No. I mean, you'll struggle for sure. So, chloride is essential as well. So, where we go from there is–I developed this lens. It's been about 20 years now for me using supplements for performance. So, at that point, I'm like, “Alright, I already know the right brands. I do a hair analysis, then do a couple different labs, do, gosh, about 10 grand in testing in a year, which seemed like a lot for me at the time.”

Ben:  On yourself, you were doing all these tests when you were having all these issues?

Barton:  Yeah. And I just couldn't figure out what was causing the problem. I was like fit. I was pretty ripped really and I had no real energy mentally. And I was just like, “This is not a way to live.” And I'm sitting at that place going like, “At that point, I'm college-educated. I'm in a first world country. Like, how many other people have this problem? And maybe I just got here sooner because I pushed, just like you have, in all these, in so many races. It's a grueling thing to do to your body, and it's fine as long as you know how to replenish. But not replenishing, I mean, it's just eventual recipe that's just set for disaster.

I finally do a hair analysis and I look at–at this point, I already know great brands. I'm taking great brands and I'm taking the copious amounts, if not at least the RDA. And I'm sitting there, I'm looking at results. And granted, people should always look at results with someone that's trained in reviewing them, but I'm looking at it and I'm going, “How is it possible that I'm chronically deficient in magnesium and I'm taking 600 milligrams of magnesium six days a week? How is this possible?” And I have for a year and a half at this point. So, I started to get pretty angry at this, and it's not like I have a solution right away or anything, but it just begins this research cycle. And then, I started to think at some point, several years later, like 3:00 a.m. in the morning, I go, “Oh, I got it.”

Absorption, which is really the main thing we're trained in chemical engineering, basically, as your minors in chemistry and math and a lot of physics, and then you do this focus, which is a lot of thermodynamics and a lot of absorption because that's what you're going to do if you stay in that field. So, I started to think about it from this lens of absorption that I have, having already understood that I'm not absorbing and I'm taking the right brand.

Ben:  Meaning that all this magnesium you're taking, your hypothesis then was, “I'm taking it, but it's not being absorbed?”

Barton:  Exactly. And there were several others, but that was the main one that I was like, “From what I could tell from research, if I fixed that lead domino, a lot of things would improve and get better.” So, yeah, I started to think. I'm like, “Oh, well, this is a process problem. We need to improve the absorption from a process standpoint, which is something we go to school for.”

Ben:  Yeah. And by the way, I want to interrupt you real quick. Were you concerned about the form of the minerals that you were taking or–because I think a lot of people don't think about this. First of all, minerals that you get from animal products are more readily absorbed than minerals you get from plants, and that's because compounds found in plant foods interfere with mineral absorption, like phytates that you find in whole grains and a lot of plant foods. Those can bind to calcium, and iron, and zinc, and interfere with absorption, oxalates, like you find in spinach, and almonds, and beets, and things like that. Those can also bind to inhibit mineral absorption and then soak in tannins, such as in teas and coffees. So, how come you didn't think, “Okay, well, [00:22:41] _____ drink too much coffee, or I should eat fewer plants”? Or did that come across your radar as well?

Barton:  Yeah. I wasn't nearly as knowledgeable then as I am now in all of these different subjects certainly, but I did know that the viability from plants was lower. I probably also had low stomach acid, too, like hypochlorhydria. So many people have some level of this. So, even if I would have been–and we're talking 10 years ago. So, even if I then immediately started to do this, the problem is my deficiencies were so, and this is the case for a lot of people, my deficiencies were so severe that diet alone, it would have never truly reversed the deficiency. And I know that's a big statement, but when you think about it, I mean, your body can only assimilate–yeah, there's just so many factors that go into it and I just know to be true.

People eating what I consider to be an ideal diet, for them, they've done so much experimentation and they still have energy problems. And it mainly comes down to thyroid, adrenal. These glands produce 98% of the energy in the body. Do they have what they need to produce what you need? It's not that simple, but that's a big part of it. And if we ignore it, it doesn't matter if you're taking–I love Ayurveda and I know I'll go really deep into that world at some point. I've gone fairly deep into it, but taking ashwagandha is great, but these things move the needle-like 10%. If you have severe deficiencies, good luck. And I've been there. It's not to say, “Don't do those,” it says, “Layer on those things.”

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. And then, the other question I have for you is in addition to of course consideration of the bioavailability of the minerals that you were consuming, which I know you're going to get into, I had mentioned that certain high intake of plants with phytates and oxalates, as well as a high intake of tannin-rich foods like coffees and teas may impair absorption of some minerals. But did you also consider, because of the small intestine, the duodenum, the jejunum, the ilium? That's pretty much where most mineral absorption occurs, like iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, all of those are absorbed almost immediately after they have left your stomach in about the first eight feet of the small intestine. Did you consider at all, “Do I have some type of intestinal inflammation, some type of bacterial overgrowth, or something that is affecting my gut health to the extent where I might not be absorbing minerals properly?” Because I think that intestinal inflammation or small intestine bacterial overgrowth or some issues like that can also be a major player in low mineral availability.

