Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for June 16, 2007

I’ve been at this now for over two years and in the last few months, I’ve discovered deficiencies in selenium, iron and zinc. And based on the changes that happened when I took them individually, I’d say they all three were a strong deficiency.

One person I’ll give credit to? The women in the Oshawa health food store suggested I had mineral deficiencies when I suspected B6 was my main problem. I was so convinced at the time I had a B6 deficiency because of the relationship with magnesium that I forgot about it and I wasn’t sure I believed her anyway.

So I have to question why did I find these deficiencies after taking a very powerful multivitamin for so long? I don’t believe that you can correct a mineral deficiency with a multivitamin because it just doesn’t make sense when you understand mineral ratios and how they interact with each other. A multivitamin can provide the body with the extra nutrients but it will not correct a deficiency. Here’s what I found:

Biochemical Individuality and Nutrition
by Bill Walsh, Ph.D.

Introduction

Each of us has innate biochemical factors which influence personality, behavior, mental health, immune function, allergic tendencies, etc. Scientists tell us that the number of different genetic combinations possible in a child from the same two parents exceeds 42 million. It’s interesting to note that we do not possess a combination of characteristics from our parents, but instead have a diverse collection of characteristics from many ancestors on both sides of the family.

Except for identical twins, each human being has unique biochemistry resulting in quite diverse nutritional needs. Shakespeare was correct when he wrote “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” For example, some of us are genetically suited for a vegetable-based diet and others are not. Some persons can satisfy their nutritional needs by diet alone and others must have nutritional supplements to overcome genetic aberrations.

Because of genetic differences in the way our bodies process foods, most of us are quite deficient in certain nutrients and overloaded in others. Even with an ideal diet, most of us have certain nutrients that are at very low levels with many times the RDA required to achieve a healthy balance. The nutrients in overload must be carefully avoided in vitamin supplements or serious health problems can develop. After studying the biochemistry of 10,000 persons, I’ve learned that the greatest mischief is usually caused by nutrients that are stored in excessive amounts, rather than those at depleted levels. The most common nutrients in overload include copper, iron, folic acid, calcium, methionine, manganese, choline, and omega-6 fatty acids. Of course, these same nutrients may be in deficiency in other persons.

I am amused by supplement manufacturers who attempt to develop the ideal combination of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for the general population. This is a bit like trying to determine the ideal shoe size for the population. The truth is that multiple vitamins and minerals are too indiscriminate, and may do as much harm as good.

Each of us should ask the question, “Who am I nutritionally?”

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June 16, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 16, 2007

Another great article on zinc and some more things I didn’t know about. Apparently people with Type A blood, respond more slowly to treatment of a zinc deficiency than other types. They also suggest taking L-cysteine because it helps mobilize and excrete copper while enhancing zinc absorption.

ZINC DEFICIENCY, METAL METABOLISM, AND BEHAVIOR DISORDERS

by William J. Walsh

INTRODUCTION

Most Americans receive all the zinc they need if they have a reasonably well-balanced diet involving the major food groups. However, many persons are born with a metal-metabolism disorder which results in zinc depletion regardless of diet.

Zinc is a component of more than 80 enzymes. High concentrations have been found in brain hippocampus, and many medical researchers believe that zinc is a neurotransmitter. Low zinc levels at these sites could reduce the inhibition of neuron activity, thus leading to abnormal behavior. The discovery of zinc “finger proteins” in the past decade has led to a vastly improved understanding of how cells replicate and divide. There role in behavior is not yet clear, but could be involved in the transport or availability of zinc. Recent research has shown zinc to be far more important than previously believed and low levels of zinc are associated with behavior disorders.

Many of the patients of the Carl Pfeiffer Treatment Center suffer from behavior disorders. The most common ones are attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and conduct disorder (CD). These patients typically have a history of extensive counseling and multiple medications and many have experienced residential care. They represent a narrow and rather uncharacteristic segment of the general population.

