Are Mineral Deficiencies The Cause of Your Symptoms? with Barton Scott

Content By: Ari Whitten & Barton Scott

In this episode, I’m speaking with Barton Scott about the powerful role of minerals in human health.

Table of Contents

In this podcast, Barton and I discuss:

  • How the modern diet contributes to mineral deficiency and the connection to widespread fatigue and the chronic diseases of aging
  • The main driver of mineral depletion in humans today, including one chemical that you should try to avoid at all costs
  • Why Barton sees minerals as the practical bridge between the world of chemistry and optimum human health
  • The surprising link between nutrition and personality and the unique role minerals play in this connection 
  • Barton’s opinion on how to make sense of the conflicting data on hair mineral analysis testing and why blood tests for mineral balance might not be accurate
  • The paradoxical role of iron and why the interconnected balance of minerals is crucial to feeling your best

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Ari: Hey, this is Ari, welcome back to the show. With me today is Barton Scott, who is a chemical engineer, nutrition expert, and founder of Upgraded Formulas, and he is going to be talking all about his area of expertise, which is minerals and their relationship to human health, disease, longevity, and human performance. Think brain function, mood, energy levels, and so on. Lots of very interesting insights here, and I hope you enjoy it. Barton, welcome to the show.

Barton: Hey, Ari, great to be on with you.

Barton’s personal story

Ari: First of all, you have a unique interest in minerals and health more broadly, but minerals specifically. How did that come about? How did you go from being a chemical engineer to developing this interest in health and then developing an interest in minerals specifically as it pertains to human health?

Barton: Like most people, it seems in health that they’re really passionate about things. It’s just absolute necessity, really. A short sort of synopsis, people can see a full video that’s on the website, but my family was really close, luckily, growing up, and my mom, by the time she was in her early 60s, was retired and starting to have some health conditions, and she had been, both my parents were educators, and, we were living in coastal Louisiana, and it was a great place to grow up. I had a lot of time outdoors, I was in sports, and the combination of that, like trying to get her well and also growing up with, among other sports, wrestling, and the knowledge of nutrition in wrestling being just so clear, in team sports, not as much, right? When there’s no breaks, and you’re making weight, and you’re thinking about how much you weigh and what weight class you’ll be in and how you’re going to weigh in this Saturday, but also for the dual meet, in a few hours, and then how your energy gets consumed.

Used to eat something like a Snickers, even at nine, when I was competing, starting early in life, and it was just very obvious, wow, food makes a lot of difference. Supplements are starting to come online, late ’90s, I’m 36 now, and just seeing that sort of, that difference, “Wow, okay.”, made a big difference, I ate a burger, just like the burger part, meat, just some meat and sweet potato versus like, something different, I’m like, “Wow, okay, there’s a big difference.” That thinking started, I think it was pretty rare for most people in the late 90s, but I’m starting to mold my worldview this way, and then food timing, all right, well, about to get on the mat, just had a match, going to have a match again in an hour, is there time to eat? Oh, there-if so, what do you eat? I started thinking about this, and then I developed, as a result, a lot of deficiencies because of it. By the time I was 22, I was really deep into nutrition, I feel like probably was able to help my mother more than, honestly, anyone else, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough.

Towards her late 60s, she passes, and, being at peace with something like that is one thing, but not being motivated by it is almost not a choice. No one likes to feel helpless, no one likes to feel like they don’t, they can’t help the people closest to them, they can’t, like we’re talking about before the call, fertility down is something that I care about a lot. Finding testing that showed us what was actionable, I’ve always, I think you’re this way too, very pragmatic, just super pragmatic about like, let’s just address the problems. Let’s first figure out what the hell we’re working on. Then let’s throw everything at it. If we don’t have something that works, then it’s obviously time to think deeply on this and innovate. Yes, that’s how we got into minerals.

Then ultimately I learned that from that point to now that the absorption of the products we were trying just was not very effective. The deficiencies were staying from one test to another. We tried a lot of different tests and a lot of money trying to get her well, even outside of the conventional world. Then I had a ton of brain fog as that was happening, as she was getting worse, as she was passing, it was just all a blur. I started to notice, okay, I need to get well too. What’s, clearly everyone needs this. My deficiencies aren’t changing, hers aren’t, and I’m in my 20s at the time, early 20s, she’s in her late 60s. Yes, that’s at least a bit of the backstory on fast forward.

Ari: Okay. How did this evolve into a focus on minerals specifically?

Barton: Yes, great question. Like I said, we’re trying a lot of different tests, right? A lot of different types of tests and a lot were coming back normal, which we know now is not a surprise for going the conventional route. Even in the non-conventional route, there was not a ton of really clear actionable, “Here’s what to do, here’s this big gap right here, and we got to figure out what’s going on.” Now, if we ran some of the tests that I’ve done on myself these days and do yearly or multi multiple times a year, that wouldn’t be the case, I’m sure. One of the-the real test that we found then that was super effective, and luckily we found a practitioner that knew a lot. I remember going in person early in my 20s and really having my eyes open because he was muscle testing, I’d never seen that before. He was using, he’s from South Africa, and he just was super knowledgeable, this guy, I think he’s retired now. Yes, just seeing what I saw there was super eye-opening, and that was a hair analysis.

