Scientific Research ....

Human head hair is a recording filament that can reflect metabolic changes of many elements over long periods of time and thus furnish a print-out of post nutritional events.Strain, W. H.; Pories, W. J.; Flynn, A.; Hill, O. A.: Trace Element Nutriture and Metabolism Through Head Hair Analysis. Trace Substances in Environmental Health. Hemphill, D. D., ed. University of Missouri Press, Columbia, 1972.

It is well known that nutritional mineral deficiency can impair neurological development. Some transitional nutrients can cause later-life health disturbances when deficient in the diet, but in excess can be just as harmful and include iron, copper, manganese, zinc and others. Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic are also neurotoxins and when present early in life can contribute to impaired neuro-development and detrimental health effects later in life and have been called the fetal origins of disease. Hair concentrations of cadmium compared to reference groups were found to be higher in children with mental retardation, learning disabilities, dyslexia and lower I.Q.Metals and Neurotoxicology. Wright, RO, et al. J. Of Nutr. 138,12, 2007.

Hair, blood and urine minerals analyzed in diabetic patients compared to non-diabetic controls showed that the mean levels of zinc, manganese and chromium were significantly lower in the blood and scalp hair of patients diagnosed with diabetes. Higher levels of copper and iron were also found in the scalp hair of the diabetic group as well.Copper, Chromium, Manganese, Iron, Nickel and Zinc Levels in Biological Samples of Diabetes Mellitus Patients. Kazi, TS, et al. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 122,1, 2008.

Statistical evaluation of these data by multi variant analysis (MANOVA) using a contrast matrix and by discriminant analysis showed that elemental hair anomalies can be used to diagnose correctly the above-mentioned pathologies, demonstrating the usefulness of hair analysis as a complementary tool for the detection of disturbances in calcium/bone metabolism.Miekeley, N., et al. Elemental Anomalies in Hair as Indicators of Endocrinologic Pathologies and Deficiencies in Calcium and Bone Metabolism., J. Trace Elem. Med. Biol. 15, 1, 2005

A study of men over a period of thirteen years found that for each microgram of mercury found in the hair, the risk of acute coronary events increased by an average of eleven percent and cardiovascular disease death rate by ten percent.Mercury as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease. J. Nutr. Biochem. 18, 2007.

An example of how mineral intake is reflected in the hair was demonstrated in a study of several thousand Iraqi peasants, whose diet contained grain heavily treated with fungicides. The fungicides contained organic mercury, which was reflected in higher concentrations in the hair when consumption was highest and decreased when consumption was lowest. Hair concentrations correlated directly with the extent of symptoms.Al-Shahristani, H.; Al-Haddad, I. K.: Mercury Content of Hair From Normal and Poisoned Persons. J Radioanalytical Chem 1973; 15. Al-Shahristani, H.; Shihab, K. M.: Variation of Biological Half-Life of Methylmercury in Man. Arch Environ Health 1974; 28.

Hair samples collected and analyzed from five countries with known arsenic sources, both high and low included the United States, Canada, and People's Republic of China, Bangladesh and Nepal. Hair arsenic concentration in all hair samples correlated with the amount of arsenic in drinking water and revealed the low intake of selenium in areas of high arsenic concentrations. The results demonstrate the viability of hair as a noninvasive biomonitor in assessing aspects of dietary Se and environmental As exposure.Spallholz JE, Boylan LM, Palace V, Chen J, Smith L, Rahman MM, Robertson JD., Arsenic and Selenium in Human Hair; A comparison of Five Countries With and Without Arsenicosis., Biol Trace Elem Res. 2005 Aug;106(2):133-44.

This study was performed to establish a relationship between elements in the serum, red cells and hair and included one hundred and seventy-four children. Tests measured the concentrations of the heavy metals, cadmium and lead, as well as calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron. Serum and red blood cell concentrations of cadmium and lead were within normal allowable levels, but hair levels exceeded maximum levels. Supplementation of magnesium and vitamin B6 was begun in children with elevated hair heavy metals. Follow-up tests showed a marked reduction in the lead and cadmium concentration in the hair and erythrocytes.Concentrations of Selected Bioelements and Toxic Metals and Their Influence on Health Status of Children and Youth Residing in Szczecin. Kedzierska, E. Ann. Acad. Med. Stetin. 49, 2003.

The significance of hair analysis as a biological indicator of abnormal intake of trace elements in man is confirmed. Geographical variations of hair trace element concentrations, on the whole, depend on geochemical conditions or nutritional factors.Batzevich VA., Hair trace element analysis in human ecology studies., Sci Total Environ. 1995 Mar 15;164(2):89-98.

By implementation of statistic pattern recognition methods, it has been found that the concentrations of trace elements in hair can remarkably reflect different recovery phases of NPC patients.Leung PL, Huang HM., Following the recovery of naso-pharyngeal cancer patients by trace elements in hair using statistical pattern recognition methods., Biol Trace Elem Res. 1998 Jun;62(3):235-53.
We suggest that the changed element status (Zn, Mg, and Cu) in hair may play an indicator role in the diagnosis of epileptic patients.Ilhan A, Uz E, Kali S, Var A, Akyol O., Serum and hair trace element levels in patients with epilepsy and healthy subjects: does the antiepileptic therapy affect the element concentrations of hair?, Eur J Neurol. 1999 Nov;6(6):705-9.

Mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals have a high affinity for sulfhydryl groups, inactivating enzymatic reactions, amino acids, and sulfur-containing antioxidants. Cadmium concentrations in the kidney induce renal dysfunction and contribute to hypertension due to sodium retention, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia and zinc deficiency. Heavy metal toxicity should be evaluated in any patient with hypertension, cardiovascular heart disease, or other vascular disease. Specific testing for acute and chronic toxicity and total body burden using hair, nail, urine and serum with baseline and provoked evaluation should be done.The Role of Mercury and Cadmium Heavy Metals In Vascular Disease, Hypertension, Coronary Heart Disease and Myocardial Infarction. Houston, MC. Altern. Ther. Health Med. 13,2,2007.

Various changes in the content of trace elements in biological samples taken from patients with idiopathic scoliosis are not accidental. What might bring a shift in our knowledge is speciation of various forms of trace elements in the organism in relation to idiopathic scoliosis.Changes of Selenium, Copper and Zinc Content in Hair and Serum of Patients with Idiopathic Scoliosis. Dastych, M, et al. 2008 Orthopedic Research Society. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Orthop. Res.

The constituents of the hair is determined by the entry of substances from external sources and from substances which enter it from the blood stream.Hopps, H. C.: The Biological Bases for Using Hair and Nail for Analysis of Trace Elements. Sci Tot Environ 1977; 7.
The analysis of blood, excreted by-products, and human head hair represents method for determining body element levels.Pihl, R. O.; Drake, H.; Vrana, F. Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.: Hair Analysis in Learning and Behavior Problems. Hair, Trace Elements, and Human Illness. Brown, A. C.; Crounse, R. G., eds. Praeger Publications, 1980.

Thus, it is observed that there exists some positive correlation between element levels in hair and nails and CHD, hypertension, and diabetes of these subjects.Sukumar A, Subramanian R., Elements in hair and nails of urban residents of New Delhi. CHD, hypertensive, and diabetic cases., Biol Trace Elem Res. 1992 Jul;34(1):89-97.

Hair chromium levels were analyzed in a healthy elderly population and an age-matched control group with type 2 diabetes. Lower hair chromium levels were observed in the diabetic group.Longitudinal Hair Chromium Profiles of Elderly Subjects with Normal Glucose Tolerance and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Stupar, J., et al. Metabolism. 56,1, 2007.

A hybrid algorithm was applied to the hair minerals from a group of healthy individuals compared to those with diabetes and was found to be a good symptom index that could recognize individuals with type 2 diabetes.Hybrid Progressive Algorithm to Recognize Type II Diabetes Based on Hair Mineral Contents. Huang, H, et al. Conf. Proc. IEEE, Eng. Med. Biol. Soc. 5, 2005.

