Hair provides a record of past and current trace element levels.
Unlike blood, hair is an inert substance that consists of a fibrous protein and trace elements. As hair grows, nutrient and toxic elements are deposited from the blood stream into the hair follicle and hair shaft. Once a trace element has been incorporated into the hair, it remains fixed.
Sample taking is painless, and sample shipping is not timely.
Hair analysis testing requires meticulous sample preparation, during which the sample is freed from external contaminants. Sample analysis is performed using the same instrumentation and criteria as laboratory diagnostics require for metal testing of blood and urine.
Hair analysis, when properly performed, is a reliable measure of tissue levels. Source: Jenkins DW. Toxic Metals in Mammalian Hair and Nails. EPA Report 600, 1979.
Hair analysis suggests that high lead levels from a medical procedure killed Beethoven.
To measure hair metal values reliably and with good reproducibility, the following criteria must be met:
Hair samples do not have to be washed before submitting to testing. We enforce strict washing procedures with metal-free solutions. We follow a multiple validation process to assure analytical results and we double-test when unusual results are noted.
Hair mineral analysis to define past or low level chronic exposures
Hair mineral analysis (HMA) reflects how efficiently the root was nourished (or intoxicated) via the blood stream. As long as metals circulate, hair tissue will be supplied.
This feeding and storing mechanism continues over time. Therefore, hair mineral levels reflect how well or poorly the hair tissue was supplied over time. While blood and urine testing reflects the present metal status only, HMA values indicate what happened over time.
The metal concentration in blood or urine only correlates with hair values when an immediate metal exposure exists.