Minerals For Our Health | Buying Guide

Physicists tell us that we are stardust and that most of the elements in our bodies were made, were “cooked” in stars. I am going to use the words Element and Mineral interchangeably and we’re going to focus on making it easier to get the best type of each mineral when we shop for supplements.

To begin with some minerals are essential for our health, some are optional and some are even dangerous. For example,

Essential: Zinc, Magnesium and Potassium
Optional; Iodine, Lithium, Selenium
Can be Harmful: Iron, Calcium, Copper,
Always Harmful: Mercury, Aluminium, Lead, Silver

How To Buy Zinc

We all need Zinc daily to make hundreds of things in our body happen. It boosts our immune system and is responsible for our sense of taste and at the shops – local or online – you may find lots of different types of zinc –  so which one do we buy?

These types – zinc gluconate, zinc picolinate, zinc citrate and Optizinc are all OK and forms of zinc like zinc sulphate and zinc oxide are best avoided they are not well absorbed and may cause nausea.

When it comes to brands, I prefer Thorne, Now, Pure Encapsulations and Life Extension and all these and others can be seen on the link for the Zinc page. For Amazon (US) the zinc page is here

How To Buy Magnesium

Magnesium is great for the heart and is the great relaxer of stressed or strained muscles and is great to take just before bedtime to perhaps deepen your sleep. Magnesium can be very effective in cases of PMS. Like other minerals, magnesium comes in various packages. Magnesium Citrate is pretty easy to get and one the best at delivering enough magnesium to your cells – Now or Pure Encapsulations would be good selections and magnesium sulphate and magnesium oxide would be poor selections.
Life Extension have a special form of magnesium that focuses on delivery to the Brain to boost cognitive function including memory.

All these types of magnesium are shown on the Amazon US page for magnesium supplements here

Next on our Essential Minerals list is Potassium.

How to Buy Potassium

I called Magnesium “The great relaxer” – because it helps muscles to relax. Well then we can call Potassium “The great balancer” because if helps the body – every cell in the body balances its Magnesium and Potassium and its Sodium which we’ll come to next. Potassium helps balance the body’s intake and loss of water and its acid – base balance.It helps muscles and nerves to function smoothly  – including that most important of all muscles, the heart. I often used magnesium and potassium tablets to help my patients recover fast from backache and other pains and sprains.

Easy to find versions of Potassium supplements include Potassium Citrate (Probably the best) and Potassium Gluconate.  Good brands to choose from include Pure Encapsulations, Now and Bulk Supplements. Pure Encapsulation is offering a 200 mg capsule, Now a 99 mg capsule and Bulk Supplements are powder so you can choose your own dose.
They are all here on the US Amazon Page Potassium Products

How to Buy Lithium

The health benefits of bathing in mineral rich waters have been known for thousands of years. Some spa towns like Bath in England have sulphur rich waters and some have a mix of minerals including Silica, magnesium and Lithium.

The soothing effects of Lithium are so strong that it was used as a medicinal drink – called 7UP but sadly the manufacturers removed the Lithium in the 1950s.

Naturally this use of Lithium came to the attention of Psychiatrists who used Lithium with what might be called “excessive enthusiasm” giving their patients doses of 600 mg Lithium Carbonate to start treatment and raising the dose to 1200 or even 1800 mg.

Hammering patients with very high doses of any nutrient has a price and some of them got thyroid damage.

Nutritionists use Lithium at safe low dose levels and recommend Lithium Orotate at 5 to 10 mg. Low doses like these do no damage and still deliver unique fine tuning and optimisation to brain processes that only Lithium can do. Parents can give Lithium to irritable or troubled children with some hope that its soothing power can help with anger issues and inattention and even improve social skills.

Best Lithium deal I have found for my US readers is at Swansons

And in the UK the same deal is here

How to Buy Iodine

Iodine is a major nutrient for the thyroid gland. If fact it is so important that a child will not adequately grow and develop without it. Their growth will be stunted and the brain severely impaired so that IQ scores may be down by 30 points. Sadly this is irreversible and is a serious condition called “Cretinism”.

Such serious deficiency is rare in developed Countries but Iodine deficiency was common in the Mid-West in the 1930s where as many as 40% showed some degree of Goitre – a swelling of the thyroid as a consequence of the blood not having enough Iodine to supply it to the thyroid.

