Elements of the chemical periodic table include among them essential nutrients and toxins.  Certain elements are critical to health, for example: potassium and sodium are crucial for proper heart function and calcium and magnesium are essential for bone development.  However, other elements like mercury, cadmium and lead are toxic.   Good health depends on having the right balance of nutritional elements and low levels of toxic elements.  Hair element analysis is an easy and inexpensive way to measure these levels.

Conditions related to Toxic Element Exposure

Toxic elements are found nearly everywhere: from antimony as a fire retardant in clothing, to uranium salts in certain pottery glazes. Toxic elements may create an imbalance in essential elements (see explanation on reverse) or directly trigger a number of health problems including:

Anxiety/Depression: Both lead and mercury toxicity can result in symptoms of depression. Arsenic and mercury have been associated with symptoms of anxiety.

Memory Impairment: Lead toxicity can impair long term memory and cause confusion. Cadmium may also cause confusion.

Heart disease: Antimony toxicity may damage the heart. Cadmium toxicity increases blood pressure and may also damage heart muscle. Lead has been shown to increase blood pressure.

Neurological problems: Arsenic toxicity causes numbness and tingling in the feet and hands. Extremely high levels of bismuth may also cause neurological problems like muscle twitches, tremors or convulsions.

Fatigue: Mild toxicity with any of the toxic elements can contribute to symptoms of fatigue.

Conditions related to Essential Element Imbalance

Aside from toxic element exposure, it is also possible to have a simple deficiency or excess of essential nutritional elements.   For example, low levels of zinc and/or magnesium are strongly associated with increased risk of diabetes.  If all or most of the nutritional elements appear on the low end of normal, it may indicate that you have issues with absorption or digestion of food.

Why Choose Hair Element Analysis

hair-shaftThe illustration at right shows that the hair root is in constant contact with blood vessels, allowing both nutritional and toxic elements to enter the hair shaft continuously as hair grows.  In other words, hair analysis reflects long-term exposure to the various elements.  This is a significant advantage over urine or blood samples, which only measure the levels from one point in time.

How Toxic Elements disrupt nutrient balance

Think of each nutritional element as having its own tunnel, with the normal range being the number of vehicles that usually pass through that tunnel every day.  For example, the following diagram shows the expected number of cars in green, and the actual numbers in pink:

hair-element

The diagram shows more calcium than expected and less magnesium, copper and zinc exiting the tunnels. From these results, it might seem reasonable to supplement with magnesium, zinc, and copper and cut back on calcium intake. However, when nutritional elements are much higher or lower than expected, it usually means there’s some kind of blockage or traffic diversion in the tunnels. So, we do some calculations to see if traffic is really increasing or decreasing, or to see if there’s a problem inside the tunnel. In other words, if you have a lot of lows and highs in your nutritional elements, there may be an overall problem with how those elements are getting transported in the body. Your healthcare professional will focus on fixing those problems first, before supplementing with specific nutritional elements to correct the imbalance.

A common cause of large excesses or deficiences of nutritional element levels is the presence of toxic elements like mercury. Think of toxic elements as being like a demolition crew: they go into tunnels, rip up the road and disrupt the normal traffic flow so that cars are forced to take different routes through the tunnels. If tunnel traffic (i.e. nutritional elements) is significantly different than expected, it strongly suggests that a demolition crew (i.e. toxic element) is present and causing problems. Therefore, rather than trying to force more cars through the slow tunnels and fewer cars through the busier than normal tunnels, it makes more sense to get rid of the demolition crew !

It’s also possible to have a genetic tendency to retain or excrete certain elements, or for poor digestion to affect nutritional element status. Your healthcare professional will go through your test results and determine the best treatment for you.

Restoring Balance

Restoring the right balance of elements often involves using supplements that chelate, or bind up, toxic elements so that they can be safely eliminated.  It is also important to try and minimize exposure to toxic elements.  Once the body is clear of toxic elements, your healthcare professional may want to repeat your hair element analysis to see if your nutritional elements are back in balance, or if you need further supplementation.

Elements or Minerals
Although sometimes referred to as hair mineral analysis, not minerals, that are being analyzed. The word mineral includes stones like rubies and emeralds, and if you have those in your hair, you might want to keep them! Thus, our test is called Hair Element Analysis instead of Hair Mineral Analysis.

Essential Elements
Many elements are essential to the body. Essential elements include calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, phosphorus, and potassium. Other essential elements may be required as cofactors in biological processes.
The right balance of essential elements is essential for optimal health.

Toxic Elements
Some elements can be toxic to the body. In particular, the elements referred to as ‘heavy metals’ are known to be toxic even in small doses as they replace essential elements and interfere with biological processes.

Why Test?
Good health has a lot to do with maintaining balance; the right balance of work and play, the right balance of nutrients in the diet, and the right kinds of foods.
Element imbalances may contribute to symptoms and biochemical changes that eventually lead to illness.
Firstline is committed to offering tests that identify imbalances and other conditions – so they can be corrected before disease develops!

Information is for educational purposes only.  It is not meant as medical advice and any treatment decisions should be made with the knowledge or consent of your healthcare professional.