January 28, 2015
[03:52] About Wendy Myers
[07:20] What Is A Hair Mineral Analysis?
[10:16] On Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium & Other Minerals
[18:57] Heavy Metal Toxicity
[28:35] How Heavy Metal Toxicities Occur
[36:58] On Significant Ratios of the Hair Mineral Analysis
[43:26] Origin of the Significant Ratios
[49:47] End of the Podcast
Ben: Hey, it's Ben Greenfield. While you are listening to this episode, I am likely hurdling 40,000 feet above Earth's atmosphere on a small metal tube on my way over to the Middle East where I'll be teaching a workshop on becoming superhuman in Dubai. And that's why this podcast episode today is a special mid-week audio episode on hair mineral analysis. Who would have thought that would be interesting? But it actually is. Now one thing that you should be aware of is that after the discussion that you're about to look into, I actually get some pretty extensive testing on the water that comes out of the well in my house, and I found some very interesting things that verify what you'll learn in this hair mineral analysis podcast, particularly some metal that I actually need to filter out of my water, and these are the things I never would've known I was exposing myself to until I actually sat in on the discussion that you're about to listen into.
So just a couple quick housekeeping items before we jump right in. First of all, I've been releasing a ton of extremely interesting news flashes over on the Twitter page. So if you go to twitter.com/bengreenfield, you'll get to read about everything from how you can combine caffeine and exercise properly to get more fat loss. The strange types of ways that you can play brain games when you're exercising to get even smarter, and some French ants that got totally screwed after their exposure to cellphone signals.
So check all of that stuff out over at twitter.com/bengreenfield, and then also while you're out surfing the web, head over to podcastawards.com. That's just what it sounds like, podcastawards.com, and nominate this show to be in the Podcast Awards. You can do that by just going to the health and fitness section. Tap in the name of this show, and when it asks you for the URL of the show, just type in bengreenfieldfitness.com. And then finally, you should know we're still releasing tons of extra episodes for you. Insider episodes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium, and the episode we just released this week is one on 12 unconventional ways to lose fat. It's a one-hour presentation that I recently gave at a local health food store, and now you get to listen into it too, premium is not expensive. Its $9.99, not for the week, not for the month, but for the entire year. That was my best used car salesmen impersonation. Anyways, check that out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium, and now let's jump into this week's episode.
Hey folks, it's Ben Greenfield, and I believe it was at Dave Asprey's Bulletproof Biohacking Conference that I personally met Wendy Myers, and Wendy is a certified holistic health coach, and she asked me when we first met if I'd ever had my hair analyzed, and believe it or not, despite me on this podcast having talked about everything from blood analysis to poop analysis to heart rate analysis, I've never actually gotten my hair analyzed. So after talking to Wendy, I decided that I was going to get it done. I was going to do what was called a hair mineral analysis, so I went into my hair stylist, which I should probably call actually just my hair cutter 'cause it's not much styling this time when I get my hair cut, and they cut my hair and I put in an envelope, and I mailed it off to Wendy's lab where this analysis was done. I got the results back, and I found out some really interesting things, and in today's show, we're going to talk about hair mineral analysis, what it is, what it's good for, what we found out in my hair and how you can also do a hair mineral analysis and whether or not it's something that you should do. So Wendy, thanks for coming on today.
Wendy: Thank you so much for having me.
Ben: So first of all, it's kind of weird when you meet someone, and one of the first things that they ask you is if you've had your hair tested, at least I thought that was weird. So tell me about how you got into getting interested in hair mineral analysis in the first place.
Wendy: Well we were at a biohacking conference, so why not if you want to do further biohacking?
Ben: Exactly, the follow up question to that was probably something about enemas or pulse oxygenation.
Wendy: Exactly, yeah, and you know I got into this just seeking out my own improvement of health. I had reached a point where I was just tired and didn't feel good. I was having trouble losing weight, I had brain fog, etcetera, and how? What's wrong with me, and what do my naturopathic doctor do foreground with the test? She wanted to put me on a hormone replacement, and I thought yeah, not going to happen, and so I saw down a more natural means of improving, of restoring my health, and I just happened upon a website that offered hair mineral analysis and a program corresponding to the hair test to improve your health naturally with diet and supplements and detox, and I thought that sounds good to me. Why not just restore my adrenal and thyroid health and get them working on their own? And that's exactly what I did. I started a program, originally called Nutritional Balancing. I designed my own program called Mineral Power, that's based on organic and food-based supplements, a little bit different. I just had the spectacular results with myself, with my clients, and I love hair mineral analysis and I really like to communicate to people what a great tool it is to kind of get an overall view of your health and as a basis from which to design a custom supplement and diet program to heal yourself.
Ben: Yeah, I don't know if I love hair mineral analysis yet after seeing some of the results that came through, literally last night that we'll talk about today. Not quite sure if I'm going to like what I hear, but anyways, before we even jump into any of that, what is hair mineral analysis? I mean how can you actually get information from strands of hair?
