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What Does Your Hair Say About Your Health


Today’s episode is with Barton Scott, who is a both Chemical Engineer and Nutritionist by training.

Barton is the founder of Upgraded Formulas– A company focused on correcting mineral deficiencies with a new category of supplementation called Liquid Nano Minerals along with hair testing to increase health span, focus, sleep quality, and slow the process of aging.

Purchase Links

Korus members can purchase the hair test mentioned in the podcast at a special price here.


Hey, welcome to the podcast. Today I have a very interesting guest. We’re doing something that we’ve really never really talked about or done before, but think about your life and your wellness. Anytime you’re trying to do something you need to know how you’re doing and how you’re improving and what’s going on. You want to be a better putter. What are you going to do? First thing you’re going to do if you want to make better six foot putts. You’re going to go to the putting green and you’re going to make like 10, six foot putts and see how many make, right? You’re gonna see how many I made? 3 out of 10. All right, well that’s where I’m starting, that’s my baseline. Let’s see if I can go train or learn or something and see if I can make more than 3 out of 10. Right? So that’s kind of what we’re talking today only in relation to your health and wellness. How to figure out a baseline of how things are going. And my guest today on the podcast is Barton Scott. Welcome Barton.

Thanks Bryan. Happy to be here.

We’re going to talk about some interesting ways to test how you’re doing today. There’s things that, and I learned a lot in meeting and talking with Bart. Everybody’s had a blood test, every has been to the doctor and had the doctor draw blood. People probably have also had a urine test. Very common. You work with something that I had really not been familiar with before, but I find super fascinating for reasons that we’ll talk about which is hair and the story it tells.

That’s right. So hair really in a sentence is the best way to know your health is much better than blood. And we know that intuitively, we don’t test for these things, but we know that intuitively with big companies that do drug testing prescreened with hair instead of blood. It’s just a better source of information.

How did you first get interested in this whole area and what motivated you to start this?

Just like a lot of things, necessity is, is typically the driver. Uh, I was 25 at the time. I’d finished school as a chemical engineer. I was living here in Austin at the time and I had debilitating brain fog and I, you know, I was kind of on the path to becoming a nutritionist. You know, I studied nutrition from age of about 12 as an athlete, as a wrestler, and you’re always looking for a sustainable edge you could say. And I came across the hair testing because I just got really, really lucky and got introduced to a fantastic functional medicine doctor. And this was, you know, this is not today, this was, you know, what, six years ago, so that wasn’t as common even in a place like Austin as it is now. Just like you at the time, I’d probably found some blood tests, but, um, I really couldn’t figure out what was wrong because I was, I was fit. Heck, I have a six pack at the time, you know, I was low body fat, I had great relationships. I had a good job. Uh, I was eating a quote unquote good diet, very conscious diet and yet, you know, I just didn’t, I didn’t have it. Like I used to have it mentally, I would just just kind of space out and thoughts and have to write things down and it was miserable frankly. So that’s. This is, this is kind of chapter one of how the story begins.

What was the “A ha!” Moment that turned you onto understanding you’re not your best self even though someone might look at you and be like, wow, like you should be. You’re an athlete, right? You’re eating right. All these things like you should be amazing. How did you find this direction? Like what sort of led you in this direction to figure out how to, how to analyze and figure out what was going on.

I mean it, it started with a hair test then, and then that led pretty quickly too. All right. Now you know what is directly wrong with you at the time that’s fixable. Luckily from a mineral standpoint and from a heavy metal standpoint and how those, those interrelationships work. So I didn’t know any of that at the time. To me it just looked like a graph and some ancillary data, but in a few paragraphs and you know, it didn’t make much sense frankly, but luckily I had a really good person to interpret that for me. And then quickly thereafter I realized, well, okay, so how do we make these deficiencies go away? Because they’re not really going away at all. They’re not budging the levels as I retested with traditional mineral supplements. That was the impetus for, okay, so I have this background in chemical engineering, I have pretty good understanding of the nutritional space already, so how do we make products that actually use a different technology? I passed up an internship in nanotechnology at Cornell in undergrad, but I had done a lot of preparatory research already. Understood that. So this be kind of becomes a further down the line, um, you know, the impetus for starting the company. And then from there it’s a couple of trade secrets, but that’s, that’s the idea. It was just all right, how do we get things in a form (minerals that is) that absorb without needing to be digested and just kind of bypassing digestion, completely getting into not only the bloodstream, not only the blood cell in the blood stream, but the Mitochondria. If you can picture that inside the blood cells specifically. This is where, you know, ATP is produced and you need things like magnesium to produce ATP. You need magnesium to produce Melatonin, so you sleep deeply. This is how we begin from there is really where things start to speed along.

