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Opposing and Synergistic Mineral Nutrients

Posted by on January 14, 2013

Some minerals oppose or fight each other and therefore are best taken separately. Minerals may be in opposition for the following reasons:

  • Certain opposing minerals are taken into our cells through the same receptors. They complete with each other for cellular absorption. Copper and zinc, for example, use the same cell receptors. Usually the receptors accept copper before zinc. Copper is taken into the cell while zinc gets locked out. Therefore taking a copper supplement may create a zinc deficiency unless zinc is also supplemented. The two minerals should be taken at different times of day to maximize utilization of each mineral. For the same reason calcium and magnesium should also be separated.
  • Some minerals oppose each other because when present together, they precipitate out of solution. Then the body cannot use them. The minerals taken into our cells need to be water-soluble.
  • At other times opposing minerals amalgamate. If the wrong minerals are combined, they form a gummy mess that the body cannot break down. The amalgamated minerals pass out of the body unused. Iron, for example causes amalgamation when combined with other minerals. Therefore iron should be taken at a different time than the other minerals.

Please note: Ideally opposing ionic minerals would be separated by taking them at least 30 – 45 minutes apart. That allows time for the body to take the first mineral into its cells before the second mineral arrives. Should it be impractical to delay between taking the opposing minerals, taking both at once is more advantageous than not taking them at all.

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While some minerals oppose each other, other nutrients are synergistic. Synergistic nutrients enhance each other’s functionality or help the body to utilize them. For instance iron could be added to orange juice. The vitamin C in the orange juice helps the body to assimilate the iron. Therefore vitamin C and iron are synergistic.


The following list is not all-inclusive. It was compiled by Annette Hasalone-Eve, N.D. as a guide to help us make informed decisions concerning nutritional supplementation.

Ionic Calcium Supplement at night as it tends to relax – opposes potassium and magnesium.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Absorption – Vitamins D and A, stomach acidity, and dietary protein.

Ionic Magnesium Supplement taken in the morning as it maintains nerve conduction – opposes calcium.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Absorption – Vitamin D, lactic acid, lactose, high dietary protein, and potassium is often synergistic with magnesium.

Ionic Potassium Supplement taken in the morning – opposes calcium.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Magnesium and zinc are synergistic.

Ionic Zinc Supplement taken in the morning as it opposes copper and calcium.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Magnesium, Vitamins A, D, E, B6, high dietary protein.

Ionic Copper Supplement taken at night as it opposes zinc.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Proteins

Ionic Phosphorus Supplement taken in the morning as it opposes calcium.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Sodium, potassium, Vitamin D, and parathyroid hormones.

Ionic Sodium Supplement taken either morning or night.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Glucose, manganese, chromium, Vitamin C, E, and B-complex.

Ionic Chromium Supplement taken either morning or night.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Insulin, glucose, magnesium, Vitamin B6, zinc, manganese, oxalates, salicylates.

Ionic Iron Supplement taken in the morning hours away from other nutrients.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Vitamin C, acid food, animal proteins.

Ionic Manganese Supplement taken in the morning – opposes calcium and copper.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Zinc, choline, Vitamin K.

Ionic Molybdenum Supplement taken in the morning – opposes copper.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Iron, sulfur enzyme reactions.

Ionic Selenium Supplement taken in the morning – opposes copper.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Vitamin C and E, glutathione, amino acids, peptides, proteins.

Ionic Sulfur Supplement taken in the morning – opposes copper.
Synergistic Nutrients:
Molybdenum, and Vitamin B-complex.

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