A high percentage of behavior disordered persons exhibit abnormal levels of copper, zinc, lead, cadmium, calcium, magnesium and manganese in blood, urine, and tissues, based on chemical analysis results from thousands of patients. With regard to zinc, this condition appears to involve a malfunction of the metal-binding protein metallothionein. Most of these patients have symptoms of zinc deficiency along with depressed levels of zinc in their blood plasma.

The high incidence of zinc deficiency in assaultive young males was illustrated in a recent study1 which found elevated serum copper and depressed plasma zinc concentration, compared to normal controls. This study confirmed our clinical observations of zinc depletion in more than 4,000 behavior disordered patients.

Our clinical observations and research have indicated that the copper/zinc ratio appears to be more decisively important than either of the individual metals alone. Zinc deficiency often results in elevated blood levels of copper, due to the dynamic competition of these metals in the body. Elevated blood copper has been associated with episodic violence, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and depression.

DIAGNOSIS OF ZINC DEFICIENCY

Zinc deficiency is difficult to diagnose since no single laboratory test or combination of tests is decisive in every case. For example, blood levels are sometimes normal in zinc deficient persons due to homeostasis. Urine and hair tissue levels are often elevated in zinc deficiency because of “short circuiting” of zinc through the body and high rates of excretion.

The two principal factors which lead our Center’s physicians to a diagnosis of zinc deficiency are: 1) depressed plasma zinc, and 2) presence of clinical symptoms of zinc depletion which are alleviated by zinc supplementation2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Since zinc tolerance tests show plasma levels to be affected for 6 hours following zinc supplementation8 and 9, zinc supplements are avoided for 24 hours prior to sampling of plasma.

A “working diagnosis” of zinc deficiency can be made if clinical symptoms of zinc deficiency are clearly evident from the initial physical examination and medical history. Usually more than one or the above symptoms are present in zinc deficiency. This initial diagnosis is later supported or negated by laboratory analysis for plasma zinc along with observed response (or non-response) to zinc supplementation.

The Carl Pfeiffer Treatment Center generally retests plasma zinc and evaluates symptoms after 4-6 months of treatment to determine if dosages need adjustment.

TREATMENT OF ZINC DEPLETION

Zinc depletion is corrected by supplementation with zinc (picolinate or gluconate) along with augmenting nutrients including L-cysteine, pyridoxine, ascorbic acid, and vitamin E. Manganese is also useful in promoting proper metallothionein function. If copper levels are elevated, effective treatment must also enhance the release of copper from tissues and copper excretion. L-cysteine helps mobilize and excrete copper while enhancing zinc absorption. Correction of zinc deficiency is best accomplished under the care of a physician or nutritionist who is experienced in metal metabolism disorders. Indiscriminant dosages of zinc to persons who do not need it can cause anemia and imbalanced trace metals.

Treatment of mild or moderate zinc depletion can take months to complete. Some cases of severe zinc depletion require a year or more to resolve. Achievement of a proper zinc balance is slowed by growth spurts, injury, illness, or severe stress. In addition, persons with malabsorption or Type A blood respond to treatment more slowly.

June 16, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 16, 2007

Zinc (Essential Knowledge in Nutrition)

Zinc is a co-factor for at least 70 critical enzyme pathways. Deficiency can therefore result in diverse, profound problems; impaired synthesis of DNA, RNA, and protein underlie the clinical manifestations. Zinc deficiency may be more common than is diagnosed.

The RDA for zinc is 5 mg/day for infants, 10 mg for children, and 15 mg for adults. Zinc requirements increase in pregnant women to 20 mg/day.

Growth defects like spina bifida have been linked to zinc deficiency. Any child with growth retardation, poor hair growth, impaired immunity or skin problems, should be considered for zinc deficiency, particularly if there are GIT absorption problems.

Zinc absorption is impaired by phytates in cereal grains, and by the concurrent ingestion of other minerals, especially calcium, iron, cadium and copper. The best body zinc evaluation is the measurement of zinc concentrations in white blood cells. Hair zinc levels may be increased when zinc is markedly deficient.

