Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is a standard test used by the EPA to assess heavy metal exposure, and is widely recognized as an accurate indicator of the ratios of elements playing a key role in metabolism. As a test for the absolute values of minerals active in cellular metabolism it may be less accurate, but the ratio information is what is required to assess metabolic function. Hair essentially creates a journal or log of these ratios over time, and a typical tissue sample may contain 6 weeks of metabolic activity. This contrasts with mineral testing in blood or urine, which captures current metabolic ratios, which will change over the course of a day or week. There are many conditions that that blood and urine tests are excellent diagnostic tools for, but capturing long term averaged metabolic function is not one of them.
Heavy metals such as Mercury, Lead and Uranium are easily seen in hair samples. This is a good pre and post test for undertaking a mild to clinical detox protocol. A mild detox may be as simple as adding Chlorella to your diet with meals, to a clinical detox involving Chelation therapy. HTMA is inexpensive enough ($250.00 retail, $125.00 for clients) so that it is relatively affordable to monitor your progress with follow up tests.
Metabolic Minerals Analysis
This is an evolving technology based on our understanding of how minerals are used in our systems in conjunction with an ever expanding set of data correlating symptoms with the ratios of metabolically assimilated minerals such as Calcium and Potassium. Trace Elements Inc. has acquired a database of over 300,000 tissue sample tests which they have accumulated since the early 1980’s and which have been correlated with symptoms. (The actual tissue is destroyed in the testing) Although this is an informal study, it is one of the largest privately or publicly funded data sets available. With this data they built an automated system linking many common health imbalances and the hair sample mineral ratios. The six week log of metabolic activity in a hair sample captures the essence of many different conditions that interfere with overall health and vitality. Examples of the types of symptoms that can be seen in the results are adrenal exhaustion, sluggish metabolism, poor digestion, anxiety, sleep issues, depression, etc.
A comprehensive discussion of this subject can be found here:
Common Mineral Ratios and Their Relationships
HIGH CALCIUM/POTASSIUM (Ca/K) RATIO
High calcium relative to potassium will frequently indicate a trend toward hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). The mineral calcium antagonizes the retention of potassium within the cell. Since potassium is necessary in sufficient quantity to sensitize the tissues to the effects of thyroid hormones, a high Ca/K ratio would suggest reduced thyroid function and/or cellular response to thyroxine. If this imbalance has been present for an extended period of time, the following symptoms associated with low thyroid function may occur: fatigue, depression, dry skin, overweight tendencies, constipation, cold sensitivity
|The Strands of Health|
|Trace Elements and Other Essential Nutrients|
|How Hair is Analysed:The sample is heated in a vacuum to a point where the individual elements shed energy by glowing. Each element glows at a specific frequency. The light from the elements is sent through a prism where it is separated into the individual frequencies. The points in the graph are those frequencies and the corresponding elements. The height of the points equals the relative quantity of the element, and it is therefore simple to calculate the ratios of elements in the sample. It is the ratio information that is most interesting for metabolic analysis and which is most accurate from this type of test, as absolute values will vary depending on the non-tissue weight of the sample (conditioners etc.)||