Q. What is the hair tissue mineral analysis?
A. Hair tissue mineral analysis has emerged as the most practical method of testing for mineral imbalance. Your hair contains all the minerals present in your body, which in most cases, correlates with how much of these elements are in your tissues. Hair tissue mineral analysis is an analytical test that measures the mineral content of the hair. Uniquely, hair tissue mineral analysis analyzes the intracellular activity that can not be detected through most other tests. This provides a blueprint of the biochemistry occurring during the period of hair growth.
Q. Why use the hair?
A. There are several reasons. First, hair can easily and painlessly be cut and sent to the laboratory without special handling. Second, clinical results have shown that a sample can give an indication of mineral status and toxic metal accumulation following long term or acute exposure.
Q. Why test for minerals using the hair tissue mineral analysis?
A. Hair tissue mineral analysis tests for trace mineral content. Trace minerals are extremely important for proper metabolic functioning that is essential for optimal health. It is important that these minerals are in the body in their proper proportions.
Q. Did you know that….
A. Magnesium is required for normal muscular function, especially the heart. Deficiencies have been associated with increased incidence of heart attacks, nervousness and anxiety. Potassium is essential for normal nutrient transport in the cell. Deficiencies can result in muscle weakness, depression and tiredness. Even though adequate amounts of sodium are essential for normal health, excessive amounts are associated with hypertension. Zinc is involved with the production, storage and secretion of insulin and is necessary for growth hormones.
Q. What can cause a mineral imbalance?
A. There are many reasons for a mineral imbalance. They range from improper diet, stress, medications, pollution, taking the incorrect type of nutritional supplements and heredity.
Q. How can hair tissue mineral analysis help me achieve better health?
A. If you consider that diet is what we consume and nutrition is what we retain, then it can be seen that discovering what your body needs when it needs it is a valuable tool in creating health. As nutrition is linked to disease, doctors, nutritionists and dietitians routinely use hair analysis.
Q. Is hair tissue mineral analysis reliable?
A. Most definitely with a properly obtained sample. Highly sophisticated instruments and software programs allow for extensive quality control.
Q. What about contamination – hair dyes and soaps – won’t these affect my results?
A. Certain cosmetic hair treatments can contaminate scalp hair such as dyes that contain lead acetate, bleaching processes that artificially affect calcium, and medicated shampoos that contain zinc or selenium. However, only the individual element is affected. With interpreting and comparing test results to individual metabolic characteristics, their effects can be overcome.
Q. Does a blood or urine test tell me just as much as a hair tissue mineral analysis?
A. Absolutely not. Hair tissue mineral analysis results indicate the overall level of minerals over a period of time. On the other hand, blood tests give information about your mineral levels at the time the test was taken. If you have just eaten a banana, your test can indicate a high potassium level even though you may actually need potassium supplements. Also, urine tests test for what has been excreted from your body, not what is being retained. So, blood and urine tests are snapshots whereas hair tissue mineral analysis is a video of your mineral retention.
Q. Do I have to be sick or feeling bad before using hair tissue mineral analysis?
A. No. Hair tissue mineral analysis is widely used for people of all ages and every level of physical condition. Even though many people are in ill health, many people use the test for prevention of potential problems, monitor toxic metal exposure or fine-tune their nutritional needs. Hair tissue mineral analysis is routinely performed on world-class athletes who push their bodies to the limit, heads of government, and singers and actors whose careers depend on their physical well being.
Q. What does a hair tissue mineral analysis encompass?
A. Hair tissue mineral analysis is a simple, painless test. Hair samples are taken from the back portion of your head. These samples are sent to a laboratory for testing, where special acids are added to the samples to break down the hair. The acids combined with a high temperature environment will allow the separation of the elements contained in the hair protein. After the hair has been completely broken down, only mineral salts remain. These minerals are then analyzed by state of the art equipment.
Q. Why not just take a good multi-vitamin?
A. Even though vitamins and minerals are essential for good health, they might not always be helpful. Because of the complex interaction between the vitamins and minerals, it is essential to have vitamins and minerals in the proper proportion. Having too much or too little can have devastating affects on your health. So, by taking a multi-vitamin, you may be creating additional imbalances.
Q. Why not just eat three square meals a day?
A. Unfortunately, outside influences affect the quality of our food and our capability of absorbing the nutrition from the food. Other factors that affect the nutrient requirements include medication, activity or non-activity and genetic factors.
Q. How long will it take me to get my body balanced?
A. That is a tough question to answer. Imbalances in your body are caused by a lifetime of neglect that can not be corrected overnight. Also, as imbalances are corrected, underlying (not yet detected) imbalances may surface.
You must have patience! Your good health is worth the effort!
Q. How often should hair tissue mineral analysis be performed?
A. Hair tissue mineral analysis is a reliable tool to help you know and understand what is right for you. It can be done as often as every three to six months. It is up to you.
Q. How much does it cost to perform a hair tissue mineral analysis?
A. Hair tissue analysis cost approximately $125.00 The test comes with individual metabolic values, nutritional minerals and toxic heavy metal levels and ratios as well as what foods you should and should not include in your daily diet. The report can run as long as 20 pages of results, explanations and dietary and supplemental recommendations.
Q. How long after hair tissue mineral analysis is done are the results available?
A. Two weeks is the average length of time.
Q. How much hair is used and from what part of the scalp?
A. Hair is taken from the back of the head in a hidden area close to the scalp. Approximately three grams or only one inch from the scalp outward is needed.