Questions & Answers
What is Tissue Mineral Analysis (Hair Analysis)?
Hair tissue mineral analysis is unique in that it inexpensively provides information directly about cellular activity, which is the main site of nutritional metabolism. As important as vitamins are, they can do nothing for the body without proper mineral intake. Vitamins cannot function and are unable to be assimilated without the aid of minerals. Though the body can synthesize some vitamins, it cannot manufacture a single mineral.
Find out if you have toxic elements like Antimony, Aluminum, Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Lead, Nickel, Mercury, Strontium, Thallium, Tin and others in your system.
T.M.A. Hair Analysis is a valid method of screening, which measures the mineral content and heavy metal (toxicity) of the body’s tissue. If a mineral deficiency or toxicity excess exists in the hair, it usually indicates deficiencies or excesses within the body.
Hair is used as one of the tissues of choice by the US Environmental Protection agency in determining toxic metal exposure because: “The milk, urine, saliva and sweat measure the component that is absorbed or excreted. The blood measures the component absorbed and temporarily in circulation before excretion and/ or storage. The hair , nails and teeth are tissues in which trace minerals are sequestered and/or stored."
Since the structure of hair remains unchanged, the minerals are fixed in the hair. The levels in hair are not subject to change once that portion of hair has grown, so the analysis accurately provides concentrations of minerals that have accumulated in the hair tissue over the hair growth period, approximately the last 3 months.
Mineral content of the hair reflects the mineral content of the body’s tissues. Human head hair is a recording filament that can reflect metabolic changes of many elements over long periods of time and therefore can furnish a print out of post nutritional events.
In most cases, identification of the deficiency or excess can be corrected by diet changes, work practice changes, or by supplementation appropriate for your requirements.
How is your Hair analyzed?
Once your sample has arrived it is weighed and trimmed, then digested in a specific reagent to break down the hair structure. The sample is then aspirated into a highly sophisticated scientific instrument (Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometer).
An informative twelve plus page report is forwarded to you or to the practitioner in an easy to read graph style format showing various levels of nutrient or toxin imbalance in Mg% or milligrams per 100 grams of hair. This will show how your value relates to the normal or ideal reference range.
Is Hair Analysis A Valid Basis For Evaluation Of A Person's Chemistry?
Blood tests and urine tests obviously provide important information about a person's biochemical status, but they only evaluate the fluids in the body. However, the vast majority of biochemical functions actually take place inside the cells themselves. Of course, we cannot conveniently take snips out of the various organs of a person's body in order to evaluate what is going on in the cells, but there are cells conveniently available to us, the cells of the hair. Through extensive research and correlation of data, it has been established that there are reliable relationships between the levels of minerals in the hair and other tissues of the body. Thus, analysis of the mineral content of an individual's hair can provide us with a general 'blueprint' of the mineral content in the rest of the body's tissues. Since these minerals are crucial to the functioning of enzymes, hormones and other biochemical systems which sustain life, it is possible to read this 'blueprint' and see where metabolic patterns are deviating from normal.
Another benefit of hair analysis is that it may be used to assist the health care professional to pinpoint the development of metabolic dysfunctions often before symptoms manifest. While mineral imbalances in the body do eventually show up in the blood serum, they will not do so until the condition is so advanced that the individual is often experiencing overt symptoms. Tissue mineral analysis allows us to determine that an imbalance exists, before the imbalance begins to manifest disturbances on a symptomatic level. Therefore, the imbalance can often be corrected through nutritional therapy even before a person begins to suffer from metabolic symptoms.
Are There Any Special Requirements For Submitting a Hair Sample?
The accuracy and reliability of the test results and interpretation is based upon the laboratory receiving a properly collected hair sample that is clean and free from external contaminants. The ideal hair sample should be collected prior to subjecting the hair to any treatments such as bleaching, permanents, or dyes. This also includes the application of hair sprays, hair creams, gels and oils. Additionally, the hair should be washed within 24 hours of sampling and must be dry for at least 4 hours after shampooing.
There are several cautions and concerns regarding hair products. Most shampoos, rinses and conditioners do not contain metals and will not affect the accuracy of the analysis. However, medicated shampoos of concern are Selsun Blue (selenium) and Head and Shoulders (zinc). Grecian Formula contains lead and iron.
The hair sample should be cut as close to the scalp as possible and should be a maximum of 1.5 inches in length. The distal end of the hair longer than 1.5 inches should be discarded. The recommended location for collection would be the nape of the neck.
It is very important to place the hair sample in the sampling envelope provided before sending to the laboratory. Do not place hair samples in plastic baggies or aluminum foil. Do not tape or staple the hair sample to the scale or sampling envelope.
Do not mix different types of hair such as head hair with pubic hair or beard hair in the same sampling envelope. We strongly recommend using head hair only due to its consistent rate of growth. Pubic and other body hair should only be used if sufficient head hair is not available.
**Please Note--We can no longer accept hair samples from the following areas: New York, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or Sweden**
How Long Does It Take To Have My Hair Tested?
The laboratory procedure generally takes 2-3 weeks. An additional day may be needed if the sample requires the verification of a test result. Results are returned via the United States Postal Service and we use USPS Priority Mail Service when applicable. Kit price includes shipping. Return postage paid for US residents.