Hair Mineral Analysis

So far my experience of hair mineral analysis has been mixed. The supplementation recommended sometimes seems to make me feel stronger, especially the adrenal glandulars, but after long use they also made me feel much more anxious. I am not sure if I, in fact, developed anxiety because of those supplements.

The science seems very exciting and has been recommended by a wide variety of people. Much of the advice in Dr. Lawrence Wilson's book seems to go well with other natural health advice and understanding of conditions. On the other hand, it seems very much a 'fringe' science, embraced by proponents of 'extreme' health practices.

If the Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) as done by ARL Labs in the USA and interpreted by Dr. Lawrence Wilson is indeed an accurate science, it is an amazing tool to understand one's health at the cellular level - oxidation rate, the health of the endocrine system (especially the adrenal glands and the thyroid), heavy metal toxicity and detoxification, cell membrane permeability, mineral excesses and deficiencies, etc. However, as I grow day by day to increasingly respect and understand the immense complexity of human biology and nature itself, I seem to always return to the question: is it possible to accurately understand the body's complex mechanisms from a small hair sample to a degree that hair tissue mineral analysis claims to do?

Update: Note that I have now decided to advice people against the hair mineral analysis program, as there are many ways I believe it has harmed my health, while costing a lot of money. I believe the zinc supplementation caused me to have social anxiety for three years (via copper deficiency), the nutritionist insisted that I was hypothyroid when I was hyperthyroid (the opposite), and also, it seems to me that it's impossible to know from a hair sample whether you have e.g. toxic copper or good, nutritious copper coming out of your system. The same would apply to calcium, etc. The large quantities of supplements they recommend seem dangerous. I also disagree about their insistence that people should not eat raw food and that animal products are necessary. They may be for healing certain conditions, but certainly not for everyone.

My latest hair sample was sent off to the lab on the 18th April 2015 and this time I received the report back quite quickly afterwards. I have recently started to feel better healthwise, however, the hair mineral analysis report looks worse than before. This happens often with hair tissue mineral analysis, the report explains, for the following reason:

"...imbalances in the body chemistry are unwound or uncovered layer by layer. Often, a superficial layer does not appear that abnormal. However, a deeper layer reveals hidden toxic metals and other imbalances that are more aberrant. This is not a cause for alarm during the process of uncovering and correcting deeper imbalances. Usually one feels better as these are uncovered as it means one must no longer spend energy compensating and adapting to underlying imbalances. Adaptive energy that was tied up in this way is now freed and one feels better."

I like this explanation as it reassures me that I am making progress, but on the other hand, I haven't followed most of the hair mineral analysis recommendations for quite a while. So the explanation above could be true, but it is also entirely possible that the recent acupuncture visits and herbs from the Chinese doctor have made me stronger, as well as blood electrification and ozonated water, which seem to have made a huge difference. I have recently also uncovered new food intolerances with the pulse test and started eating warm foods to treat Yin Deficiency, both of which seem to help to feel better. So even though the above quote sounds good, I don't actually know whether my health is improving or worsening in ways that the hair mineral analysis measures.

Key report findings:

