Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis - An Essential Tool For Better Health
Toxic mineral levels in the environment are rising and nutritional deficiencies are widespread due to the typical western diet. Therefore, assessing an individual's mineral imbalances and toxic mineral excesses is an increasingly important tool to understand many wellness issues. To address this need, MediScan offers Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). HTMA can provide important insights into nutritional approaches, supplementation requirements and can help predict time periods for nutritional supplementation. HTMA is now widely used by practitioners from many modalities who find HTMA assessment extremely useful in cases where no single cause for nutritional effects could be determined, as well as in cases where multiple causes act in synergy.
Why Use BioTrace & MediScan?
Naturopaths at BioTrace are specially trained in reading and analysing hair mineral levels. We provide the healthcare practitioner with one-on-one support and important insights into treatment strategies for conditions relating specifically to the client. We have also developed a safe and effective way of balancing minerals, detoxifying and chelating toxic metals (intracellular and extracellular) from the body with natural nutrients, whilst providing the body with excellent nutritional support to minimise free radical damage and reduce detoxification symptoms. MediScan tests are performed at a respected independent laboratory at the University of Western Australia. Hair samples are processed through two separate spectrometers giving more accurate readings across the total elements. Additionally this laboratory specialises in mineral analysis. The HTMA is processed by staff holding a high degree of qualifications and quality processes within the laboratory are rigorously applied.
What is Hair Analysis?
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is an analytical test that measures the mineral content of the hair. Interpreted correctly, hair analysis may provide indications of mineral imbalances, deficiencies, and excesses of many essential and toxic elements.
What Minerals are Tested For?
HTMA measures most of the significant nutrient minerals including; calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc, iron, selenium, chromium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, cobalt and boron. The HTMA detects toxic minerals (toxic metals) including; lead, mercury, aluminium, uranium, arsenic, antimony and cadmium. The test indicates if the minerals are low, normal or high, but more importantly, it indicates whether they are in balance. When read by a trained professional HTMA can show mineral disruption caused by toxic minerals.
Why Use Hair?
Hair is an ideal tissue for sampling and testing — it can be cut easily and painlessly and can be sent to the lab without special handling requirements. Investigators in Japan, Germany, Sweden, Canada and the United States have shown that concentrations of elements in the hair provide an accurate and permanent record of exposure. Hair is used as the tissue of choice by the US Environmental Protection Agency in determining toxicity levels.
Why Not Use Blood?
Blood analysis is useful for determining porphyrin levels related to specific toxic minerals in cases of recent exposure. After 48-72 hours of acute exposure to a toxic mineral there will be a very low to nil level found in the blood, this is due to the body storing toxic minerals in the tissues. Blood is not useful to determine body levels of essential trace elements. This is because blood is a transport medium that moves nutrients to specific locations around the body, therefore the levels of nutrients found in the blood frequently change. In the presence of a deficiency, the body will rob essential minerals from storage sites therefore a blood test may show a result that's within the normal range but the actual tissue level may be a lot lower. This is why changes in your mineral levels show up in your blood last. Hair analysis on the other hand reveals the current intercellular levels, this is important as it is inside the cells where most of the biochemistry takes place.
How is the Hair Sample Collected?
Sample of hair (up to 5cm long) are cut close to the scalp from the occipital region of the head. Ceramic or good quality stainless steel scissors are recommended to avoid contamination of the hair.
Do I Need to See a Doctor?
The results from the hair analysis need to be interpreted along with other test results, patient history, and other relevant information. At BioTrace we have specially trained Naturopaths to do this. They will individually communicate with the practitioner and/or client as required and write up a specialised report for the client to include mineral discussion, diet advice, supplement recommendations, and a mineral balancing and toxic metal detoxification protocol.