Minerals are sometimes called the ‘sparkplugs’ of the body. They are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, facilitators, inhibitors and as part of the enzymes themselves.
A specific class of minerals, the toxic metals, are also extremely important today due to a nutritionally depleted food supply and the presence of environmental toxicity almost everywhere on planet earth. Studying toxic metals is thus very important today to monitor their spread and learn about their many damaging effects upon the bodies of human beings, animals, plants and other organisms.
Even more can be learned about human and animal health by studying the ratios of the major minerals in the body. This is a more complex area, but a very important and fruitful one. Finally, by studying more complex patterns of minerals in the body, one can learn even more about human health and disease.
Hair makes an excellent testing material for many reasons:
- The most important reason is that it works for nutritional balancing assessment.Exactly why it works, and why other tests such as those with blood, urine, muscle testing or electronic machines do not work, I don’t know. However, we have not been able to duplicate the hair test results using these other methods of testing the body.
- Simple and non-invasive. Sampling is simple and non-invasive.
- A stable biopsy material. Hair is a stable biopsy material that remains viable for years, if needed. It also requires no special handling, and can be mailed easily.
- Easy to measure mineral levels. Mineral levels in the hair are about ten times that of blood, making them easy to detect and measure accurately in the hair.
- Rapidly growing tissue. Hair is a fairly rapidly growing tissue. This enables one to obtain a recent biochemical picture of soft tissue metabolism.
- A non-essential, excretory tissue. The body often throws off toxic substances in the hair, since the hair will be cut off and lost to the body. This is very helpful to identify toxic metals, for example, and other things.
- Wide variation in the readings. Mineral levels are kept relatively constant in the blood, even when pathology is present. This must be done because blood touches all the body tissues, and too much variation is dangerous. This is the reason many people have normal blood tests even when they are quite ill.
Hair minerals do not circulate, and pose no threat to the body. Values often vary by a factor of ten or much more, making measurement easier and providing a tremendous amount of accurate knowledge about the cells and the soft tissue of our bodies.
- Easier detection of toxic metals. Toxic metals are easier to detect in the hair than in the blood. The body quickly removes toxic metals from the blood, if it can. For this reason, most toxic metals are not found in high concentrations in the blood, except right after an acute exposure.
In contrast, many toxic metals accumulate in the soft tissues such as the hair because the body tries to move them to locations where they will do less damage.
- A longer-term reading. Hair testing provides a long-term reading, while blood tests and urine tests provide a more instantaneous reading of the body. Both types of readings have value. For example, blood tests can vary from minute to minute, depending upon one’s diet, activities, the time of day and many other factors. This is beneficial in some instances, but is often less helpful when seeking an overall metabolic reading. At this time, (2015) blood tests do not work for nutritional balancing assessment.
- Cost-effective, accurate and reliable. Advancements in computer-controlled mass spectroscopy and other technologies have rendered the hair mineral biopsy an extremely cost-effective, accurate and reliable test when it is performed well. The US federal government licenses all hair mineral testing labs in this nation, and similar programs assure quality in other nations, as well.
What hair mineral measures
The test only measures minerals. They are locked into the hair as it grows. One can assess:
- Mineral levels
- Mineral ratios
- Simple patterns
- Complex patterns
- Changes over time and the rate of change - By comparing two or more tests when a person has followed a nutritional balancing program, one can discern changes over time of the levels, ratios, simple patterns and complex patterns. One can also discern the rate of change of all these.
Sample hair requirements
Preparing your hair sample - If the hair has been bleached or permed, none of the treated hair should be included in the sample for analysis. If the treatment has been carried out recently, a period of 12 weeks should be allowed to elapse before sampling. You may continue to take nutritional supplements, which will not factitiously distort the hair results.
Hair specimen requirements - Hair should be cut from the back of the head, or nape of the neck, as close to the scalp as possible. At least 0.5gm of hair is required, which is about one heaped tablespoon full. Only hair up to 1½“ (4cm) from scalp can be used. Please allow for this when the hair is long by sending in a larger total sample, for example 2 tablespoons-full of hair.