  • Oxidation rate has changed from mixed to slow. "This indicates a desirable stabilization of the oxidation rate. The previous mixed oxidation may have been caused by nutrient deficiencies, a temporary increase in metabolism due to stress, or the presence of a toxic metal which is currently being eliminated." (This confuses me because in my first two tests slow oxidation was seen as a bad thing.)
  • Increased calcium present in the hair tissue. This indicates "a reduction in metastatic tissue calcium" [i.e. bad calcium/ calcification of the body]. (Again, high calcium level in my first test was seen as a bad thing (calcium shell/ calcium toxicity) and is now seen as a good thing. How do I know for sure?)
  • Increased magnesium present in the hair sample, which is said to show an improvement in magnesium metabolism. (Why does the body dump magnesium that it was able to utilise into the hair?)
  • Potassium level has increased ratio-wise (in relation to sodium) which according to the report shows increased glucocorticoid secretion and an improvement in blood sugar levels. Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones which regulate the metabolism of glucose Glucose, in turn, is the most important simple sugar in human metabolism and the major source of energy for most cells in the body. (I must say that I do feel like I can handle sugars and carbohydrates a little better since I have been eliminating sugars strictly and restricting carbohydrates.)
  • The level of potassium itself has increased as well, which is said to indicate an improved protein metabolism. (The levels of potassium from oldest test to the newest have been: 6.0, 4.0, 13.0, 8.0, 9.0 - so it has not been steady improvement - why?)
  • Toxic copper elimination continues. (It is said that once copper elimination begins, it won't easily stop. My copper elimination has continued since March 2014 and I wonder when will it end?!)
  • Increased tissue chromium levels shows improvement in chromium metabolism, glucose utilization, and cholesterol metabolism, says the report. (My chromium levels were low in the first two tests, ideal on the third test, then suddenly as low as in the beginning, and now in the fifth test have increased again but not reaching ideal levels.)
  • Calcium-magnesium ratio: Currently 60.40, worse than it has ever been (9x higher than ideal). In my first test it was 20.25, which was considered 'calcium shell'. Now it possibly indicates toxic calcium released and detoxified from the body. Over 12 is considered to be 'severe sugar and simple carbohydrate sensitivity range'. Ratio over 10 indicates a tendency for bad calcium in the tissues. Highly imbalanced ratios, e.g. more than 12, indicate emotional difficulties. (I would like to believe that my body is detoxifying bad calcium and that's why the ratio is high - as suggested in the point about increased calcium above - even though this part of the report doesn't mention that possibility.)
  • Sodium-potassium ratio, i.e. the 'vitality' ratio: 1.22 = low (sodium-potassium inversion). Critical mineral imbalance. Low ratio is indicative of an 'exhaustion stage of stress' according to Hans Selye's definitions, sugar (glucose) intolerance, body's tissues broken down for proteins to use as energy, personality deep in frustration, chronic stress (worse than acute stress), cells dying, impaired immune system and chronic sinus infections or other chronic infections, etc. If the ratio is less than 1.5 in the long term, the likelihood for serious conditions increases. (This report worries me a lot and I do recognise many of the symptoms.)
  • Copper toxicity, detoxification ongoing - more discussion in this article: Copper Toxicity.

As you can see the interpretation of body's processes based on minerals and toxic metals present in hair is complex. I fear that much of it may be open to interpretation, even though I recognise that there are experienced doctors and a lot of science behind it. I worry that there may be misinterpretations, I worry that my other natural healing treatments and efforts may be conflicting or confusing these results, and I especially worry about the supplements, because they are extracted from much more complex natural substances (foods) and so important balances between nutrients may be lost.

Regardless of my worries, I feel like the hair mineral analysis deserves my respect and I am sufficiently curious to keep going with the programme. Perhaps I will return to taking the full supplements. I will definitely continue with the low carbohydrate and sugar-free diet, trying to include protein on every meal, and eating cooked foods as the report suggests. I am not sure that I will have much time for the coffee enemas, however, even though I know from experience that they are good for me.

In conclusion, the hair mineral analysis seems not to be a quick-fix for health problems. If it is as good as it claims to be, it is designed to correct deep imbalances in the body, and the road to health may be rocky while sudden changes are experienced and supplementation needs adjusting accordingly or when toxic metals are eliminated. Some of the supplements are powerful and may start deep healing processes which may not be as easy to stop, as was my experience with the adrenal glandulars (Endo-Dren). The complicated science of the hair mineral analysis may be often difficult to understand and continue believing in. There are no proofs that the method works and the symptoms experienced by the patient are sent to the lab before the lab test is done, which could skew the interpretation or leave room for fraud.

