Hair Analysis Controversy

Posted by Eileen Durfee on 21st Jan 2018

A hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) test is an affordable, efficient and scientifically reliable way to identify mineral imbalances and excess toxic metals in the body. However, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the validity of hair analysis tests and the process. Listed below are some of the common objections regarding HTMA testing and the reasons why they should not be of concern.

HTMA Testing: Accuracy of testing hair tissue vs body tissue for excess toxins

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Controversy

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis has become a standard testing procedure and the technology used in analyzing a hair sample has improved greatly over time. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that hair analysis tests have scientific meaning, as hair works in place of body tissue for the biological monitoring of toxins.

Hair vs blood or urine for testing body mineral levels

One of the biggest advantages is that hair contributes a more consistent and accurate reading of mineral levels in the body. Hair changes more often, and many years before blood will. Urine only shows levels in the past 24 - 48 hours. Hair is a storage organ of mineral activity over time, which makes it a much better place to look for mineral level information. 

Hair Analysis: Laboratory preparation of hair samples before HTMA testing

Studies have shown that hair samples washed by the laboratory prior to testing result in the removal of recently excreted water soluble minerals from the hair sample surface. While some may argue that a hair sample should be washed at the lab to prevent cross-contamination, the errors in reporting due to the loss of previously available water soluble minerals can actually be worse than contamination. 

Studies have shown that laboratories who do not wash hair samples prior to HTMA testing have a significantly stronger correlation among test report results. The EPA agrees that in laboratory sample preparation, "a measurement is only as good as the sample preparation that has preceded it", which explains why far less consistent HTMA test results exist among laboratories who practice washing hair samples prior to testing. 

HTMA Laboratory: Licensing and Monitoring

In the United States, all commercial hair analysis testing laboratories are licensed and must undergo annual inspections from the federal government to maintain that license. Any HTMA laboratory that does not meet specific government criteria for accuracy they will not be allowed to operate. Go Healthy Next recommends hair analysis tests performed exclusively by either Endo-met Laboratories or Trace Elements, Inc. because neither of these USA-based and licensed HTMA laboratories wash the hair sample prior to testing. 

HTMA Test Report: The value of mineral levels vs mineral ratios 

When balancing nutrition, it is much more helpful to analyze critical body mineral ratios than it is to view the level of each mineral individually. For example; a hair analysis test report shows the individual level of the human body's most essential minerals. Knowing the individual level of each mineral enables the quick calculation of the body's sodium to magnesium ratiozinc to copper ratiocalcium to magnesium ratio and more. Balancing these critical mineral ratios is more important to long-term health than simply raising or lowering each individual mineral to within an ideal range. 

Diet and supplement recommendations post hair analysis

Knowing what to do with hair analysis test results isn't as easy as adding and subtracting supplements or changing your diet. Although Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis coupled with a Body Mineral Balancing program is a great way to enhance your health and well-being, understanding the impact of imbalanced mineral levels and ratios and excess toxins in the body are most beneficial to achievement of the fastest improvements. 

The HTMA and Body Mineral Balancing program at Go Healthy Next provides dietary and supplement recommendations from certified Nutritional Balancing Practitioner and Coach Eileen Durfee. Eileen uses modern nutritional balancing science advancements in combination with traditional nutritional balancing therapies to restore a balance of body chemistry, correct mineral deficiencies and expedite toxic metal elimination. 

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