Then seeing the intricacies of that, that he understood that, a few people looking at that test understood it, it was really sort of mesmerizing to me. Just in and of itself, because I had a minor in chemistry, I was about to finish chemical engineering, so I was pretty familiar with the periodic table and organic chemistry and just a lot of different things. Then I was seeing the connection between that and nutrition, but seeing this gap where chemists look at an end product, chemical engineers are responsible for building the manufacturing processes around the world. Then, nutritionists sort of deal with the, they paint with the colors they’re given, and they’re, they do their best, but there needs to be an inner weaving of all of them is what I noticed. Yes, that led to today.

The role of minerals in health

Ari: Yes. Okay. There’s a lot to talk about within the realm of minerals. Maybe this might be an interesting starting point to get into this. One guest that I’ve had on the show, I think maybe three times, at least two times, is Morley Robbins. He’s got a big focus on copper. I’m sure you’re familiar with him, given he’s all about minerals also. I’m curious what you think of his take on human health as it pertains to minerals and copper in particular as his focus.

Barton: I think he’s done an amazing job of compiling some great, very essential knowledge and research. Yes, I’m definitely on the side of us most likely needing copper because, and when I say us, I mean most people, but especially people with certainty, almost without testing, if someone is consuming a normal American diet, or a normal pretty much anywhere diet these days, because anywhere you go in the world, even Japan now, they had a blue zone that’s now eroded because McDonald’s and other companies moved in, and it’s just not considered a blue zone anymore.

Ari: I’m currently in a rapidly shrinking blue zone.

Barton: Costa Rica?

Ari: In Nicoya, Costa Rica, yes. Yes.

Barton: Yes. Yes. There you go. Iron fortification of foods is terrible. The fact that you can run a magnet across cereal brands and pull out iron filings is so alarming. Just generally, I would say that, yes, it absolutely is not an opinion that we are energy deficient. Most people that come to us that work with [unintelligible 00:09:37], if you are doing any of your programs, also are complaining about fatigue as the number one symptom, even if they’re fit, even if they have a six-pack, even if, X, Y, and Z, if they’re the healthiest person in their friend group. That’s been a sort of battle my whole life, and we make a copper supplement. I take it pretty much daily now. I didn’t always, people like Morley and other, just other things I’ve found on my own have pointed this way, and other people that I’ve interviewed have asked questions about, “Hey, copper.”, and like, “I’m trying this, I’m stacking it with this and that.”, and even if I wasn’t doing that already, it’s like, it just, it’s been a cool thing to sort of like guide you back on track when you’re focused on other things. The main thing I would say is that the focus on minerals and heavy metals is really key for everyone, no matter what the budget is, no matter what other available tests and technologies there are, like right now, I have a red light on, I think you have a book on red light. There’s a lot of [chuckles], it’s not a question. It’s like gravity. It’s just a matter of what are you going to do with it? It’s like gravity exists. You really believe about it when you’re standing on the rooftop and you’re blindfolded and you’re asked to walk around in a big circle.

That’s sort of like what we’re doing from my point of view of when we were not testing regularly, we’re really blindfolded and we don’t realize the consequences. We don’t realize that we’re standing on the roof and it’s a long ways down and it’s, elements, it’s the periodic table that is behaving just like gravity in our lives. It’s just not quite as evident. Yet it, it’s a root because in every illness, for sure. I think that’s just the more you understand that, the more clear that becomes.

The modern lifestyle – disease burden

Ari: Yes. Let me zoom out to the meta-level context for a minute and then, and then we’ll zoom back into minerals from there. I want you to help me zoom back in. Big picture context. We can look at a lot of the modern epidemics of human health problems that are really unique to the last 75 years or so in specifically the Western world or the modernizing world that is becoming Westernized in terms of diet and lifestyle. We have diseases, what are called sometimes called the chronic diseases of aging, or sometimes called the chronic diseases of lifestyle or of civilization. These include things like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, and several others, stroke and cerebrovascular disease, and so on. Of these non-communicable diseases, these chronic diseases of lifestyle, this represents about 80% of the chronic disease burden.

The causes of these conditions are pretty well established for the most part. We know things like eating a processed food diet is a very strong factor in this. We know that lack of physical activity and sedentary time are a big, big factor in this. We know this from thousands of studies, but we know it from the mechanistic level to the epidemiological level. We have the evidence to show this. We know that circadian rhythm disruption due to artificial light exposure at night is a big factor in this. We know that even things that we take for granted, we don’t even really talk about anymore because they’re old school, like smoking and drinking alcohol are big players in those epidemics.

There is research showing that about 80% of the overall disease burden can be eliminated just through people taking very basic steps, much more basic than what I teach as far as lifestyle, but the most basic steps as far as eating a reasonably healthy diet, that’s mostly devoid of processed junk food, refined sugar, and other refined foods, not smoking, minimizing alcohol consumption, and having some base level of physical activity, like the most basic healthy habits you can imagine. Given that context, that so much of our modern disease burden is a result of modern lifestyle, how do you end up focusing, zeroing in on minerals as the key player that we should be focused on?

Barton: Yes, great question. First of all, I really like that framework and I hope, as you’re listening, that you acknowledge that it’s great that the control is in your hands. I would say just that I would, my only thing is that I would, if anything, just push it even further and say that just for anyone out there that is maybe fearful because they’ve been labeled with, whatever it is, whatever lack of ease it is, it’s called that one way or another, if we really sat down and looked at it, we could trace it back in part to some sort of mitochondrial issue that is in some way linked also to too much of something like iron excess or too little of something, like copper, magnesium, and many other things too, right? I know you’ve probably covered a good bit of that with Morley as well. These things need, they don’t get talked about it nearly enough, nearly enough. That’s that part one of the response and then what else do we want to cover with that?

Ari: I guess I’m asking you to make the case that minerals are a key player in what, in the health problems that are afflicting you.

Barton: Yes, absolutely. Sure, absolutely. The realization when you, of a, of what the periodic table really means, becomes really crystallized when you think about it long enough, you go, “All right, so wait a minute, this periodic table is the building block of everything on the planet. It includes all the separate building blocks as far as we can measure.” We all agree on that, no matter what our scientific background is, what our religion is, what our view of the world is, but it’s essentially that and like soul. That makes up who we are. That is the building block then of hormones. Then, when I have given talks, different, really around the world as well. Even when I know I have a lot of hormone specialists in the room, I’ll ask people, “So, what are the, like by a show of hands, what, who can talk about the building blocks of these hormones that you’re optimizing, that you’re an expert in?” I just, it’s not to poke the bear so much as it is to just alert people to the fact that elements build everything.

Then to take it one step further, when we’re talking about macros and we’re talking about, any diet, keto, paleo, vegan, primal, any of it, and we’re talking about a certain percentage of, let’s say, protein per kilogram or per pound. We’re looking at that and we’re going, “All right, well, that’s really important.” Then I go, “Well, if it’s protein, fat, or carbs, any macro, what are we looking at?” What we’re looking at ultimately is still a collection of that periodic table into a lot of very complex combinations. That’s how we get everything. When you see it as we’re the dust of the universe on this planet and this planet’s collection of that dust is what we call a periodic table, you start to realize like, oh, I guess it’s very important that since this is a building block of everything from us to our MacBooks, then we should really pay attention to this and give it real credence and test for it multiple ways, not just with blood, not just with hair, not just with any one thing, but have as many perspectives as possible.

Because it obviously matters and it obviously matters a lot. The more and more you think about it, the deeper it goes and you just realize everything’s connected. There’s a lot of it, frankly, that we still don’t understand. I’ll be the first to admit that the more I’ve learned, even in developing, a unique delivery system with some unique equipment, there’s still, there’s so much because we don’t really understand what happens when you say, for example, put potassium in the body. What really happens? We know potassium is needed for things like adrenal support, et cetera, but really what’s happening? Then when we mix multiple other nutrients with it, what happens? It’s curious. It’s interesting to think about, but we certainly have a long way to go. [laughs] Yes.

Why we need more minerals

Ari: Why are people in need of more minerals or supplementing with minerals? What is going on that has led to that situation?

Barton: There’s-it’s another great question. A lot of people would talk about food and that the food just simply isn’t what it used to be. The soil is not what it used to be. We talked about iron fortification earlier. We didn’t talk about things like glyphosate and how that captures and binds up minerals, copper, for example, and how it causes so many different issues. Minerals are certainly missing from our soil because we just have the same crop year after year after year and that in itself is just not going to be good because it’s like raping the soil, you’re taking the same nutrients. When you flip over a bag of organic, raw sunflower seeds, you see all these different minerals and it’s like a really impressive list.

I wonder if we went and tested that bag, if it actually had those. I would hope so. If you’re planting that season in, season out, that same sort of nutrient, at some point the soil just doesn’t have it because of a lack of crop rotation and maximizing profit. I get it. We’re voting with our dollar all the time. I always encourage people to do all the things that seem like really obvious, like eat organic every time, even if you feel like it’s expensive, just suck it up and pay for it. Many other things. You can feel yourself lean one way or another, really, and just think long term, for you, for the planet, all of it, because we’re all in this together and for better, for worse. Those are a few thoughts. There’s so many things connected. For example, I did a really advanced technique of simulation of muscle fiber in my neck this past week.

They talked about doing a partnership with us because they know firsthand that although their treatment is very effective, it also depletes magnesium from the body because they’re using current. They’re using a very low voltage device that’s very effective. Yes, there’s just a daily use of our body as a machine, so to speak, that has certain requirements. We have to make those requirements very obvious to people so that they can understand sort of like, “Hey, you’re out of gas, here’s a gas gauge, you’re about to run out of gas, time to fill up.” A clear way to know that, a clear way to fill up. That could certainly be improved on, I think, for people generally.

The key mineral deficiencies that affect health

Ari: What do you think are some of the key minerals that are behind a lot of the health issues that we’re suffering from today? Maybe you could take us through a few specific health issues and common mineral imbalances or deficiencies that relate to them.

Barton: Sure. The lack of focus and anxiety, I think, is really prevalent. It’s something that, as COVID kicked off, I knew it was going to be a real stressor for people. Just the lack of community, feeling more stressed. When you’re more stressed, just the speed at which you use up these nutrients in your body goes way, way up. All the things that buffer your pH, like magnesium that’s really precious already, gets used at a faster rate. That’s one for sure. All your adrenal minerals, so potassium, sodium, magnesium, to balance blood sugar, depending on the diet, get used up a lot. Things like keto can be really great for people if they’re making some transitions. It’s also a lot like walking a tightrope, in my opinion, when it comes to electrolytes.

There’s always a downside to everything. In the book that I’ll have coming out this year, there’s an acknowledgment made there that nutrition really does become personality, and that every diet eventually fails, really. Because we need diet variation. It’s similar to being in that avocado orchard, and just, year after year, or we’re planting and reaping from the same soil, and maybe, how are we taking care to nurture the soil back to the place it was? Are we, paying any attention at all to it? I think better farming practices, this is a big part of it, better harvesting practices, management of the entire food chain, a lot of it, but then the financial incentives have to be there for people to have the end product they want. We have to pay it forward, really, yes.

How to test for mineral imbalances

Ari: How do you test for mineral imbalances?

Barton: I really love hair. I haven’t seen anything that gives me as much data when tested well, like a good lab. A lot of people, I think there’s really two issues, or three. One, there’s not a better alternative for looking at deficiency that I’ve ever seen. Because blood, we use this phrase lifeblood, and I’ve said for years that this is, blood is us on our best behavior. What does that really mean, right? It’s just that our body is really intelligent, and it knows that if our blood pH shifts just a little bit, and this is also a partial answer to your previous question, you get bone disease, because what happens is one of the places that the body pulls these key minerals from, like calcium, magnesium, et cetera, is from bone, and then buffers blood pH if someone’s been eating sugar chronically, and their pH is off. They’ve been an alcoholic, their pH is off.

We wonder how bone disease is so prevalent and what to do about it, and then people will unfortunately throw things like calcium at it and just make it worse, making the ratio worse. One of the other reasons I love hair is because we’re seeing ratios really easily, and we’re testing for things like copper that we’re not even normally testing for in blood. There’s a couple of different issues all at once there. Yes.

Ari: There’s, it’s been a few years since I’ve explored this research. It’s possible that things have changed since then. Last I recall when I had some friends who were very into hair mineral analysis, and I remember exploring the literature. First of all, I found shockingly little in the way of scientific literature on it. What was most interesting to me is that several of the experts that I knew that were into hair mineral analysis had different views on how the data should be interpreted. One person said, “Such and such ratio means this and this, and that you’re deficient in this.” Another person said, “No, that’s wrong. It’s actually, it actually means this and this, and you’re deficient in this.”

Even with the same set of data, different experts have different ideas of how that should be interpreted and what should be done about it as far as food and supplementation. Do you have any thoughts on sort of making sense of that confusion and conflicting views?

Barton: Yes, we’re always, I was, this is like one way. There’s a great book called The Psychology of Money, and they talk about how everyone’s world views around money get shaped, about 80% of their worldview or more get shaped by how they grew up and what market they grew up in. Was it, was there inflation? Was there no inflation? This concept, right? It’s really interesting because the people like, for example, the son of someone that did incredibly well has a totally different strategy and he does incredibly well. They were born in different markets and they followed one guy was like very, this made so much in the bond market and that wouldn’t work today. It just would not.

The timing mattered and it shaped the worldview a lot. It shapes our worldview a lot. Basically what we’re saying and we’re acknowledging there is our environment plays a bigger role in how we perceive the world and what we perceive to be true. It’s really hard to evaluate these truths, right? Just like meta, metacognition, like thinking about thinking here for people. This is a great concept that we’re talking about, right? Because you can apply this concept and this luminary aspect of thought to anything that you’re trying to make sense of, right? Whenever we have people, especially that are close to us, and especially that we respect and we see conflicting data between them, we started to think like, “Oh, well, the whole world’s that way.” They could just be the two out of the thousand, realistically, we have no idea that have this view and maybe they’re not, maybe they are. The, it’s true–

There’s not nearly enough education out there. I put a course together after piecing together as much information as I could starting over a decade ago in this area, because it really showed me a lot. I just had an affinity for it with my background in chemistry. Yes, there, there is certainly older data and people are, this is true also for med school though, right? Unfortunately, it’s not even taught in med school. I can only reason or speculate why that is, but the reason I keep coming back to is, well, the natural proclivity of this is to not recommend drugs. It’s to recommend resolving the deficiencies and the imbalances. We’ve done as a company, I can also say this from experience, more hair tests than I’m sure any company in the world at this point that’s functioning today. We’ll probably do 10,000 just this year. We’ve seen patterns emerge for sure.

We’ll do some big analysis and I’m sure contribute to the overall body of research. Maybe a part two on that when I have it. We can really talk about like, “Hey, we looked at 10,000 and this is what we saw.” That’ll be really interesting because I’m all about like, “Hey, whatever wins, right? Let’s, if I was, if we’re making our best decision now and we’re going to continually update. I think that’s how you process life as well. You obviously have to make a decision now with whatever is best available, you move forward and then you stay open to information. I think that’s what brilliant people do. They have the neuroplasticity and like strength of will, but the, I don’t know, awareness of ego, I guess you could say, to do that. That’s, look, that that’s where I’m at on this too. There’s a lot of like, I could go line by line and give you my opinion on anything that there was a question on.

