Hair Mineral Tissue Analysis: Explored

Hair mineral analysis is useful in assessing nutrition imbalances and nutritional status. Hair mineral analysis is no indicative of the total body load of a mineral, heavy metal or nutrient, rather, it is suggestive of the metabolism of minerals within cells (Han, Lee & Kim, 2016).  Zinc is a mineral commonly tested using the hair mineral analysis method. Zinc is needed by the body to break down carbohydrates, support the immune system, support digestive function, aid in cellular defence, and plays a major role in wound healing. According to Han, Lee & Kim (2016) 95% of the zinc stored in our bodies is found within our cells. Minerals do not stay in our blood circulation for a long period of time, rather, they are absorbed and will accumulate throughout various tissues through blood; this firmly connects with hair follicle patterns. Hence, hair mineral analysis can be indicative of minerals absorbed by the body over a long period of time.

What are the benefits to hair mineral analysis?

  • Cost effective;
  • non-invasive; and
  • reliable.

What does a hair mineral analysis test?

It tests various minerals and heavy metals in the body such as:

  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Iodine
  • Chromium
  • Mercury
  • Arsenic
  • Aluminium
  • Cadmium

Why should I have a hair mineral analysis?

Minerals are essential for optimal body function. For example, iodine is necessary for thyroid function. Your thyroid gland is involved in hormonal regulation and metabolism. In Australia and New Zealand, iodine concentration is very low in the soils, where we grow our vegetables and where livestock graze. Thus, a deficiency can lead to symptoms, such as weight gain, fatigue, poor concentration/memory, and fertility issues.  A high level of mercury can displace iodine, interfering with thyroid function (The Australian Thyroid Foundation, 2017).

What causes mineral imbalances?

Many factors contribute to mineral imbalances. Some examples include:

  • Stress;
  • heavy metals;
  • pesticides and herbicides on conventional foods;
  • poor water quality;
  • lack of sleep;
  • lack of exercise; and
  • poor nutritional intake.

If you have been exposed to environmental contaminants, work in a chemically concentrated atmosphere, or are just curious to know what your mineral and heavy metal status is at present, contact Elevate on 9252 2225 today.

References

Han T, Lee J, Kim Y. Hair zinc level analysis and correlative micronutrients in children presenting with malnutrition and poor growth. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2016 Dec;19(4):259-268. Doi: 10.5223/pghn.2016.19.4.259.

The Australian Thyroid Foundation (2017). Retrieved from http:// https://www.thyroidfoundation.org.au/page/13/iodine-nutrition-iodine-deficiency.

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