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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