I know it’s been, like you said, years since perhaps you had this conversation. Wouldn’t expect you to recall like, detail, but if there is anything, we can talk about that. Just generally, I would say what I’m really trying to expand it to is that this is a concept that first of all, needs to be talked about because it’s not even taught in med school, which is super unfortunate because we are made of this stuff. Blood is obviously not going to show a deficiency easily when we understand the mechanisms of the body and how important blood is. It really is us on our best behavior. That part I’m convinced on. I would just debate that till the cows came home. I’ve said it probably a thousand times already. I probably have to say it another thousand times again, but different people pick it up when they hear a different way. I’m constantly thinking about, how do we deliver this info to people in a way that is absorbable, just like elements themselves?

Hair is tissue. We all agree on that. The body is about 40% connective tissue. That is a closer approximation for sure than blood. Now we’re just down to how accurate is the testing and then how do we interpret the result? That part luckily is interesting because at least the range is based off of healthy people. People, remember reading even Olympic athletes, they were looking at using as a basis. Unfortunately–Of course, we do have functional ranges in blood. By no means do I not use blood. There are certain tests like blood and things like GI map, for example, big fan. Yes, you need these two. It’s not a either, or like someone was asking me about, another test that uses stool and blood. I was like, “It’s not an either, or, it’s like, what’s going to help you like pull in more data, and unlock the thing that you personally need to unlock. Is it for you? Is it, as you’re listening to this nutrient deficiency, is it parasites and a viral load?”

Is it, which we see some evidence into hair. we see things like viral loads. We see things like a propensity to be very open to experiencing a virus or open to experiencing a bacterial infection, with certain ratios. Looking at calcium and magnesium levels and going back to your question on what are people deficient and what diseases, when we see a very high calcium to magnesium ratio, we see, just, issues like hypoglycemia and we see bone-related issues as it, as it goes on, if that doesn’t get fixed, because, I mean the body has to fix the pH of the blood. It’s going to source minerals from tissue, from bone being tissue or from organs. Yes.

The role of iron and ferritin in health

Ari: What do you think of iron and ferritin and any-what’s your big picture take on iron in the body? Because there’s a sort of conventional view on that and iron deficiency anemia, and we need proper levels of iron. There’s also some research that has shown high levels of iron is certainly linked with various kinds of diseases and early mortality. Also, there’s research that ties into this, that is on a blood donation as being a strategy that helps decrease the risk of various diseases and promote longevity, which is actually a little known thing.

Then you have, someone like Morley Robbins, who has a very, controversial, very contrarian take on iron, who basically argues. I don’t want to misrepresent here and hopefully I’m not doing that, but essentially the lower, the better, and it’s impossible to be deficient in iron and that iron’s not really a good guy as it is seen in the conventional view that performs these vital functions, but it’s sort of mostly a villain. Again, not trying to misrepresent, but in general, he’s of the opinion that lower is better, and that it’s impossible to be deficient. Where do you land on that spectrum? What’s your take on the role of iron in the human body?

Barton: We need all the elements and we have a propensity toward iron because it’s the only element that carries oxygen, right? The problem though, is that, it’s not so much that we would even be having this conversation if it was 1900, but it’s 120 years later roughly. Again, the soil shifted and we, again, we probably, we didn’t have specialists for every organ back then. People were just a lot more vital. You, and all you have to do for “research” is just image search the ’50s, the ’60s, like see modern America now, modern [chuckles], it looks like we’re regressing and drugs offer a lot of toxicity, in the process of them turning the lights off, so to speak. Something that I say is that symptoms are our allies and drugs will just update it.

For anyone, if this is, you just stumbled across this podcast and you haven’t heard stuff that Ari’s put out before, which is probably unlikely, but this is you. Look, drugs will not get you. Repeat after me. They’re not going to get you well. They’re not going to reverse a deficiency. I’m sorry if that’s like a, “Whoa, wait.”, moment, but that’s real. That’s not open for conjecture or opinion.

Believe me, I wish I like more people were getting help because plenty of people are doing this, but just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s smart. more, most people are really awesome at following the herd and not thinking for themselves. That’s really a larger conversation I think we’re having here for people. Yes, great question. with iron, we need it. We get too much of it though, it seems like, because it, it’s the most ubiquitous element that we’re consuming really, or one of the top. There’s a balance, right? One of the ratios that we look at in hair tissue analysis is iron to copper. We see that dysregulated all the time. Now, I know Morley talked about COVID destabilizing iron in the body different ways and different pathways and the copper being rendered unavailable, even if it was present. There’s a lot that if that is true, that disrupts. What I can say for sure is that we can go back to just like the physics and chemistry of the cell and the body.

What we know is that to make energy, to make ATP, you for sure need oxygen. I think we’re all pretty straight on that one. You for sure need magnesium, less people know that. Then far less people know that you do need copper for sure. Then we need to be aware of the things that get in the way of those things. That’s like a really good start right there. If we all did that, and we all did and didn’t do the things you mentioned earlier in terms of don’t smoke, don’t drink, hey, nothing new there.

Get sunlight, not too much, but not too little either. That’s a whole podcast in itself, but we’ll try to keep it on, Then be aware that when you’re trying to fix deficiencies like this with food, that you’re going to have things that are “high in magnesium”, for example. Let’s say you have an imbalance between calcium and magnesium and you’re like most people. It’s almost impossible not to have that be dysregulated today. Congratulations if you’re one of the few. If you didn’t do a hair test and you didn’t have a good consultation with someone that really truly specializes in that, I would question whether or not that’s true. Then I would do follow-up testing every three months to see that that continues to be true or not true. Let’s say you are one of the 90-plus percent of people that we see that has too much calcium, not enough magnesium as a ratio overall.

