Introduction To Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
A hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) is a screening test that measures the levels of twenty-one minerals and toxic metals present in a sample of hair. Minerals are the “spark plugs” of life and play many important health related roles within the human body. Providing a “window into the cells”, hair makes an excellent biopsy material and reveals a clear record of mineral metabolism. Hair, like all other body tissues, contains minerals that are deposited as the hair grows. Although the hair is dead, the minerals remain as the hair continues to grow. The minerals and toxic metals are locked inside the hair during the growth stage as the body uses it for the storage and elimination of minerals.
A hair tissue mineral analysis reflects long term metabolic activity as it measures an average of mineral accumulation over a three month period of time. This is often an advantage as the test results are not influenced by day-to-day variations in body chemistry due to stress, diet, or other factors. Creating a blueprint of one’s individual biochemistry, a hair tissue mineral analysis can assist in identifying mineral patterns which may be associated with stress, blood sugar and carbohydrate imbalances, metabolic rate, biochemical energy production, and glandular imbalances. Hair tissue mineral analysis is used worldwide to measure environmental contamination with toxic metals in the soil, plants and human and animal populations.
Screening tests (like all tests) do have limitations and ideally should be used in conjunction with other laboratory tests, medical histories and physical examinations. This test is provided to assist the health care professional in identifying nutritional and toxic elements that play a role in human health. The contents of this analysis are not intended to be diagnostic.