Resolution Series: Hair Analysis to Determine Toxin Levels

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

hair-analysisHair analysis is an excellent, non-invasive way to test for tissue levels of heavy metals and minerals. It can provide important information regarding recent and ongoing exposure to potentially toxic metals, such as mercury and arsenic. As protein is synthesized in the hair follicles, elements are incorporated permanently into the hair. Scalp hair is easy to sample, and because it grows an average of one to two centimeters per month, it contains a "temporal record" of element metabolism and exposure to toxic elements. The levels of elements in hair correlate with levels in organs and other tissues. Hair analysis testing is now available directly through Village Green. Hair analysis for toxic and essential elements can help determine if metal toxicity or mineral deficiency is contributing to a disorder, monitor the effects of chelation (elimination of heavy metals from the body), and identify if supplementation of important minerals may bring about significant improvements. Why Hair Analysis is Important Many elements are considered nutrients and are essential for the proper functioning of the body. These are generally divided between macrominerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc, and trace minerals including selenium, iodine, boron and molybdenum. Conversely, there are a number of elements that are toxic to the human body, interfere with its functioning and undermine health – such as mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum and arsenic. These toxic metals have no known physiological functions. They can be toxic to organ systems and may disrupt the balance of essential nutrients. Toxic metals and essential element status can be assessed in urine, blood, feces and hair. Toxic elements may be 200 to 300 times more highly concentrated in hair than in blood or urine. Therefore, a hair sample is the top choice for detection of recent exposure to elements such as arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, lead, antimony and mercury. The CDC acknowledges the value of hair mercury levels as a maternal and infant marker for exposure to neurotoxic methylmercury from fish. You should consider testing if you have: • Toxic element exposure • Excessive fish consumption • Alopecia • Depression • Fatigue • Malabsorption • Hypertension • Impaired glucose tolerance • Impaired kidney function • Parkinson's-like symptoms • Sexual impotence or decreased testosterone production • Vision problems To learn more about hair analysis, send an email to a Village Green nutritionist, or call 800-869-9159. Photo from here, with thanks.