Barton:  What I would say for anyone to zoom out of just me, I would say for anyone listening, most Americans do not have a functional digestive tract. I'm sorry, I'm sure that's pretty commonly known. I'm sure a lot of people who listen to the show have certainly above average, but God, I mean having loose junctions in the digestive tract, in general, is just terrible, whether or not you're eating gluten and you've cut out a lot of toxic triggers. I mean, stress, in general, will also cause these loose junctions to happen.

So, I realize that we really have to engineer the product through a process standpoint such that the minerals are able to be digested without the help of the digestive tract. Like, that would be a bonus, but that was what needed to happen. And I realized like, “Okay. Well, that's going to be a size problem because we have normal colloidal minerals that are about five times of a normal cell.” So, that math is never going to work. The only way that does work is you go through as you just described, the digestive practice or digestive process. So, this is where I started to think, “Well, alright, so size matters. Something called electron driving force really matters.” And between these two things, we started to think, “Well, okay. Now, it's just a matter of figuring out how to do it.”

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You need to unpack those. So, what do you mean size matters, and what do you mean electron driving force matters? What exactly is it about minerals that either of those are an issue when it comes to mineral absorption?

Barton:  With electron driving force, you want the body to be able to absorb, say, magnesium 2+ charge into the mitochondria. Mitochondria is about 500 nanometers on the smaller side. That's what you're shooting for. To get it in the cell, you have to have a driving force for all things to happen, right? And I know you know this. For anyone listening that's thinking, “Well, what do you mean?” it's like, “Well, a door doesn't close on its own. You have to exert energy.” So, how could you get mineral particles into a cell? Well, you have to have them in an active form. So, for example, calcium carbonate. You have one calcium atom, three carbon atoms. They're bound really tightly together. And because of this tight bond, they're practically useless to the body. Molecular bonds, the body recognizes, and it can break those apart.

When we eat plants and we do get those minerals from them, although they have all the different interference mechanisms that cause plants to not get eaten when they're in the forest, we do absorb–the aspects of them that we absorb–well, it's just about getting past those gates, so to speak. So, that and then size, right? So, if you were to just drop a normal colloidal mineral like calcium carbonate into your bloodstream injected into your veins, not much is going to happen, not anything good at least. The red blood cells are a certain size. I mean, it's much, much smaller than these mineral particles.

Ben:  Okay. Now, I want to interrupt you real quick because if I'm eating a plant or I'm consuming maybe some meat that has minerals in it, are you saying that the size of the minerals we'd naturally find in nature are not being absorbed? If that is the case, wouldn't that suggest nature is broken? I mean, it seems to me like there might be a little bit of a disconnect here. If there are minerals in nature, shouldn't we be able to absorb that?

Barton:  Exactly, yeah. So, we do, we do. Absolutely. Nature already does this process naturally. You're 100% right. That's a great litmus test for it. Plants have the strength and ability to ionize minerals themselves. Now, just [00:32:02] _____ ionic minerals or not, that's a good starting place. It's not, I would say, good enough. But they do that through a process of photosynthesis. Now, I mean, plants can crush through and crack concrete as they're germinating. So, they're strong and how they get strong while they use the electrons that come from minerals. But they're able to do that internally like we're not really able to do that so we think–

Ben:  Well, no. That's not even what I'm saying. What I'm saying is can't we just eat plants and get the minerals from those plants? I mean, for thousands of years, obviously, humans have probably not been able to somehow make minerals smaller. But why is it that we wouldn't just be able to consume the minerals that we would find in nature, in animal, or plant food, the mineral inhibition mechanisms of some plants set aside and just get what we need from nature?

Barton:  Yeah. So, this comes down to World Health Organization in the '90s said the soil was something like 80% depleted in most places in the world. But just in general, you can forget that stat and just know that steak today has about half the iron that it used to because the topsoil is something like three inches when it used to be 18 inches on average. Again, just rough numbers. So, the soil, just like a mother can't give to her child iodine she doesn't have, which greatly impairs the child's IQ, the soil can't give to the plant and the plants can't give to the animals what they don't have. This is essential. Do we have to fix that long term and is that something I'm really thinking about? Absolutely. But short term, like over the next 20 years, we have to be able to fix this on a cellular level for ourselves based on our individual energy requirements.

Ben:  Okay. So, what you're saying is that there are minerals of the proper size for absorption in soil and in plants, and I would assume then in animals. But because of poor soil regenerative practices in many locations in the world, it's not the size of the mineral, it's the volume of the properly sized minerals that we're now no longer being able to take in.

Barton:  Yeah. That's a huge part of it. What I've realized is that we really need to optimize the size of the particles, too, because the plants can ionize it and themselves and can make it usable and small, but they also stabilize it interestingly. It's a both thing. Yeah.

Ben:  What do you mean it's a both thing? It's not enough minerals, but then what's the other thing?

Barton:  It's not enough and it's not sized correctly.

Ben:  And that's what I'm taking issue with you on. When you say it's not sized correctly, you're somehow implying that the planet that we live on is not producing minerals that we can actually absorb?

Barton:  We can, through our digestive system, absolutely.

Ben:  Okay.

Barton:  Yes. Absolutely.

Ben:  So, that seems to then be in stark contrast to you saying it's not sized properly?

Barton:  It's just inefficient.