Wendy: Well, there's actually about four decades of research behind it. It's not just looking at the absolute mineral levels in your body or the heavy metals in your body. There's a lot to it, a lot of information underneath it as you saw with the e-mail I sent you. What we are looking for is patterns in the hair. Certain patterns will tell us the stressors your body is under, if you have adrenal fatigue, if you have thyroid insufficiency, how your immune system is doing, or how your kidneys and liver is functioning, your immune system. It gives us your metabolic rate, gives us a lot of information about what's going on, and we also know by your heavy metal toxicities what kind of symptoms those can cause, what whole symptoms you have that are attributable to your heavy metal toxicities and what future diseases those can cause. So it kind of gives you this crystal ball so that you can head off these health issues before, even they start presenting with symptoms. Because by the time you start presenting with symptoms, this is a disease process many years in the making. So that's why I love hair mineral analysis, because it gives you the power to change course and to correct the mineral levels and mineral ratios in your body and detox metals and chemicals from your body, so that you're able to prevent disease and reverse it.
Ben: What's going on when my hair gets to a lab, like what are they doing to it?
Wendy: They burn it up in a mass spectrometer, and this is the science used by NASA to evaluate moon rocks and things with that nature, it's a very, very precise instrument. They're just able to see all of the minerals and metals in your hair.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. So are those minerals and metals that they see in the hair indicative just of what's growing in my hair in the past few months? Is it kind of like an acute picture? Is it a really long history, a really short history? I mean I know like when you test in blood, for example, there are some measurements that are very acute, right? Like cortisol, I guess, you know it's like a snapshot whereas some things like Hemoglobin A1C gives you like a three-month picture of your faced blood-glucose levels. With hair, what kind of timeline are we looking at?
Wendy: Well, it's a three-month picture. If you cut an inch of hair, about two-and-a-half centimeters of hair, that gives us a three-month average of what's depositing into the hair. So it gives us a nice picture of what's going on the past few months.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. Cool. Well I thought that maybe one of the things that would be most helpful to actually walk people through the type of things that you find out from the hair mineral analysis is to go through my result, because there's some really interesting things on there. If you're listening in to the podcast, by the way, I will put a little PDF where you can download my results and also link to getting your own hair mineral analysis and everything else that Wendy and I talk about is you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/hair. That's hair like the stuff that grows on your head, not hare the bunny rabbit, H-A-I-R. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/hair, and you'll be able to follow along with this stuff if you want to just see some of the results there.
So if I look at the main analysis of my hair, just the basic feedback that I first got, the one that says trace elements on it, the thing on the top there is nutritional elements in blue, and it's like this chart with a bunch of different elements. They appear to be minerals, like calcium, magnesium, potassium, stuff like that. So what exactly is going on there?
Wendy: Well let me preface our talk with saying that as an athlete yourself, you put your body under a lot of stress, and then you don't need me to tell you that. So what this hair test is showing is that your body's under a lot of stress, and that's how we see that in a minute, but the first four minerals, the calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium are basically what show us how much stress you're putting your body under. That calcium and magnesium, magnesium is really, really high like this. The first thing to go when you're stressed is magnesium. So what happens is when you're very, very stressed, your adrenal glands are releasing adrenocorticotropic hormone. Your cells are just going to release all of their magnesium, and that we'll see that as a large deposit in the hair and a high magnesium level.
Ben: So what you're saying is that when you see high levels of something in the hair, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have it in your body. It instead means that your cells might be releasing it?
Ben: Okay, and the reason I ask that is like magnesium, for example, I look at this chart. I see magnesium off the charts, and I think great, I've got a lot of magnesium which is a common deficit in athletes, but what you're saying is that when you see high magnesium, for example, in hair, it can mean that the cells themselves are actually at a magnesium deficit?
Wendy: Exactly, I also do blood work with my clients as well, and they can do an RBC magnesium test and other blood work analysis that helps us. You know, just get a better picture of what's going on. That's, of course, optional, but yeah, many people under stress, I mean join the club. There's a lot of different stressors, you're just exercising and most people are magnesium deficient. And so what I have people do, they need to supplement, roughly five times their body weight in magnesium in milligrams.
Ben: Yeah, and I actually use a transdermal magnesium, perhaps I need to be using more magnesium than I currently use or even introducing more oral magnesium sources, but that's really interesting that you can tell something like stress levels from magnesium, and also you mentioned in your e-mail to me that you thought I was in the state of high stress as evidenced by high sodium and potassium levels. Can you explain how those relate to adrenal function and stress?