In spite of its huge importance Iodine is a trace mineral and we need only micrograms of iodine in our diet. There are small amounts in many foods with the best being seaweeds like laverbread, kelp, nori and wakame.

There is a recent Internet fad of taking high doses of Iodine which is dangerous because that could suppress thyroid function.

Iodine is a trace mineral and our supplemental doses should be around 100 mcg, that’s MICROgrams and not MILLIgrams.

Avoid fads – just buy some seaweed with your grocery shopping – and enjoy it in soups, casseroles and juices!

How To Buy Selenium

Selenium is one of the lesser known minerals but is important in supporting our immune system. As usual it comes in various forms  and the best type of selenium to use is Selenomethionine which is a good all round  antioxidant .

In particular, it is part of an enzyme system which with vitamin E to protects cell membranes and protects the thyroid.

Low levels of selenium are a risk for heart disease , arthritis, cataracts and other diseases often just called aging but which are due to free radical damage.

Mercury has an exceptionally high affinity for Selenium making selenium essential for all of us who have mercury in us either from vaccines or amalgam fillings

Selenium also is protective against damage from other heavy metals like lead, aluminium and cadmium. Available from Now Foods

How To Buy Iron

Iron has an almost mythical status amongst the public. Any and all tiredness and fatigue is wrongly ascribed to an iron deficiency. In fact Men often have an excess of iron which may be due to disorder called Haemochromatosis.

 This Iron overload disease is hereditary and often affects men aged between 30 and 60. The usual treatment is to lower the Iron by removing for example, half a  litre of blood regularly. Called venesection or phlebotomy it is somewhat similar to blood donation.

 Excess Iron leads to free radical production and inflammation in those affected explaining frequent advice amongst Nutritionists not to take Iron supplements unless you have a diagnosed issue of sustained blood loss by bleeding in the gut or very heavy menstrual bleeding.

Summing up

Tiredness is more likely due to low thyroid or adrenal fatigue and not anaemia and in particular not iron deficiency anaemia. My advice is NOT to buy iron unless you have a low serum haemoglobin and other supportive data given in a complete blood count.

If your blood count is good then consider an infection of parasites if you have been traveling in the Third World or have been closely exposed to animals.

If that is the case then increase your consumption of green leafy vegetables and add 1 to 3 grams of vitamin C to your diet which will help you absorb iron from your diet and protect you from any oxidation damage from the iron.

If you like advice from video – here is the same advice

– with one exception – Mercola eats meat, I don’t.

Do not take low quality iron supplements from a “health” shop or from your Doctor such as Ferrous sulphate  – a safer form is carbonyl Iron and the safest form is green leafy vegetables, lentils and beans.

A great product with iron that is liquid, vegetarian and good for kids is Floradix

How To Buy Calcium

One of the most common nutritional delusions is the belief that we need Calcium to “build strong bones” or to be more exact, that we need to take Calcium supplements in order to do this. What bones actually need to become stronger is exercise – rather like muscles.

Taking supplements does not make your muscles stronger and neither does it make your bones stronger.

The average Doctor with their practise including many elderly ladies finds out that lots of them are taking Calcium. The Doctors are also aware of several studies that show that taking calcium sets you up in future years for an increased risk of heart disease or stroke.

Calcium can be dangerous – once in the body it can deposit and build up in brittle layers in our arteries. Our arteries need to be able to stretch and move because the pulsing of the blood pushes on them. Arteries need to be bouncy and stretchy – not calcified and rigid.

Rigid arteries are risky arteries.

“Calcium is toxic as an element”. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium#Calcium_in_cells

So what do we do?

We need Calcium to do several things for us. We need it to do its job in helping muscles to contract when we lift a weight, we need Calcium to help us to make a blood clot in response to a cut in our skin, we also need Calcium to help regulate the normal life and death of cells. What we don’t need is calcium piling up in areas of the body and causing problems. We need something to stop Calcium  “misbehaving”.

Luckily that problem is easy to solve. There is a natural “Traffic cop” for Calcium that stops it going places where we don’t want it and causing problems for us. That Calcium traffic cop is called “Vitamin K2”.

K2 will push the Calcium absorbed from your diet into your bones and teeth. And to have stronger bones and teeth we also need Vitamin C which makes stronger chains of collagen protein to create a structure of reinforcement through our bones and gums and vitamin K2 to direct the calcium into our bones and teeth.

My advice is that you don’t need to take Calcium supplements but you do need to take vitamin C and vitamin K2.