So you frequently I will read things about how people who take vitamins from the grocery store, the typical One A Day thing every day. The joke is like, it just gives you expensive pee, right? You’d mentioned trying to absorb these essential nutrients, the digestive system and your stomach is kind of a volatile environment, right? Like you’ve got acids in there, like all kinds of things, right? So maybe it’s a difficult place to absorb nutrients, but you’ve got a background in chemical engineering, like tell me like how, how, what’s the best way that your body can absorb some of these things and do, do the grocery store vitamins actually like work and then for the things that you took and did like how do they absorb and work in your body?

So if you want to get pretty technical, the size really matters of what you’re putting in your mouth, what you’re putting onto your tongue, what you’re rubbing on your skin. And the liver really acts as a reducing valve. The digestive system, like you said. I mean different acids. It’s super volatile. When we look at things in a lab and were able to measure with lasers the size of say traditional minerals, they in a number of different categories outside of this one, what you see is somewhere between 50,000 and 80,000 nanometers. How’s that compared to a red blood cell? Red Blood cells only about 10,000 nanometers in diameter. And that math isn’t going to work 50 to 80. That’s not going to fit inside 10. Right? So that’s really kind of something we’re looking at. And then when you look at ours, ours are between 1 and 10 nanometers so you can actually get into the cell and I really think this is just the beginning of, of a lot of things that you’ll see in nanomedicine. Um, you know, certainly I think nano nutrition’s going to lead that way, which is I think something I’m really proud of to be working on because it is much bigger than just just supplements. I think it’s drastically going to change the way we look at healing ourselves and far more advanced technologies and the medicine realm will be coming online before soon. I believe.

Picturing in my head a red blood cell at a certain size and then a zinc molecule that’s like 10 times as big as the red blood cell. There’s no way that it’s going to absorb something that’s like that big. So it’s really process manufacturing creates something that’s on a smaller scale. It can be absorbed by the, by the cells, by tissues or all the above.

That’s completely correct. Some people out there listening are probably thinking, well, what’s happening? How am I getting any nutrition if I’m not taking your product or this technology? And the answer is the liver is doing some work and because of that though, you’re only getting at the high end, about 20 percent absorption, 4-20% percent is the range of traditional supplements. So you can kind of multiply by 0.2, whatever it is you’re paying for, and then you kind of see the real cost of what you’re absorbing versus what you’re paying for. And it’s not great math. Uh, and it’s something that really frustrated me. And uh, you know, expensive urine, you see it, you go to the bathroom and you’re like, oh wow, bright green, I don’t know if I’m absorbing everything and also why is it bright green and why are these food colorings and in this product, why are these flavorings in this product? All of those things also really are deleterious to absorption. So that’s really the primary problem that we looked to solve.

So there’s lots of things that you can test about yourself. We talked about blood, talked about a urine test, you can spit in a tube and send back saliva. Um, if you’d done a genetics test, probably you swab the inside of your cheek or something and get some cells and get some tissue that you can send back to somebody and then, but the way that you and your company analyze these things is through hair. So. Oh, I forgot to mention about the poop samples, right? So, but, so how his hair different. What does it tell you? And how is hair different from sampling other parts to figure out what’s going on inside your body.

So it’s a great question and I think it’s something that a lot of people don’t fully understand, a really simple way to think of it is, you know, the hair is kind of like a dipstick and a car, which measures, you know, oil, life, quality of the hair is, you know, if you’re doing it and you can do scalp, you can do under arm, you can even do pubic hair with this testing. For those of you out there that don’t have, you know, maybe you have a shaved head or something. Basically the solution, the difference is that you get. So you get a vast amount of data to where you can see trends. With blood you really only get snapshots. So thinking of the difference between understanding someone’s day via video, which would be here versus just a snapshot here and there and really just one of that day. And now think about trying to understand that person’s life based on nutritional status based on a photo versus maybe watching a movie of the past year or past three months in this case of their life with blood. You see, you know, maybe the past two weeks of history a week or so and that can be drastically influenced, like, you know, if you go out drinking on Friday night, you go in Monday, those, those tests are going to be really influenced by your behavior in the last, you know, 72 hours or so. You may get a faulty diagnosis based on that. We’ve seen people that guys, for example, say that example that, uh, their testosterone is measured on that Monday after having a heavy night of drinking within the past few days. And they don’t think that that matters. So they don’t think to report that to the doctor. Maybe the doctor doesn’t necessarily know that not all doctors do certainly. And what happens, you get a diagnosis based on a data point instead of a trend. And you know, if you’re investing in a company, you don’t want to get a data point. If you’re investing in your health, you don’t want to just see a data point. You want to see the real, actual reality of what’s going on. Maybe you’re on your best behavior to knowing that subconsciously that you had a doctor’s appointment coming up so people don’t like getting bad news and I think it’s what’s really bad is having bad news based on and in actuality or in incorrect diagnosis. So we, we help with that.