Ben:  Okay.

Barton:  It needs to be more efficient because so many of us don't have that. I'm sure you have an ideal digestive system. Most people don't.

Ben:  So, what you're saying is what you would like to propose is that the minerals, although they're not in as high quantity in many plants and animals as we would like them to be based on poor farming practices, they could or should be, let's just use the word “biohacked” to allow us to because we're living in a post-industrial era where we've got broken guts, we've got poor mineral absorption, we have high amounts of stress, many of us are sweating excessively, et cetera. What you're saying is that your argument is why not figure out a way to make minerals better absorbed?

Barton:  Yes.

Ben:  Okay. Alright. So, that makes sense.

Barton:  Absolutely, because it goes back to that example of me and so many other people. I mean, so many hair analyses over the past couple years. It's really evident that a lot of people, they're low in a particular mineral and they go, “But wait a minute, I'm taking zinc, or I'm taking chromium, or I'm taking potassium.” This is part of it. Part of it may be exertion, part of it is severe deficiencies, part of it is absorption. So, how do we stack the cards in our favor such that we can produce all the energy our thyroid and our adrenals need to produce?

Ben:  Okay. Got it. Now, you've brought up hair analysis quite a bit. Is there validity to hair analysis for testing for minerals? And if so, how does it work? How do you take a clump of hair? Because I've actually had this done. I've gone into my hair salon, I've gotten a haircut, I've brought in a white envelope with me and told them, “Hey, could you save a little bit of this? I'm going to get a hair mineral analysis.” I send it off and I get everything from zinc, copper, magnesium, different ratios, et cetera.

But how does that work for people who need to wrap their head or their hair in this case around how you can actually learn mineral levels from a clump of hair that indicates what's going on in the rest of your body? How does that actually even work?

Barton:  That's a great question. First, if you let me out, I'll tell you that we know that the hair analysis is accurate because I can tell by looking at your analysis if I had it in front of me and we had never met and I knew nothing about your lifestyle, that you would have certain disorders, let's say a sleep disorder, for example. The EPA also uses it. I really focus on it mainly for a mineral standpoint, not as much the heavy metal side. That's a whole another topic that we can definitely get into if you like. But the EPA will use it to determine heavy metal levels for people that have been in “exposed” areas for toxicity. Does it show if it's recent? Certainly. Yeah. Again, this is why I use them for minerals much more so than heavy metals. If you have heavy metal exposure, there are certain minerals that you can pinpoint and load up on that will help you start to remove these heavy metals from your body. And also, a body that has very few mineral deficiencies collects much less heavy metals. It's almost like the movie 300, whether it goes shields up, it causes that electrostatic force across the cell membrane and that it's just less permeable. So, cadmium comes by and just doesn't stick. Mercury comes by and just doesn't stick as well.

Ben:  Okay. So, they've actually looked into like reliability and validity of laboratory data for hair mineral analysis and found that it agrees with what you would find in, for example, the blood?

Barton:  Yes. Blood is a snapshot and you do a lot of blood work. And I'm a fan of bloodwork, too, because frankly, we haven't developed the testing yet to test for every single biomarker as we can. And it's great in many, many cases for a lot of different reasons. No denying that at all. Is it a snapshot? Is it influenced on what you ate yesterday or within 72 hours? Absolutely. Like your testosterone, for anyone listening. If you go out drinking, have a heavy night of drinking on Friday, you go in Monday and get a blood test, your testosterone will be pretty affected by that. And that was several days before.

So, what I want when I'm making a decision on anything really is as much of a trend as possible, instead of data points. So, again, I'm a fan of it, but many blood tests like thyroid, they're based on a sick population and there's a really, really wide range. Now, once you get into diagnosing things like thyroid really, really well, you know you sort of tighten that range and you know people more in the know tighten the range more and more. But it's based on sick population to begin with. These numbers were based on 200,000 hair analyses. And they started with a group of healthy athletes in their prime, and then they just recalibrate and recalibrate. And that's been proved and proved and proved for a long, long time.

Ben:  Okay. So, does it matter at all, like the rate at which your hair grows, does it matter how recently you've cut it? Does it matter if there's things like shampoos or conditioners in there? I mean, are there other considerations when you're using a hair mineral analysis to look for what's going on as far as ratios of things like zinc, or magnesium, or copper? And then, secondarily, what minerals can you actually see in the hair? The big picture here is I'm trying to help people understand how a hair mineral analysis actually works, if you can just dig into the science of that.

Barton:  Yeah, certainly. Yeah. We test for 15 different minerals. We test for eight different heavy metals. We look at some additional elements, the significant ratios. So, things like calcium to phosphorus. These on their own are more important than individual levels as far as things that interfere with testing. Dyes do. And what do you get there? Well, sometimes you could–really, you just get false positives for things like 10. Yeah. So, if someone is dying their hair blonde, then they're going to get a tin level that is much higher than what is in their actual tissues. And hair is living tissue just like the tissue in your arm. So, it's a closer approximation than what we see typically in blood. Blood is what's circulating through. So, if you do a test from that and you pull heavy metals or you pull minerals, you get what's circulating, but not necessarily what's there.

