What is a Hair Mineral Analysis?
A Hair Mineral Analysis (HMA) is a screening test that measures the mineral content of the hair. It does not diagnose any particular condition. It is a Vitality indicator.
Sixteen minerals and five toxic metals are measured to determine a biochemical blueprint of the body.
An HMA helps determine:
- Heavy metal toxicity: Toxicity from heavy metals can contribute to many
- metabolic disorders and symptoms like:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Metabolic rate: This helps determine the right food and supplements for you. If the metabolism is slow (known as slow oxidation) eating fats, even good ones like avocado, can cause problems. Fats slow metabolism down further unbalancing the body. On the other hand, eating fats for a fast oxidizer is beneficial and creates better energy balance.
- Macro Minerals and Trace Elements: These essential nutrients are needed for enzymes and hormones production and cell regeneration. Taking too many supplements, the wrong ones or not getting enough of the necessary nutrients can slow down the healing process. In some cases taking supplements can actually cause more damage than good.
- Adrenal and thyroid function. These two organs are the main energy-producing glands.Understanding how they affect the body at a cellular level is more accurately seen through the patterns in the HMA.
- Protein synthesis: How well your body is utilizing proteins to repair damaged tissue and produce the neccesary building blocks.
- Carbohydrate Tolerance: How well your body can digest carbohydrates. There is a strong correlation between your hair result and your blood sugar level. This correlation can help you see the trend towards diabetes, hypoglycemia, and being overweight and stop it before it happens.
- Current state of stress: Dr Eck correlated mineral patterns with Dr Hans Seyle’s general theory of adaptation. Each phase of physiological stress can be identified and managed. Using this knowledge and proper nutrition, it is possible to reduce many of the harmful affects of stress.
- Detoxification: The body’s ability to detoxify is a crucial element of survival. If toxins and waste are not removed they accumulate in the body. This accumulation can lead to a variety of chronic conditions and eventually death.
- State of Inflammation: Is a necessary function of the immune system. Due to diet, stress, and exposure to toxins a lot of people have over-active inflammatory responses. Chronic inflammation has a link to conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Auto-immune diseases:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Interpreting your results?
I use Analytical Research Labs Inc. and the work of Dr. Paul Eck and one of his students and associates Dr. Larry Wilson, to properly interpret and understand your HMA results
Dr. Paul Eck studied minerals for over 40 years until his death in 1996. Many great doctors and researchers influneced him.
A few of them are:
- Hans Seyle (The stages of stress and how they impact health).
- George Watson (Metabolic typing).
- Malvin Page (Balancing the stress and the relaxation response).
- William Albrecht (Mineral Balancing).
In his 40 years of research and clinical work, Dr. Eck analyzed over 300,000 different hair samples and wrote up the same amount of nutritional programs for medical doctors, dentists, chiropractors and lay people from all around the world.
Dr. Eck found distinct mineral patterns that, ninety-nine percent of the time, correlated with different health trends.
Why use an HMA over blood and urine tests?
A hair biopsy is a very stable, accurate and relatively cheap way of reading the mineral and heavy metal content in the hair. Blood and urine changes from moment to moment based on food and fluid consumption. Mineral blood levels are also much lower making it harder to get a more accurate reading.
Hair gives you a 3-4 month picture of what has taken place in the body at a cellular level.
Using blood hormone levels don’t always show what is happening. For example, the body may be producing enough thyroid hormone but that doesn’t mean the hormones are having the desired affect.
Thyroid function effects the mineral system in the tissues in very specific ways.
Seeing the mineral levels in your hair creates a bigger picture of what is happening.
There is a strong correlation between tissue in hair and the rest of the body .e.g. if you have high levels of calcium in your hair, there’s a good chance that there will be high levels of calcium elsewhere in the. (Calcium in your arteries and joints can cause arthritis and heart disease.)
Why is HMA a controversial test?
Hair Testing is a controversial topic[i] that is debated by the medical fraternity.
The real issue is not with the hair analysis itself, but in the way the test is done and interpreted. The method itself is a very accurate and reliable way to test for mineral and heavy metal content, when the samples aren’t washed[ii]. Some labs use an acid wash to clean the hair sample before testing. This affects the water soluble mineral levels resulting in inaccurate readings.
Mineral analysis, like the processes and machines used at Analytical Research Labs Inc., have been used for agriculture, mining, geology, environmental, veterinary[iii] and health science for decades now.
There was a 300-page review completed in August 1979, The United States Environmental Protection Agency reviewed 400 studies of hair mineral testing.
The Authors concluded that hair is a “meaningful and representative tissue for biological monitoring for most of the toxic metals.”
Despite the controvesy, Dr Paul Eck found ways to use hair analysis effectively to enhance health, improve energy and increase performance in his clients.
[ii] A 2001 study in the Journal of the AMA (Seidel, S. et al., Assessment of Commercial Laboratories Performing Hair Mineral Analysis, JAMA, 285(1) Jan 3:67-72.) concluded that the two laboratories that did not wash the hair, of which Analytical Research Labs was one of them, showed superb reliability.
[iii] A review of hair tissue analysis: An analytical method for determining essential elements, toxic elements, hormones and drug use and abuse Ghorbani Ahmad1 , Hasan Darmani Kuhi2 and Ardeshir Mohit2 1. Ph.D Candidate, Dept of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Guilan,Rasht, Iran 2. Assistant Professor, Dept of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran