Mineral supplements, chelated, liquid, and review of hair mineral analysis
November 20 2018 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.


Minerals come from the earth or from water. Plants and animals absorb them to get nutrients. Many minerals are found in the body and they are crucial in metabolism and health maintenance. Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals. If you have an interest in a highly popular multivitamin multimineral product, visit MultiVit Rx multivitamin. You may also wish to visit coral calcium information.


Ann Internal Medicine. 2013. Vitamin and mineral supplements in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer: An updated systematic evidence review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Limited evidence supports any benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation for the prevention of cancer or CVD. Two trials found a small, borderline-significant benefit from multivitamin supplements on cancer in men only and no effect on CVD.


Mineral Composition in the human body, how much is present in our bodies
About 96 percent of the body weight in humans comes from organic elements present in several forms. DNA, RNA proteins, lipids and sugars are all composed of primarily Oxygen (65%), Carbon (18%), Hydrogen (9%) and Nitrogen (3%). Also, Water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2)as well as other small molecules involve these elements. About 4% of body weight comes from elements present in the form of salts.

Here is a list of minerals found in the human body in decreasing order:
Calcium - the human body is made of 1.5% calcium mineral which predominantly is found in bones.
Phosphorus - found in 1 percent in the body
Potassium - 0.4%
Sulfur - 0.3%
Sodium - 0.2%
   Americans should lower sodium consumption to optimize their health but not below levels of 2,300 mg per day, according to a 2014 report from the Institute of Medicine
Chlorine - 0.2%
Magnesium mineral - 0.1%
Iodine- 0.1%
Iron - 0.1%. You can by an
Iron pill supplement online.
Chromium which is often available as the mineral chromium picolinate in supplements
Copper mineral
Fluorine or fluoride
Manganese mineral

   Advances in Nutrition, 2018. Molybdenum, a trace element essential for micro-organisms, plants, and animals, was discovered in 1778 by a Swedish chemist named Karl Scheele. In the 1950s, the essentiality of molybdenum was established with the discovery of the first molybdenum-containing enzymes. In humans, only 4 enzymes requiring molybdenum have been identified to date: sulfite oxidase, xanthine oxidase, aldehyde oxidase, and mitochondrial amidoxime-reducing component (mARC).

Selenium is often added to multivitamin supplements for its antioxidant properties. It is available also as
methylselenocysteine as a dietary nutraceutical.
Silica or silicon element
Boron mineral. If you wish to supplement with boron purchase this mineral supplement.
Aluminum in underarm deodorant may be involved in breast cancer.
Mercury may be found in high amounts in sushi from tuna
Strontium may be helpful for bones

A daily vitamin and mineral supplement is available at Multivitamin.

Other products sold online
MegaFood - Balanced Minerals, Supports Bone Development, Muscle Function, & Metabolism, 90 Tablets (FFP)

Chelated mineral information
Chelated minerals are those joined with various amino acids and/or oligopeptides. Some people think that they are better absorbed than non-chelated minerals. There may be certain minerals, e.g., trivalent chromium and zinc, where this is possibly the case. However, in most cases chelated and non-chelated minerals are absorbed pretty much equally, and for practical reasons the latter are cheaper and just as good for daily health. Even if chelated minerals are better absorbed, most supplements have more than enough of their daily requirement.

Mineral water
This is water containing minerals or other dissolved substances that alter its taste or give it therapeutic value. Salts, sulfur compounds, and gases are among the substances that can be dissolved in the water. Mineral water can often be effervescent. Mineral water can be prepared or can occur naturally. Traditionally mineral waters would be used or consumed at their source, often referred to as taking the waters or taking the cure, and such sites were referred to as spas, baths or wells. Spa would be used when the water was consumed and bathed in, bath when the water was not generally consumed, and well when the water was not generally bathed in. In modern times it is far more common for mineral waters to be bottled at source for distributed consumption. There are over 3000 brands of mineral water available commercially worldwide.