Again, the ratios are way more important when you’re looking at hair testing than the individual numbers as well. People should be super clear on that as well. If that’s the case, then you’re going to need to get less calcium in the system. You’re going to need to get some of that out. You’re going to need more magnesium and you’re going to need to utilize that well. Absorbing is part of it. The way we do that is with particle size being really small and really stable as well. Then just so, other awareness is like, B6, a lot of people have methylation issues and B6 is really important in spinning that wheel that we refer to as the methylation pathway as a whole. It’s something that it seems like everyone’s also deficient in is B6. Those are a few thoughts. I want to keep my response like reasonably tight. Yes.

The best mineral absorption method

Ari: Tell me about some of your mineral formulas and what’s in them and what’s unique about them. I know you have some aspects of technology that relate to bioavailability of the minerals, helping to get these minerals into the body. Describe that landscape to me. Why is it an issue to get them? Why not just take plain minerals and, what’s wrong with that? Why do we need special technology to help us absorb those minerals, and describe what that technology is?

Barton: Sure, yes. Happy to. Let’s go way back for a moment to when I started thinking about how to solve this problem. My realization there was that when the body, so this speaks to the question that someone’s going to ask when they go like, well, what form of iodine or what form of chromium or what form of zinc or what form of magnesium do you use? Do you use multiple forms or what? I’ve heard this and that about those forms. Here’s the thing that I would invite everyone to think about. When you get your minerals from food, let’s say that, you eat something that has magnesium in it, for example, and you’re ingesting that and you’re, let’s say there’s 80 steps to break that down, to go from food to being absorbed into the bloodstream. At any point, is it that the body needs or requests or asks for, in the case of magnesium, threonate or glycinate? I’m not saying that those things don’t work. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that how the body does it? That it requests these separate things.

I realized that the body, it doesn’t go, “Yes, I don’t have any like magnesium threonate.”, or, “I can’t make a combination of that and send it to the brains, therefore the brain’s not going to work today.” It’s like, wow, we would be, I think we’d all have a shorter lifespan and we’d have a lot more evolution to go if that was the case, right? Luckily, and I’m super grateful for us being many evolutions beyond that, where we are today, still plenty of things to solve and figure out. Socially, economically, psychologically, plenty of other problems.

Barton: Can minerals solve all the world’s problems? I know that without them, we can’t solve any of them.

Ari: That’s a good answer.

Barton: Yes, I’ve never thought about that, but that is my like hardcore stance on it, I would say. Because, I’ve seen nutrition become Ari’s personality. I’ve seen nutrition become personality so many times.

Ari: What do you mean by that? You mentioned that earlier. I meant to ask you what you mean, so I’m glad you brought it up again.

Barton: Yes, absolutely. I gave a talk at Mindvalley this summer and Vision had asked me to come and speak on this idea because he hadn’t really heard it talked about this way. He’s like, wow, that’s fascinating. It’s after looking at so many hair analyses and seeing really clearly and talking to people, what are you experiencing? They’re like, “Well, it was labeled bipolar and like seeing their sodium to potassium ratio.”, and then going back in the research and seeing that ARL figured this out a long time ago or seeing like this other lab figured this out a long time ago. They’re like, ding, this exact point. Then talking to people and confirming that. Then getting to the point of like, not even seeing someone, not that you ever want to diagnose or support someone without asking questions. You always want to like, “Hey, what are you experiencing? Is this true for you?”

Things like that. Really like ask a lot of questions and see, and then merge that with the results you’re looking at. That’s another failing of our conventional medication system as I call it, is that, in the money-driven, five-minute-per-patient world, they’re just looking at a chart and whether it’s you or your brother there, or you and a 400-pound plus version of you that’s sitting there, like they’re still saying the same thing based on your results, which is scary to think about, but that’s true. That’s a real reality for most people.

That alone, like now we’re just looking and exposing flaws in that system and going like, “I don’t know, do you think that’s a good way to proceed?” I don’t know, make your own decision. Where were we? Covering a lot of ground there.

How nutrition becomes a diet, becomes personality

Ari: How nutrition becomes a diet, becomes personality.

Barton: Right, so we’re looking at this, at these levels and we’re seeing, so I’ll just list off a couple of things that we can see for sure in here. We can see hypoglycemia, which certainly becomes like, “I don’t know, she’s angry all the time. I don’t know what to do. She’s, I love her, but we got to keep her fed. We got to keep her fed.” That becomes habit at some point and that habit becomes personality. That personality, I think we’d all agree, over time becomes destiny. Right, it’s who you continually show up as and that when you walk in the room, we go,” Hey, Ari, I’d love for you to meet this person because I think that you guys would connect. What’s that based off of?” That’s based on how you show up currently day after day and that’s other people’s experience of you. That’s completely driven by nutrition. That part, that connection became obvious to me and I became really interested, really fascinated in this personality of elements, really.