However, I do personally believe in the hair mineral analysis, although I cannot prove that it works. I feel that it provides important information and I like learning about the thorough explanations. The more I learn about nutrition, extreme health and the human body, the more connections I find between Dr. Lawrence Wilson's book 'Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis' and other theories. I must admit as well that my experience does not put the test into the best possible light because I test less frequently than suggested and only follow the instructions periodically. In fact the more I follow the instructions the faster and bigger changes seem to happen in my lab analysis reports. I will keep going with the hair mineral analysis and related nutritional balancing, even though I am at the same time quite worried about any other new layers of imbalances might be uncovered.

Update: Clarifications by the Nutritionist

Below are some clarifications to my above questions kindly provided by Christine Meehan.

Sodium-potassium ratio, i.e. the 'vitality' ratio

"A low na/k ratio is extremely common and it does change depending on what is going on, you may be fighting an infection at the moment, viral or bacterial or fungal, this will bring the ratio down, toxic metal can keep it raised falsely and as they are released the ratio comes down to what it really is. It is nothing to worry about. The emotional side will also affect it, anger making it higher."

Oxidation rate/ metabolic rate

"On your previous test you where a mixed oxidizer shifting from fast to slow oxidation, your rate has now settled at slow this is an improvement on mixed and now the objective would be for the oxidation rate to be a little faster but not too fast either."

Eliminating bad calcium

"I think the calcium is high in part to do with the release of metastatic calcium but the fact that the ratio between calcium/magnesium is still high and quite higher than the last test, it is more to do with a lifestyle/stress issue. I don't know if you have read about the Spiritual Defensive Pattern. I think this is the problem here."

Stress without a clear cause

"Stress can be very subtle, you may not feel as stressed, toxic metals, diet, attitudes, etc. can put stress on the body. A high calcium/magnesium ratio is a lifestyle stress problem."

Over-active or under-active thyroid?

"You are showing more symptoms of under-active thyroid [than overactive]: lump in throat, fatigue, not able to tolerate the cold, sugar imbalance, possibly the food intolerance is linked [as well]. These symptoms along with the ratios on the chart lead me to believe you are showing an under-active thyroid at present. You may at some point have had an over-active thyroid. I know it is frustrating but I can not diagnose it one way or the other, all I can do is give you my opinion on what the hair analysis is pointing to at this present time. All the supplements that are recommended are based on the hair chart as a whole, and designed to bring the chart back to balance."

Toxic copper elimination

"You have eliminated some copper but I would think there is still more to come. It can take years to get rid of toxic metals. Toxic metals especially toxic copper can cause anxiety and palpitations."

Copper supplementation

"You are showing signs of copper toxicity, i.e. low na/k high cal/mag , but the copper is also deficient. Your copper is bio-unavailable and when the na/k ratio is low we always give some copper [in supplement form]."

Too high estrogen

"Again I can't diagnose if you have high oestrogen only that if you are copper toxic you most likely are high oestrogen."

Why does the lab chart give different supplements from the nutritionist report?

"The lab generates the supplements [automatically?] and it doesn't take into account other patterns that show on the chart."

Update: Serious Criticism of the Hair Mineral Analysis & Nutritional Balancing Program

I think the zinc supplementation as adviced by the hair mineral analysis nutritionist may have caused my whole problem of hyperthyrodism. Hair analysis evidenced that my body started to push out copper - but was the copper appearing in my hair sample good or bad quality copper? How would we know? Was I copper toxic after all? Is anyone ever copper toxic? The nutritionists I consulted with regarding the hair mineral analysis seemed to make a big deal about trying to get the body to begin to detoxify copper, even when it didn't show in the original test. When it showed in the hair that copper was coming out of my body, they saw that as a good sign of progress. But then I ended up with copper deficiency, it seems, so are they actually making people a lot worse by causing their bodies to push out copper, by using zinc supplementation?


To read more in-depth reports on the main issues I have been battling (based on past hair mineral analysis reports) see the articles below. Refer also to 'my health journey', which also has links to diet diaries and other nutritionist reports.

Dr. Lawrence Wilson: "Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis - A New Science of Energy":

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Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions. Read more about Ulla and this website here: "About CHR"


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