Colloidal mineral supplementation
Colloidal mineral supplements refer to liquid extracts of minerals mainly derived from humic shale deposits or from aluminosilicate-containing clays. Humic shale extracts predominantly contain sulfates of iron and aluminum and traces of colloidal metal hydroxides. The term colloidal mineral is derived from the presence in these preparations of colloidal metal hydroxides. However, many of the minerals are present in ionic forms. In addition to the sulfates of iron and aluminum, colloidal minerals from humic shale deposits contain zinc, nickel, manganese, magnesium, calcium, chromium, boron, copper, lithium and silicon. They also contain traces of several other elements including arsenic, vanadium, strontium, selenium, iodine and praseodymium. Similar minerals may be found in colloidal minerals derived from clay and from plant sources. Humic and fulvic acids are found in some preparations. Interestingly, humic acids convert minerals into more useable forms for plants. It is believed by some that minerals in colloidal form are more easily absorbable than minerals in solid form (tablets and capsules). Colloidal minerals are sometimes referred to as liquid minerals. However, some supplements marketed as liquid minerals are generally different from the so-called colloidal mineral supplements. They are liquid mineral mixtures comprised of chelated minerals, ocean minerals and mineral citrates, as well as some colloidal minerals.


Q. Your website is fascinating, and I read it faithfully. Could you let me know if the claims are true for colloidal minerals with trace
elements in liquid form. I have heard that it is a beneficial supplement to take before bed for joints, nails, and hair. Do you have a colloidal mineral product available, and are the claims true? Thank you for you researched and informative site.
   A. I am not aware of any long term human research that the ingestion of colloidal minerals improves health. In general most Americans who have a good diet ingest an adequate amount of various minerals. Would taking additional minerals in the form of colloidal minerals offer health benefits or cause side effects? The answers are not yet clear.

Trace mineral
A trace of something means that there is only a little of it. So even though your body needs trace minerals, it needs just a tiny bit of each one. Scientists are still trying to find out exactly how much of these trace minerals we need each day. Trace minerals include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium.


Additional ones
Asbestos mineral
Indium mineral is promoted as having hormone balancing properties although we are not aware of human research that supports this viewpoint.
Lead mineral
Nickel found in coins
Zeolite now being sold as a supplement


Dr. Sahelian's opinion on Hair Mineral Analysis
Except to determine toxicity from select few minerals, such as lead, I am not a believer in hair mineral analysis as a guide to which mineral supplements should be used. Hair mineral analysis, in many cases, is not reliable and does not really tell what the body needs or how much of the minerals are within the cells of the body. Hair mineral analysis just tells us (if done by a good lab who knows what they are doing) how much of the mineral is found in hair.


Hair Mineral Analysis
Hair mineral analysis is useful in determining certain levels of metals, such as cadmium, copper, and mercury. But, some doctors do a hair mineral analysis to test for all metals and think that this reflects toxicity or deficiency in the body. This is not necessarily true.

Hair as a biopsy material: trace element data on one man over two decades.
Eur J Clinical Nutr. 2004. Klevay LM, Christopherson DM, Shuler TR.
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, ND
Hair mineral analyses are being performed frequently both with and without medical advice. Reasons for analysis often are ill defined. To assess variability of trace element data both within a series of samples from an individual and among mean values published from other research laboratories. DESIGN: Many samples of hair were collected carefully from a healthy man over a comparatively long period of time and were processed and analyzed under standard conditions. Extensive published data from other research laboratories also were reviewed and compared. RESULTS: Coefficients of variation for trace elements in hair of the donor ranged from 17 to 74% for the essential elements copper, selenium and zinc and from 53 to 121% for the potential intoxicants aluminum, cadmium and lead. The ratio of high mean to low mean for values published by others on hair samples from healthy people ranged from two for selenium and zinc to 18 for aluminum. CONCLUSIONS: Hair analysis should be based on a diagnostic hypothesis such as cadmium intoxication or copper deficiency rather than on the ease of analysis or attempts to explain vague symptoms because within-person variability is large and interlaboratory agreement on normal values is poor.