And one of the things I say there is when you have, for example, your blood pH when it's greatly out of whack, you'll pull out from bone marrow calcium, magnesium, et cetera, to titrate the blood because if your blood pH changes, I mean, just a little bit, you're dead. So, is the blood the best place to check for certain things, minerals? No, I don't believe that to be the case. Just everything I've seen seems to back that up. Is it may be better than testing nothing? Yeah, I think so. You can do, for example, magnesium RBC test. That's just going to test one mineral and not 15. I mean, in total, there's about 60 different markers we look at in a hair analysis and it's really–I mean, frankly, it's just really cost-effective, too.

Hair holds up to, when you're shipping it, just a lot better than blood, too. I mean, you see blood on the sidewalk and you see hair on the sidewalk. Fast forward a month, the hair will still be there. As far as growth rates, so I could touch on that, that is something to think of. The range is between six and eight weeks. Every six and eight weeks, someone could do a hair analysis if they chose to. I do them–every two to three months is where I typically fall in just because–well, I forgot and, yeah, got busy with other things. But at least quarterly.

Ben:  Okay. I'm somewhat skeptical still on hair mineral analysis. I mean, when I talked to Dr. Andrew Weil, his concern was normal ranges of minerals and hair had not yet been defined and there was a good correlation between levels in the hair and indicators of nutritional status. And then, I know that the Journal of the American Medical Association seemed to–and it occurred a little while ago, but they found a lot of variability between laboratories in terms of the results. So, it really depended, it seemed, on the laboratory that was actually doing the hair mineral analysis.

So, I go back and forth between, I guess, how much faith I would put in that versus like a really good, like some kind of a SpectraCell or a minerals analysis via the blood that was a little bit more thorough. I realize hair is far more convenient and less invasive, but I'm still skeptical on the hair piece, but I get some of the arguments that you're making. I have yet to be convinced that it is the bee's knees when it comes to testing. But regardless, if you are looking at a hair mineral analysis, let's make the assumption that it's accurate and that the values tend to agree from lab to lab. When you're holding a hair mineral analysis report in your hands, what exactly are you looking for? Are you looking at ratios? Are you looking at deficiencies? I mean, how are you actually interpreting something like this?

Barton:  Well, real quick, too, on normal levels. They have been able to establish normal levels with–that's something–I really respect Dr. Weil, but that's something that–no one can have an area of expertise in every area. That's not possible. So, it's probably just something he's not aware of. But they have been able to do that, and what you want to look at is really your significant ratios first, and then individual levels. And then, if you have heavy metals, you can look at your toxic ratios and see, “Oh, do I need to take more selenium? Is my iron low? Zinc, is that low?” That approach is pretty straightforward. What's called additional ratios–I'm sorry, significant ratios is really, really the key part that you want to focus in on because you're looking at everything from parathyroid to thyroid to estrogen, anti-aging, thyroid dysfunction, adrenal expression. Is it reduced? Hormone balance between things like progesterone, estrogen, testosterone. NADK is a stress ratio. It's also considered an adrenal ratio. So, there's a lot of those things. And if you read just a chart without someone that is really well-trained in this, I mean, it's not going to say any of those things on it. It's just that we know that all of those significant ratios represent those things.

Ben:  So, when we're getting back to minerals, because what I really want to do–I mean, I don't necessarily want to turn this into a giant podcast on hair mineral analysis as much as teach people what ratios tend to be an issue, and then what you've specifically learned as a chemical engineer and nutritionist about how to replenish those and some of the common issues, especially in the supplement industry, with the way that mineral replenishment is approached because that's what made me want to get you on the podcast in the first place was more of the actual–how to replace these things using an effective size and how is that delivered.

So, I'd love to get into what exactly it is that people tend to be most deficient in, why that's an issue, and then how you actually replenish these things.

Barton:  Magnesium is number one, typically, in terms of deficiencies that really move the needle, and they're corrected. So, yeah. Like Upgraded Magnesium, for example, was the first product that I produced that–I mean, it's a noticeable feeling for a lot of people, like they sleep their very first night. Potassium is really, it's a close second, I would say. The results of being actually minerally deficient in magnesium versus potassium, not that you can only choose one and only fix one by any means, but it has such a biological impact through so many different enzymatic functions that magnesium is certainly the leader there in terms of if you fix it, do you feel differently, to really answer your question there. And then, I would say third, a much less known that we see people are almost never high in is manganese. So, I think the RDA is just, frankly, way too low in manganese. We also just don't really get it very easily. Yeah. I mean, you can find it in things like almonds, but for the reasons you mentioned earlier, almonds can interfere with your absorption just themselves.

Ben:  Let's take magnesium, for example. Give me some details. What form of magnesium would you use? How do you actually get it to be a small size? Because you're saying that the size is usually not small enough to be absorbed, from what I understand, across the cell membrane. So, get into that. I mean, how do you actually approach this problem from an engineering standpoint?

Barton:  What we found is we really–so we use magnesium chloride. I know a lot of people really like other forms, but they like those forms really because they've been told those forms absorb well. Well, those forms absorb about 20% to 25% or less. Magnesium oxide is around 5%. And for that reason, because it doesn't absorb, it's great for clearing the bowels. Don't get ready for a race and take a bunch of magnesium oxide thinking it's going to prevent cramps. I'm sure a lot of people already know that. So, we use magnesium chloride.