Also that you see masculine and feminine aspects too. The ratio of zinc to copper is something I’ve talked a lot about and written about on the website as well. We have a lot of different blogs on it. Briefly, too much zinc is overly analytical. Too much copper is overly feminine. That looks like someone being, quote, just about the numbers and someone just being like, regardless of the numbers, this– Not really there–

Ari: One more time that lot regard, just because you cut out a bit, say regardless of the numbers–

Barton: Yes, someone would, might say, well, they will first of all, they don’t really want to look at the numbers or focus on that because their ability to like really follow through and get granular with stuff has become a habit, thanks to high copper. High like bio unavailable copper and sort of toxifying their system. That is one thing probably that i’m Slightly different in the focus. I’m not sure what Morley would say about that I don’t know what his stance is, but it does seem that through hair analysis, there’s an issue with copper toxicity as well and that is likely due to just different times where we got too much all at once, the body’s going to do something with it,

It’s about How much you have of something but that’s a daily thing like these are often water-soluble, copper does really well with fat too but and it can, a great way if you decide to start supplementing copper that you really want to most likely do it with a meal. I wouldn’t say that, zinc is as well, that can because some upset for people

Ari: You said do it with a needle so you’re talking about copper injections?

Barton: No, no, with a meal. Sorry.

Ari: With a meal. I thought you said with a needle. I thought you were advocating injections of these minerals. Okay, good. I’m happy to hear that I miseard that.

Barton: Yes, absolutely. Yes, I think I think our connection’s good for the most part, but like just a little in and out every now and then so the, yes. That these are just some of the issues, right? Certainly some, as we take these things in calculus, you’d say as the limit approaches infinity or as you approach the end of life, like what happens and what’s driving that is if they don’t get solved for, someone’s bone health does decrease if their calcium to magnesium ratio is off considerably. Then the that’s an indication that the blood ph is just off as a standard and the body’s having to adapt to that in one way or another so that becomes– That represents, sodium to potassium ratio, bipolar or manic or there’s just so many different illustrations there, the car iron to copper ratio. We’re looking at high iron for example to copper, you were looking at a propensity to be infected with parasites or really one school of thought is that parasites are there because there’s an overabundance of iron. That’s why they’re in for example the small intestine where they shouldn’t be or I mean where no– Yes, no bacteria should be.

Ari: Say that again, get infested because what?

Barton: Yes, like small intestine like SBIO, right? Small intestine bacterial overgrowth we’re looking at that and we’re going like well, why is that? What’s the root because of that? Is it like doing the cleanse is not the root cause, that may be a solution or doing or using binders or–? What really, how do we prevent, I don’t want to like fix it? Ending in one school of thought which I’m, I to be honest I’m still not for sure on maybe that because iron can be much higher in the tissues. It may be that and most people it seems like since we have this recirculating ability of iron because again, it’s the only element that carries oxygen. It’s important for life and the body and its innate intelligence wants to at least keep you alive first and foremost Then keep you healthy, second, so it’s like all right and it’s thinking short-term first long-term second.

That’s why it’s pulling to buffer the ph in the blood same thing with SIBO, you have a extra iron. Bacteria is in there feeding on it maybe as a way to like remove it over time, maybe because that’s the lesser of evils. I don’t know, maybe it just seems like there is an innate intelligence in almost every aspect that we look at and the body is doing its best and it is brilliant and we just need to support it with the right elements and we need to support with the right habits and the right lifestyle.

Magnesium threonate and glycinate

Ari: Let’s, to wrap up, let’s circle back to What you were describing earlier that about let’s say magnesium threonate or glycinate and you were making the case that the body doesn’t need those minerals in that form bonded to these other compounds so take me back to why you think that’s the wrong way to approach it and what is the right way to approach it?

BartonGot it. Yes, so first I, the sort of disclaimer, I’m glad we came back to it is that it’s not wrong to like take a bunch of different forms, I think that although that perhaps could be confusing to the body, that the way that we naturally get it from food is that the body is not requiring magnesium threonate to have the cross the blood-brain barrier as that’s famously known. Again, just like a lot of people are on medication doesn’t mean that it’s right, it just means that we took the what we had current, again, this goes back to what I was saying earlier, which is Certain people have the expertise to build industrial processes. Other people have been the expertise to look at the end product. That’s a chemist.

The industrial process is a chemical engineer. That’s what I went to school for, that was my focus and then we had a focus inside of that of nanotechnology. Then I got really interested in the cross between that and nutrition and I realized that the supplements I was taking personally, can’t speak for every supplement on the planet or anything, but everything i’ve been able to test and look at and also experience. it just it wasn’t cutting. It wasn’t absorbing well enough. Not that it wasn’t absorbing at all. It just wasn’t absorbing well enough to reverse the deficiency in the timeline that I liked. I thought was needed to be able to get better quickly.

We’ve done a clinical trial by the way on our magnesium supplement to prove like, “Hey, we can’t tell you every secret about our industrial process because it’s private, sort of like companies have a trade secret on the recipe of something.” What we can say is we can demonstrate in this clinical trial for sleep that was placebo controlled double-blinded that we improved deep sleep and REM sleep, better than anything i’m aware of out there, 250 percent high of improvement in deep sleep in 14 nights tells us we know something that a lot of people don’t and that was only four capsules and that was just general public and a lot of different ages, men and women, over 30 participants.

Looking at 14 days, not like two months, but like they improved that much in 14 days, if we had a month, i’m sure it would have gone up. That 160 improvement in REM sleep as a high now, That’s considerable for sure so what we’re really talking about is that, or the point I’m really making is that most of the supplements that are minerals today are and we also have a fertility product now, that’s an herbal product that’s not in this class, so I don’t want to confuse people if they’re looking at the site or anything, but for minerals I wanted to do at least one clinical trial so that it proved out our delivery system.