Lead and mercury levels were analyzed in eighty one hair and blood samples obtained at delivery of newborns. The results found that hair mercury and lead negatively correlated with calcium pump activity in maternal and cord blood erythrocytes.Hair Mercury Negatively Correlates with Calcium Pump Activity in Maternal and Cord Blood Erythrocytes. Huel, G, et al. Environ. Hlth. Perspect. 116,2, 2008.

Higher serum magnesium was associated with lower bone mineral density at the spine, whereas high hair magnesium was associated with higher bone mineral density. The study concluded that magnesium in serum and hair was associated with bone mineral density in premenopausal women and the ratio of serum calcium to magnesium appears to be a significant indicator of bone density.Associations of Calcium and Magnesium in Serum and Hair with Bone Mineral Density in Premenopausal Women. Song, CH, et al. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 118, 1, 2007.

Hair levels of iron, zinc and selenium were found lower in the study group of fifty-two children diagnosed with anemia, compared to controls.Serum and Hair Levels of Zinc, Selenium, Iron, and Copper in Children with Iron Deficiency Anemia. Gugoze, MK, et al. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 111, 2006.

The analysis of recently grown hair for zinc provides a biomarker of recent zinc status.Rush E, Li L, Chandu V, Whiting R., Hair zinc concentrations not subject to seasonal variation in adults in New Zealand., Biol Trace Elem Res. 2003 Dec;95(3):193-202.
These data confirm that the analysis of Zn in hair represents an addition to conventional materials in the assessment of the nutritional status of groups of individuals.Contiero E, Folin M., Trace elements nutritional status. Use of hair as a diagnostic tool., Biol Trace Elem Res. 1994 Feb;40(2):151-60.

Dietary levels of some of the essential micro-elements have been reported to correspond to hair concentrations of the elements.Reinhold, J. G.; Kfoury, G. A.; Ghalambor, M. A.; Jean, C.: Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair of Iranian Villagers. Am J Clin Nutr 1966; 18. Strain, W. H.; Steadman, L. T.; Lankau, C. A.; Berliner, W. P.; Pories, W. J.: Analysis of Zinc Levels in Hair for the Diagnosis of Zinc Deficiency in Man. J Lab Clin Med 1966; 68.

Levels of lead, cadmium and nickel in scalp hair, blood and urine samples were significantly higher in groups of exposed workers compared to those of a control group. The determination of toxic metals in the biological samples of human beings is an important clinical screening procedure.Evaluation of Toxic Metals in Biological Samples (Scalp Hair, Blood and Urine) of Steel Mill Workers by Electrothermal Atomic Adsorption Spectrometry. Afridi, HI, et al. Toxicol. Ind. Hlth. 9, 2006.

Mineral levels of one hundred and twenty male lung cancer patients were compared to one hundred-fifty controls. The study showed that the average cadmium concentration was high in the blood and scalp hair of lung cancer patients at different stages compared to controls.Determination of Cadmium in Whole Blood and Scalp Hair Samples of Pakistani Male Lung Cancer Patients by Electrothermal Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Kazi, TG, et al. Sci. Total Environ. 389,2, 2008.

One such procedure which has shown great potential, at least for the determination of micro-element nutriture..., is the use of hair as the biological sample. Perhaps an even more important advantage would be that hair, by the very nature of the sample, should reflect a rather long-term nutritional state rather than recent (i.e. previous meal or day) dietary intake.Sauberlich, H. E.; Scala, J. H. Department of Nutrition, Letterman Army Institute of Research, San Francisco, California. Dowdy, R. P. Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Food Systems Management, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

Hair may provide a continuous record of nutritional status.Maugh, T. H. Hair: A Diagnostic Tool to Complement Blood Serum and Urine. Science1978; 202.

A positive correlation of selenium levels was found between samples of umbilical cord blood and the newborn's hair. Correlation was also found between placenta and umbilical cord blood and between cord blood and maternal blood.Selenium Levels in Related Biological Samples: Human Placenta, Maternal and Umbilical Cord Blood, Hair and Nails. Lorenzo, A, et al. J. Trace Elem. Med. Biol. 19,1, 2005.

