Mineral Testing: June Newsletter 2022

Mineral Testing: June Newsletter 2022

Happy June to all of our Ichor customers and supporters. Like most people, we here at Ichor are loving the sunshine and warm weather, and the sense of a fresh start that comes from watching flowers and trees bloom and garden beds sprout. The warm weather is sure to put a bit of an extra spring in your step and there are countless studies promoting the plethora of health benefits that arise from being outdoors and benefitting from direct sunshine. Now that many of us are crawling out of partial hibernation mode, we may be motivated to go out, explore, and pack in as many activities as possible on the warm days, but some of us may not have the energy to even make it to lunchtime before we need a rest. While you shouldn't push your body too much, you also need to be able to recognize what it may be trying to tell you through how you think and feel. Something that is becoming unfortunately more and more common these days is mineral deficiency, which can contribute to low energy, a suppressed immune system, muscle fatigue and cramps, and many other negative symptoms. Even if you're consuming a nutrient-rich diet, many of the fruits, vegetables, and even animal products we eat have compromised mineral content due to soil degradation and therefore there is the risk that you may be deficient in some very critical nutrients that are needed for the body's maintenance and repair. That's why this month Ichor is very excited to announce that we have launched mineral testing through Mayo Clinic Laboratories. Read on to learn more!

Why are minerals so important for our bodies? 

Minerals are vital to the functions of our bodies and account for approximately 5% of our total body weight, most of which is contained within our bones. Despite how critical these nutrients are for life and health, we cannot make any minerals internally and thus must obtain them from the earth through the form of our food intake. Vital mineral deficiencies are becoming increasingly common since industrial agriculture has stripped the soil of these essential components over time, limiting the absorption of minerals in fruits and vegetables during the growing season. Further refinement and processing of foods then decrease the mineral content even more. As if all this doesn’t make it difficult enough to navigate the consumption of what our body needs to be healthy, many minerals actually compete with each other in the body, which can result in varying degrees of excess or insufficiency, especially if taking supplements. That is why testing for multiple mineral levels at the same time can be beneficial. It is recommended you work with an experienced practitioner to review to results to get a better understanding of the bigger picture of what's happening inside your body, and what you may need to modify in your diet or supplement regime. 

Minerals in the Body

While there are 26 different minerals in the human body, approximately 17 of them are essential, which means that when deficient in these the body will experience negative effects and symptoms. This is often alleviated by resupplying the mineral(s), either through the diet or via supplementation. Fortunately, most of these mineral levels can be easily tested with a simple blood analysis, so that any imbalances can be remediated, and you can get back to living your best life as soon as possible.

Mineral Tests Offered By Ichor Health

Calcium
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, and it is critical for the health of bones, teeth, muscles, heart, and almost every bodily function. Calcium deficiency may result in kidney stone risk, bone diseases including osteoporosis and osteomalacia, and potentially even heart disease. While deficiency is much more common than toxicity, too much calcium can occur when other minerals in the body are significantly askew. Cost of test: $165

Copper
This is becoming a well-known essential mineral, and research continues to indicate it is absolutely foundational to our health. A lack of copper in the diet can lead to inflammation, auto-immune disorders, lung issues, premature aging, and many other health concerns. Copper is often depleted in an iron-rich diet and deficiency is almost always present in conjunction with anemia. Absorption of this mineral is also interfered with by too much Vitamin C and zinc, and too little copper in the body can result in low energy, amongst other issues. While copper toxicity is rare, it can also occur and lead to neurological diseases. Cost of test: $84

Zinc
The deficiency of this critical mineral is becoming increasingly common due to soil depletion and losses in food processing. This mineral is a powerhouse in the body as it is used for energy production, metabolism, detoxification, healing, reproduction, insulin activity, immune support, and more. However, too much zinc can occur from mega-dosing supplemental zinc, which in turn inhibits the body's ability to absorb critical copper. Since zinc and copper are cofactors in the body, it is recommended to get both these levels tested at the same time. Cost of test: $80

Chromium
Chromium is a difficult mineral for our bodies to absorb but is still critical for healthy insulin function and is also linked to lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL). It is estimated that up to 50% of North Americans are deficient in this mineral, especially the young and the elderly. Lack of this nutrient can negatively affect blood sugar metabolism leading to diabetes and can also increase anxiety and fatigue. Cost of test: $106

Cobalt 
While our bodies don't require much of this mineral, cobalt is essential in red blood cell formation but too much of it can lead to heart issues and thyroid problems. Since inorganic cobalt is found as a food contaminant and is used in beer manufacturing, it is possible to have toxic levels of this nutrient in the body, especially if we don't consume a well-balanced diet. Cost of test: $138

