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Hair Mineral Analysis, An Introduction

By Lawrence Wilson, MD

March 2013, The Center For Development

A hair tissue mineral analysis is a screening test that measures the mineral content of your hair. It is a soft tissue mineral biopsy that uses hair as the sampling tissue. The test measures the levels of 20 or more minerals in the hair with an accuracy of plus or minus about 3%. This is about the same accuracy as most blood tests, or a little better. However, a hair tissue mineral analysis is much more than a test for Minerals.

Providing a mineral blueprint of one's biochemistry, a hair tissue mineral analysis can provide pertinent information about one's metabolic rate, energy levels, sugar and carbohydrate tolerance, stage of stress, immune system, and glandular activity.

Why Use Hair Mineral Testing To Design Nutrition Programs


There are many ways to assess nutritional status including symptom questionairs, iridology, kinesiology, diet sheets, blood tests, etc.  Why use a controversial tool such as measuring tissue mineral levels in hair?  Here are 12 reasons:

Hair makes an excellent biopsy material for many reasons:

Hair makes an excellent soft-tissue biopsy material for many reasons:


Sampling is very easy and non-invasive.


Hair is a stable biopsy material and requires no special handling other than to keep samples clean. The cost is also very reasonable.   Click here for rates


Hair is a fairly rapidly growing tissue.  Hair mineral levels often vary by a factor of ten, or much more, making measurement easier and providing a tremendous amount of knowledge about the cells and soft tissue of our bodies. Hair is thus an excellent and very early indicator of metabolic imbalances.


Toxic Metals are easier to detect in the hair than in the blood.  Most tend to accumulate in the soft tissues   such as the hair, as the body tries to move them to locations where they will do less damage.


Hair testing provides a long term reading, while blood tests and urine tests provide a more instantanious     reading of the body. Both types of readings have value in certain circumstances, but are often less helpful when seeking an overall metabolic reading.  


The test is very accurate and reliable when performed properly. Computer controlled mass spectrometer technology can easily assess parts per million and often parts per billion with excellent reliability.

A Window Into The Cells

Nutritional physiology takes place at the cellular level, not within blood or any other location.  What you eat is not as important as what is reaching your body cells.  Tissue mineral analysis is unique in that it inexpensively provides information directly about cellular activity - the main site of nutritional metabolism.

Detecting Toxic Metals

Toxic metals are a serious problem today, contributing to many metabolic disorders and distressing symptoms including fatigue, infections, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.  While routine blood tests cannot detect chronic heavy metal poisoning, tissue mineral analysis is one of the few methods approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for detecting toxic metals in the body


Understanding Emotions

Biochemical imbalances can contribute to many mental and emotional conditions. I know of no other tool that even comes close to tissue mineral testing to predict, explain, and suggest nutritional solutions for such common complaints as anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, phobias, insomnia, etc

Rebuilding The Body's Energy Mechanism

All body activities including healing depend upon adequate energy synthesis. Tissue mineral analysis can be used to assess the efficiency of the energy system of the body including the glycolysis and citric acid cycles, and to recommend nutrients and foods that will assist in rebuilding the energy system.

Determining Oxidation Types

Some people burn food at a more rapid rate than normal, and some at a slower rate.  Knowing a person's oxidation rate can help decide which foods are most needed, and which nutrients would be most helpful to restore balance. Giving he wrong nutrients can make your health problems worse. Tissue mineral analysis can be utilized to determine an individual's oxidation rate with mathematical precision.

Identifying Trends

One of the most useful concepts in health care is to able to identify trends before they occur, so that action can be taken to avoid them.  Twenty or more trends can be identified from a properly interpreted tissue mineral analysis.  The ability to identify trends alone makes tissue mineral analysis an invaluable test.  

Exact Amounts of Supplements and Proportions of Foods

One problem in designing nutrition programs is determining how much and which nutrients and foods to recommend. Because of it's mathematical nature, hair mineral analysis offers a way to determine supplement dosage and proportions of foods with greater accuracy.


Click here for information about supplements used with a nutritional balancing program.

Gland and Organ Insights

Provides indirect and direct indicators for the cellular effect of the thyroid and adrenal hormones and at times, the ovarian hormones as well. It can also be used to indirectly assess the activity of the liver, kidneys, stomach, intestines and perhaps other organs often long before abnormalities appear on x-rays and blood tests.

Stress Patterns

A properly performed test is superb to assess the stage of stress and some 20 to 30 stress response patterns of the human body. This type of analysis and interpretation is based on the stress theory of disease, first put forth by Hans Selye, MD some 60 years ago and is useful to help reverse many types of pathology that do not respond well to either traditional medical care or holistic health care. 

Monitoring Progress

A common problem in nutritional therapy is determining if a person is actually improving, especially of some symptoms persist or new symptoms arise.  Repeat tissue mineral tests and comparison with previous tests can often provide answers as to whether improvement is occurring, why some symptoms persist, and what to expect in the future.

Superiority Over Blood Tests

Blood tests will always be valuable to determine cholesterol, hemoglobin levels, and many other parameters. However, mineral levels in blood are ten times less than they are in the tissues, making measurement difficult.  Also, blood levels are kept within very narrow limits by the body for various reasons, and are subject to daily fluctuation due to foods eaten the previous day, emotional states, etc. Hair analysis will not vary from day to day, and provides a long term metabolic reading that can be used to definite advantage.

Accuracy and Reliability

Tissue mineral analysis by atomic absorption is not new.  It has been around for 30 years and is used in every industrial and university chemistry lab.  New computer controlled instruments make excellent reliability possible.  Results of tissue tests can vary because instrumentation and handling procedures differ from lab to lab. This can be a problem with some labs, but not with the test. I only use one laboratory, Analytical research Labs, where the quality control procedures and handling of samples are excellent. 

Disclaimer.  Development and nutritional balancing are methods to reduce stress on the body and help people reach their full human potential.  All information on this website is for educational purposes only.  It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition, mental or physical, real or imaginary.

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