Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA)
A hair mineral test looks at cellular mineral imbalances and heavy metal toxicity. HTMA looks at the tissue and cellular minerals, and blood tests look at the serum levels – they will be different. A blood test can appear fine, despite you having symptoms, and within what doctors consider to be a normal range, whereas a HTMA can show up early mineral imbalances. Blood tests are great for showing disease conditions, however a HTMA looks more at the underlying issues where things that have started to go off balance show much earlier than they appear on a blood test.
For instance, a feature of prolonged stress is the imbalance of the electrolytes. Stress causes a loss of potassium and magnesium resulting in mismanaged calcium and sodium which can lead to cellular acidity and inflammation. Ultimately, a lack of magnesium affects the mitochondria within the cells, disturbing basic energy production. Bruce Lipton, in ‘The Biology of Belief’ says that the cell will put aside up to half of its energy to keep sodium out of the cell. The more sodium in the cell, the more energy is needed to correct the imbalance. Thus, increased cellular sodium = increased fatigue as the body reserves its energy to keep balance of the electrolyte function. Stress upsets the balance of calcium - it inhibits new bone growth and inhibits calcium supply to the bone. It also blocks the uptake of dietary calcium and increase excretion via the kidneys.
A Hair Mineral Test Report will give indications of the following: -
Oxidation rate (slow, mixed or fast oxidiser)
Blood sugar balance (calcium: magnesium ratio)
Thyroid function (potassium: calcium ratio)
Adrenal status (sodium: magnesium ratio)
Vitality (sodium: potassium ratio)
Stage of stress (alarm, adaptation or exhaustion)
Ability to deal with stress
Toxic metal levels - mercury, aluminium, lead, arsenic, uranium, tin, titanium etc
Instructions for taking your Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis test
- wash hair, rinse well and leave to dry
- do not use any styling products prior to sample collection as hair should be free from all products like gels, oils and hair creams as this will alter the results
- uncoloured hair would be ideal however in cases where you have dyed hair it is best if hair were washed at least 6 to 8 times since dying your hair, or other treatments for accurate results
- for those individuals exposed to external contaminants such as welding, mining, care should be taken to limit these exposures between washing the hair and collecting the sample
Areas from where the sample will be taken
- carefully take each sample in small portions from at least four or five different locations of the scalp
- the recommended areas for collection are the nape of the neck, the crown point and temples region as this reflects the most recent metabolic activity in the body
- cut the hair as close to the scalp as possible
Length of the sample
- the length of the collected hair should not exceed 2.5 to 4 cm (1 - 1.5 inches)
- the parts closest to the root should be retained and the excess length to be discarded
- the sample is weight dependent not length dependent as you will see on the instruction booklet that will be posted out to you
- the sample size is weight dependent
- the weight required is 150 milligrams, which is approximately a heaped teaspoonful of hair, however you will find a purple piece of card in your pack which is a 'Hair Weight Scale' card to ensure that the sample is of sufficient weight
- simply fold the sides of the card then place the required amount of hair as per instructions that will be sent out to you
Packaging and shipment of hair sample
- once hair is cut and weighed it should be placed into the clean hair specimen envelope provided and sealed per instructions
- place the sample straight in the envelope avoiding any contamination
- do not be tempted to wrap the hair in anything at all as this may contaminate the sample
- finally complete the details on the front of the sample envelope with your name, age, sex and tick the relevant diagnosed or currently presenting health issues.
- finally stamp it and post off
Please note - hair is a stable sample and once cut will not deteriorate so there is no need for concern should the sample not be posted immediately. Results take up to 3 weeks and will be returned to me and I shall then be in touch with you.
External factors that may contribute to sample variations
Dyes - such as vegetable dyes, do not alter the levels of the minerals and safe to use.
Some colouring agents, specifically black dyes may contain lead as lead acetate and in these cases the results will show an elevated lead level. This may not be representative of the body’s lead content, however the Indian Journal of Medical Research reported that woman using lead based cosmetics and dyes showed increased urinary excretion of lead. Urinary lead content decreased when the products were discontinued.
May contribute to artificially elevated levels of some minerals especially selenium and zinc. Anti-dandruff shampoos and medicated shampoos, or shampoos or hair products containing zinc or selenium should be avoided for a couple of weeks prior to testing to avoid inaccurate reporting of these levels.
Please also let me know if you have been using these previously.
Copper contamination can occur due to copper sulphate found in the water purification systems of some pools. Frequent swimmers in pools using these systems may show artificially high levels of copper in the hair.
Improper sampling tools
Scissors that are not high-grade stainless steel or plastic, or rusty may cause metal contamination of the hair sample. Mineral Check Ltd once linked a sample showing a very high iron level back to a rusty pair of scissors that had been used to take the sample.