Wendy: Yeah, absolutely. The sodium and potassium levels, and I end the key here, actually correspond to stress in the adrenals and additionally on the kidneys as well. When the adrenal glands are stressed, and this happens for a number of reasons, a lot of exercise, heavy metals, heavy metal toxicity is very a common one because our adrenal glands will release a lot of stress hormones when we have heavy metal toxicities in an effort to push the mound of our body. And when this happens over a period of time, eventually the adrenal glands will fall into say a stage three adrenal fatigue, and the sodium-potassium will be very, very low. For you, I think yours is due to a lot of exercise, I think it's also due to some heavy metals as well. Everyone has a little bit of adrenal fatigue due to heavy metals, but the kidneys also regulate sodium-potassium in the body. So we know when there's certain stressors in the body, the kidneys will retain sodium-potassium, and that can also cause a rise in the sodium-potassium that can also bid you, again, to heavy metals, heavy metals deposited in the kidneys. Cadmium is a big one, so it's a number of things that can raise the sodium and potassium, but it's shying right now. You're kind of in stage two adrenal fatigue, the resistance stage of stress, but there's ways that we supplement to reduce the sodium-potassium, but it's all a better number of things. It has to do with diet, it has to do with lifestyle, sleeping enough and exercise, and it has to do with supplementing in a way that corrects these levels to get them more normal.
Ben: So you don't think like doing something, like say I'm a huge fan of salt, right? I do lots of rock salt and sea salt, and I'm definitely not salt-phobic. I get a lot of minerals and I use like when I'm at work during the day, I use effervescent electrolyte tablets. When someone has high amounts of sodium and potassium in their hair, can it be reflective of just taking in lots of salts in the diet, or does it in fact indicate adrenal function?
Wendy: No, I find it has nothing to do with salt intake, and I encourage my clients to just heavily salt their food. We need sea salt in our diet 'cause there's about a hundred minerals in that, that we're very hungry for it 'cause our soils are deficient. So that's why the focus of this program is minerals, people are grossly deficient in minerals and need to supplement them. So sodium-potassium really only have to do, correlate to adrenal functioning and kidney function.
Ben: In the section under minerals, you use the term mineral power program. You say here's your mineral power program, what do you mean when you say mineral powers? It's like a specific mineral supplementation protocol that you use?
Wendy: Yeah, well that's the name of my program. It's a comprehensive program, diet customized supplements, detox protocols like infrared saunas and optional coffee enemas and lifestyle changes as well. Mainly sleeping.
Ben: Okay, gotcha, and I definitely want to talk about some of those things. One last question about minerals, before we move into metals. What do you personally use in addition to just like salt for your own mineral replenishment? Do you use trace minerals or magnesium powder before bed? What's your protocol?
Wendy: Yeah, well I use several different forms of magnesium. I do a transform of magnesium, I do oral magnesium, and I do trace mineral drops in my water that also contains magnesium. I also do a copper acrylate, where it's actually a food-based copper supplement extracted from livers. Just a little bit of copper, a tiny bit of zinc, again from livers. I do food-based Vitamin C 'cause it's just not taking minerals to replenish them. You kind of have to get your whole body working correctly, so that everything can regulate. So B Vitamins, food-based organic B-Vitamins, it's very important to manage stress and certain nutrients are needed to feed the adrenals and thyroid which are glands that produce the body's energy. So the problem is very much about supporting those glands nutritionally. Of course, you can eat meat to support those glands. Very, very important, meat is very, very mineral-rich as organ meats and liver, but I also take… I like also the trace mineral drops. I take kelp. Kelp has about 20 to 30 trace minerals and iodine to support the thyroid, so that's just kind of it in a nut shell. I have a number of other things that I take, probiotics and some other digestive supplements. Ox bile and digestive enzymes, etcetera.
Ben: Yeah, I noticed on my feedback there's a lot of supplements which I don't necessarily like. I'm all about better living through science, but I was looking at the list of stuff. I'm like holy cow, there's a lot of stuff you could take to fix your body. So you also, of course, get into heavy metal toxicities, and on this, you kind of scared me on this one. I actually try and do a metal detox about once a year. I'll just use a metal chelation. I use this stuff called Metal-Free, and when we went over my results, when you sent me my results, I'm looking for your comment here about metal toxicities 'cause you said something that concerned me into fighting it. Well, you list your metal toxicities, and you list things like Arsenic, Cadmium, Aluminum, Barium, bismuth, Vanadium, Strontium, can you go into some of these metal toxicities and what they actually mean?
Wendy: Yes, exactly. Well here's the thing, everyone has metals in their body. It comes from air, food and water, industrial dumping, it's unavoidable. Everyone has metal, and so you have to do something to address these. I think a lot, some of your problem is the well water that you're drinking. All my clients that drink well water have manganese toxicity.
Ben: Really? Interesting, I just moved into a home, well like four months ago, and pretty much all the water that I'm drinking is from a well.
Wendy: Yeah, and even if it's filtered, a lot of my clients have filtered well water, but a lot of my clients that have that, they have lead toxicity, they have manganese, they'll have iron. Not the good iron that's found in meat, iron that causes oxidative stress, arsenic, and it's just problematic. You need to get a really, really good filter or just drink spring water.