What’s the average rate of a hair growth on your head?

Yeah, that’s, that’s a good question. Uh, it, it sort of varies, but what you can say is that people can take a hair test every, every 90 days for the most up to date information. And I think anything less than that would probably be a bit of a waste. Anything more than that is non optimal I would say.

So when you’re looking at the hair, you’re getting almost an average or a total of what’s been going on over a period of time rather than that snapshot of that day. They happen to take your blood or you happen pee in that cup.

Exactly, yeah. What you want is cumulative behavior.

So when the results come back from your hair test, what sorts of things is going to tell you?

So what you’ll see is you’ll see a full mineral panel and you’ll see and that includes also things that you may not be familiar with, like vanadium for example, incredibly important for blood sugar and insulin and yeah, people know chromium and zinc to lesser extent as being really crucial for those, those, for that area. But vanadium is really important and I mean good luck trying to request a vanadium test from your doctor. They’ll probably stare at you blankly. And uh, yeah. So to see that and to see it with accuracy is really, really great. And you know, you see other common things is that people are more familiar with magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium and you actually see what’s kind of, what the body is absorbing instead of what the body’s taking in. What I mean by that is you can have high or adequate levels of magnesium in your blood serum, but really what you need is you need to know what is going on in, in the Mitochondria, what, what’s going on in the cell. And hair is a reflection of that because it’s it’s living tissue that has been formed based on the cofactors and the minerals and the vitamins that you’ve put into your body. So the test doesn’t show vitamins, but it shows a idea of what the vitamins, what vitamin levels are like. Well, they could be like in your body. So the example is a say calcium. So if you’re very high in calcium and you’re supplementing vitamin D, probably a good chance based on some of your other things that you have going on. Of course we can’t say this with certainty unless we look at the full picture for the hair test for produces. But if you’re really high in calcium and there’s a I mean, and let’s say that’s depressing your magnesium level, that’s depressing your sodium level. That’s depressing your potassium level. It’s a good chance that you benefit despite the good things we’ve heard about vitamin D from not supplementing vitamin D for until your next test evaluation in the process, you’ll probably sleep better and have more energy.

I just saw a clinical study about vitamin D supplementation. They studied people over 25,000 people who had taken vitamin D, high levels of vitamin D supplements over time and they did not live any longer or have less diseases in terms of like cancer than people who didn’t. So for all the Vitamin D supplementation out there, it sort of showed, it’s probably not helping people anyway. So it’s amazing.

Yeah. And you make a great point there. Um, you know, so you also see heavy metals and really importantly heavy metal ratios to themselves. In other words, mercury to arsenic, arsenic the cadmium and things like that, but also to, to minerals and things like mercury can depress your iron levels, especially for women having periods and losing a lot of blood regularly. This can be deleterious to your health because you’re, you’re, I mean, iron is incredibly important for a lot of different functions. A lot of enzymatic functions in the body. What I want to say too is, you know, with say vitamin D the study you cited is too much of a good thing. What we realize is not a good thing. Uh, and the only tool out there that I’ve seen is a hair test for understanding this kind of multidimensional seesaw. That is our body. You know, if you load up on any particular mineral all by itself, that can be good for a while. If you have a deficiency there but really, you want a holistic approach which, you know, the, it’s not terribly surprising, but we forget that.

I was speaking with a friend recently who was describing the team recently figured out that she’d been on birth control pills through her twenties as a young woman. Her doctor never told her or nobody ever mentioned or never read about the fact that apparently over a long span these things deplete specifically like things like zinc and magnesium and your body kind of slowly over time. And so you, you know, 10 years later here you are with very low levels of these, some of the critical minerals in your body and you’re trying to figure out how to get your, just your body back in balance. I’d never even thought about the possibility of something of the side effects of some things you might take for long periods of time and, and what they do. So this would be a great way to sort of figure out where you are and how to, uh, how to get back. So there’s a to combat these things, there’s supplements that your company sells that can help to replenish these things. So once you take the test to understand what you need. Then there’s things that are available to help you.

Yeah. So that, that was, as I said with my own story was great. I was in this position where I knew the things I needed to fix, but I didn’t really have the technology to fix them. I knew this was a big pain point for, to solve for myself and for other people. And that’s, I think that’s been a big driving force for me is that I really don’t like seeing people suffer needlessly. That is, if something on me, it is that. So we, at this point, we have several products, uh, and throughout the course of this year we’ll be putting out more and more that solve those specific needs for people because it’s, yeah, it’s incredibly important and incredibly impactful. Whenever you kind of vanish those, those deficiencies, and in the wake of that, you know, you, you get the benefits that you’re looking for, you get the better sleep, you produce better hormone levels because really after a water, minerals are what drive everything. Not Vitamins, but minerals drive everything in the body. In fact, with when your body has adequate levels of minerals, you can make nearly all of the vitamins you need in your body. Now, I don’t recommend that, you know, obviously eating a balanced diet is incredibly important, but if you were to fast in a cave for a month, you could probably be kept alive on the water and minerals. I don’t recommend it and it certainly wouldn’t be fun, but it, it kind of shows you the, the life sustaining nature and how crucial and therefore how beneficial they are when you optimize those levels. And that’s really what we’re about. Like a “live optimally” it’s our slogan and I think I really believe that you can show up in life and be your best when you feel your best physically, that influences your emotional self, your intellectual self, everything.

And we always say this in the podcast, I’m not a medical doctor. You’re not a medical doctor. I think we’re all students of and trying to learn about what things work and there is always new information coming about from a fabulous research organizations that are doing studies all the time for things. So, uh, we always say work with your doctor to help create a plan for you. But it sounds like some phenomenal products that can help to understand what’s going on. It’s always great when somebody looks at you and says like, Oh, you really need to be doing this to get better. Right? But I don’t have an answer for that. But you seem to like figure that out. So it’s going great that there was a way to sort of measure what’s going on. And then based on what those things come back, then here’s ways to go fix that and make it better that aren’t as hard as changing your behavior, like eating better or going to the gym every day or getting more activity in your life For people changing behaviors is very, very difficult, at least in this case, to get those minerals of balance. It’s a relatively easy thing to do. Right? So this is a, how do you, how do you take these and absorb these and your body? Are they drops, pills, powders, potions, lotions, what is it, how is the product’s used?

So we use liquids, but we also… So we apply now technology to minerals to get them in a form that is stable and just completely bioavailable. That that’s really the way to go. If that science changes, then we’ll change our approach if it evolves then we’ll evolve or approach. But yeah, something on the order of beyond 99 percent, like 99 point nine, nine currently is what we’re seeing. I think it’s pretty incredible. I think there’s, there’s other places to look to optimize health and life. And, and that’s good enough, certainly.

I watched an interview with a doctor recently who was talking about how for many, many years, he believed that if people just had a balanced diet and the proper nutrition that they would not need to supplement their lives at all. And after more research and experience in working with people and patients, he had reversed his position on that. Right. And finally came to the belief that that some people should help out to supplement things that they’re low on and missing. So in, in western culture it is just really, really hard to eat healthy and to eat a balanced diet. And then even if you maybe had a perfect diet, perhaps you still might not have the things that you should have. And then we talked about heavy metals a bit, but continuing to read more and more about, uh, the bioaccumulation of heavy metals in our, you know, fish and then things that we’re consuming as well as other animal proteins. And even sometimes even plant based diets as well to stuff that gets sprayed or put on vegetables. There are still sometimes some heavy metals in the manure and those sorts of things.

Right? Yeah. And the soil too. I mean those are all really about certainly valid points and what we see too is that preindustrial area of era versus now you know, the soil unfortunately, you know, because I, people telling me that all the time, well you know, if I eat organic and you know, Bart, and I’m like, well that’s a great start. I certainly recommend you do that and I believe we, we really vote at the grocery store with, with our, with our wallet, with what we buy and you’ll see more and more healthy, good for the planet and good for you things out there and when we, when we do put my money towards that, but the soil itself, hopefully we’ll be able to reengineer that at some point. But as, as it stands right now, it just, it doesn’t have the levels of minerals, vitamins, things like that that it used to. And that’s not a, it’s not a great thing because you know, a lot of people will pull up the top 10 food list when they realize they are low manganese or something and that’s great. That’s a really good place to start, but it’s, it really is rolling the dice because you don’t know if the almonds, your eating or the spinach you’re eating has what it needs to have. And does it have other things like you mentioned. Does it have heavy metals? Does it have pesticides? Does it have hormone disrupting things and that doesn’t even get into the other things that affects the thyroid activity. Thyocyanites and so many other different things.

Well, this has been a wealth of information. Bart and I want to thank you for coming on the podcast and sharing the area that’s of interest to you and, uh, our Korus members can look forward to seeing your products in our communities and in our efforts starting, I believe like immediately or today or by the time this podcast hits. Thank you for coming on and sharing your knowledge with us.

Thank you Bryan. It’s a pleasure. Always looking to help people. That’s the mission.