So, what we do is we start with–I'll just talk about what we can talk about, but we want to get these minerals in their most elemental state, which is atoms. That's the only state they can carry the electrical charge, whether it's negative, positive, et cetera. And the body really takes up these elements if they do carry electrical charge that's active and available. So, I mean, really it's a process standpoint and I think people really notice a difference when they try ours. There's a lot of great companies out there that do an amazing job with quality. But quality and sourcing standards, I think it's just kind of a base bar at this point.

Ben:  What are you guys doing to make it so small?

Barton:  It's a great question. We start with, for example, in the case of magnesium, so with pure magnesium–and the goal is to get it into a plasma sort of state. So, it's electrified underwater, and yeah. I mean, from that, we're able to precipitate out electrons, essentially. For magnesium, we add in chloride because as you mentioned, chloride is just essential for health really.

Ben:  Okay. And then, you've got what you would call–I think you refer to on your website or on these bottles that you gave to me, a Nano Magnesium.

Barton:  Right, right.

Ben:  Okay.

Barton:  Nano is a unit of measurement. So, that's the reason why we use that.

Ben:  Gotcha, gotcha. Now, I noticed on your website, you have magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iodine. So, are those the four that you think are the most important?

Barton:  Yeah. Those are four that I see so many people needing, and it's a great place to start for most people. Again, test, don't guess and you'll see. I mean, do your own research. You can think of it as investing some money as an experiment to see what you need from a hair analysis and see how that's correlated with what the symptoms you should be experiencing. So, if our nutritionist can tell you that you have these eight symptoms and you have all eight, then I would say it's pretty–and it's a phone consultation, you've never met, it's pretty accurate. And therefore, it's a good starting place to begin to make these changes. But we do have some other products right now. We have one that I'm really, really happy with called Peak Thyroid. That's really, really interesting because it's a balance of zinc and copper. And many people have an imbalance of zinc and copper.

Ben:  I've heard that a lot. Can you explain why that is and why that would be an issue?

Barton:  Yeah, certainly, certainly. So, this is actually a key thing right now to understand with a viral outbreak that we're having. Zinc and copper is a reflective virus and bacterial predisposition. So, if you have low zinc, you have a predisposition for, and some people know this, have a predisposition for a viral attack. But here's the thing. When people take too much zinc and they over absorb zinc, they push out copper. When they push out copper, they set themselves up for a bacterial infection, which of course, what does that do? Well, that lowers their immune system and then it makes them more susceptible to also getting a virus. Certainly, just not a place you want to be. So, what can you do there? Well, you can test your levels and see where you are. You can also take copper as well as zinc. I recommend testing and not just guessing which one you should take. I don't think that's a great approach.

The other things we see are people taking large amounts of vitamin C, which I mean, I myself even did that like seven years ago. There's a lot of great research to show amazing effects from this, and I'm highly aware of it. What I will say though is, this is absolutely not an opinion, this is just physics and chemistry, is that whenever you take a large amount of any one mineral or vitamin, you start to have this domino effect. I always say it's like playing a multidimensional piano. You play one key and they're all connected. If they're all able to make sound, they would all make sound. In the body, they do. So, if you take a lot of vitamin C, you actually increase your iron absorption. So, when you increase your iron absorption, your copper lowers, and then you get set up for again a bacterial infection, which if you're trying to prevent against a virus, like we are right now with COVID, then lowering your copper level really, really low through megadosing vitamin C is possible, certainly. That's just how the mineral balance works.

Ben:  Okay. Gotcha. And you find that typically, the issue is too much copper and not enough zinc? So, a low zinc to copper ratio?

Barton:  You know, it's interesting. I think more women tend to have an elevated copper level. More men tend to have an elevated zinc level. If there's any broad correlation I can draw, the other thing that I can say about this ratio that's really, really interesting is that copper is related to creativity, and zinc is related to philosophy. So, if you find yourself stuck in this–

Ben:  Is that like an Ayurveda thing or has that been studied?

Barton:  Yeah. It's been studied probably through Ayurveda as well, I imagine, but certainly through hair mural analysis.

Ben:  What do you mean? How do they do that? You take like a mood state score or something like that along with your hair mineral analysis? I don't understand that.

Barton:  Yeah. So, children just having different mental disorders. I forget exactly what they were, but they would notice, “Oh, okay. They have this mental disorder and they have this zinc to copper ratio. They have this copper level individually and they have this zinc level individually.” And then, they would improve based on reducing copper intake or reducing zinc intake. And in some cases also, at the same time, supplementing. And what I find in many cases if people aren't really absorbing most of the minerals they're taking, or they're just doing kind of scattershot approach, that a lot of times, it's the reduction of the, say, calcium that makes them feel a lot less fatigued, a lot more energized, because then the magnesium, potassium, and sodium all balance each other.