Ben: So they make filters that will filter out, the reason I ask 'cause I have high iron in my well water, I know that. I have an iron filter, but they actually make filters that will actually filter out some of these other metals too that an iron filter may not catch.
Wendy: You know, I honestly don't know, I've been meaning to look into that, but there's a company called apswater.com, and they have live representatives you can talk to. They were experts on filtration. They're a very, very good company, so I recommend calling them to find out what your options are.
Ben: Interesting, okay. I'll give them a call, so the guy who actually installed my iron filter, he's actually rally knowledgeable on water. I'll have to ask him about the manganese issue, he may have some thoughts on that. So yeah, you mentioned manganese is an issue, and when you talked about manganese, what you told me was that it's an antagonist to copper and is contributing to some copper toxicity issues that you also noticed in my body. Can you talk about copper toxicity and why that's an issue?
Wendy: Yeah, and I just did an amazing podcast with an expert on copper dysregulation with this guy, Morley Robbins. That's going to be up on my website on Thursday. It's already up by the time this podcast will go up, but it's a very confusing issue because copper dysregulation entails typically the simultaneous copper toxicity as well as copper deficiency in the body. So on your hair tests, you'll see your copper is at four. That's fairly high for a first hair test, so we know you've got copper toxicity going on. You have other signs of copper deficiency which is the fatigue. You mentioned you have a little bit of fatigue or you're trying to get more energy, and obviously 'cause you're exercising a lot. Because of this high manganese, that's the copper antagonist, so that's going to contribute to any copper dysregulation issues that you have, so you got to get rid of that manganese, and you can do that in an infrared sauna, sweating it out, and addressing the water that you're drinking. So if you moved into that house just four months ago, this manganese, it could be from the well water, but this is really, really high. So this is coming from, probably another source.
Ben: What are the type of things that would be sources of copper toxicity?
Wendy: Usually, it's not that simple. People are not getting copper toxicity from food. It's more because they have a zinc deficiency going on. It's also because of other antagonists and balances in the body. Copper toxicity is very, very typical to diagnose and to treat, so to speak, but it's more about not avoiding foods, etcetera, to address it. It's more about doing a complete type of program to balance all of your minerals, mainly balancing copper, zinc and iron. Those all need to be at very similar levels and at proper ratios for copper to work in the body. You also have to address adrenal fatigue. I already told you your adrenals are very stressed, and when the adrenal glands are stressed, they are not able to send signals to the liver to produce a protein called ceruloplasmin that binds the copper to make it bio-available in the body and usable in the body, so you have to heal the adrenals as well for copper to function properly in your body.
Ben: Interesting, so you think it's a one-two-three combo of manganese from, for example, well water affecting copper metabolism, stress affecting the ability to detox my body of copper, and then finally, a zinc deficiency, with the zinc deficiency also being related to stress and adrenal gland issues?
Wendy: Yeah, and also your zinc is really high. When someone's zinc is over 20, you're just 24. That also basically means there's a copper shit-storm dysregulation.
Ben: Well hold on, I thought that if zinc was high in the hair, it meant that I had a zinc deficiency in my body?
Wendy: Exactly, so you're losing a lot of zinc, and that again is another indication. We're looking at the patterns in the hair tests, another issue of copper dysregulation.
Ben: Interesting, so you just did a big podcast on copper, huh?
Wendy: Yeah, I did 'cause there's a two-part series on it. It's very, very important because people's main issues are magnesium deficiency and copper dysregulation, and that happens because of stress. And when you correct those issues, most people's health issues go away. Their disease labels reverse, their health issues, their brain fog, fatigue, etcetera. Weight gain issues, adrenal issues, thyroid issues, they just go away because most of these disease labels are actually mineral imbalance in the body.
Ben: I'm definitely going to link over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/hair to this podcast, this copper podcast 'cause I think I have the link to that somewhere for folks to listen into. Another thing that you talked about in the results, in addition to manganese and copper was what you call a calcium shell. You say that I have very high calcium that I have a calcium shell. This is a term that I'm unfamiliar with, what exactly is a calcium shell?
Wendy: Yeah, well anytime someone has calcium, you're right at that margin when it's a hundred and seventy or over. That's what people call a calcium cell. You're at one sixty-even, so you're kind of right there at the door, and what this means is part of the reason you have high calcium is because you have high copper, and high copper is somewhat painful. It can cause lots of aches and pains. It can cause a lot of emotional stress and anxiety, mind-raising, insomnia, many, many symptoms that I send you on that e-mail, and one of the body's ways of compensating and protecting you is raising the body's level of calcium as a protection. ‘Cause calcium kind of numbs you out emotionally and physically, and it's a very relaxing mineral as well. So when people have a lot of copper toxicity, they also tend to have very high levels of calcium, and this is also reflective of the storage levels of calcium you have in your body, again cogged by adrenal fatigue. This process is caused by adrenal fatigue, and when we have high sodium-potassium in our tissues, the body kind of robs the blood of calcium, and it starts calcifying your tissues and calcifying your joints as well. So you may not be there yet, but if this was allowed to continue, at some point, you'd start getting the typical achy joints and maybe really, really tight muscles, and those are the signs of calcification.
