Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is a non-intrusive nutrient and toxic (heavy metal) element health screening tool, that measures the body’s mineral status. This information helps highlight potential health issues and helps treat them via nutritional supplementation designed to meet your health requirements.

Minerals are essential for growth, healing, vitality and wellbeing. They provide structural support in bones and teeth and maintain the body’s acid-base balance, water balance, nerve conduction, muscle contraction and enzyme functions; minerals participate in almost every metabolic process in the body.

Ideally, we should get all our mineral requirements from a balanced diet. However, a vast majority of our soils are depleted of these minerals, due to a multitude of factors. Environmental toxins, chemical food additives and stressful lifestyles also have an adverse negative effect on our optimal nutritional status.

Although, we can test minerals via our blood, when we measure them this way, it provides a current snapshot of what minerals are being transported around the body. But does not accurately measure minerals stored in tissue. The body’s homeostatic mechanisms provide safeguards to prevent significant mineral loss and/or toxicity. Therefore, to maintain mineral stores essential for body functioning, the body borrow mineral from other areas of the body such as your bones and muscles. Likewise, to prevent toxic minerals (esp. heavy metals) from poisoning the body and causing chronic illness it stores them away in our body tissues such as hair, nails, body fat; in addition to trying to eliminate them as waste through our emunctories (kidneys, liver, skin).

For example, about 30 – 40 days after acute lead poisoning, elevated serum lead levels may be undetectable. Due to the body removing lead from the blood as a protective mechanism, and deposits it into tissues such as the liver, bones, teeth and hair.

Iron deficiency symptoms are present long before low serum levels are detected because the body depletes stored iron, in order to maintain normal iron levels to support the body’s optimal functioning. Thus, ailments become apparent when your body is struggling to maintain homeostasis.

Mineral imbalances may occur due to:

  • Improper eating habits – Fad diets and diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, salt, alcohol, and saturated fats, can lead to mineral deficiencies and excesses. Mineral contents of a healthy diet can be deficient if fruit and vegetables are grown in nutrient-poor soil.
  • Stress – Physical and emotional stress can cause mineral imbalances; especially, B-complex vitamins, zinc and magnesium are significantly depleted. Likewise, stress activates your body sympathetic mode, preventing your body from absorbing nutrients from food. Athletes often require larger amounts of vitamins and minerals due to the stress they put their body through.
  • Medications – Many deplete the body’s store of nutrient minerals and can increase levels of toxic minerals. Medications such as, diuretics, oral contraceptive pill, antacids and aspirin can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
  • Pollution – Toxic minerals such as lead, mercury and cadmium can interfere with nutrient mineral absorption and increase mineral excretion. Toxic minerals build up in our body via air pollution, car exhaust, cigarette smoke, unfiltered water, dental amalgams, copper and aluminium cookware, hair dyes and antiperspirants. Toxins have also entered the food chain, contaminating some of our foods, thus it is almost impossible to avoid some exposure to toxic minerals.
  • Genetic and Individual factors – A predisposition to certain mineral imbalances, deficiencies and excesses can be inherited from our parents. Some individuals can inherit prerequisites that require greater quantities of certain nutrients to maintain optimal health.
  • Nutritional supplements – Supplements can lead to mineral excesses and deficiencies. For example, excess calcium intake can cause phosphorous and magnesium deficiency. Continued magnesium deficiency increases sodium levels and eventually causes vitamin A deficiency.

Conditions Affected by Mineral Imbalances

Acne

Fatigue

Macular degeneration

Allergies

Hair loss & Poor nails

Memory problems

Alzheimer’s disease

Headaches

Migraines

Anaemia

High Blood Pressure

Mood swings

Anxiety

Hormone imbalance

Muscle cramps

Arthritis

Hyperactivity

Osteoporosis

Atherosclerosis

Hypercholesterolaemia

PMS

Cardiac conditions

Hypoglycaemia

Prostate disorders

Dental problems

Immune impairment

Skin problems

Depression

Infertility

Stress

Diabetes

Insomnia

Thyroid disorders

Digestive problems

Learning difficulties

Wounds healing poorly

(InterClinical Laboratories, 2022)