Ben:  Yeah. And everything I've seen, everyone I've talked to thus far seemed to indicate that the most common imbalance would be elevated copper and depressed zinc. So, too much copper, not enough zinc, and that does have some association I've seen in some studies with hyperactivity and ADD, even depression, some behavioral disorders, just because of the relationship between that and neurotransmitter. So, I would say if anything, the thing you're going to see most common would be a need to decrease some of your exposure to copper and then increase foods that would contain zinc. Now, for you guys with the type of minerals that you sell on your website, this upgraded–what's it called, Upgraded Formulas? Do you guys sell copper, or do you primarily just do zinc because that deficiency is so common to have not enough zinc and too much copper?

Barton:  That's a great question. Probably by the time this airs, our copper product is finally ready. I wanted to take some time and really get it done well. And we do have copper and zinc together in Peak Thyroid, which is great. Copper can be a very foul-tasting product. So, I would say take it with food. If you're taking Peak Thyroid, take it with food just because, yeah, it can be difficult in general, taste-wise. But usually, when you find something to be really–for example, if you take magnesium in it, you take some of our magnesium and liquid form, we have the capsules, too. If you take liquid and you noticed a severe taste issue, you have a deficiency.

Ben:  Yeah. Zinc is really important for fertility and testosterone, too. I actually recently did a blood test. And even though my testosterone was in the 900s, my zinc was actually surprisingly low, which concerned me. I should actually have you send me up some zinc so I can check out your product. I just started putting this black ant extract into my smoothies in the morning. I put a big tablespoon of that stuff just because it's incredibly high in zinc. But I'd be interested to try some of these nanominerals that have zinc in them.

And I know we're starting to get a little short on time, but as far as the way that people would use the type of minerals that you make, these nanominerals, how do you even use them? Are they liquids? Are they capsules? Do you sprinkle them on food, or how exactly does it work?

Barton:  So, it's a great question. Yeah. So, our iodine, for example, we have a dropper and it's best to put that directly in the mouth without water because a lot of water has chlorine and it'll bind with it. Iodine is a protective mineral.

Ben:  Well, if your water's filtered, you're probably okay though, yeah?

Barton:  Yeah, yeah, you're fine. And I mean, mine is, yours is, a lot of people's is, but normally across the board, just take it as you would any other supplement. Again, not medical advice, let's talk on a one-to-one basis with a nutritionist or nutritionally informed doctor. But I know you do the disclaimer. But just in general, I would say that's important. Our most common product right now, we've gone ahead and dehydrated that and put it in capsule form. It's Upgraded Magnesium, but the rest are all liquid.

Ben:  And all of them are this tiny, tiny nano formula which–basically, the entire proposal here and the idea behind your company is that the nanominerals are bioavailable and absorbed to a much, much greater extent than the normal type of mineral that you'd find in supplements?

Barton:  Yes, exactly.

Ben:  Gotcha. Are there other companies doing this? Like, have you guys patented this process? Is this like a trade secret? Why aren't more people doing this?

Barton:  It kind of blows my mind, I'm not sure really. Yeah. With us, it's on our way to being patented. Right now, it's a signed contract with a manufacturer that we've been able to work with and develop a really, really unique contract. I had a lot of requirements and changes and it took years to even find someone that we could work with. I would say for anyone that's listening, just give some of these a shot and see it for yourself. It's great to understand things analytically, but it's just not going to help after a certain point. I think you've done a great job with a bunch of awesome questions that most people would have before starting a regimen and as they should. Results really speak for themselves. I mean, we get results for people.

Ben:  Well, I'm going to link to your stuff in the shownotes in case people want to try out. I suppose a pre and post-hair mineral analysis would be one thing. And do you guys do the hair mineral analysis, too? Is that something you offer?

Barton:  Yes.

Ben:  Okay.

Barton:  Yes, yes. And the consultation, too. I feel like that's a really important piece because for the reasons we just talked about, there's a lot of amazing data in our hair analysis that will be missed if it's done by someone that isn't really well-trained.

Ben:  Yeah. I'm personally generally pretty careful with getting my test analysis done by the same company that's selling me the supplements because I always have that fox guarding the henhouse type of nervousness, or at least I'll sometimes get a comparison test just to make sure. And so, I know there are plenty of places like DirectLabs that one could get a hair mineral analysis as well, but I know you guys offer those, and then you've got all these different formulas. You got your magnesium, your zinc, your copper, you have the thyroid formula. So, what I may have to do is do some testing. And I know you're going to send me up some stuff to try, and I might do a little pre-post testing, too, myself.

And if anyone else does, or if anyone has questions or comments or feedback for Barton about this stuff, what I'm going to do is I'll link to his website. He gave us a 15% discount code, too. It's BEN15 if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/upgradedformulas. But I'll also link that in the podcast. You can go ask your questions and pipe in with some of your own questions for Barton at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/mineralspodcast because I did find it very interesting, this concept of hacking minerals, so to speak, to get them very, very small for maximum absorption because–whether it is a blood test or a hair test, I do tend to see, especially these zinc-copper ratios and a lot of people I've seen test from, as well as magnesium. And potassium is another to be big issues. And again, the lightbulb moment for me was just when I started to sleep better and had better blood pressure in response to my own full-spectrum mineral supplementation, particularly with really good salts, and now with a variety of minerals. So, it's very interesting. And again, the URL for the shownotes is BenGreenfieldFitness.com/mineralspodcast.