Changes in the hair iron concentrations were accompanied by similar changes in the concentrations of the markers most commonly used to diagnose and monitor iron deficiency. The results suggest that quantification of hair iron may be useful to complement evaluations of the body iron status.Bisse E, Renner F, Sussmann S, Scholmerich J, Wieland H., Hair iron content: possible marker to complement monitoring therapy of iron deficiency in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases?, Clin Chem. 1996 Aug;42(8 Pt 1):1270-4.

Hair calcium concentration did reflect the risk of CHD on a population basis and was strongly influenced by both the hardness of the water supply and the annual sunshine hours which also independently affected the SMR for CHD.MacPherson A, Bacso J., Relationship of hair calcium concentration to incidence of coronary heart disease., Sci Total Environ. 2000 Jun 8;255(1-3):11-9.

This study explored calcium and magnesium levels in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia compared to matched controls. Findings revealed significantly higher hair levels of both calcium and magnesium in the affected group. Wilcoxon rank sum tests showed that patients with fibromyalgia had significantly higher calcium and magnesium levels than the control subjects at alpha = .025 and .05, respectively.Ng SY., Hair calcium and magnesium levels in patients with fibromyalgia: a case center study., J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Nov-Dec;22(9):586-93.

Zinc and copper concentrations were measured in the hair and urine of patients who were hospitalized for myocardial infarction (MI). Mineral concentrations were also measured in descendants of the patients and compared to a control group. The study suggests that in MI patients, a genetic disorder of mineral imbalance at a younger age can be used in predicting susceptibility to heart disease in individuals prior to onset and diagnosis in asymptomatic patients.Detection of Potentially Myocardial Infarction Susceptible Individuals in Indian Population: A Mathematical Model Based on Copper and Zinc Status. Taneja, SK, et al. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 75, 2000.

It is concluded that hair metal analysis in samples close to the scalp is not seriously invalidated by sources of external contamination.Cadmium, Copper, Lead and Zinc Concentration in Human Scalp and Pubic Hair. Wilhelm, M, et al. Instit, Toxicol. Univ. of Dussseldorf, W. Wermany. 199-206, Vol. 92, 1990.

Nickel- sensitive women had significantly higher levels of nickel in nails, hair and plasma than control subjects.Nickel in Nails, Hair and Plasma from Nickel-Hypersensitive Women. Gammelgaard, et al. Acta. Derm. Venereol. 417, Vol. 70, 1990.

High content of mercury in hair may be a risk factor for acute coronary events and CVD, CHD, and all-cause mortality in middle-aged eastern Finnish men.Virtanen JK, Voutilainen S, Rissanen TH, Mursu J, Tuomainen TP, Korhonen MJ, Valkonen VP, Seppanen K, Laukkanen JA, Salonen JT., Mercury, fish oils, and risk of acute coronary events and cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and all-cause mortality in men in eastern Finland., Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005 Jan;25(1):228-33. Epub 2004 Nov 11.

The elemental analysis of hair is becoming increasingly popular for the assessment of nutritional status.Katz, S. A. Professor of Chemistry, Rutgers University.: The Use of Hair as a Biopsy Material for Trace Elements in the Body. Am Lab 1979; Feb.

Regarding certain factors (age, sex, health, occupation, etc.), the influence causing the change in element levels is obvious, whereas the influence of other factors (structure of hair, height and weight of the subject, etc.) is obscure. It is very important to consider all the factors at the time of investigation for effective interpretation, validity, and application of results of hair analysis.Sukumar A., Factors influencing levels of trace elements in human hair., Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. 2002;175:47-78.

Research literature supports the view that trace element content of the hair and nail reflect body intake...from which one can conclude that hair and nail are suitable samples for evaluating body stores.Hopps, H. C.: The Biological Bases for Using Hair and Nail for Analysis of Trace Elements. Trace Substances In Environmental Health VIII. Hemphill, D.D., ed. University of Missouri, Columbia. 1974.

This reference range of trace elements in the mane hair of racing horses should be used to assess disease and the nutritional status in equine practice.Asano R, Suzuki K, Otsuka T, Otsuka M, Sakurai H., Concentrations of toxic metals and essential minerals in the mane hair of healthy racing horses and their relation to age., J Vet Med Sci. 2002 Jul;64(7):607-10.