Zinc is depleted by the following drugs: Penicillamine, steroids, ethanol, diuretics, oral contraceptives. Zinc is often promoted to “enhance immunity”. It is an essential mineral for immune function. Perhaps because of its immune promoting role, deficiencies in zinc may be helpful in autoimmune diseases. Zinc concentrations are referred to copper, and the minerals tend to have a reciprocal relationship. A low tissue concentration of copper, may result from zinc supplements. A suggested optimal zinc to copper ratio is 7-8.

June 16, 2007 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

Entry for June 15, 2007

This is one amazing article on mineral ratios and I got some new facts that I didn’t know before. Apparently you should take vitamin B6 with zinc because they work far more effectively together. It also recommends that you take manganese if you are taking zinc so that the extra zinc does not overwhelm manganese causing deficiency.

Minerals
Boo Armstrong

Note: The information on this website is presented for educational purposes and
is not a substitute for the advice of and treatment by a qualified professional.

This document was provided by Continuum Magazine VOL. 4 No. 6

Immune suppression is caused by cumulative onslaughts and any diseases which result have deep-seated causes, so in order to protect yourself from disease it is essential that you address the real factors of your health. A main contributor to your underlying and deep-seated health is the levels of minerals which you have in your blood and those stored in different parts of your body.

All life, including our bodies, is made up of two fundamentally different groups of substances: organic and inorganic. Organic substances are produced by the chemical reactions of life. They are made, broken down and remade according to what we eat, breathe and soak in from our environment. They form the proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and fats which are the basis of everything we need in order to live – muscles, nerves, skin and organs. These organic substances exist in a state of flux, participating in a series of chemical reactions out of which new substances are formed – some which we use and some which we remove as waste.

Inorganic substances are responsible for the reactions which cause this state of flux and constant rebuilding and removal of new and old cells. They cannot be created or broken down in our bodies so we only need a small amount of them and can use them again and again. These inorganic substances are minerals and they have been around far longer than any organic life forms.

We know that without them there would be no life at all because without them the reactions necessary to create life would never get around to happening. A cell that lacks proper mineral balance will fail to perform at its optimum level and the work that is cut out for individual cells is quite astonishing. As we understand more about the roles and inter-relationships between the minerals and organic life it is becoming clear that many of today’s problems, from general fatigue to the common cold or cancer may be related to mineral deficiencies or imbalances.

The human body can survive longer without all the essential vitamins than it can without the essential minerals – in fact we could not even begin to use vitamins if we had no minerals. Like the vitamins, minerals are generally consumed in minute quantities – even so the main categorization between minerals is that of major minerals and trace minerals. The major minerals have a structural role to play as well as causing reactions – for example calcium and phosphorus form a large part of the bones. The trace minerals are found in tiny quantities and just a bit too much or not enough can cause problems.

To actually get the minerals into your blood and your body you need to absorb them. Just taking a food substance into your mouth does not necessarily mean that you will derive all the potential benefits from it. You have to actually break the substance down and then get it across any barriers which are in the way, ensuring that your body does not think it is either waste or poison.

Some minerals are antagonistic towards each other, for example calcium and magnesium. They are very similar in structure and compete for spaces to jump into. This can cause problems if you have too much of one because it will prevent the absorption of the other. Many minerals are absorbed better in one chemical context than in another – for example your body may find it easier to absorb calcium from green leaves and seeds rather than milk and dairy produce. So what you eat is important both for that reason and also because it will affect the internal environment of your body, most importantly your intestines, through whose walls absorption takes place. If food passes through you quickly, as it does when you are suffering from diarrhoea, then absorption is diminished. Bacterial or fungal over-growth causes the surface area of the intestines to be reduced which results in absorption being further diminished.