Ben: So this calcium shell, is this something that's recognized by modern medicine, or is this something that is basically a term used in natural medicine?
Wendy: Yeah, definitely natural medicine, and you know? Dr. Pollack and Dr. David Watts are two doctors that were involved in kind of cracking the code in hair mineral analysis and how the minerals and ratios relate to health conditions. They did hundreds and thousands of hair tests and four decades of research on this, so this is really their work. So definitely not something going on mainstream.
Ben: Yeah, the reason I ask 'cause I will look on PubMed a lot of times to kind of see if there's been studies done on certain things. When I looked for calcium shell in PubMed, most of the research that comes up is in Marine Biology talking about the shells of mollusks and things of that nature. So this is definitely one I'll have to dig into a little bit more, and I know you sent me some links on that, so I'll include those in the show notes for folks as well.
Wendy: Yeah, if you could get magnesium. Magnesium is the boss of calcium, so you have to get adequate levels of magnesium to tell calcium where to go. That issues partially resolved by taking adequate magnesium.
Ben: Gotcha, okay cool. So let's talk about metals a little bit because we talked about copper, but then you list all these other metals that you say that I have toxicities in. Can you talk about how toxic metal levels like this actually occur and what you recommend people do about it?
Wendy: Yes, well for you, you have some low level toxicities, and some metals are far more toxic than others like Cadmium is extremely toxic, and it causes kidney disease and cancers, and it's typically found in cigarettes. It makes the cigarette papers burn really nicely. It's also found in marijuana. Even some of my clients that vaporize with marijuana, they have extremely high levels of Cadmium, alarming levels of Cadmium. It's also due to industrial dumping, just a big problem, landfills, stuffing landfills. Cadmium's used in televisions, so all those flat screen TVs we're throwing into the trash seeps into ground water and gets into us. Another one that you have is Arsenic. Arsenic, also found in well water, it's also big in rice. People, not avoid rice, but to source it properly. Organic from the United States is probably a good idea. It's also found in chickens, they actually routinely feed conventionally raised chickens with Arsenic 'cause it makes them grow about 50% faster.
Ben: Interesting, okay. So we've got Arsenic and Cadmium as two. There's some others in there two like Vanadium and Strontium. Are these also coming from those same sources, or are these coming from other places?
Wendy: You know a lot of stuff is from industrial dumping, that's unavoidable in our environment. The bearing I'm hearing is you're just somewhat elevated. That can be from cigarette smug, if you're just around smokers. It can be found in water, it's definitely used in medical procedures like x-rays. It's also just from industry, we just pick it up from the environment.
Ben: Interesting, okay cool. What do you like to do when it comes to toxic metals?
Wendy: Definitely got to hit that infrared sauna. I know you're a big user of infrared saunas.
Ben: Yeah, I use the Biomat. It's kind of more like an infrared mat?
Wendy: Yeah, and that works too. Any infrared sauna's a good sauna. You have to use it fairly frequently and you have to sweat, whatever sauna you're using, you need to make sure that you're sweating 'cause you need to excrete all these metals and chemicals from your body.
Ben: Interesting, so you do infrared, you do anything else for metals? Like a chelation supplement or anything like that?
Wendy: I'm not really huge on that. I do like zeolites. I'm not a huge fan of the synthetic chelaters simply because they can also chelate minerals from the body that can be very difficult to replace. So a lot of people like you said, you'd bid them once a year, and it's just not enough. It's not enough 'cause we are so toxic. It takes, literally, two to three years of doing a very intense detox program line mineral power to remove the bulk of heavy metals. And even after that period, you can still keep releasing metals and chemicals.
Ben: And when you say a detox program like mineral power, if you're not doing chelation, you are doing infrared saunas, and the other component that it would appear based on your e-mail to me is that enemas are a component of this as well?
Wendy: Yeah, coffee enemas are optional, not everyone wants to do those, but they're very good at detoxing the liver. Getting your liver working 'cause the whole program is about supporting your body, so that it can get it detoxing on its own, but we're so toxic and there are so many chemicals that our body just doesn't recognize. It doesn't know how to deal with them. We really got to get that liver functioning optimal performance, so that it can help to detox. So it's kind of a mechanical way to help the liver dump all its toxic contents, and it's a great way to manage detox sediments as well. When you're puling these metals out from the storage sites, like copper from storage sites, it will cause headaches or nausea, fatigue, irritability, anger, etcetera, and the coffee enema is a great way to mitigate and reduce the symptoms.
Ben: And how often do you do a coffee enema?
