Did you know that may symptoms such as headaches, allergies, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, weakness, arthritis, and many more, are associated with mineral and vitamin deficiencies or excess of those? So next question would be how can we determine what is our mineral status?
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis one of the most reliable and accurate ways to evaluate what nutrition is retained by our bodies. Hair contains most minerals present in a body. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis helps to evaluate internal environment by measuring levels of nutritional minerals as well as toxic metals load.
“Trace Minerals are more important than are the vitamins, in that they cannot be synthesized by living matter. Thus, they are the basic spark-plugs in the chemistry of life. On which the exchange of energy in the combustion of foods and the building of living tissues depend”
– Dr. Henry Shroeder, MD
WHAT IS HAIR TISSUE MINERAL ANALYSIS?
Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), is an analytical test which measures the mineral content of the hair. The sampled hair, obtained by cutting the first inch and one half of growth closest to the scalp at the nape of the neck, is prepared in a licensed clinical laboratory through a series of chemical and high temperature digestive procedures. Testing is then performed using highly sophisticated detection equipment and methods to achieve the most accurate and precise results.
WHY USE THE HAIR?
Hair is an ideal tissue for sampling and testing. First, it can be cut easily and painlessly and can be sent to the lab without special handling requirements. Second, clinical results have shown that a properly obtained sample can give an indication of mineral status and toxic metal accumulation following long term or acute exposure.
A HTMA reveals a unique metabolic world – intracellular activity, which cannot be seen through most other tests. This provides a blueprint of the biochemistry occurring during the period of hair growth and development.
Hair is used for mineral testing because of its very nature. Hair is formed from clusters of specialized cells that make up the hair follicle. During the growth phase, the hair is exposed to the internal environment such as blood, lymph and extracellular fluids. As the hair continues to grow and reaches the surface of the skin its outer layers harden, locking in the metabolic products accumulated during the period of formation. This biological process provides a blueprint of dynamic mineral patterns and nutritional metabolic activity that occurred during 3-4 months period.
The precise analytical method of determining the level of minerals in the hair is highly sophisticated and may be used as a screening tool for determining mineral deficiencies, excesses and imbalances.
- Thirty to forty days following an acute exposure, elevated serum levels of lead may be undetectable. This is due to the body removing the lead from the serum as a protective measure and depositing the metal into such tissues as the liver, bones, teeth and hair.
- Calcium loss from the body can become so advanced that severe osteoporosis can develop without any appreciable changes noted in the calcium levels in a blood test.
- Symptoms of iron deficiency can be present long before low iron levels can be detected in the serum.
Hair is used as one of the tissues of choice by the Environmental Protection Agency in determining toxic metal exposure. A 1980 report from the E.P.A. stated that human hair can be effectively used for biological monitoring of the highest priority toxic metals. This report confirmed the findings of other studies in the U.S. and abroad, which concluded that human hair may be a more appropriate tissue than blood or urine for studying community exposure to some trace elements.