I found a wonderful article on the Internet about how Hair Mineral Analysis is a Cardinal Sign of Quackery. Let me help clear up the confusion.
What is written in the article, I will place in quotations.
“Proponents claim that hair analysis is useful for evaluating a person’s general state of nutrition and health and is valuable in detecting predisposition to disease. They also claim that hair analysis enables a doctor to determine if mineral deficiency, mineral imbalance, or heavy metal pollutants in the body may be the cause of a patient’s symptoms. These claims are false.
- Hair analysis is not reliable for evaluating the nutritional status of individuals. In 1974, the AMA Committee on Cutaneous Health and Cosmetics noted: “The state of health of the body may be entirely unrelated to the physical and chemical condition of the hair . . . Although severe deficiency states of an essential element are often associated with low concentrations of the element in hair, there are no data that indicate that low concentrations of an element signify low tissue levels nor that high concentrations reflect high tissue stores. Therefore . . . hair metal levels would rarely help a physician select effective treatment.” ”
When properly read, the information provided in a hair mineral test is very valuable. It is often mistaken by doctors and uneducated, however well meaning, health advisers that whatever a test result is on the test is a representation of the amount of that mineral in the body. When you understand how the body works then you can start to look at the test result with better perspective. The state of the body’s stress levels can definitely be seen in an analysis. It simply tells us what the body is processing out, as that is what happens with soft tissue. We absorb nutrients, and toxins in a various number of ways. The body is supposed to use what it can, get rid of any it can’t use or isn’t supposed to use, and deposit the rest in the soft tissue: hair and nails. Any doctor, familiar or not, with hair mineral analysis can confirm this. So, you can take what is considered a fact and state it with an uneducated viewpoint and come to the incorrect conclusion, of course.
- “Most commercial hair analysis laboratories have not validated their analytical techniques by checking them against standard reference materials. The techniques typically used to prepare samples for analysis can introduce errors for many of the elements being determined. “
This is true. You definitely want to work with a lab that understands how hair mineral analysis works. I work only with the lab who’s founder is the inventor of Nutritional Balancing Science, Dr. Paul Eck. His children still run the lab today, and know what is necessary, not only for the testing of the hair, but for the preparation of the hair.
- “Hair mineral content can be affected by exposure to various substances such as shampoos, bleaches and hair dyes. No analytic technique enables reliable determination of the source of specific levels of elements in hair as bodily or environmental. “
This is true. That’s why each client must follow the instructions closely, or the results will be askew. Harsh shampoos, bleaching within 5 washes of the sample, dyes within 3 washes of the sample, or going swimming the day of sampling can all cause issues, as well as oil from not washing within the 4-24 hr time frame, or working out letting the sweat dry. Ewe.
- “The level of certain minerals can be affected by the color, diameter and rate of growth of an individual’s hair, the season of the year, the geographic location, and the age and gender of the individual. “
Mmm, not so much that it will impede the overall process and change recommendations. Not a big deal, and not worth worrying about. It’s kind of like fussing over what dress to wear to dinner, when you don’t have food or money.
- “Normal ranges of hair minerals have not been defined. “
To be exact, no, because the environment and the Earth are always changing so we have to adjust levels, because it’s a live science, in that sense. However, we’ve found ranges that seem to be ideal for many and in achieving those ideals many have found terrific relief of many symptoms.
- “For most elements, no correlation has been established between hair level and other known indicators of nutrition status. It is possible for hair concentration of an element (zinc, for example) to be high even though deficiency exists in the body. “
I’m not sure that the critic who wrote this is aware of the hundreds of clinical tests that have been done to correlate mineral levels with symptoms a person has, however the goal isn’t symptom removal, so the point is moot. What we’re trying to do with recommendations based on a hair mineral test is to simply reduce the overall stress load on the body.
- “Hair grows slowly (1 cm/month), so even hair closest to the scalp is several weeks old and thus may not reflect current body conditions for purposes of health diagnosis. “
Collecting about an inch’s worth of hair close to the scalp allows us to collect data that is as current as possible to spot Trends. Again, we’re not diagnosing anything here, we’re reducing stress. It’s important to understand the end goal.
- “The use of a single multielemental hair analysis test as the sole means of diagnosis violates basic tenets of medical practice that laboratory findings should be considered together with the patient’s history and physical examination, and that the practitioner should keep in mind that laboratory errors occur. “
Well, we’re not diagnosing, so no worries. As always, I never recommend anyone stop taking their medications. Many have found that after a while, they work with their doctor to come of certain prescriptions or wean themselves down. History is somewhat important, but most of the chronic conditions we deal with today are from Environmental and congenial factors, not genetic. That means we work on exposures, lifestyle, and environmental factors that are going on NOW. Oh yes, and by the way, we never use a single hair test. For a complete program, it requires ongoing updates. See the article on this blog about “why retest“. Because your body changes as it’s needs are met, old layers of metabolism reveal itself and have to be addressed. Old toxins are released and at the same time nutritional deficiencies that a person experienced in the past may present itself to be dealt with and permanently corrected. A true nutritional balancing program using hair mineral analysis is easy to do, cost effective, and changes are permanent. The average person can get terrific results in about a year. Most should stay on it about 2. If you’ve been through any sort of cancer therapy or serious illness, it may take 3 years. For this reason, single cleanses for individual body parts and organs simply won’t give you long term results that reduce chronic stress related conditions.
I’m glad to help clear up this articles’ factual content.