hTMA as an Analytical Method

Authors: Ghorbani Ahmad, Hasan Darmani Kuhi, Ardeshir Mohit - University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

A review Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis: An analytical method for determining essential elements, toxic elements, hormones and drug use and abuse.

Hair is formed from a cluster of matrix cells that make up the follicle. During the growth phase of the hair, metabolic activity is greatly increased, exposing the hair to the internal metabolic environment; extracellular fluids, circulating blood and lymph. As the hair reaches the surface, its outer layers harden, locking in the metabolic products accumulated during this period of hair formation, providing a permanent record of metabolic activity.

hTMA may also help to determine which supplements are required, and more importantly, what is not required in order to avoid nutritionally-induced deficiencies.

Determining the levels of the elements in the hair is a highly sophisticated analytical technique, when performed to exacting standards and interpreted correctly, it may be used as a screening aid for mineral deficiencies, excesses, and/or biochemical imbalances. Tissue mineral analysis (TMA) provides the veterinarian and trainer with a sensitive indicator of the long term effects of diet, stress, and toxic metal exposure. Most deficiencies in animals are brought about by altered relationships of minerals within the body. It has become evident that either the retention or loss of minerals by the animal is equally important as the nutrients consumed from the feed itself. Both appearance and performance can be greatly influenced by adequate tissue levels of essential nutrients due to their effect upon cellular function. Minerals are necessary for several important functions in the growing and mature horse, such as, formation of structural components, enzymatic co-factors, and energy transfer. They are also used in the production of hormones, vitamins and amino acids. Tissue mineral testing can aid in measuring mineral retention; it may also help to determine which supplements and feeds are required and more importantly, what is not required in order to avoid nutritionally-induced deficiencies or imbalances.

Conclusions and Recommendations

There are thousands of biochemical reactions that ultimately control your metabolism, digestion and the regeneration of body tissues. The vast majority of these reactions depends on certain trace minerals for their activity. If these minute amounts of essential minerals are not there to fuel the processes then your ability to regenerate, metabolize or breakdown noxious substances is compromised. While blood values inform the health professional what is in the blood, hair analysis provides a record of how the body stores and disposes of elements. The choice of hair as a testing medium is based on the fact that the blood chemistries change kaleidoscopically from day to day while the hair values give a more stable view of the overall mineral nutrition.

The choice to use hair as a testing medium is based on the fact that the blood chemistries change kaleidoscopically from day to day, while hTMA provides a more stable view of overall mineral nutrition.

One of the essential conditions for ensuring the realistic evaluation of excessive population exposure is the examination of sufficiently large population groups and the use of group diagnostics methodology in environmental epidemiology studies. The method of hair analysis appears to be ideally suited for use in pilot prospective studies. If an excessive exposure is detected it is recommendable that the epidemiological examination be completed by analyses of other biological materials, most often blood and urine, in order to obtain a closer specification of the degree of exposure in the respective population. Hair is the biological matrix of choice for the diagnosis of chronic drug-addiction or drug consumption at an earlier time. Hair can also be used to establish the chronological profile and the severity of drug consumption.

Tissue mineral analysis is a test that measures the mineral content of the hair. Mineral content of the Hair accurately reflects the mineral content of the body's tissue. If a mineral deficiency or excess exists in the hair profile it usually indicates a mineral deficiency or excess within the body. Minerals are essential in numerous functions for all phases of metabolism. Various mineral imbalances, as revealed by hair analysis can indicate metabolic dysfunctions before any symptoms occur. (Stress, Medications, Pollution, Imbalanced Ratios, Feeds or Supplements).

Also these findings suggest that some minerals such as arsenic, selenium, and probably iodine, zinc, sodium, and vanadium contribute to regulation of cancer and also that metallomics study using multiple logistic regression analysis is a useful tool for estimating cancer risk. Hair analysis of minerals is used not only for diagnostic purposes but also to monitor the nutritional state of the patient until treatment benefits are achieved and the effects of the program have been stabilized.

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The combination of feed ration and hair analysis is an invaluable screening tool to determine the correct program of diet and supplementation for each individual's specific needs. Never before has there been available such an accurate, scientifically valid guide to metabolic function and balance. Hair tissue mineral analysis is responsive not only to trace mineral levels in the diet but to all other factors which influence their metabolism including stress, exercise, endocrine and gastro-intestinal function.

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Source: International Research Journal of Applied and Basic Sciences © 2013, ISSN 2251-838X / Vol, 4 (11): 3675-3688

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