As I continue to build upon my foundation of the regimenal jurisdiction using Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) as an objective “doorway” into this vast realm, I thought today I would write about the fast oxidizer metabolism. During my HTMA training with Dr. Rick Malter of Cottonwood Arizona, he had shared that approximately 20% of the samples reviewed today at TEI Labs in Texas, are fast oxidizers. The remaining are generally slow oxidizers. In the next blog, I’ll introduce the slow oxidizer in more depth, however; to give a bit of support to the above clinical observation, I’ll mention that slow oxidizers generally have decreased thyroid or adrenal function or both, and the digestive capacity has been strained. This means lower energy and lowered absorption of nutrients from food. What this clinical observation tells me is that many people in North America are operating with sub-optimum energy levels and they are having difficulty handling stress. Many are tired, if not exhausted! The good news is, there is much that we can do about this in our individual pursuit of increasing our energy levels for healing and more vibrant health. Hooray for the science of natural health care!
So now, onto the fast oxidizer! A Trace Elements, Inc., HTMA lab report reads, “The Fast Metabolizer [Fast1] has increased activity of the energy producing endocrine glands, particularly the adrenal and the thyroid. Fast Metabolizers convert nutrients into energy at a rapid rate, resulting in energy and mood swings unless the energy level remains constant.” If you recall the analogy of the “wood stove burning too hot” from the last blog, this is often the case with the fast oxidizer. This metabolism can benefit by being slowed down somewhat with supplementation and foods, which can facilitate a shift to more of an ideal expression of the mineral patterns and therefore a more balanced rate of food conversion into energy.
Maybe you know someone who seems to fit the description of a fast oxidizer? The healthiest of the fast oxidizer has much energy to expend. As a stressful life ensues though, he or she will have a tendency to seek out stimulation in order to keep his or her system revved up and the adrenal glands stimulated (Eck,1987,p12). This metabolic type, being driven, can have a tendency to fall into the workaholic category or "type A" personality. On a physical level, typically, this person tends to feel warm and can perspire quite readily and sometimes can be more prone to elevated blood sugar and elevated blood pressure. (Fisher, 2017)
The fast oxidizer tends to have more of a dominance of the sympathetic nervous system and a pattern of chronically overstimulating the adrenal glands (Malter, Rick Ph.D, 2003, p50). This is a dominance in the fight or flight capacity automatically built into our nature, to be able to combat stressful situations by way of “fleeing” or “fighting”. Certain nutrients can be really valuable for a fast oxidizer to help to settle a "charged" sympathetic nervous system. These are often sedative type minerals such as calcium and magnesium, among other anti-stress nutrients, but the only sure way to know is to test the hair.
There are degrees of the fast oxidizer metabolism however, and this can be discerned on a HTMA. A TEI Labs HTMA report may list a fast oxidizer as Fast1, Fast2, Fast3 or Fast4 (Trace Elements, Inc. p10). Some of these, based on their mineral patterns and the relationships of one mineral to another (ratios), can and do show decreased thyroid or adrenal function or both. What creates the variance is the system’s response to stress, illness and other factors overtime which creates an inability to recover the mineral patterns. It's important to understand that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to restore mineral patterns today to more ideal levels with just food alone. Our soils that we grow our food in have become very nutrient depleted overtime. This presents a necessity for supplementation in many cases.
What would be an optimal mineral pattern? This would be one seen in a balanced oxidizer, a pattern not typically seen today but certainly one to strive for and understand scientifically how this balanced mineral pattern can be achieved biochemically, and ultimately maintained by "tweaking" the physiology. The biochemical and physiological levels ultimately work together within the metabolism. Onward for more learning!
A fast metabolizer has a typical mineral pattern on a HTMA test. The levels of calcium and magnesium are generally lower in comparison to the sodium and potassium in the tissues. Also, phosphorus is higher in relation to the calcium levels (Eck,1983,p50). This was quite an engaging clinical observation for me. When I learned that sodium and potassium in the body act as solvents, keeping everything in solution that should be (Chatsworth et al.,p55), it really helped me to understand why some people would be prone to conditions involving atherosclerosis or joint and tissue calcification while others might not succumb to this at all. Since the fast oxidizer has more solvents typically with the higher levels of sodium and potassium, it makes biochemical sense that these types would not generally be prone to excess mineral deposition in the tissue. The fast oxidizer can however, operate at a deficit of minerals because he or she is using mineral stores up much quicker and the abundant solvents readily bring stored minerals into solution.
What can happen if there is a deficit of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and copper too, is that the solvent action of the sodium and potassium can start to break down the tissues in search of remaining minerals that are stored. This is a catabolic or breaking-down process and can occur in the bones and organs and tissues. (Healthview Newsletter, The.,pg29,30). A fast oxidizer in perpetual stress with rising sodium levels as part of the stress response could potentially be depleting his or her magnesium stores overtime. Many systems, especially the cardiovascular system and the heart in particular require adequate magnesium levels to be present in the tissues and blood.
Knowing one’s mineral pattern is foundational for setting out to achieve one’s health goals and to restore excess or deficient minerals that have been influenced by chronic stress, illness or faulty dietary habits among other factors. Having a HTMA speaks also to prevention and the relevance of having a HTMA test before embarking on any especially rigorous exercise program or detoxification program, heavy sauna use, etc., where electrolyte minerals can be readily lost.
Chatsworth, Colin & Loren/Eck, Dr. Paul. Energy: How it affects your emotions, your level of achievement and your entire personal well-being. Sam Biser Press. pg 55.
Eck, Dr. Paul. (1983). The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Hair Analysis. USA. The Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd. pg 50.
Eck, Dr. Paul (1987, May 1). Tissue Minerals and Associated Emotional States. USA. The Eck Institute of Applied Nutrition and Bioenergetics, Ltd. pg 12.
Fischer, Rick. (2017). Integrative Health Coaching. Review and Assessment of H.T.M.A.
Healthview Newsletter, The. A beginning Course on Energy and Minerals: How Increasing Your Energy Enhances Your health, Emotions, Personality, and Your Ability to Achieve Success and Happiness. Issue #27-19. pgs 29 & 30.
Malter, Rick, Ph.D. (2018, Jan). Personal Communication, HTMA Training. https://www.malterinstitute.org.
Malter, Rick, Ph.D (2003). The Strands of Health: A Guide to Understanding Hair Mineral Analysis. Education and Health Resources of Arizona, Inc. p50
Trace Elements, Inc. (2000-2016). HTMA Lab Report, “Metabolic Type”. Inserted brackets are my own.
Trace Elements, Inc. 2011. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA): Balancing Body Chemistry. p10.