Hair element concentrations in females in one acid and one alkaline area in southern Sweden.
Ambio. 2003.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Sweden.
Concentrations of 34 trace elements in hair have been determined in 47 females from an acid region in southern Sweden, who were compared with 43 females from an alkaline area. The concentrations of these elements in hair and drinking water were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The hair concentrations of boron and barium were significantly higher in hair samples from the acid region, the hair levels of calcium, strontium, molybdenum, iron, and selenium were significantly higher in the alkaline region. For some metals, e.g. calcium, lead, molybdenum, and strontium, there were positive correlations between the concentrations in hair and water indicating the importance of intake from minerals in water. The increased ratio of selenium/mercury concentrations in hair samples obtained in the alkaline district indicates that these subjects may have better protection against the toxic effects of mercury.


Assessment of hair mineral analysis commercially offered in Germany.
J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2002.
To evaluate intra- and inter-laboratory agreement concerning hair mineral analysis and interpretation of results, hair samples from 2 volunteers were sent to seven laboratories, which commercially offer hair mineral analysis in Germany. 6 weeks later, another identical part from the hair sample of volunteer 1 was sent to all seven labs. Altogether, 50 elements were analyzed, 23 by all seven labs. For comparability, only the results for these 23 elements were assessed. The intra-laboratory reproducibility was evaluated by the 2 identical hair samples from volunteer 1. On the average, the reproducibility seems to be sufficient (median +/- 9.48% to +/- 20.59%), but for individual elements there were unacceptable out-rulers up to 100%. Only one lab classified all elements of the first and the second analysis of the identical hair sample in the same category (below, within, or above normal range). The others grouped 4 to 7 elements different. This is not tolerable. The inter-laboratory comparability was assessed by the results of the hair samples of both volunteers. For the sample of volunteer 1 at least the results of 6 (out of 23) elements were within an acceptable range of +/- 30% from the consensus value (= mean of all seven labs). For volunteer 2 this was only the case for 2 (!) elements. Differences of more than 100% were found for most other elements. Moreover, in the vast majority of the tested elements there was no comparability of the classification to the respective reference ranges of the different laboratories. For example, for volunteer 1 only 3 elements (our of 23!) were identically classified by all seven labs. As neither the analytical results nor the classification to the individual reference ranges by the laboratories correspond in tolerable borders, conclusions, drawn from these results, cannot be valid. Hair mineral analysis from these laboratories is unreliable. Therefore we must recommend to refrain from using such analysis to assess individual nutritional status or suspected environmental exposure.


Hair Mineral analysis questions
Q. I've already read in one of your responses that you are not a big proponent of hair analysis and so you may not offer too much more information that I read in that answer. About 4 years ago a former roommate nutritionist did a hair analysis on me and all my readings were within normal acceptable range (100% or below as the scores were graphed) except for uranium. With that toxic metal I scored at 220%. Since that time I more or less try to seek a healthy lifestyle with organic foods (as much as possible), additional supplements like COQ10, pycnogenol and alpha lipoic acid, and other natural solutions (filtered water). Do you have any advice of a medical test, alternative approach or advice about what to do with the uranium finding or just keep on as I'm doing and ignore it?
   A. You may wish to send a sample of your hair to 2 or 3 other hair mineral analysis labs to see what they say. It will tell us whether this was a fluke or whether there is a serious problems going on with uranium toxicity. Most often, though, we prefer going by symptoms of a patient as opposed to a lab study which may or may not be accurate.


Vitamin and mineral fruit
The vitamin and mineral content in fruits is varied, and in general fruits have a good amount of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, along with smaller amounts of iron, manganese, copper and zinc.


Q. Is the mineral Sierrasil good and safe for those with joint problems?
     A. We have not seen any long term studies in humans regarding arthritis or other joint problems and Sierrasil. According to the promotional material, "Sierrasil is a distinct, naturally-occurring mineral composite found only in the high Sierra Mountains, SierraSil contains a rich complex of minerals with unique properties unlike any other composite known. Used alone or enhanced with other synergistic nutrients, SierraSil is excellent for active men and women of all ages including baby boomers, seniors, and athletes."
     To me, this Sierrasil promotion sounds like typical marketing hype with little human studies to support the claims. The same type of promotion is done with coral calcium and lots of other mineral products.