Wendy: I can about once a week, so my client's with them every single day. You know when people first start the program, sometimes it's a good idea to do them on a daily basis, but I encourage people to find out the frequency that works for them.
Ben: Well, we talked about sodium and potassium and magnesium deficits. Do enemas have the ability to strip your body of minerals? I've heard that if you overdo them, that they can strip your body of salts and kind of act just almost like a diuretic?
Wendy: Yeah, they definitely can, they do deplete electrolytes which is why I want people supplementing minerals while they're doing them. Also juicing, I like clients to do one juice a day, gives lots of minerals. Adding sea salt to the coffee enema water is great to, to reduce that effect, but I also want people to judge how they feel. Some people have much more of an effect like that, a diuretic effect than other people. Some people are not affected at all, but I have some clients that are doing them daily that do have kind of an alarming drop in their mineral levels on the hair test. So it's an individual thing, and I like people to kind of find the pace that works for them.
Ben: Interesting, now on page two of this analysis, you have significant ratios and toxic ratios. What's the difference between a significant ratio and the toxic ratio?
Wendy: Well the significant ratios are the ratios that we're mainly focusing on those types of program to correct. The toxic ratio more relates to the heavy metals that you have on your test and how alarming that ratio is of these metals, compared to other metals. It's a little too complicated for our purposes, but I focus more on the significant ratios with people because the individual mineral levels give us a lot of information, but the actual ratios give us a tremendous, more information, and it's kind of what we're focusing on to rate on the hair test. And if you look at yours, a lot of your levels are in the acceptable range.
Ben: Except, is that the calcium-potassium ratio? No, the sodium-potassium ratios in range. Looks like calcium-potassium is slightly out of range, and then what's this other one? The calcium?
Wendy: The phosphorus?
Ben: Yeah, the calcium-phosphorus. Yeah, exactly. I was trying to remember what P stands for, and that one's out of range. What's going with phosphorus?
Wendy: Yeah, well I sent you a sheet to help you understand these ratios, that'll understand the mineral ratios, and that helps people really understand what's going on. For you, your phosphorus level was on the low side. Phosphorus of 12 can mean a number of things. Either you're not eating enough protein, or you're not digesting your protein very well, or you could be having an excessive breakdown of tissue. I have a feeling for you, yeah. You're kind of catabolyzing your body 'cause you're exercising so much, and I tell people the rays of phosphorus is, of course, they probably need to eat a little bit more protein and take the digestive enzymes to really help break down their food because when people have low phosphorus, it's a sign they have low stomach acid.
Ben: Interesting, yeah, which I've actually tested low for before. Low stomach acid, and I've also tested low for pancreatic enzymes as well, so it's kind of interesting that those correlate?
Wendy: Yeah, and that's why I have people take a supplement called GB3. It has ox bile and pancreatic enzymes in it 'cause systemic pro to you look at enzymes like pancreatin, pancreatic enzymes are very, very important for people to take.
Ben: Gotcha, and I did certainly read through some of the things that you wrote. It's a funny story actually. I woke up this morning, and I was like, you know what? I'm going to do a coffee enema 'cause when do you recommend a coffee enema? So yeah, my kids were getting ready to go to school, and I was like okay kids, see you later. I'm going to go up to the bathroom, and they're like where are you going daddy? I'm going to the bathroom. So I went in, and I broke my cup of coffee up there and I did a coffee enema this morning.
Wendy: Good for you, good for you.
Ben: Yeah, I feel clean as a whistle. So we've got these ratios, these mineral ratios, we've got our toxic metal ratios, we have some of the things that you can do to detox as well as re-mineralize the body. You got some of your de-stress recommendations on there. Is there anything else that you can kind of get from a hair mineral analysis, as far as information about your body?
Wendy: Yeah, well we can kind of go over your significant ratios, that's kind of where all the juicy info lies.
Ben: Sure, let's do it.
Wendy: But yeah, the first ratio is your Ca-slash-P, the calcium to phosphorus, and that is sign of your metabolic rate. So if you look at the bottom of the page, it says metabolic type slow? And that's because when you have really high levels of Calcium like you do, that slows down your metabolism, and it doesn't necessarily have to do with weight, like if your metabolism is slow, you're going to gain weight. It can gave that effect, but it's really more about the metabolic processes in your body creating enzymes, digestion and all the little metabolic processes we have to do on our body, and so when you have high calcium and low phosphorus levels, it just slows everything down a little bit. That's what that means. The next ratio, the most important ratio is your sodium to potassium, that Na-slash-K, and what that means, basically it's an overall vitality ratio. You're pretty much right there in that sweet spot. I mean yes, your potassium and sodium are too high, but they’re still in a good ratio which is very, very good. Means you have very good vitality in your body.
Ben: Oh thank you.
Wendy: Yeah, and the sodium, well there's one good thing about the test.
Ben: Finally something good.
