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What is Hair?

With respect to its contained elements, hair is essentially an excretory tissue rather than a functional tissue. Hair element analysis provides important information which in conjunction with symptoms and other laboratory values can assist the naturopathic doctor with an early diagnosis of physiological disorders associated with aberrations in essential and toxic element metabolism.

As protein is synthesized in the hair follicle, elements are incorporated permanently into the hair with no further exchange with other tissues. Scalp hair is easy to sample and it grows an average of 1-2 cm per month, it contains a temporary record of element metabolism and exposure to toxic elements.

Nutrient Elements of the Hair:

Nutrient elements including magnesium, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium are cofactors for hundreds of important enzymes and are also essential for the normal functions of vitamins. The levels of these elements in hair are highly correlated with levels in organs and other tissues.

Toxic Elements of the Hair:

Toxic elements may be up to several hundred times more highly concentrated in hair than in blood or urine. Therefore hair is a good medium for detection of body burden and past exposure to elements such as arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury.