This test is useful for:
- Exposure to toxic elements.
- Excessive consumption of fish.
- Impaired glucose tolerance.
- Kidney function.
- Parkinson-like symptoms.
- Sexual impotence or decreased testosterone production.
- Eye sight problems.
Doctor's Data, a specialist and pioneer in essential and toxic elemental tests since 1972, has been validated as a provider of trace element results for the certification of a hair reference material at the Joint Research Center of the European Commission.
Hair is essentially an excretory tissue rather than a functional tissue. Analysis of hair elements provides important information that, along with symptoms and other laboratory values, can help the clinician with early diagnosis of physiological disorders associated with essential and toxic elements and metabolism.
As the protein is synthesized in the hair follicle, the elements are permanently incorporated into the hair without further exchange or balance with other tissues. Hair grows an average of one to two centimeters per month and contains a "time record" of element metabolism and exposure to toxic elements.
Nutrient elements including magnesium, chromium, zinc, copper and selenium are mandatory cofactors for hundreds of important enzymes and are also essential for normal vitamin functions. The levels of these elements in the hair correlate with the levels deposited in organs and tissues.
Toxic elements can be 200 to 300 times more concentrated in hair than in blood or urine. Therefore, hair is the tissue of choice for screening for recent exposure to the elements such as arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, lead, antimony and mercury. The CDC recognizes the value of hair mercury levels as a maternal and infant marker of exposure to the neurotoxic methylmercury from fish.
Through recent great improvements in technology, instrumentation, and the application of scientific protocols, analysis of hair elements has become a valuable tool in providing reliable and useful data for clinicians and their patients. The US Environmental Protection Agency stated in a recent report that “…if hair samples are properly collected and cleaned and analyzed by the analytical methods, using standards and blanks as necessary, in a clean laboratory and trusted by experienced staff, the data is reliable.” (USEPA 600/4-79-049).
Hair, however, is vulnerable to external elemental contamination from certain shampoos, bleaches, dyes, and curing or straightening treatments. Therefore, The first step in interpreting a capillary element report is to rule out sources of external contamination.