Wendy: Yeah, so the sodium level, kind of roughly, is an indication of all the stirum which is a pro-inflammatory hormone, and your sodium roughly indicates cortisol production which is an anti-inflammatory hormone. So you're in a good range.
Ben: Okay, gotcha, and by the way for those of you who are more visual than audio listeners, I'm going to put both this ratio list that she's going through as well as the hair mineral analysis results in the show notes. So go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/hair if you want to dig in and see how messed up my results actually are. Okay, so what's the next one?
Wendy: The next one is your thyroid ratio. The Ca-slash-K, calcium to potassium, and so that again also defines your metabolic rate, and what's happening here is it's just showing that your thyroid hormones that your thyroid is making is that you did a thyroid test and your thyroid's working just fine. If you have too much calcium surrounding your cells and inside your cells, that's going to reduce cell permeability. It's going to reduce cell osmosis, so those thyroid hormones that you're making that you test out normal at the doctor’s office, those thyroid hormones are not effectively getting into your cell as well as they should be.
Ben: Interesting, and that's all because of the calcium issues?
Wendy: Yes, and if you've ever studied cell biology or anatomy, we have to have proper ratios of minerals, sodium, potassium and calcium for cell osmosis and permeability to work properly. So this kind of shows what's going on at a cellular level, and so it's also preventing nutrients from getting in and toxins from getting out. It creates a number of problems, but yours really isn't that bad. I've seen this as high as a hundred before, so yours is not that bad.
Ben: Interesting, okay, got it.
Wendy: Yeah, and so the next ratio is your zinc to copper. This just shows, it's basically the hormone levels in your body. It'll also show hidden copper toxicity that's kind of high, zinc kind of roughly correlates with the testosterone in men, and the copper roughly correlates to estrogen.
Ben: Okay, got it, and so in my case, when it comes to the relationship between zinc and testosterone, the fact that my zinc-to-copper ratio is high would indicate that my zinc is deficient. That could potentially be influencing my ability to create testosterone?
Wendy: No, actually your zinc-to-copper ratio is low, and this is because…
Ben: Oh I see that now, yeah, okay.
Wendy: Yeah, your zinc is on the high side which means you're probably producing a lot of testosterone, so you're fine.
Ben: Got it, I was going to say I'm not really having any issues in that department, but okay. Good to know.
Wendy: Yeah, and so the next one is your sodium-to-magnesium, Na-slash-Mg, and that is your adrenal ratio, and so this one is on the low side because you would have a little bit of adrenal issues going on, all the stressors you're placing in your body. So this is on the low side, but it's not that bad. It's not too bad.
Ben: Are you suggesting that crawling under barbed wire, running through mud, climbing over walls, doing ungodly amounts of burpees and then going out and riding my bicycle up really, really steep hills could potentially be stressing my adrenal glands?
Ben: Surprise, okay. It's very interesting to see these things played out though. Okay, cool. What's next?
Wendy: Yeah, and the next one is your blood sugar ratio, the Ca-slash-Mg, Calcium and Magnesium, and this is also a sign of cardiovascular health. It's a little bit on the low side, so you probably are under-eating carbohydrates a little bit. I very rarely see this as low, but I think it's also because your magnesium is a little bit on the high side in comparison to calcium, so I think it's just more a stressor. We're losing too much Magnesium as to why this is low.
Ben: Okay, interesting. So you tend to see a low calcium to magnesium ratio sometimes in people who might not be eating enough carbohydrates?
Wendy: Exactly, most people are over-eating carbs, so this is a lot better.
Ben: Yeah. Okay, got it.
Wendy: And the next one is your iron-to-copper, this has to do with infections in the body. Yours is fine, but sometimes when they're real low, that can be a tendency for bacterial infections, high tendency for viral infections.
Ben: Okay, got it. Wow, so when you're looking at each of these ratios, who came up with what these actually mean? Like is this a group of physicians who design these ratios as this, based off of these three guys that are written at the bottom here? This Lory Wilson and Michael McAvoy, it looks like the name Morley Robbins is on here too. Who came up with these ratios?
Wendy: Well it's actually the brain-child of Dr. Pollack and Dr. David Watts. David Watts runs the Trace Elements lab. This is the lab we use for the hair test. Dr. Pollack died about 20 years ago, and he and David Watts worked together to crack the code, so to speak of this hair test and what the ratios mean and developing these ratios, and they did well over a hundred thousand tests to determine and correlate these mineral levels and ratios to health conditions.
Ben: So were they doing like blood tests simultaneous to see how these type of things measured up to blood tests along with qualitative measurements of fatigue and stress and things like that?
Wendy: Oh yeah, they did all kinds of things. Unfortunately, there's no clinical trials for anything for this nature. They did lots of correlating, like with questionnaires and with different health conditions, like I said, but I really wish at some point there be some clinical trials.
