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328: Is Hair Mineral Testing Useful?

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 328

Question: How useful is hair trace mineral analysis (HTMA) for nutritional testing?

Short Answer:
Hair trace mineral analysis is included as an optional add-on in the comprehensive nutritional screening from Testing Nutritional Status: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet, because it can capture data for some ultra-trace minerals for which there are no better-validated tests, and it might capture a pattern that might not be picked up as quickly with blood work, such as a mineral transport issue. However, its utility is limited by the fact that hair mineral content is not well validated as a test for any specific mineral, is generally anti-validated when there is enough science on a mineral (such as zinc, where hair zinc does not go down in deficiency), and should not be used as a central piece of data without corroboration from other more well-validated tests, which exist for most of the nutrients.

This episode was cut from the original Q&A session that you can find here.

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

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The Masterjohn Q&A Files
We use Zoom, a video chatting software, in webinar mode. You can ask your question anonymously in text, but you can also ask it publicly, and you can even get "on stage" and share your mic, web cam, or screen with everyone.
Chris Masterjohn, PhD