Q. Your recent article about keeping hydrated during the summer weather triggered a question. After having a hair analysis taken, I learned I have high levels of metals in my system ... uranium and tin. I also had my water tested, and it tested high for uranium. I get conflicting information concerning reverse osmosis. Some say it will remove the uranium; others said it will not. Do you have any information about this? There was a time when I drank more diet sodas and very little water. I decided to change that, and drink more water and less sodas. I thought was doing something healthy. Now I'm not so sure!! Your response is much appreciated!
     A. I'm not a big fan of hair mineral analysis as a reliable tool to tell us what minerals our body needs to supplement or remove, except in limited cases.

Q. Have you heard of angstrom-size minerals? As an example, calcium and magnesium. Magnesium is not meant to cause diarrhea in this form.
   A. I have not heard of angstrom-size minerals so I can't say much about this topic, but my first impression is that it is a marketing gimmick.


I recently started to take sea minerals called Supa boost in hopes that it might help with my psoriasis and energy problems but have found each time I take it I feel the opposite, and extremely fatigued. I'm not sure if its just a detox or if I should continue with it. I'm also taking super greens as well but still no help with the psoriasis but the sea minerals seem to be causing side effects. Have you heard of the Supa boost sea minerals, and any suggestions?
    I am not familiar with this product. A google search reveals Supa Boost contains several ingredients including graviola, hawthorn, stinging nettle and others.


Have you ever done any research on Adya Clarity or Black Mica?
   Not at this time.


What are your thoughts about the efficacy and possible side effects, known and unknown of Angstrom minerals? I'm concerned about the safety issue, crossing brain barrier and other possible untoward effects.
   I have not seen enough information on this topic to have a clear opinion but the marketing of angstrom mineral sounds suspicious to me.


Mineral Makeup benefit
Mineral makeup products are promoted as all natural, finely ground minerals from the earth, without any of the chemicals, dyes, and preservatives found in traditional makeup. Some users of mineral makeup complain it's drying, irritating, and accentuates wrinkles. The main ingredients of mineral makeup (minerals such as mica, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide), have been the basis of most makeup foundations for decades.
   One advantage of mineral makeup is that a consumer can avoid fragrances, binders, synthetic dyes, and preservatives that can irritate the skin. Some dermatologists think that these mineral makeup cosmetic products may also be good for patients with acne or other skin problems since the minerals don't clog up pores.
   There are a wide variety of mineral makeup products on the market, and just because a makeup product has minerals does not mean the rest of the ingredients in this particular makeup are good for you. Each mineral makeup product has to be evaluated on its own rather than grouping them all in one category. Some companies may still add unhealthy synthetic fillers, colors, binders, preservatives, and other chemicals to their mineral makeup products.

Trace Minerals Research Files Lawsuit Against Mineral Resources International
OGDEN, UTAH, 2006 - Trace Minerals Research, a leading provider of mineral -based supplements for more than 35 years, has taken legal action against Mineral Resources International for trademark infringement and misuse of the company's intellectual property. Trace Minerals Research previously had a supply relationship with Mineral Resources International that was formally terminated in May 2006. Since ending this supply agreement, Trace Minerals Research has established an exclusive partnership with Salt Lake Minerals that allows the company to guarantee a consistent source of the highest quality food grade minerals extracted from Utah's Great Salt Lake. "Although steps were taken over the past year to reach a resolution without having to resort to litigation, our negotiations with Mineral Resources International were not successful and official legal action was taken in July 2006," stated Matt Kilts, partner, Trace Minerals Research. "This legal action in no way impacts our ability to continue to provide our customers with the trusted quality products they have come to expect from us." Trace Minerals Research (www.traceminerals.com), founded in 1969, is the original marketer and distributor of essential minerals harvested from Utah's Great Salt Lake for supplement use. Today, the company uses these naturally balanced, naturally occurring minerals as the basis for all products in its brand product line. Extensive research supports the need to keep minerals in proper balance throughout the body in order to achieve optimal health. Trace Minerals Research is focused solely on servicing the natural products industry.