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Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA)

Balancing your body chemistry with a non-invasive health screening tool for detecting toxic elements in the body to establish a personalized nutrient profile for better physical & mental health.

What is HTMA?
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is an analytical metabolic profiling test which measures the mineral content of the body.
Why mineral?
Minerals are essential for growth and wellbeing. They provide structural support in bones and teeth, and they participate in almost every metabolic process in the body – they are the true ‘spark-plugs’ of life.
ZINC
Zinc is involved in the production, storage and secretion of insulin and is necessary for growth hormones.
MAGNESIUM
Magnesium is required for normal muscular function, especially the heart. Deficiency has been associated with heart conditions, anxiety, and nervousness.
POTASSIUM
Potassium is critical for normal nutrient transport into the cell. A deficiency can result in muscular weakness, mild depression and lethargy.
SODIUM
Excess sodium is associated with hypertension, but adequate amounts are required for normal health.

Causes of Mineral Imbalances

Stress

Both physical and emotional stress can lead to mineral imbalances. B-complex vitamins, zinc and magnesium are lost in greater quantities when you are stressed; you also absorb less nutrients from your food.

Improper Eating Habits

Fad diets and diets high in refined carbohydrates, flour, sugar, industrial seed oils and alcohol can lead to mineral deficiencies and excesses.

Medication

Many deplete the body’s store of nutrient minerals and can increase levels of toxic minerals. Medications such as diuretics, the oral contraceptive pill, antacids and aspirin can all cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Genetic and individual factors

A predisposition towards certain mineral imbalances, deficiencies and excesses can be inherited from parents. Certain individuals can also inherit a higher requirement than normal for particular nutrients to maintain good health.

Pollution

Toxic minerals such as lead, mercury and cadmium can interfere with mineral absorption and increase mineral excretion. They build up in our bodies from sources such as: air pollution, car exhaust, cigarette smoke, unfiltered water and food.

Nutritional supplements

Supplements can also lead to mineral excesses and deficiencies. For example, excess calcium intake can cause phosphorus and magnesium deficiency. Continued magnesium deficiency increases sodium levels and eventually causes vitamin A deficiency.

3 Reasons for Using Hair:

Hair is a 'Video Recorder'

By examining the hair, a lot can be learned about a person’s mineral levels & nutritional requirements. This data can highlight potential health problems and help you to treat them to meet your individual health needs.

Quick & Painless

Taking a hair sample is quick and easy – you only need to cut a small amount of hair, and it’s done! It can be sent to the lab without special handling requirements. If head hair is not available, beard or pubic hair can be used as well as clean fingernail clippings.

Reliable Indicator

Mineral concentrations in the hair can provide a reliable indicator of mineral stores in the whole body. If your health, diet or environment has created a mineral imbalance or toxic mineral excess, it will be recorded in the hair shaft.
Benefits of HTMA
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Benefit #1. Know Your Health

Get a detailed report on your health and use the findings as a basis to re-establish a balance in your body chemistry via an individualized dietary and supplementation program.
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Benefit #2. Know Your Unique Metabolic Profile

A HTMA reveals a unique metabolic world: intracellular activity, which cannot be seen through most other tests. This provides a blueprint of the biochemistry occurring during the period of hair growth and development.
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Benefit #3. Test for Toxic Heavy Metals

Uncover the presence of toxins associated with behavioral & neuro-developmental conditions such as ADD/HD, Autism, anxiety, depression, Dyslexia, speech delay, etc.
The Process:
Proses tes HTMA

Sample

A small teaspoon (0.5 grams) of clean, well-rinsed, untreated and uncoloured hair is cut 3-5 cm from the root (near the scalp). 

Proses tes HTMA

Analyze

The hair sample is then analyzed in the Trace Elements laboratory in Texas, U.S.A.

Proses tes HTMA

Report

A comprehensive report is prepared that includes a Doctor’s Report, Client’s Report, and Dietary & Nutritional Recommendations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS HAIR MINERAL ANALYSIS?

Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), is an analytical test which measures the mineral content of the hair. The sampled hair, obtained by cutting the first inch and one-half of growth closest to the scalp at the nape of the neck, is prepared in a licensed clinical laboratory through a series of chemical and high temperature digestive procedures. Testing is then performed using highly sophisticated detection equipment and methods to achieve the most accurate and precise results.

WHAT IS HAIR MINERAL ANALYSIS?

Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), is an analytical test which measures the mineral content of the hair. The sampled hair, obtained by cutting the first inch and one-half of growth closest to the scalp at the nape of the neck, is prepared in a licensed clinical laboratory through a series of chemical and high temperature digestive procedures. Testing is then performed using highly sophisticated detection equipment and methods to achieve the most accurate and precise results.

