Since 1972, Doctor’s Data has performed over four million hair elements tests for physicians and other health care providers, accumulating what is probably the largest database regarding this procedure.
With respect to its contained elements, hair is essentially an excretory tissue rather than a functional tissue. Hair element analysis provides important clues which, in conjunction with symptoms and other laboratory values, can assist the physician with an early diagnosis of physiological disorders associated with abberations in essential and toxic element metabolism.
Nutrient elements including magnesium, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium are obligatory co-factors for hundreds of important enzymes and also are essential for the normal functions of vitamins. The levels of these elements in hair are coorelated with levels in organs and other tissues. Toxic elements may be 200-300 times more highly concentrated in hair than in blood or urine. Therefore, hair is the tissue of choice for detection of recent exposure to elements such as arsenic, antimony, aluminum, cadmium, lead, and mercury. The CDC acknowledges the value of hair mercury levels as a maternal and infant marker for exposure to neurotoxic methylmercury from fish.
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency stated in a recent report that “…if hair samples are properly collected and cleaned, and analyzed by the best analytic methods, using standards and blanks as required, in a clean and reliable laboratory by experienced personnel, the data are reliable.” Hair analysis is a valuable and inexpensive screen for physiological excess, deficiency or maldistribution of elements.