Hair concentrations may provide useful information on longer term nutrition.Casey, C. E.; Hambidge, K. M.: Trace Element Deficiencies in Man. Advances In Nutritional Research Vol.3. Draper, H. H., ed. Plenum Pub., 1980. Hambidge, K. M.; Walravens, P.A.: Trace Elements in Nutrition. Prac Ped 1974, 1:1

The patients were divided into three groups of ten; one group was studied two years after total hip replacement, one at four years, and one at six years. High levels of titanium and aluminum were found in the hair, especially in the group studied six years after implantation, while the levels of the three ions in the blood and urine were not significant.Trinchi V, Nobis M, Cecchele D., Emission spectrophotometric analysis of titanium, aluminum, and vanadium levels in the blood, urine, and hair of patients with total hip arthroplasties., Ital J Orthop Traumatol. 1992;18(3):331-9.

The study holds promise that hair selenium may be used as a monitoring tool for low-level occupational exposure to selenium.Srivastava AK, Gupta BN, Bihari V, Gaur JS, Mathur N., Hair selenium as a monitoring tool for occupational exposures in relation to clinical profile., J Toxicol Environ Health. 1997 Aug 8;51(5):437-45.

The results of the quality assurance program, which included 31 participants on four continents, are described. Of the participating laboratories, 92% consistently meet QA/QC performance limits for the determination of Hg in human hair.Gill US, Schwartz HM, Bigras L., Results of multiyear international interlaboratory comparison program for mercury in human hair., Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2002 Nov;43(4):466-72.

The hair concentrations of Ca, Fe, Cu, and Zn in the three groups of gravida were lower or significantly lower than those in controls. In sera, the differences did not show statistical significance in most casesHuang HM, Leung PL, Sun DZ, Zhu MG., Hair and serum calcium, iron, copper, and zinc levels during normal pregnancy at three trimesters., Biol Trace Elem Res. 1999 Aug;69(2):111-20.

There is now a considerable body of literature on the use of hair in forensic science, in the diagnosis of disease states, and in the assessment of nutritional status.Stevens, B. J.: Determination of Aluminum, Copper, and Zinc in Human Hair. Atomic Spectroscopy 1983; 4:45

Results showed that hair copper concentrations could be correlated with the degree of severity, in that the higher the copper burdens, the more severe the autism. Levels of lead and mercury were also found higher in the affected group and increased with the degree of severity. Whereas, selenium and magnesium were significantly different in the low functioning group of children compared to others in the affected group as well as controls.Priya, L, Geetha, A. Level of Trace Elements (Copper, Zinc, Magnesium and Selenium) and Toxic Elements (Lead and Mercury) in the Hair and Nail of Children with Autism. Biol.Trace Elem.Res. 2010.

Both deficiency and excess of trace elements was shown to be of pathogenetic value in the development of thyroid disease.Hair Trace Elements in Patients with Goiter. Farkhutdinova, LM, et al. Klin Lab Diagn. Aug. (8) 2006.

Imbalances in the optimum levels of trace elements may adversely affect the biological process and are associated with many disease processes.Rahman, A. et al. Zinc, Manganese, Calcium, Copper and Cadmium Level in Scalp Hair Samples of Schizophrenic Patients. Biol.Trace Elem. Res. 127,2, 2009.

As part of the metabolic syndrome, the optimal calcium and magnesium concentrations in hair tissue may reflect decreased risk of metabolic syndrome.Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Metabolic Syndrome. Park, SB, et al. Biol.Trace Elem.Res. 130,3, 2009.

Heavy metals are being increasingly recognized as mediators or factors in the development and progression of cardiovascular disease and that a deficiency, lack of homeostatic control or excess intake of some metals may lead to cardiovascular mortality.Afridi, HI., et al. Evaluation of Toxic Elements in Scalp Hair Samples of Myocardial Infarction Patients at Different Stages as Related to Controls. Biol. Trace Elem. Res.134, 1, 2010.

Hair lead levels have been found to correlate well with body lead contamination.Black AP, Knight R, Batty J, Haswell SJ, Lindow SW., An analysis of maternal and fetal hair lead levels., BJOG. 2002 Nov;109(11):1295-7.

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