Strong bones need weight bearing exercise and strong muscles get even stronger doing resistance training – using weights or resistance bands and this can be successfully done whatever your age is and however strong you are. Having stronger muscles has a great side effect too – it helps you to lose weight .

All my Best!!

PS I really was going to end this section with no recommendation for a product because those in normal health eating any kind of reasonable diet really don’t need one. I came across someone yesterday that caused me to think again.

If you have proven Bone disease and really need more Calcium then please take my advice above concerning vitamin C and K2 a good calcium supplement is this one from Pure Encapsulations.

How to Buy Copper

Copper is not a mineral that we hear much about but we get copper daily from the copper pipes through which water flows into most of our homes. We also get  small amounts of copper from our diet in particular foods such as Brazil nuts with other foods having much less copper.

In the body copper helps several enzymes work smoothly one of which is lysyl oxidase which helps make collagen strong which is essential to keep  our skin, bones and muscles healthy. In fact copper helps make hemoglobin, red blood cells and bone

On the other hand too much copper will increase symptoms of PMS and lowering copper intake will reduce the PMS symptoms.

Copper deficiency will show in weakened tissue a dramatic example of which is an aneurism (Swelling or ballooning) in blood vessels in the brain or in the aorta.

To reduce copper absorption Dr Andy Cutler suggests taking 10 to 20 mg zinc and 250 mcg to 1,000 mcg Molybdenum and 250 to 500 mg Calcium and 2 grams vitamin C with each meal. Source  pg 99 “Amalgam Illness“.

If your copper level is too low it can interfere with your sense of taste – as will a low level of zinc too.

These two minerals do a constant push and pull in the body and both need to be within healthy limits.

Minerals that Are Always Harmful | Minerals Not To Buy

Mercury Toxicity

We have looked at essential and nourishing minerals that can help us build and improve our health and we have looked at some minerals that we need to use with care and sometimes we need to buy them for a special reason we have. But nobody needs to buy toxic metals such as Mercury so why is it in a “Buying Guide?

What is there to buy? To be clear I do not want you to buy mercury or consume it in anyway but I do want to discuss this important topic of toxic heavy metals a little before we move on to Vitamins!

The air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and even our own body are polluted with these heavy metals like mercury. This is a fact of life but we can respond intelligently to it and help to clean up this mess.

We control what we eat so buying food which is not polluted may not be easy but is something we can be aware of and we can do our best. This might mean growing some of our own food in our garden.

Using a water filter can help us. Choosing not to eat fish with massive mercury pollution can help us too.

There are  also toxic metals in vaccines and this is a different issue than the decision about whether we want vaccinations. We may choose to have them unaware of the fact that the vaccine in question not only contains ingredients such as active or inactivated virus – it also has toxic metals such as aluminium or mercury. I choose not to have toxins like that in my body, your choice is your choice, but you can’t choose if you don’t know and you sure can’t give informed consent if you don’t know. Each vaccine like all other pharmaceutical medicines has a package insert listing all the ingredients. I would like to read and research the ingredients list before I had the “jab”,  wouldn’t you?

Eating fish is one way we can get toxic metals in our body, vaccines is another  – the final way that we discuss here is in the fillings we get inserted in our teeth when we go to the Dentist and have a tooth drilled and filled.

The Dentist has a choice which they often make without asking you – they can use a non toxic filling or they can use one that has mercury.

Many Dentists are still fighting the simple scientific truth about the toxic mercury fillings they use; they assert, falsely, that the mercury is all bound up safely inside the filling and therefore it is a safe filling. The science says otherwise and my advice is to avoid Dentists who do this. I don’t care what dentists believe but I do care if they misinform me or put toxic ingredients in my mouth.

There is now a whole new profession of Dentists who are not in denial about these simple facts. Known as Biological Dentists they will help you by safely removing your mercury Amalgam fillings and replace them with safer composite filings.

You might want to buy their services and you might want to get further information about this by visiting http://www.noamalgam.com the Website of Amalgam expert Dr Andy Cutler and buy his book “Amalgam Illness – what you can do to get better, How your Doctor can help” which is a treasure trove of measures we can take to help ourselves detox these serious metal poisons.

Silver Toxicity

Silver is a precious metal much used in jewellery and industry. It has no use in the human body yet 70 to 88 micrograms of Silver pollution enter the human body daily, most of which we excrete rapidly.