That’s really what we’re talking about. We’re talking about a delivery system, not a form of a mineral. We can really take any type of magnesium, put it through our process and have a similar format. I just bind the end product in our case with chloride because the body needs chloride and everyone’s deficient in HCL or stomach acid, I say everyone-nearly everyone is deficient in HCL. That’s the delivery system. What I’m seeing other people do is get smart and smart and more smart with how they’re combining things and that is bound by using the existing manufacturing capability. I wanted to just like start over with that and prove that so that our end product was different, so it was more it was really bioharmony. It’s like listening to the body. How’s the body normally do things and emulating that as closely as possible?

That’s really– So we make a plasma out of all the minerals and then through our process we make that really stable, so it absorbs with without needing the digestive system, which is broken for most people to work well.

Minerals and fertility

Ari: Very, very interesting stuff. Barton, do you want to mention anything about fertility? Before we end, I know that’s a big interest of yours?

Barton: Yes, i’d love to so. This is a stat that I wouldn’t normally cite from the source but being that it’s high, it’s probably at least this true. The CDC, take this with a grain of salt but if anything, it’s got to be higher than this. If they’re saying it’s this, so the CDC said that recently that they’re aware that one in four couples that are trying to get pregnant, so 25% of people that are trying to conceive actively are not able to right now, for whatever reason. Maybe you can postulate it, did the vaccine or did COVID or did shedding or any of these things contribute to that? We don’t know. Does soil and a lack of nutrients and imbalances and everything else we talk about contribute? For sure. I was talking with a woman at a health event this weekend and she was like, “I need to get this prenatal product because I’m looking, I just want to get healthy before I go and have my eggs frozen.”

I said, “Well, look, this is not by any means a pitch, but if I were just taking my own advice, I would tell you to go through our process a couple of times of testing your hair and getting some minerals that absorb well and doing maybe plenty of other things too, like testing your stool and really just getting as healthy as possible. That was because as you get more and more vital, you’re naturally going to just get pregnant easier.” Men play a big role in this too. Sperm quality, magnesium and zinc, those are two things. Again, are you absorbing the zinc or magnesium that you’re taking? Do you already have too much zinc possibly because you’ve been taking too much for the past couple of years based on different results? Is your calcium level high because you’re taking vitamin D and you’re taking a lot of it and that’s driving your calcium level up and potentially displacing magnesium?

Again, it’s just it’s not right or wrong. It’s just about testing and understanding. “Maybe I’ll come back to the supplement later. For right now, I know that if I’m buying the supplement, I may be paying to make my health worse.”, which is like really a scary thing to think about. It’s a reality if we’re not testing. I know a lot of you will use the phrase, “Test, don’t guess.” We trademarked it. I’m not by any means going after people for using it. I think it’s great. I just wanted to always make sure that we could use it. Test, don’t guess though. Really, like if you’re just acknowledge the fact that if you as a person or for your family aren’t testing certain things, you’re guessing. Testing does refine your intuition. There’s no downside there. Just make sure you get a good consultation with someone with whatever test you choose to move forward with. That’s what I would say.

Ari: Barton, any final words you want to leave people with to wrap up and I guess let people know about your product line as well if you want to tell them about that or anything else you want to tell them about?

Barton: Oh, hank you so much. I think I’m just realizing as you say that I didn’t mention the name of that fertility product. That’s Upgraded Teas and Tom. That is super important for women as well as men. Pretty much everyone over 25 seems to have low testosterone these days. It’s unsurprisingly really important for becoming pregnant too. We’re doing a fertility trial. It’s not done yet. I can’t actually say on that and say is we had three people, three guys, different ages, 30 to 55 or so, take it for 90 days. We’re looking at five clinically studied ingredients, the right amounts of them, and such. We’re seeing that plenty of people improved from, for example, 600 to 900 total testosterone in 90 days, which is 50 percent. That’s incredible. A lot of, I’ve been surprised to know that a lot of my really fit female friends, they’re like just barely 30, are doing testosterone replacement. There’s an underlying root because if that’s you. Again, not wrong. You can keep doing that and supplement this as a or, another testosterone supplement, whatever works for you, I hope that’s helpful.

Ari: Yes. Let people know where they can find you, what your website is.

Barton: Yes, sure. Our website is

Ari: Barton, thank you so much for coming on the show. I hope to chat with you again and maybe you can let us know about the results of all those 10,000 hair tests when that comes back in. Maybe I’ll have you on again so we can discuss the details of that.

Barton: Yes, I would love that. It was really enjoyed the conversation. I hope this was helpful for people. Great questions, really thoughtful. Yes, great interview.

Ari: Thanks Barton, for coming on. Talk to you soon.

Show Notes

00:00 – Intro
01:40 – Guest intro
01:46 – Barton’s personal story
08:58 – The role of minerals in health
13:07 – The modern lifestyle – disease burden
21:35 – Why we need more minerals
24:40 – The key mineral deficiencies that affect health
27:14 – How to test for mineral imbalances
37:26 – The role of iron and ferritin in health
44:20 – The best mineral absorption method
49:14 – How nutrition becomes a diet, becomes personality
55:19 – Magnesium threonate and glycinate
1:00:00 – Minerals and fertility


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