You need to be able to move minerals to where you will use them once they are inside your body . We have special arrangements for transporting them around the body and for storing them in organs, like keeping iron in the liver. Both transportation and storage for minerals usually involve a protein dedicated for the task

Minerals work together in different ways – some are synergistic and help each other, while some are antagonistic. For example you should take vitamin B6 when you take zinc because they work far more effectively together, whereas zinc and manganese are antagonistic so you should take manganese if you are taking zinc supplements so that the extra zinc does not overwhelm the manganese causing deficiency. Some minerals play more significant roles in immunity than others – for example zinc is a necessary ingredient for T-cell immunity. Low levels have been associated with reduced antibody response, abnormal proportions of antibodies and defective cell-mediated immunity. You must have enough vitamin B6 to be able to use zinc properly and best food sources are pumpkin and sunflower seeds, whole grains, sea vegetables, watercress, lentils, parsley, okra and carrots. You lose lots of zinc every time you ejaculate (if you are a man) so future safer sex campaigns should involve keeping a bowl of almonds (also high in zinc) next to your bed to replace the lost zinc. Incidentally, one way of noticing zinc deficiencies is the white marks you may find in your finger nails.

Zinc is an antioxidant, as are selenium and germanium – two other trace minerals. Antioxidants are important for house keeping and getting rid of unwanted free radicals. Sodium and potassium are crucial for cell health because they are responsible (amongst other things) for water balance within your cells – too much sodium will cause flooding and all the cellular reactions will slow down. Now is a good time to get rid of the table salt and eat more vegetables and bananas which are renowned for their high potassium content. There are lots of accessible details in all libraries and bookshops about the roles of minerals and it is worth finding out some more.

Some minerals are bad for our health – these are known as heavy metals and include lead, aluminum and cadmium. The potential for receiving toxic minerals is all around us – cadmium for example is found in tobacco, oysters, some instant teas and coffees, some canned foods and the kidneys of pigs given cadmium as a worm killer, and can cause your kidneys and liver to malfunction.

Most of the minerals, especially the trace elements, are highly toxic to the body in excess. One example is iron, which is most concentrated in red meats, but also exists in more balanced proportions in dark leafy greens and sea vegetables. Iron-overload causes the sequestration of T-cells from the blood into bone marrow which makes them unavailable for cellular immunity (and lowers your T-cell count – good news for your doctor and the drug companies) – not so good for an embattled immune system. Add to this the fact that iron excess inhibits the absorption and utilization of zinc and you will begin to realize that mineral balances are fundamentally important.

Our health is largely dependent on the conditions of the soil in which our food is grown and the type and amount of fertilizers used. As we tend to focus on calories rather than the nutritional status of our plants, huge sums of agricultural money are spent on developing bigger plants which grow in less time in the smaller spaces. This drains the soil of its nutrients, so future plants which grow there will have less minerals available as will any creatures that eat them. Bearing in mind that there are not many minerals left in some soils, some types of fertilizers inhibit the uptake of certain minerals like nitrates causing crops to be deficient in magnesium. Many of our food crops are now generally deficient in magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, manganese and copper. In order to improve our health and that of future generations we must re-mineralize our soils. In the meantime it is good to know that sea vegetables have not yet become so distorted.

Different parts of plants contain varying amounts of minerals – for example, white flour has only 6% of the magnesium that wheat germ contains, but within the agribusiness it is unprofitable to store wheat germ because it contains fat and goes off faster than white flour. It is therefore up to us, the consumers, to make informed decisions about the food we eat, and which parts of any plant, if any, we choose to call waste.

The time scale of mineral uptake and loss is long, it can be many months or even years before exposure or lack of exposure to certain elements is noted with respect to a person’s state of health and that usually takes the help of a trained nutritionist. If someone is deficient in a vitamin the problem can be treated instantaneously with vitamin supplements. With minerals, however the path to recovery is much longer.

Improving your mineral status by eating a whole food diet will ensure that you get the right minerals in the correct, purpose-built proportions and supplementing can improve the levels of some long-term imbalances with truly life-changing results. You can in fact heal yourself, if you make the necessary commitment to yourself and your lifestyle by correcting imbalances and deficiencies, introducing fewer toxins and getting rid of the ones you already have whilst increasing your life force. If you an antibody-positive diagnosis thank your lucky stars for the pause to think – if you don’t already, now is the time to start looking after yourself.