However it is a part of the type of Dental fillings known as “Silver” fillings even though Mercury is the main ingredient of these fillings at 50% with Silver at 22 to 32 % , tin at 14% and copper at 8% with various trace metals making up the rest.

It is its property of being an antibacterial agent that has led to its use in water filters and in the past, in  wound dressings in spite of there being better and safer alternatives.

Overall it has less toxicity than many other heavy metals, but its use in water filters shows its power potentially to inflict damage on us. If it kills bacterial cells then you might wonder if it would kill the cells of our body?

The answer is here and the answer is “Yes”.

And in large doses it can get into the circulatory system and distributed throughout the body and precipitate on mucous membranes. This may lead to a blue discolouration of these membranes known as Argyria and sometimes confused with cyanosis  – a faint blue discolouration around the lips when respiration is poor and insufficient oxygen is delivered to the tissues.
This can results in substantial impairment of the intellect and memory and brain fog and headaches for those affected.  More seriously Silver poisoning may lead to epilepsy.

To protect against Silver toxicity daily use of Vitamin E and Selenium methionine is advised

For more information on Toxic metals see Dr Andy Cutler’ Site

Lead Toxicity

No doubt about it lead is one of the BIG polluters – up there with Mercury and Aluminium

The effects of lead in the brain and body are both profound and widespread.

In the brain it can inhibit copper dependent enzymes with the result being disturbances in the levels in neurotransmitters, dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline – with hyperactivity as a result.

  • It can also impair both long term memory and hand eye coordination.
  • Lead can produce mood disorders from apathy and depression to anger
  • Lead may cause vertigo, glaucoma and hearing loss.
  • Lead impairs thyroid function and fertility.

This depressing list of the damage that lead pollution can produce is quite long enough but for those who want more Andy Cutler has it covered in his Hair Test Interpretation book.

To check your own level of lead you need to get a Lab Test done, details here and some protection from this damage given by taking healing minerals like zinc and Selenium.

Aluminium Toxicity

Whether you get your daily dose of poisonous aluminium from food cooked in aluminium cookware, from your use of antiperspirants or in high levels in the water you drink or your use of aluminium containing antacids,  we all get this toxin in our system one way or another, so we need to know about it.

The most concerning of the various routes that aluminium takes into body is it’s use in vaccines. Due to widespread concerns about Mercury being neurotoxic it has been phased out year by year. And what replaced it? Aluminium! So the use of Aluminium as “an adjuvent” has risen and is a stealth neurotoxin included in many jabs.


  • Can alter the blood brain barrier and is a factor in Alzheimers’ disease
  • Can provoke allergy reactions
  • May be a trigger for the autoimmune disease sarcoidosis

Can increase estrogen-related gene expression in human breast cancer cells cultured in the laboratory  according to the Wiki

We can check for the presence of Aluminium in the body with a Hair Mineral Test. The level shown in such a test is believed to reflect the total amount in the body whereas blood or urine tests only show recent exposure.

After the Hair Mineral Test

If your hairtest shows high levels of Toxic metals what can you do? There is a medical route with treatment given in some hospital departments. Sadly it is frequently the case that the methods used to rid the body of the heavy metal poisons are not safe and do even worse damage than the initial exposure to the heavy metal poison!

Fortunately there is a safe and effective procedure we can use and it is low cost too. There are some molecules that can stick to mercury and other poisons and then “escort them” out of the body.

These molecules are called Chelators and can be introduced to the body by intravenous injections and this is how it is done in hospital settings. A safer procedure is to use Oral Chelation in which the chelators that you need are made into pill form and swallowed according to special safe low dose schedule worked out in the research of Dr Andrew Cutler.

Further info and books on this low dose safe method, called Oral Chelation may be found at Dr Andy Cutler’s website.

And the Lab Test of the metals in your Hair sample can be accessed here with no Doctor’s signature needed. The hair sample provides a non intrusive biopsy of much greater use than a urine or blood sample.

Alex Newell ND

I'm Alex Newell and I am a Physicist who retrained as an Osteopath and Naturopath when my own health began to decline in my 30's. In fact I kept training and asking questions and began writing books and blogging over the last few years. The purpose of this blog, naturaldetoxblog.com is to help those with an interest in Natural Health Care to improve their health and detox and chelate industrial chemicals out of the brain and body in a safe and effective way. Please feel free to ask questions and contact me

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