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Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), is an analytical test which measures the mineral content of the hair. Clinical results have shown that a properly obtained sample can give an indication of mineral status and toxic metal accumulation following long term or even acute exposure. A HTMA reveals a unique metabolic world: intracellular activity and tissue mineral imbalances, which cannot be seen or detected through most other tests.

Why test for minerals? Trace minerals are essential in countless metabolic functions in all phases of the life process.

For instance 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 heart attacks, anxiety and nervousness. Potassium is critical for normal nutrient transport into the cell. A deficiency can result in muscular weakness, depression and lethargy. Excess sodium is associated with hypertension, but adequate amounts are required for normal health.

Q. What can cause a mineral imbalance?

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-per spirants (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.

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis is a non-intrusive health screening tool for measuring your body’ mineral and heavy metal (mineral) status. Heavy metal overload inparticular can highlight the cause or one of the major factors underpinning your current malaise and other symptoms of sub-par health. The information can then help you or your practitioner to treat these imbalances through a nutritional program designed to meet your specific individual nutrient requirements.

You are more likely to detect the early stages of heavy metal poisoning and other mineral imbalances well before any abnormalities are seen via regular blood testing. For example;  1-2 months after acute lead or mercury poisoning, elevated toxic metal blood levels may be undetectable. This is because the body removes the toxic element from the blood as a protective measure and deposits into tissues like the intestine, liver, bones teeth and hair.

The Health Detective uses these results in conjunction with other blood chemistry panels to get a more comprehensive picture of your health.