June 16, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 15, 2007

Do you know where in the digestive system vitamins and minerals enter the bloodstream?

While different vitamins and minerals are absorbed as they pass through different areas of the digestive tract (mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine), they technically never enter the blood stream directly from the digestive system. This is because these nutrients are first absorbed from the digestive tract into the epithelial cells that line the digestive tract before they enter the blood stream. Once they have been absorbed into the epithelial cells they are no longer considered to part of the digestive system.

As noted above, nutrients undergo absorption in different areas of the digestive tract. For example, some nutrients can even undergo absorption at the very beginning of the digestive tract – inside the mouth! We know that vitamins B6, B12, folate and C can be absorbed in this way, and so can the mineral zinc. (You’ll find “sublingual” or “under-the-tongue” supplements in most health food stores for exactly this reason). Exactly how much vitamin and mineral absorption takes place in your mouth, however, depends on the form in which these vitamins and minerals are found in your food, how long you chew the food in question, the enzyme contents of your saliva, and other factors. In general, we get relatively little vitamin and mineral absorption in the mouth, but what we do get may be very important. There is good research in this area for supplements, and we need better research in this area for foods.

After the mouth, the next potential absorption site in our digestive tract is the stomach. While some vitamin and mineral absorption may also take place directly through the wall of your stomach, this amount appears to be minor and has not traditionally been considered to be part of our vitamin and mineral absorption process. Exceptions here would be the minerals copper, iodine, fluoride, and molybdenum, which may be significantly absorbed directly from the stomach.

The small intestine is by far the most important site in our digestive tract for both vitamin and mineral absorption. The small intestine is quite long (many feet in length) and virtually all vitamins and minerals can be absorbed from different areas of its surface. The part of the intestine closest to the stomach (called the duodenum) and the middle part of the small intestine (called the jejunum) specialized in absorption of most minerals. The vitamins are also spotlighted in these areas, with the exception of vitamin B12, whose primary absorption site is the very last segment of the small intestine, called the ileum. Literally hundreds of nutritive substances are absorbed from the small intestine.

The last part of the digestive tract – the large intestine – is particularly important for vitamin K absorption, biotin absorption, and the electrolyte minerals (sodium, chloride, and potassium).

Here is some further information from our website about the mechanisms involved with digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals:

“Vitamins and minerals are quite varied in structure and amount in the foods you eat. They can be found in food in a free form, chemically bound to a larger molecule, or tightly encased inside a food aggregate. In most cases, they are liberated during eating by the mechanical process of grinding. They may also be liberated during the breakdown of the large molecules like proteins and starch, in which they may be encased.

Since your body requires specific amounts of these key nutrients, most vitamins and some minerals have active transports in place for absorption and are taken into the body in very specific ways. These active transport protein molecules act as shuttles, picking up the vitamin or mineral and taking it through the intestinal cell wall into the body, where it may be directly released or transferred to another transport molecule. Since vitamins and minerals are small and are usually found in much lower levels than amino acids, carbohydrate, and fats, these active transport protein molecules must select and pull these important molecules out of the food and take them into your body. Active transports require energy to function properly.

Calcium and iron are examples of minerals that are taken into the body by active transport. Most of the water-soluble vitamins have an active transport in place as well, and these active transports are primarily found in the middle section of the small intestine, the jejunum. Some minerals, like iron and calcium, are absorbed in the first part of the small intestine as well as the jejunum. The fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, K, and E), as discussed above, are absorbed with fat micelles, and therefore require fat to be present for their full absorption.