Chloride
This is one of the electrically charged minerals in the body that help keep it hydrated, among many other critical functions. If chloride levels are too low, it may indicate an electrolyte deficiency. Conversely, if levels are too high, potentially from a very high intake of salt, it may imply that the kidneys are not functioning optimally. Cost of test: $90

Potassium
This mineral is one of the three electrolytes in our blood and it plays a significant role in regulating blood pressure. Potassium is finely tuned with both magnesium and sodium but can be easily imbalanced by various prescriptions, a high-sodium diet, or high consumption of alcohol, coffee, sugar, or processed foods. Potassium deficiency can have very serious health consequences ranging from fatigue to depression and even heart failure. Cost of test: $75

Sodium
This mineral is found in every single cell in the body. It works closely with potassium to ensure the healthy movement of water in the body and is important in controlling blood pressure. Sodium toxicity is more concerning than deficiency, as the body will retain salt if insulin levels are consistently elevated, and elevated levels occur in the presence of a diet excessive in sugar and carbohydrates. Cost of test: $80

Magnesium
Also known as the “anti-stress mineral”, magnesium is critical for heart function and is a major player in metabolism and nutrient absorption, among many other benefits. Inadequate magnesium can result in increased calcium, which in turn leads to high blood pressure. Deficiency is quite common, especially in those who eat a diet high in processed foods, are heavy drinkers, or take oral birth control. Cost of test: $86

Molybdenum 
This trace mineral is important in support of our metabolism and enzyme systems. Molybdenum deficiency is increasingly becoming a concern, so much so that an area in China with a deficiency in the soil had the highest known incidence of esophageal carcinoma over multiple generations. An imbalance of this mineral, with levels either too high or too low, can lead to a variety of health issues including increased risk of cancer, anemia, gout, and decreased life span. Cost of test: $165

Manganese 
This underrated and underappreciated mineral is an active component of our metabolic function. It is an antioxidant enzyme that aids in the digestion and utilization of food. Manganese deficiency has the potential to impact thyroid function, fertility issues, and poor bone and cartilage health. Cost of test: $110

Selenium
This mineral has become well-known for its prevention of both cancer and cardiovascular disease due to its role as an antioxidant in the body. Due to increasingly low levels of selenium in the soil and processing stripping most selenium from foods, more people are deficient now than ever before. Cost of test: $100

Iodine 
This trace mineral is required for metabolic health, to help our body fight viruses, and most commonly for normal thyroid function. Iodine deficiency can result in goiters and has also been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers. Although iodine is added to table salt, many people are still deficient. Cost of test: $110

FULL MINERAL PANEL COST (all minerals listed above): $1,083 + Tax (cost savings of $306)

Take Control Of Your Health With Mineral Testing From Ichor Health

You may notice that iron is missing from the list above. While iron is definitely considered an essential mineral, it is a very complex topic and deserving of a newsletter on its own. We do offer iron testing if you would like to add it on to any of the other mineral tests we offer. If you are interested in any of the tests mentioned above, please book directly on our website to get checked at one of our numerous locations or in the comfort of your own home with our mobile lab testing. You can also download the easy-to-use Ichor Health app at the Apple Store or Google Play. For any questions, you can call Ichor Health at 1-844-424-6728 or fill out the contact form.

Results will typically be provided within 10-14 business days.

Please note all content provided in this article is for information purposes only and is not meant to be taken as medical advice or to replace data or recommendations provided by a medical provider. 

FAQ

There are two types of minerals in the body: macrominerals and trace minerals. You need large amounts of macrominerals in your body whereas you only need small amounts of trace minerals in your body. But these small amounts of minerals are still incredibly important for keeping your body's mineral levels balanced and everything working.

Whether you want mineral testing will depend on several factors other than diet, such as if you:

  • have any preexisting conditions that make it difficult to process/absorb types of minerals.
  • are on medication that may make it difficult to process/absorb minerals.
  • would feel better about your health by knowing your mineral levels.
  • have been suffering from symptoms where the cause has yet to be discovered.
  • you have a history of having either high or low levels of a  mineral.

This is when there is too much of a type of mineral in the body. This excess amount can become dangerous to various systems depending on the type of mineral you have too much of, but having too much of any mineral can change the balance of minerals and negatively impact health. This is why it is important to test your mineral levels instead of taking supplements on the assumption that you need more of one type of mineral.

Your Partner In Optimal Health

Your Partner In Optimal Health

Ichor Health is committed to providing the highest level of service to our in-clinic, mobile, corporate, and rural lab service clients across Canada. We promise to continue to provide advanced solutions for testing and overall health. We will be here whenever you need lab services, wherever you need them.

Choose Ichor Health as your partner in achieving better health. Call 1-844-424-6728 or contact us online.

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