WHY USE THE HAIR? WHY NOT USE THE BLOOD?

Hair is ideal tissue for sampling and testing. First, it can be cut easily and painlessly and can be sent to the lab without special handling requirements. Second, clinical results have shown that a properly obtained sample can give an indication of mineral status and toxic metal accumulation following long term or even acute exposure.

A HTMA reveals a unique metabolic world: intracellular activity, which cannot be seen through most other tests. This provides a blueprint of the biochemistry occurring during the period of hair growth and development.

Examples:

  • Thirty to 40 days following an acute exposure, elevated serum levels of lead may be undetectable. This is due to the body removing the lead from the serum as a protective measure and depositing the metal into such tissues as the liver, bones, teeth and hair.
  • Nutrient loss from the body can become so advanced that severe health conditions can develop without any appreciable changes noted in those same nutrient levels in a blood test.
  • Symptoms of elemental deficiency can be present long before low levels can be detected in the serum.
  • Excess sodium is associated with hypertension, but adequate amounts are required for normal health.

 

Hair is used as one of the tissues of choice by the Environmental Protection Agency in determining toxic metal exposure. A 1980 report from the E.P.A. stated that human hair can be effectively used for biological monitoring of the highest priority toxic metals. This report confirmed the findings of other studies in the U.S. and abroad, which concluded that human hair may be a more appropriate tissue than blood or urine for studying community exposure to some trace elements

DO I HAVE TO USE A LABORATORY-ISSUED ENVELOPE FOR SAMPLE COLLECTION?

It is not essential, however, to ensure that your sample is correctly linked to you and the correct account, remember to print in block letters, your NAME, LAB NUMBER (if it’s a retest) and ACCOUNT NO. 6663 on the front of your sample envelope. Be sure to submit the sample along with your filled-out Submittal Form. 

Always use a clean, new, plain envelope to provide an untainted environment to store your hair sample. If you have a printer, we recommend that you print the pre-printed sample envelope using a plain Letter or A4 size paper and follow the instructions. Mediums such as plastic or foil are unsuitable and can contaminate the sample and lead to potentially inaccurate results. 

HOW IS THE HAIR SAMPLE TAKEN?

The hair should be clean, well rinsed, untreated and uncoloured. Using clean, stainless steel scissors, cut small amounts of hair from the back of the head. Cut the hair as close to the scalp as possible. If the hair is less than 4cm in length, keep all of it for testing. If hair is longer, cut off and keep the 4cm that was closest to the scalp. Place hair in the hair sample envelope and don’t use plastic.

The laboratory requires approximately one loose tablespoon of hair for testing (0.25 gm).

HOW LONG IS THE HAIR SAMPLE GOOD FOR ONCE I HAVE CUT IT?

As long as the hair is stored in a paper envelope and in a clean dry area, the hair sample will maintain its integrity indefinitely. Please do not store the hair sample in plastic or foil as these are potential contaminants. The longer it is between cutting the sample and the sample being processed by our laboratory, the less relevant the results become to your current nutritional and toxic element status.

IF I CAN'T USE HEAD HAIR, CAN I USE PUBIC HAIR?

Our reference ranges are based on scalp hair. A scalp sample is preferable. However, we can accept pubic hair, beard hair or axillary hair. These samples can provide reliable data for toxic minerals, but results for the nutritional minerals may be misrepresented e.g. potassium and sodium, due to contamination by soap and cosmetic residue. Please ensure the hair is thoroughly rinsed with clean water and dried before taking the sample to avoid the presence of soap, deodorants and cosmetic products.

It is essential that you do not mix different types of hair e.g. do not mix head hair with pubic hair. If there is no body hair available, finger nail clippings may be sent. The same amount of sample is required, approximately 0.5gm. Please ensure nails are scrubbed and cleaned before submitting the sample to the laboratory for analysis.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECEIVE MY RESULTS?

It will take approximately 3-4 weeks to receive your results. They will be sent to the address supplied on the request form. If your practitioner has requested the test, the results will be posted directly to the practitioner. The practitioner will receive two copies of the results. At your follow up appointment to discuss the HTMA results, they should give you one copy to take home.

DO YOU TEST THE HAIR FOR ALLERGIES?

We test the hair to show the internal storage of nutritional and toxic minerals; we do not test the hair for allergies. However, due to our understanding of mineral balances, out report may indicate certain mineral patterns that are known to influence particular allergy types.

why use hair tissue mineral analysis in your clinic