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Lab Tests

What do the results of a hair analysis mean?

A Answers (1)

  • AHealthwise answered

    Hair analysis uses samples of hair for DNA analysis or to look for heavy metals, such as lead or arsenic.

    Heavy metal analysis: The results of hair analysis are usually complete within 3 weeks. You or your doctor will receive a report listing the levels of minerals and heavy metals in your hair. Several things need to be considered before testing for heavy metal exposure.

    There is no standard procedure for cutting, washing and analyzing hair. Different labs may report different results from the same hair sample. In fact, the same lab may report different results for separate hairs from a common sample. Standards for testing do not exist. Any hair analysis to detect the presence or absence of minerals, nutrients or toxic metals in the body should be confirmed by testing blood and urine samples.

    What the hair sample contains is determined not only by nutrition and internal metabolism but also by external substances. Air pollution, mineral content of the water supply, exposure to industrial waste, shampoos, hair dyes, hair sprays, permanents and bleaches may raise or lower the levels of certain minerals in the hair. Also, the use of medicines such as birth control pills can change the mineral concentration of hair.

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