WHAT IS HAIR ANALYSIS?
Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), is an analytical test which measures the mineral content of the hair for recognition of synergistic and antagonistic interrelationships between minerals and vitamins in the body. Each test report will provide the most complete and comprehensive evaluation and discussion of significant mineral levels, ratios and toxic metals as tested in the hair. Included (below) is a listing of individual foods and food groups that would be beneficial to eat or avoid in accordance with food allergy indicators and individualized metabolic requirements.
HOW DO YOU DO A HAIR ANALYSIS?
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 DO I NEED TO KNOW WHAT MY TRACE MINERAL LEVELS ARE?
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 conditions, 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.
In the words of the late author and noted researcher, Dr. Henry Schroeder, 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.”
WHAT CAN CAUSE A MINERAL IMBALANCE?
There are many factors to take into consideration, such as:
Diet – 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.
Stress – Physical or emotional stress can deplete the body of many nutrients while also reducing the capability to absorb and utilize many nutrients.
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.
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.
Minerals interact not only with each other, but also with vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Minerals influence each of these factors, and they, in turn, influence mineral status. Minerals act as enzyme activators, and vitamins are synergistic to minerals as coenzymes. It is extremely rare that a mineral disturbance develops without a corresponding disturbance in the synergistic vitamin(s). It is also rare for a disturbance in the utilization or activity of a vitamin to occur without affecting a synergistic mineral(s).