Ben: Yeah, that'd be interesting 'cause I know we'll get some comments on this podcast that there really aren't any clinical studies on hair mineral analysis. I couldn't find any either, but it's very interesting that a lot of what was found on my hair mineral analysis test does indeed line up with what I see in my blood, which aren't clinically researched in proven measurement. So there's definitely some correlation there, it's really interesting. Unfortunately, you have me very worried now too about my copper, my manganese, my zinc, this calcium shell and some of these metals, so I think I might have a little bit of work to do.
Wendy: Yeah, and you know? It's all correctable, but it does take time, you know? The body chemistry doesn't change overnight, it took you three decades to get to this point, so it doesn't happen overnight, but people can and do. There's thousands of people that have done this type of program. Dr. Lawrence Wilson is the doctor I train with. He's treated 50,000 people, and people have amazing results. They really, really do, and there's lots of Facebook groups for nutritional balancing, hair mineral analysis. You can even go on my Facebook group, Mineral Power Support. It's an open group, and see people getting the results, the health results that they seek.
Ben: Once people test their hair, do you go back every three months and retest your hair, or do you see people coming back for retest once they implement some of these things? And if so, what are you seeing?
Wendy: Yeah, you do have to retest because the body chemistry changes, and then we have to supplement in a way that corrects that picture of your body chemistry at the time. So people can stretch it out about six months when they're trying to save money or whatever, or if I think their test is not likely to change. You never know, but you do have to do testing about every three to four months for about two to three years, and people kind of figure out on their own. They kind of know what to do, what their health is after doing a program like this. They know what supplements they need to take, they know how to live a healthy life, so I eat the right diet and supplement.
Ben: Okay, got it, interesting. Man, you could dive so deep on some of these toxicities and deficits. I mean the feedback on the form that you sent me after my test, I mean it's incredibly comprehensive. I got it last night, and this is going to take me a little while to go through, but this is really cool stuff.
So if you're listening in, and you want to get a hair mineral analysis or you want to look into some of these ratios or perhaps look at my results, you can kind of see what they look like, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/hair. Wendy, was there anything else that you wanted to point out when it comes to hair mineral analysis, my results or anything else that you think is important for people to know?
Wendy: Well yeah, I want to make one more compliment on any clinical studies done on hair mineral analysis. Most of the studies people find on PubMed about the validity and accuracy of hair mineral analysis are bogus, junk science, and that's kind of my main message to people. I'm trying to get the word out about the depth of breath and knowledge that you can get. You can glean from a hair mineral analysis because a lot of the studies that were done can't even be called studies. They'll be using one or two participants, which as we know unless you have a sample size over 20, it's not statistically relevant. You can't generalize that to the population. So the problem is there's not any really good studies that show the validity and accuracy of hair mineral analysis, but there are thousands of people on these type of programs using hair mineral analysis as the basis of their programs in getting amazing results.
Ben: Wow, cool. Alright well, this is a wealth of information, I can't wait later on today to crawl up my couch with my results and scare myself even more. Anyways, no seriously, I'm all about proactively improving your health and being able to quantify and test, not only where you're at but where you're progressing, and so this is going to be really helpful for me, I think. Of course if you're listening in and you have comments on your own that you'd like to add or you want to see what type of things that I felt and discovered as I take into account some of Wendy's advice, just go to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/hair. Check out the comments section because a lot of times after a podcast, I'll post follow-up comments to kind of give you updates on what I'm finding, and I'll also update that with any follow-up results that I get once I do a follow-up test after I've addressed some of these issues. So Wendy, thanks so much for coming on the call today.
Wendy: Thank you so much, and listeners, if you guys want to find me, you can find me on liveto110.com. You can find my mineral power program at mineralpower.com. I have my own podcast, my Live to 110 Podcast and a cooking show, a modern Paleo cooking show, so lots of good info, free info on my site if you'd like to take a look.
Ben: Awesome, we'll link to all of that stuff over in the show notes, and until next time. Thanks for listening in everybody. Have a healthy week, and thank you, Wendy.
Wendy: Thank you so much.
I'm all about testing and quantifying what's going on inside my body, so when Certified Holistic Health Coach Wendy Myers approached me at a biohacking conference and asked me if I wanted to have my hair tested with a hair mineral analysis test…
…I made a stop at my local barber…
…got a few strands snipped off…
…sent my hair off to Wendy's lab…
…and was absolutely shocked at the results I got in my e-mail inbox a couple weeks later. In this episode, we talk about about the results of my hair mineral analysis, and you'll also learn:
-Exactly what hair mineral analysis is and how it works…
-How you can discover things like adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues and nutrient and mineral deficits from your hair…
-What to do about heavy metal toxicities, and why some heavy metal chelators can actually be dangerous…
-How to tell if you're undereating or overeating carbohydrates…
-Where natural remedies like infrared saunas and coffee enemas fit in…
-Why even pristine well water can have some serious issues…
-And much more!
-Want your own Hair Mineral Analysis? Click here to go to Wendy's website and get started.