Good health depends on the availability of sufficient amounts of essential nutrients and at the same time, the absence or at least very low levels of toxic elements. The Heavy Metals Basic Profile, Hair reveals the state of the body regarding nutrients (Micronutrients and Trace Elements) and at the same time its exposure to toxic Heavy Metals.
Heavy Metals, Micronutrients and Trace Elements in the Hair
Hair analysis for heavy minerals and trace elements provides important information, which in combination with symptoms and other laboratory tests, can help diagnose disorders associated with deficiency or excess of micronutrients and trace elements or heavy metal toxicity.
As for metals, hair is a secretory tissue, without having any normal function. The hairs have the ability to bind divalent cations due to their high content of sulfur amino acids, which act as strong binding sites for many metals. Heavy metals, micronutrients, and trace elements are found at much higher levels in the hair than in any other tissue in the body.
As proteins are synthesized in the hair follicle, minerals and trace elements are permanently incorporated into the hair, without further exchange or balancing with other tissues. Hair is easy to sample and because they grow an average of 1-2 cm per month, they provide a "timeline" of micronutrient metabolism and exposure of the body to toxic heavy metals. Of course, hair is vulnerable to external contaminants due to shampoos, bleaches, dyes, and straightening or curling procedures, which should be taken into account when evaluating the results.
Micronutrients and Trace Elements in the Hair
Micronutrients and trace elements are essential because they are needed (in small or minimal amounts) to maintain good health. For example, potassium and sodium are essential for proper heart function, while calcium and magnesium are essential for bone growth.
Micronutrients and trace elements are transported to the hair and other tissues through active transport systems. Active transport requires specific nutrients and micronutrients as cofactors for energy production. Therefore, any disturbance in the normal distribution of micronutrients and trace elements or nutrients can affect active transport and alter the distribution of elements in the hair and other tissues.
Heavy Metals in the Hair
Heavy metals are found everywhere in the environment and can cause serious damage to human health. Heavy metals can cause damage to the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, kidneys, liver, endocrine glands, and bones. In addition to the direct and toxic effects, certain metals can cause hypersensitivity reactions ("allergy" or delayed type IV hypersensitivity) in sensitive individuals, resulting in reactions from the skin, endocrine glands, and immune system.
Heavy metals exert their effect on the body in two ways. First, even very small concentrations of the metal can cause hypersensitivity reactions (type IV immune response). The permanent stimulation of the immune system resulting from constant exposure to metals can include all aspects of chronic inflammation, such as increased local inflammatory processes, autoimmune reactions, and fatigue. Second, metals such as mercury, cadmium, and palladium have toxic effects even at low doses and inhibit many cellular metabolic processes. Even very low (sub-toxic) concentrations may be of clinical significance, as multiple sources of exposure (from food and water) may enhance the toxicity of the metal. Toxic effects and allergic sensitization to metals occur independently.
To whom Heavy Metals Basic Profile, Hair is addressed
The Heavy Metals Basic Profile, Hair is a reliable indicator of the state of these elements in the body. Hair is an excellent biopsy material. They can be easily obtained, maintained, and transported just as easily, represent a soft tissue of the body, and are a tissue that responds and stores various elements.
Hair mineral analysis provides a "timeline" for minerals, unaffected by recent meals and supplements, and activities such as exercise or stressful situations.
As hair grows, it forms a permanent record of nutritional deficiencies and excesses in the body. The results of the test can be the basis for a nutritional balance program that will help establish and maintain optimal health levels. By correcting the levels of Micronutrients and Trace Elements with proper nutrition, dietary supplements, and lifestyle changes, many pathological conditions can be prevented or reversed.
Studies in experimental animals and epidemiological studies in humans suggest that chronic exposure to heavy metals can cause, among others:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autistic type disorders
- Depression and mood disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases)
- Chronic fatigue and feeling of reduced energy
- Delayed type IV hypersensitivity reactions, such as:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Sjogren's syndrome
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
The measurements are performed by the ICP-MS method (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), a method that enables the simultaneous detection of many metals. Its sensitivity and accuracy are significantly better compared to the conventional method of atomic absorption, having the ability to measure metals in concentrations up to 1 in 1015 (1 in 1 quadrillion, ppq)!