Update: 25 June 2017

Hair Analysis and Blood Analysis

Source: Trace Elements Laboratory

How hair analysis differs from blood analysis, and the value and application of each.

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.

Benefits of hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (hTMA)

  1. Hair is invaluable in the assessment of toxic metal levels. (Recommended by the EPA.)
  2. Hair can be sampled more quickly and easily than blood, using a safe non-invasive method.
  3. Unlike blood, hair is less susceptible to reactive homeostatic mechanisms that affect trace element levels.
  4. Long-term deviations of mineral retention or losses are more easily detected in hair than blood.
  5. Concentrations of most elements in the hair are significantly higher than blood and other tissues.
  6. Hair provides a record of past as well as present trace element levels, i.e. biological activity.
  7. Hair provides information of substances entering from the blood serum and external sources.
  8. hTMA is more cost-effective than mineral testing through other means.

hTMA Advantages over Serum Bloood Test

Hair is an ideal tissue for sampling and testing. It can be sampled easily and painlessly by the patient at home, without the need for a physician. The sample can be sent to the lab without special handling requirements. Clinical results have shown that a properly obtained sample can give an indication of mineral status and toxic metal accumulation following chronic or acute exposure.

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. Examples include:

The Value of Testing for Minerals

Trace minerals are essential in countless metabolic functions in all phases of the life process.

Zinc is involved in the production, storage and secretion of insulin and is necessary for growth hormones. Magnesium is required for normal muscular function, especially the heart. A deficiency has been associated with an increased incidence of abnormal heart condi tions, anxiety and nervousness.

Potassium is critical for normal nutrient transport into the cell. A deficiency can result in muscular weakness, mild depression and lethargy. Excess sodium is associated with hypertension, but adequate amounts are required for normal health.

Trace elements (minerals) are more important factors in human nutrition than vitamins. The body can manufacture many vitamins, but it cannot produce necessary trace minerals or get rid of many possible excesses.Dr. Henry Schroeder

What can cause mineral imbalances?

There are many factors to take into consideration, for example:

Diet and Nutrition
Improper diet through high intake of refined and processed foods, alcohol and fad diets can all lead to a chemical imbalance. Even the nutrient content of a healthy diet can be inadequate, depending upon the soil in which the food was grown or the method in which it was prepared.
Stressors
Physical or emotional stress can deplete the body of many nutrients while also reducing the capability to absorb and utilize many nutrients.
Pharmaceutial Medications
Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can deplete the body stores of nutrient minerals and/or increase the levels of toxic metals. These medications include diuretics, antacids, aspirin and oral contraceptives.
Toxicity and Pollution
From adolescence through adulthood the average person is continually exposed to a variety of toxic metal sources such as cigarette smoke (cadmium), hair dyes (lead), hydrogenated oils (nickel), anti-perspirants (aluminum), dental amalgams (mercury and cadmium), copper and aluminum cookware and lead-based cosmetics. These are just a few of the hundreds of sources which can contribute to nutrient imbalances and adverse metabolic effects.
Nutritional Supplements
Taking incorrect supplements or improper amounts of supplements can produce many vitamin and mineral excesses and/or deficiencies, contributing to an overall biochemical imbalance.
Inherited Patterns
A predisposition toward certain mineral imbalances, deficiencies and excesses can be inherited from parents.
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