Barton, I want to thank you for coming on the show today and sharing this stuff with us.

Barton:  Oh, thank you, Ben. I mean, it's been a pleasure and I just feel like in the last 10 years, this is really the most important discoveries that I've been able to make. So, I just want to share that with people.

Ben:  Cool, man, cool. Alright. Well, folks, thanks for listening in. Again, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/mineralspodcast for the shownotes and to go check out Barton's website, Upgraded Formulas, and until next time. I'm Ben Greenfield along with Barton Scott signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.

Barton:  Hey, Ben, this is Barton. I'm looking over your results right now and what I'm seeing is your–first thing I'd like to start with is your calcium to phosphorus ratio. So, it's good. It can be improved. You have some excess calcium in your body. A lot of people do. And with that, I'm wondering if you're suffering from any stiffness, any–yeah, probably not super noticeable at this level, but if you are feeling stiff or you're taking longer to limber up, so to speak, before you work out, this is something that–this is the reason really. Yeah, all else being in track. So, that's something to consider. Your next ratio looks pretty darn good. That's sodium to potassium. That's an overall just indicator of energy in the body. Looking good there. And that's adrenal function indicator as well. Your calcium to potassium is your thyroid ratio that looks really good as well.

Zinc to copper, this is–I'm glad we did this analysis because right now based on your levels, your zinc levels are elevated, actually. This is why we prefer blood–I'm sorry, why we prefer hair instead of blood is because with blood, you're getting that snapshot. And so, for that day or two or three, you may have been low in zinc. But currently, just looking at a trend over four to six weeks, which is what your hair would show is this level is certainly elevated and your copper is just about ideal independently, but the ratio being more important means that you would want to lower your zinc consumption currently. And this is super important. I wanted to get to it on the podcast, actually.

Your zinc to copper levels are really indicative of–let's try that one more time, they're really indicative of your viral and bacterial openness. So, what I'm saying there is when your copper levels are incredibly low, you're open for a bacterial infection, case in point. And then, with zinc, when those levels are really low, you're open to a viral infection, which is something you obviously want to protect against, as does everyone right now. And I'm not sure why virtually no one seems to know this, but it's super essential and it's very indicative.

Case in point, a friend of mine here, very knowledgeable guy, going through a huge program with just one of the top anti-aging doctors in the world right now. He actually started supplementing a huge amount of zinc, like 50 milligrams a day, granted he's going to absorb about 20% of that because they're just normal minerals. And yet the problem was he developed a bacterial infection in his mouth because he lowered his rate of copper. And we're talking about this. He had just gotten his results. I could probably get permission to share them, but he had just gotten his results and we're sitting down to dinner. I had a couple friends over and as we're talking about dinner; we're talking about this and I said, “You know, you want to be careful with that zinc intake because you'll set yourself up for a bacterial infection.” And he said, “Oh, well, that's really interesting because I have a bacterial infection and just developed.”

A week ago, I had to go to the dentist and I said, “Well, be careful with that,” because as obviously, I think this bar is obvious, when you lower your overall immunity by developing a bacterial infection, what are you more likely and more susceptible to then get? Well, a viral infection, right? So, I said, “Well, be careful. Definitely supplement some copper in there as well.” So, you started taking Peak Thyroid that has a balanced level of zinc and copper. That's one of our products that I'm really, really proud of and it just–ideally, people would be testing and seeing what their levels are. I think in the meantime, you can certainly supplement that, which will over time bring your levels into balance.

So, those are some thoughts. Your arsenic level was elevated as well. This is I'm guessing living where you live, you probably intake quite a bit of shellfish. There are a number of different foods and opportunities to absorb high levels of arsenic, water as one. I'm not sure if you're on well water where you are. That's another consideration. There's a number of different foods. You can look into that. A little bit of mercury, a little bit of cadmium, a little bit of aluminum. What's interesting is that–take lead for example. Lead is, you'll see it in the blood if you have a lead exposure for about 34 days, is what they found. After that point, it's not available in the blood, but you can find it via hair. So, I just thought I would throw that in there. It's interesting to be mindful of.

I mean, granted, the primary use that I explore this with is for mineral status. There's always going to be some variance between blood and hair when it comes to heavy metals. And since the window is so much wider, you're getting a trend instead of a snapshot. It's also going to be different between blood and hair. But these are a couple just highlights from the levels. One thing that's really awesome is your calcium to magnesium. That is your blood sugar ratio, and that is ideal. So is your iron to copper, that's kind of an anti-aging free radical production type thing to have an eye on. That is ideal as well. So, magnesium looks really good. So, unsurprisingly overall, your levels are really good.

Ben:  Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.

 

 

My guest on this podcast is Barton Scott—chemical engineer, nutritionist, and the founder of Upgraded Formulas, a wellness nanotech company for performance and longevity with a focus on correcting mineral deficiencies. Barton pioneered a new category of supplementation to increase healthspan, focus, blood sugar management, reduce the impact of chronic health issues, and improve sleep quality.

As a young chemical engineer who always had sharp cognitive function, Barton began to suffer memory loss and mental fatigue. How could this be, at such an early age? To make matters worse, tragedy struck at the same time when he lost his mother.

