Hair Test Interpretation Tips
- Arsenic accumulates in the hair tissue
- Hair analysis is considered a valuable means of detecting arsenic toxicity.
- Hair aluminum levels appear to correlate well with bone levels of aluminum.
- Several hair tests may be needed before aluminum is revealed on the test.
- This is because the aluminum may be tightly bound within body tissues, and several months on a nutrition program may be required to mobilize the aluminum.
- Significance in the hair is unknown
- Cadmium data from blood have little diagnostic value.
- This is because cadmium is rapidly removed from the blood soon after it is ingested.
- Blood challenge tests can detect cadmium in the blood and arteries.
- Cadmium levels in hair show good correlation with cadmium levels in the kidneys.
- Often, however, several months of nutritional therapy and several hair tests are required before cadmium is revealed in the hair.
- Children today are commonly born with cadmium toxicity passed from mother to child via the placenta.
High Hair Calcium:
- usually indicates that calcium is leaving the bones and accumulating in the soft tissues of the body
- high calcium is associated with a slow oxidation rate
- good indicator of hidden copper toxicity
- high calcium on a retest often means the body is eliminating excess calcium
Low Hair Calcium:
- a low calcium level usually means calcium is being lost in the urine
- associated with fast oxidation rate – alarm stage of stress
- often associated with copper deficiency
High Hair Chromium:
- a high chromium level is often indicative of a loss of chromium through the hair, and is frequently caused by an iron toxicity or another mineral imbalance problem.
Low Hair Chromium:
- supplementing chromium when chromium reading is low, is frequently helpful in correcting symptoms of fatigue, or sugar and carbohydrate intolerance.
- excessive iron intake is a frequent cause of both high and low chromium levels.
- Bio-unavailable copper: Often copper status can be tricky to assess.
- Copper may be present, but unavailable for use in the body.
- This occurs any time adrenal gland activity is low.
- Copper and Oxidation Type: Fast oxidizers generally are deficient in copper
- Copper and Oxidation Type: Slow oxidizers usually have either high copper or bio-unavailable copper.
- Hidden Copper Toxicity: Copper is often normal on hair tests, but may actually be locked in body tissues.
- Test indicators of a hidden copper imbalance are:
- Calcium level greater than 75 mg%
- Potassium level less than 3 mg%
- Sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.2:1
- Mercury toxicity often indicates a hidden copper toxicity
- Copper level less than 1.0 mg%
- Zinc/copper ratio less than 6:1
- Iron is referred to as the strength mineral
High Hair Iron:
- often associated with feelings of anger and hostility
- more often seen in fast oxidation
- often associated with high aluminum levels
- can be due to an iron loss due to destruction of body cells
- iron toxicity can be due to iron cookware or excessive iron in drinking water
Low Hair Iron:
- most often associated with a slow oxidation rate
- common to see iron levels around 1.0 mg%
- low hair iron does not necessarily indicate anemia
- low iron often seen with symptoms of fatigue
- taking iron tablets will not necessarily raise iron levels
- Children can also be born with elevated lead, passed through the placenta from their mothers.
- Diets deficient in calcium, magnesium, or iron increase lead absorption
- Lithium appears to lower sodium levels. This would correlate with the research by A. Frazier.
- The meaning of hair lithium levels is a topic of research.
High Hair Magnesium:
- often associated with a SLOW oxidation rate, fatigue and depression.
- a high magnesium level often indicates that magnesium is being lost through the hair, resulting in deficiency symptoms such as anxiety and hyper-irritability.
Low Hair Magnesium:
- often associated with a FAST oxidation rate, anxiety, irritability and high-strung personality.
- Manganese is called the maternal mineral because manganese-deficient animals cease to care for their young.
High Hair Manganese:
- May be due to manganese toxicity derived from drinking water containing excessively high levels of manganese.
Low Hair Manganese:
- Low hair manganese levels are extremely common. However, if the manganese level is below .03 mg% it is considered very low.
- Low manganese usually correlates with slow oxidation and low energy levels.
About the detection of mercury toxicity in HTMA – hair testing
- Both blood and hair have been used to detect mercury poisoning.
- In one study, hair levels generally correlated with blood levels.
- Hair levels are about 300 times higher than blood levels.
- Copper toxicity and zinc deficiency are often associated with mercury toxicity.
- Molybdenum is a powerful copper antagonist.
- Most copper antagonists such as zinc displace copper.
- A unique property of molybdenum is that it binds or complexes directly with copper and facilitates its removal.
- This enables copper to be removed from the body without the common side effects that often occur with copper removal.
- Another reason for this action is that molybdenum raises sodium, offsetting the sodium-lowering effect that occurs when copper is eliminated.
- Molybdenum absorption is antagonized by copper, sulfur, methionine and a high-protein diet.
- Molybdenum metabolism is antagonized by manganese, zinc and at times sulfur.
High Hair Phosphorus:
- An elevated phosphorus level is frequently indicative of excessive protein breakdown of body tissues.
- As proteins break down, phosphorus is released.
- Phosphorus levels may increase temporarily as toxic metals are being eliminated in the course of a nutrition program.
- Very high phosphorus (greater than 25 mg%) can indicate a serious metabolic disturbance.
Note: Pubic hair samples often show elevated phosphorus readings. This is a characteristic of pubic hair.
Low Hair Phosphorus:
- A low phosphorus level is frequently associated with inadequate protein synthesis.
- Although most diets are adequate in phosphorus, those on low-protein diets or vegetarians may have a low phosphorus intake.
- Zinc is required for protein synthesis.
- Often a low phosphorus level is associated with a zinc deficiency, cadmium toxicity, or zinc loss.
- When these imbalances are corrected, the phosphorus level improves.
- A low phosphorus level may be due to poor digestion or assimilation of protein.
- This may be due to digestive enzyme deficiency, low hydrochloric acid level, or other factors.
- Potassium is known as the “follow-through” mineral.
- Note: Hair must not be washed at the laboratory to obtain accurate potassium readings.
High Hair Potassium:
- indicates high sugar and glucocorticoid levels.
- very high potassium can be a potassium loss due to excessive breakdown of body cells.
Low Hair Potassium:
- indicates adrenal gland exhaustion.
- very low potassium is associated with allergies, fatigue, low blood sugar, sweet cravings, and low blood pressure.
High Hair Selenium:
- can be due to the use of shampoos containing selenium
- may indicate a loss of selenium through the hair
Low Hair Selenium:
- May be due to dietary deficiency, which is relatively common, especially among those who eat refined foods
- Selenium may be given to help prevent or correct cadmium, mercury, or arsenic toxicity.
- Selenium is an anti-oxidant and may be given to help protect against free radical damage.
- Note that excessive selenium supplementation may be toxic (RDA 200 – 400 mcg daily).
- In addition, there is extensive research presently being conducted on the functions of selenium and iodine with regard to thyroid function and it is becoming clear that there is an interaction between the two that should be noted.
- Sodium is referred to as the “volatility” mineral.
Low Hair Sodium:
- excellent indicator of impaired adrenal gland activity
- very low sodium is indicative of exhaustion
- hair must not be washed at the laboratory for accurate readings
High Hair Sodium:
- indicative of excessive adrenal gland activity
- often indicates excitability and fast oxidation
- sodium levels can be elevated by toxic metals, especially cadmium
- Zinc is considered a “masculine” mineral, because of its importance in the formation of male sexual hormones.
High Hair Zinc:
- An elevated zinc level is commonly due to a loss of zinc from the body tissues.
- In these cases, zinc supplements will often be recommended.
- Zinc levels may appear high to help compensate for copper toxicity.
- Thus high zinc can be a tip off of a hidden copper toxicity.
- Use of Head and Shoulders shampoo occasionally results in an elevated zinc reading.
- Cadmium toxicity can cause a zinc reading to appear high.
Low Hair Zinc:
- Zinc will often read low if the sodium/potassium ratio is less than 2.5:1.
- In this case, it is not always wise to give much zinc.
- Zinc is commonly low in “fast” oxidizers.
- Very low zinc levels are often associated with emotional instability and with problems of growth and development in children.