Excessive anti-nutrients - substances that prevent nutrients from being used, or promote their excretion - can lead to many health problems.
We need to protect ourselves from the effects of a vast array of chemicals in our modern lifestyle, and eating a good diet is an effective way to do this.
Toxins accumulate in fatty tissues and may cause chronic health problems if the body's ability to detoxify itself reaches saturation level.
You are recommended to have a hair mineral analysis (HMA) to evaluate your toxin levels, should it be felt that circumstances in your work or lifestyle have exposed you to this natural element of risk. With our modern exposure to chemicals, this applies to almost everyone.
In this article I'll focus on just one of the toxic levels an analysis would reveal, the problems this can be linked to and steps you might take to reduce the levels.
If you have a disease or illness, which has not responded to conventional treatment, you may wish to explore other possibilities and an HMA is an excellent place to start. Sufferers of 'unexplained' problems such as headaches, backaches, weakness or tremors, can usefully undergo an HMA to detect any abnormal levels of toxins.
One of the most important sections of the HMA results is the part telling you about levels of toxic minerals, or anti-nutrients. If toxic minerals are found to be in excess, there are many ways in which a nutritional approach can help.
One mineral which may be raised is copper. Now although high levels of copper have been linked to problems, it must be remembered that copper is actually essential to us.
What are the functions of copper? Here are some of the bodily functions, for which copper is important: formation of red blood cells, connective tissue, skin and hair pigments, cholesterol regulation, enzyme production, energy usage and in the correct functioning of the nervous system.
When might problems arise? Although copper is essential for health, too high or too low levels can cause problems. Continually high levels may be associated with depression, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, phobias, irritability and joint or muscle pains. Copper levels will rise naturally during pregnancy, with use of certain IUDs or when taking the Pill. Levels may also be too high as a result of a vitamin C or B3 deficiency. Copper reacts against zinc and prevents iron from being absorbed; both of these are vital minerals - especially needed in pregnancy. Ceruloplasmin, the copper-containing protein, is produced faster in the presence of estrogen and any biological state which increases copper levels is likely to increase the need for vitamin C as high levels of copper have been found to destroy vitamin C. If you have an unusually high reading of copper on a hair mineral analysis, this could be caused by permed hair.
Copper deficiency symptoms include: anemia, blood vessel hemorrhage, hypothermia, depigmentation of the skin. Some people suffer phobias and compulsions due to the high level of histamine, exacerbated by a low copper level. As copper will oppose the effect of histamine, individuals with a high level of copper but low level of histamine may suffer from paranoia and hallucinations,. If the copper/histamine balance is causing a problem, see the section on balancing levels of copper.
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