What is the Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA)?

Written and submitted by Kim Heintz, Functional Health Strategist

“Minerals are the spark plugs of the body”

What is it?

The Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is an analytical test that measures the mineral composition of hair. 

It is a safe and non-invasive test where a small amount of hair is collected and analyzed for the level of nutrient and toxic elements in body tissue. 

It is regarded by many health professionals as one of the most valuable screening tools available in everyday and preventative health care.

This is because minerals are like the spark plugs of the body and are involved in almost all enzyme reactions in the body. The foundation of health lies in adequate mineral intake and ideal mineral ratios. Anything else you do for your health is great, but minerals must be the foundation and priority.

In the words of the late author and noted researcher, Dr. Henry Schroeder, minerals are “more important factors in human nutrition than vitamins. The body can manufacture many vitamins, but it cannot produce necessary trace minerals or get rid of many possible excesses.” 

What does the HTMA show us?

The test looks at 37 important trace minerals and toxic heavy metals in the body. Minerals include calcium, sodium, magnesium, copper, and potassium. Heavy metals include uranium, arsenic, lead, and aluminum. 

These individual numbers correlate strongly with various symptoms and health issues - such as memory issues, insomnia, fatigue, brain fog, mood issues, exercise intolerance, and more. 

Some of the key information the test can show us include: 

  • Mineral deficiencies and excess 
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • How fast or slow your metabolism is 
  • Nervous system imbalance 
  • Liver and kidney stress
  • How well your cells are utilizing thyroid hormone 
  • Whether or not you have copper toxicity (hint: any woman who has taken birth control of any kind is at risk for copper toxicity, even if it's been years since you were last on it) 
  • Energy levels and fatigue
  • Whether you might have an iodine deficiency
  • And much more!

This is information that is not gathered in standard blood tests, and can be a valuable piece of data to support a healthy lifestyle, as well as show you what foods and supplements might be best for your unique body. 

Why use the hair?

The hair provides the most accurate read of mineral balances and heavy metals in the body. The reason for this is that it’s an average of your levels over a 3-month period. 

Many minerals are supposed to be 99% contained in the cell and tissues - minerals such as potassium and magnesium. So when a blood test is run on these, it’s only looking at 1% of the overall picture. 

Plus, a blood or urine test only provides a snapshot of time rather than an average or accumulation over a span of time. 

Blood and urine tests often don’t show true deficiencies until the minerals have been lost for a very long time, and then it takes a long time to heal from those. 

What causes mineral imbalances?

There are many factors to take into consideration, such as: 

  • Diet – Improper diet through high intake of refined and processed foods, alcohol and more  can all lead to a chemical imbalance. Even the nutrient content of a “healthy” diet can be inadequate, depending upon the soil in which the food was grown or the method in which it was prepared. 
  • Stress – Physical or emotional stress can deplete the body of many nutrients while also reducing the capability to absorb and utilize many nutrients. 
  • Medications – Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can deplete the body stores of nutrient minerals and/or increase the levels of toxic metals. These medications include diuretics, antacids, aspirin, and oral contraceptives like the pill. 
  • Coming into Contact With Toxins in Our Environment – Many of the products we use on a regular basis expose us to metals, which can build up in our tissues. Examples include: cigarette smoke, hair dyes, hydrogenated oils, deodorant, dental amalgams, copper and aluminum cookware, unfiltered water, and cosmetics. These are just a few of the hundreds of sources that can contribute to nutrient imbalances and adverse metabolic effects. 
  • Improper Supplementation – Taking incorrect supplements or improper amounts of supplements can produce many vitamin and mineral excesses and/or deficiencies, contributing to an overall biochemical imbalance. 
  • Inherited Patterns – A predisposition toward certain mineral imbalances, deficiencies and excesses can be inherited from parents.

What kind of benefits can I get from balancing minerals and eliminating toxic metals?

Clients have reported improved energy, weight loss, better sleep, improved mental clarity and vastly improved digestion with a reduction in bloating, constipation, headaches, and pain.

If you’re interested in getting an HTMA, you can sign up to get one here

With this test you can begin your healing journey. You can naturally improve your performance, vitality, energy and mental clarity, and truly thrive!