Magnesium is a mineral of tremendous importance for bone health, energy production, and overall healthy functioning throughout the body since it activates more than 300 cellular enzymes. Like calcium, magnesium must be constantly supplied to maintain optimal function. Magnesium doesn’t have an active transport, but depends entirely on dietary intake and a healthy intestinal lining for its absorption, and can be absorbed throughout the entire small intestine and even in the colon. Low intakes of magnesium, or loss of ability of the intestinal tract to absorb magnesium due to intestinal inflammation or disease, can result in a variety of problems such as muscle twitching or tremors, weakness, irritability and restlessness, depression, and weak bones. Magnesium is found at highest levels in whole foods such as grains but is often removed during processing. Whole grain bread and cereals will have a much higher amount of magnesium than white bread, which is made from refined flour.

Vitamin B12 is also absorbed differently from the other vitamins and minerals. First, it is most commonly found attached to proteins, and therefore requires protein breakdown to be liberated. Then, it requires a protein made in the stomach, called intrinsic factor, for its absorption, but is not absorbed until the vitamin B12-intrinsic factor complex reaches the final part of the small intestine, the ileum. Optimal digestion of vitamin B12 is dependent on your ability to make a healthy amount of stomach acid, since protein breakdown requires stomach acid and research has shown that intrinsic factor is also not secreted in adequate levels when stomach acid is low.”

June 16, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 14, 2007

The success of 100 mg of zinc and the homeopathic copper is outstanding. I can really feel that I can beathe so much better. I’m taking 25 mg of iron twice a day in between the zinc and one or two magnesium supplements and it seems to be all I need so these recent changes are working so I’d like to try something else. Years ago, my first introduction to homeopathic remedies was in the year 2000 when a person in a health food store recommened something called “Sinna” for my allergies. It helped me at the time so I’d like to try it again.

Sinna Homepathic Remedy

Sinna products are homeopathic formulas for the relief of sinus congestion and inflammation. Sinna nasal spray helps counteract rhinitis and sinusitis due to colds or allergies by moisturizing the nasal mucous membrane.

Composition:
Hydrastis canadensis 6X 20%, Kali bichromicum 6X 20%, Lemna minor 4X 20%, Luffa operculata 6X 20%, Mercurius sulphuratus ruber 8X 20% in an isotonic solution of 0.9% sodium chloride buffered with potassium dihydrogen phosphate and maximum 0.5% alcohol.

June 16, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 12, 2007

Day one and holy cow! The constant stuffiness in my nose has been reduced significantly. I’ve had this kind of success in the past by doing the same thing but I’m thinking now that even at 2 mg of copper, I was taking way too much. It’s always been hard for me to figure out if my copper is too high or too low. After this little experiment, I think it’s too high.

June 16, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 11, 2007

Today was the first day with the added supplements and by the afternoon I felt sick. I took them as directed so I’m not sure if it was the extra supplements or a reaction to the ones I was already taking.

Okay, time to switch direction because that idea was clearly not working. Starting tomorrow I’m only taking 100 mg of zinc and this time I’ll take it was the homeopathic copper instead of the usual 2 mg dosage. I’ll also stick to the homeopathic iron and magnesium and keep them close by in case I need them.

Let’s see what happens…

June 16, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 10, 2007

Went to the health food store today to try some different things that I may have not thought about before. I picked up silica, collagen and kelp. I wanted the silica for the role it plays with the absorption of vitamin and minerals. I wanted kelp for the iodine in a supplement form. I wanted the collagen for my weak knees. I’ve tried MSM and Glucosamine without any effect so I wanted something different. Here’s what I found on collagen:

Collagen Supplements

Sarah Quadri, Bachelor of Science in Biomolecular Science

Oral supplementation of collagen provides a way in which the body can be provided vital amino acids and proteoglycans (specialized sugars in the body) important to maintenance of connective tissues. Currently, two main collagen supplements are being utilized—a combined collagen type I & collagen type III oral supplement and a collagen type II supplement, as these are the most abundant types in the body.Collagen type I & collagen type III are the chief collagen types in hair, skin, nails, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, teeth, eyes, and blood vessels. Although their presence is beneficial in joint tissues, collagen type II is the true major component of joint cartilage. Collagen type II (particularly from chicken sternal cartilage) supplies vital amino acids, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, and glucosamine for optimal articular (joint) cartilage support.

 

June 16, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

   

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