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Hair analysis is probably the best way to determine if you are deficient in minerals. Blood analysis is appropriate for determining certain minerals like iron, but generally blood analysis is much more expensive than hair analysis. Hair analysis has been maligned in the press over the last few years but it has been studied extensively and the interpretation of results is getting much better. Interpretation is important because high levels of a mineral in the hair doesn't always mean that the mineral is high in the body. In this section we will talk about where to go to get a hair analysis, interpreting hair analyses, and how to structure a supplement schedule based on the hair analysis results.
WHERE TO GET A HAIR ANALYSIS.
HAIR ANALYSIS INFO FROM HYPERS:
The following is information on Swan's hair analysis. I agree with Swan's analysis that she is deficient in selenium. Because both her zinc and iron appear to be high in the ratios, this suggests to me that she is deficient in copper. Also, the laboratory recommendations on the calcium/magnesium ratio (7:1) are different from the recommended ratio to take. Most supplements are 2:1 (cal:mag) but 1:1 seems to work better for most hypers. This is for correction purposes and not intended to alter the body's ratio to 1:1.
Hi, I wrote about the hair analysis report in March. I want to expand on it. It's neat that it has a page of ratios like: The lab has its own ratios to compare to now and optimum. It is, of course can not be expected to be, not like John's supplement list.
This can give a person an idea though of the ratios we are talking about on the page. I have only started supplements around January 2000.
Calcium:Magnesium mine 8:1 Labs suggests 7:1 John suggests 1:1 particularly if having heart palpitations Zinc:Copper (mine 18:1) lab suggests 7:1, I take 4:1 daily, Zinc:Selenium (mine 609:1) lab suggests 88:1 Zinc:Manganese (mine 448:1) lab 250:1 Zinc:Lead (mine 772:1) lab 250:1 Selenium:Mercury (mine .3:1) lab suggests 100:1 Selenium is DEFICIENT! Iron:Aluminum (mine 2:1) lab suggests .6:1 Iron is over the limit here Calcium:Phosphorus (mine 4:1) lab suggests 4:1 Calcium:Lead (mine 1365:1) lab suggests 679:1
I can tell that selenium as well as chromium are deficient in a big way. It may be years before I build it up for storage too. I am in the normal range for TSH now so those using the supplements to really help attain remission could benefit by knowing their own levels.
I would be interested in seeing other's ratios. Swan
Hair Mineral Analysis
JAMA published a negative study on hair analysis this past January regarding the clinical use of hair analysis. It was an incredibly poorly designed study and I was surprised to see that it was even published.
For the first fourteen years of my practice I was opposed to hair analysis testing as I bought the "traditional" perspective on this tool.
Later, I learned from some skilled clinicians, that this was indeed a useful clinical tool. However, it appears the issue complicating optimal interpretation, and what has seriously confused the issue of hair analysis, is the practice of washing the sample prior to analysis.
There are only two labs that I recommend using for proper readings for hair analysis. Trace Elements and Analytical Research. Both labs are based on the work of Paul Eck.
The major distinction from other hair analysis labs is that they don't wash their samples prior to the analysis. As far as I can tell all the other labs wash the hair and this has a tendency to disturb some of the essential mineral ratios. It does not seem to make much of a difference for the toxic metals.
If you are a licensed health care professional I have made special arrangements with Analytical Research to provide you with three free kits to see how you enjoy their service. The only thing you need to do to obtain your kits is to call them (602-995-1580) and mention that you were calling regarding the special offer you saw on my web site.
They provide educational materials but they also have a book "Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis" for $18 written by Larry Wilson, MD, that helps one understand the biochemistry behind hair analysis.
The analysis has specific nutrient recommendations, mostly minerals. One can obtain them from the company, but I find that it is much easier to use the ones we, or the patient already has. I am amazed at how many people do not actually need to take calcium based on this analysis. It is quite a remarkable way to identify which minerals a person needs to build their bones.
This offer is ONLY available to licensed health care professionals.
JAMA Letter to the Editor; March 28, 2001 285(12):1576-7
Dr Seidel and colleagues (1) found that there is excessive variability between laboratories in the results of hair analysis.
This study should not be represented as a final,
rigorous, and decisive condemnation of the entire commercial hair analysis
industry, as other studies have
established the validity of hair analysis evaluation. (2-6)
The study by Seidel et al simply shows that there is some variation among the laboratories' results, as would be expected. The study's design was critically flawed in several areas.
The authors compared test results and reference ranges
for laboratories using different methods. They also failed to distinguish
between accurate and inaccurate laboratories, as they did not use a specific
standard or reference laboratory.
The authors' inclusion of a noncertified, unregulated,
and illegally operating laboratory that represents less
than 3% of the total hair analysis activity in the United States
introduced bias and error into
the analysis and conclusions. This unregulated laboratory was responsible
for 12 of the 14 "statistically significant (P<.05) extreme
values" cited in the study.
Furthermore, the bias of this study is further evident as the authors did not adhere to their own stated laboratory selection protocol.
This resulted in a certified laboratory with a
significantly higher monthly sample volume not being included in the study
in favor of the small uncertified laboratory that reported extreme and
It should also be noted that blind proficiency testing, such as was used in this study, is the most stringent form of laboratory evaluation, so stringent in fact that it is rarely used in clinical laboratories.
Modern clinical proficiency testing is overt in that the test specimens are identified as such. This fact coupled with the absence of any criterion standard for identifying correct incorrect test results seems designed to unfairly target the entire hair analysis industry.
Such a standard applied to most clinical tests would
result in similar findings.
We do acknowledge that this limited study does raise some challenging issues that the industry must deal with, such as, the identification of laboratories misrepresenting themselves as certified and yet operating illegally. Most commercial hair analysis companies, however, are on record for proficiency testing initiatives, data comparison, and clinical case presentations involving hair elemental analysis.
Joseph M. Mercola, DO
David L. Watts, PhD