My family has been using atom-sized minerals – rather than regular powdered minerals – since 2008. In 2010 (after testing them on myself for 2 years) I first told my readers about them. Other names for these super tiny minerals are: Angstrom, atomic, picometer, or nano-sized.

The reason we want to use these atom-sized minerals is that they are the ideal size and form for absorption and do not even require digestion. They can be absorbed through the lining of the mouth.

I’m super excited about this new QuikPlus line of minerals I’m formulating (for Imix Nutrition) and I spent a LOT of time researching my formulations. For example, for Bone Matrix, I looked at actual clinical trial data to determine not only which minerals were effective in building bone and remineralizing teeth, but also, what ratio of each mineral was ideal. I then cross-referenced these ratios with data gleaned from super healthy indigenous populations with no degenerative disease (thank you Dr. Weston A. Price) to see what ratios their food contained.

When you’re looking at mineral absorption and utilization, you have to look at the ratios of minerals in a blend, because if the ratio is wrong, the body can’t use or absorb the mineral properly. This study on copper/zinc as an autism predictor in utero is a great example of that.

QuikPlus minerals are not available yet (coming soon!) but here’s a sneak-peak at the front label for Bone Matrix – I think it’s my favorite Imix label ever:

Here are some other things I discovered while researching/testing these atom-sized formulations that I think everyone should know…

Why do I call them atom-sized?

I feel the most accurate term is atom-sized because the actual size of each mineral is the size of its atom. For example, a magnesium atom looks like this and has a diameter of 220 picometers:

Magnesium atom with its protons and neurons displayed (c) Friedrich C Luft ResearchGate.net

Now, technically, these minerals are not nano-sized – they are actually even smaller than that, since 1 nanometer = 1000 picometers. But sellers and marketers of these minerals are not always using the correct scientific terms, so then consumers get confused. But, the important thing to keep in mind, is that you cannot “break a mineral down to a smaller size” because a magnesium atom IS magnesium – if you broke the atom into a smaller size, then it would no longer be magnesium!

What’s the mineral source?

When choosing which atom-sized mineral supplement to use, it’s a good idea to look at where the minerals are sourced from. Many of the atom-sized minerals on the market are using raw material sourced from the Great Salt Lake in Utah. However, although scientists once believed the brine layer in the lake was effectively sequestering heavy metals, more recent studies show the opposite; that the chemistry of the lake is methylating mercury and making it available for absorption.

Since the heavy metals enter the lake through rain, stream, and river inflows, the concentration of metals in the lake will likely be shifting over time, and some mineral batches may be at higher or lower risk of contamination than others. The testing would have to be rigorous and obsessively frequent in order for safety to be guaranteed.

What’s in the bottle?

Another issue with atom-sized mineral supplements is that in addition to being poorly understood, they are also poorly or infrequently regulated. So how do you know whether the bottle actually contains what’s stated on the label? Of course, there are lab tests that can determine whether a mineral product is meeting its label claim, or not. But they are not cheap tests.

A good way to determine whether an angstrom or atom-sized mineral (or any mineral) is meeting label claim is to see how your body responds. If you are taking magnesium, for example, yet still getting a lot of muscle cramps, then either you are highly deficient, or the product doesn’t contain the amount it says it does.

This is what happened to me. You know that I use (or have used) every product we sell in the LYTG Shoppe. Now, I’m not going to name any names – because I only tested one product once – but I was taking a double dose of nano-sized magnesium for several months and still getting leg cramps. I also noticed that this particular brand of magnesium had virtually no taste. But 2 other brands of atom-sized magnesium I tried both had a strong taste and I had to dilute them in a fair amount of water to make them palatable. So then I upped the dosage of the tasteless magnesium I was taking, from double to 10x the recommended dose and voila! The leg cramps stopped.

At that point, I sent all the atom-sized magnesium products in the Shoppe for independent lab testing. And sure enough, that magnesium product was not meeting its label claim and thus we no longer carry it in the Shoppe.

So the first way to determine whether an angstrom, nano-size, or atom-sized mineral is meeting it’s label claim is by taste. If the mineral solution has virtually no taste, then that tells you it has extremely low levels of minerals. Are these low levels still helpful? You bet! But are you getting what you paid for? Not so much.

This was a big factor in motivating me to formulate my own line of mineral products. Knowing exactly what goes into the bottle and the ability to ensure that Imix Nutrition tests everything, allows me to rest assured that QuikPlus minerals meet the high standards I expect for my family and readers.

How does your body feel?

The second test is to see how your body feels. Have you noticed a change in related symptoms? If you’re taking a bone blend, has your bone density improved? If you’re taking an atom-sized iron, has your hemoglobin increased?

With atom-sized minerals, we have very little scientific data on what amounts we actually need. So that’s why it’s important to listen to your body and don’t be afraid to increase or decrease dosage as your body directs you to.

For the QuikPlus Silica, for example, I don’t take the same amount each time, and I don’t take it every day. I let my body guide me and I’ve got a great little indicator in my thumb joint! If the meaty part of my hand, where the thumb joins the palm, starts feeling weak or twinging, I know it’s time to take extra silica for a while – I take a double dose for the first dose (which usually solves the joint issue) and then a normal dose for 5-7 days in a row and then I usually go back to taking it sporadically, or just the amount present in the Bone Matrix blend for maintenance.

Well, hopefully this has given you a better understanding of these powerful health promoters and made the basic science a little less confusing.

I’ll be blogging more about the science of atom-sized minerals and a bit more about nanotechnology as we go along, so if you like to geek out on this stuff, stay tuned!