After taking many supplements during this time frame, nothing was working. Faced with adversity and looming health issues, this is when Barton decided that he must pursue solutions himself. He grew frustrated with how mineral supplements lacked effectiveness and absorption into the body, rendering most products in the market useless. Barton set out to fix the problem; and using his background in chemical engineering and experience as a nutritionist, he was able to identify the issues with the current offerings and applied a solution based on sound science.

Through research, and many trials and errors, Barton realized if you can get mineral particles small enough to absorb into your cells, that was going to be the winning formula for effectiveness. That's where he applied nano minerals to his formulations and developed a solution that supposedly makes the minerals up to 99.9% bioavailable for measurable absorption. It was then that he set out to create what today is Upgraded Formulas, founded to ensure maximum bioavailability and measurable absorption for proven results.

In addition, Barton created a hair testing kit that identifies mineral deficiencies and verifies that his products work. His test also identifies heavy metal toxicity.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-How sports and endurance events totally deplete your body of nutrients and minerals…6:20

  • Ben lost twice the amount of sodium during Ironman events
  • 6-7g of salt per day during training
  • Cells don't create as much energy in this state
  • Barton exhausted his body while wrestling in high school
    • Noticed degradation of memory due to decreased energy in his cells
  • Body's requirements of mineral intake go way up during periods of stress

-Why vitamins are of no use without minerals…12:55

  • Aldosterone is a steroid hormone, regulates electrolytes in the body
  • Maintains osmotic balance and blood pressure
  • Decreased electrolytes cause a rise in blood pressure
  • Maintenance of extracellular fluid volume depends on sodium
  • Minerals will maintain electrochemical gradients
  • Book: The Salt Fix by James Di Nicolantonio
  • Book: The Body Electric by Robert Becker
  • Book: Healing is Voltage by Jerry Tennant
  • Minerals, not vitamins, affect longevity and memory the greatest
  • Minerals activate the vitamins
  • Magnesium activates over 800 pathways in the body

-The best way to avoid mineral deficiency…18:15

  • Minerals need to be absorbed into the bloodstream
  • A process is needed to solve the issue
  • Minerals from animals absorb better than from plants
  • Diet alone will never completely reverse a deficiency
  • Thyroid and adrenal glands produce vast majority of energy in the body (do they have what they need to produce what you need?)
  • A functional digestive tract is rare among Americans
  • Stress is a huge factor
  • Create a product that can allow the minerals to be digested without the help of the digestive tract

-Why the electron driving force and size of individual cells are important for the absorption of minerals…29:25

  • Electron driving force is what allows minerals to be absorbed into the mitochondria
  • Interference (defense) mechanisms in plants that affect absorption (but absorbed well once past the gates)
  • Minerals in nature are sometimes too big (molecularly) for the body to absorb naturally
  • Plants have the capacity to ionize minerals themselves
  • The plants' strength is derived from minerals that are ionized within them
  • A steak today has a fraction of iron it did a generation ago
  • There are minerals with the proper size for absorption in soil, plants, animals
  • Poor farming practices have affected the volume of properly sized minerals deleteriously
  • Optimize the size of the particles

-How a hair analysis reveals your mineral levels and lifestyle factors…37:20

  • EPA uses hair analysis to test for heavy metal levels
  • Certain minerals can mitigate excessive heavy metals exposure
  • Bloodwork is a snapshot of the immediate past
  • Blood tests are often based on an unhealthy population
  • Test for 15 different minerals, 8 heavy metals
    • Minerals:
      • Calcium
      • Magnesium
      • Sodium
      • Potassium
      • Copper
      • Zinc
      • Phosphorus
      • Iron
      • Manganese
      • Chromium
      • Selenium
      • Boron
      • Cobalt
      • Molybdenum
      • Sulfur
    • Heavy metals
      • Antimony
      • Uranium
      • Arsenic
      • Beryllium
      • Mercury
      • Cadmium
      • Lead
      • Aluminum
  • Ratios between some minerals are more important than individual levels
  • Hair dyes may register false positives of heavy metals
  • Blood pH levels are vital; small change can be fatal
  • Hair is much more resilient than other testing methods such as blood
  • BGF podcast with Dr. Andrew Weil
  • SpectraCell Mineral Analysis
  • Significant ratios are the most important thing to look for in the hair analysis

-The most common mineral deficiencies, and how to replenish them…48:05

  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Manganese – RDA is too low
  • Start with supplementing magnesium, potassium, zinc, iodine
  • Peak Thyroid
  • Many have an imbalance of zinc and copper
  • Too much zinc results in pushing out copper, which sets up a bacterial infection
  • Lowers immune system, more susceptible to contracting a virus
  • Megadosing Vitamin C may lower copper levels
  • More women have an elevated copper level, more men have an elevated zinc level
  • Copper related to creativity; zinc to philosophy
  • Black Ant Extract is high in zinc

-The best way to ingest Barton's nano mineral products…59:50

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Barton Scott:

  • Click here for a test kit and/or consultation with Barton
  • Click here for any of the Upgraded Formulas

BGF podcast with Dr. Andrew Weil

– Books:

– Supplements:

– Lab Tests:

– Other resources:

Episode sponsors:

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