You’re most likely one of the 80% of people who have low levels of magnesium and you don’t even know it, until now. Because magnesium is only 1% in your blood, routine blood and urine testing commonly misses its deficiency, for good reason. That said, when you perform a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA), all of your nutrient levels show and that’s why this method of testing has been used for decades by scientists and researchers, particularly in anthropology. HTMA is basically the scientific examination of a hair sample taken at the root, preferably at the base of the head…Click to Continue Reading…
In this investigative report I’m only dealing with magnesium deficiency because it is SO prevalent – pointing out how the HTMA test can better identify its presence, or lack of it. The HTMA is an invaluable part of my clinical practice and many of you keep asking for more information, thus, this is the first of several reports that will hopefully shine a brighter light on its importance and value. My experience shows it identifies underlying causes not usually identifiable in conventional testing methods. I’ll also provide specific examples to help you see its value.
You’re Most Likely Asking – What ARE Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?
- Leg Cramps – more than a nuisance; they’re also excruciating, just ask anyone who’s had “Charlie horses”. Mg plays a role in neuromuscular signals as well as muscle contraction and in restless leg syndrome – a warning sign of Mg deficiency and often also potassium deficiency.
- Sleep Disorders – Mg deficiency plays a key role as precursor to sleep, anxiety/panic, and hyperactivity disorders. Mg is vital for GABA function – an inhibitory neurotransmitter that “calms” the brain to promote relaxation, in other words, GABA turns off the hard-drive in your computer.
- Fibromyalgia & Soft Tissue Pain – studies published in Magnesium Research show that increased Mg reduced pain and tenderness AND improved immune blood markers.
- Hypertension – Mg is a co-factor (partner) along with calcium that supports healthy blood pressure, thus, protecting the heart. A study with 241,378 participants published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that a diet high in Mg foods could reduce the risk of stroke by as much as 8% – a huge number considering high blood pressure causes 50% of strokes worldwide.
- Type II Diabetes – researchers in the U.K. tested 1,452 adults and found them to have low Mg levels. This discovery equates to this group being 10.50 times more likely to have diabetes than non-diabetics. The data proves that Mg rich diets significantly lower risk of Type II Diabetes.
- Fatigue – if you experience sub-normal energy, weakness, fatigue and brain-fog, you may be Mg deficient. The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that most chronic fatigue patients are Mg deficient.
- Headaches & Migraines – Mg balances neurotransmitters, important in headaches of any kind. Studies prove 360-600 mg of Mg daily reduces frequency of headaches by as much as 42%.
- Decreased Bone-density – according to the National Institute of Health, an average adult body contains about 25 grams of Mg – half of that in the bones. Newer studies published in Biology Trace Element Research showed that Mg supplementation in those at risk for bone-weakening (Osteoporosis) was significantly slowed after just 30 days. Additional consideration should also be given to adding vitamin D3 and K2.
You Should Know…
- Magnesium deficiency CAN be inherited as an inability to absorb this vital mineral. In addition, the following contribute to low or reduced Mg:
- Low-magnesium diet;
- Prolonged emotional stress.
When the body and mind are under excessive stress, a magnesium deficiency will usually manifest as a result of the body using its “reserves” quicker than they’re being replaced in an attempt to “calm” the effects of stress.
- Magnesium was once abundantly present in our soil. Nowadays food contains less and less Mg because of farming practices and growing-cycle changes not in line with nature.
Forms of Magnesium supplements and their differences:
- Mg Chelate – magnesium bonded to multiple amino acids the same as food, and highly absorbable by our body;
- Mg Citrate – magnesium with citric acid that has laxative effects so often taken for constipation;
- Mg Glycinate – a chelated form providing high levels of absorption and bioavailability, typically ideal for those correcting a deficiency like that identified in HTMA;
- Mg Theonate – a newer emerging form that shows promise primarily because of its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane. This form is being touted by some health providers as the best Mg supplement but not as easily to find, yet;
- Mg Chloride Oil – the form found in oil or as it exists in Epsom salts. It passes through the skin and into the body. For those with serious malabsorption digestive issues, this is the best form to take orally and/or bathe with it.
HTMA basics are actually simple; however, the interpretation and protocols to correct imbalances are intricate, scientific and require advanced training for correct interpretation. Interpretation is not simply that a nutrient/toxin registers high, for instance, and indicating you have too much. It can also mean your body is “dumping” it because of other nutrient/toxic imbalances that prevent cofactors needed to utilize that substance or detoxify it – it’s not as cut-n-dry as what’s high and what’s low.
CASE HISTORY: A great example of a health professional not certified in HTMA and how they could MIS-interpret test results is provided in the link of test results from a client of mine whose HTMA test showed very high magnesium and, in fact, she was having serious allergies, cardiovascular symptoms that sent her to the E.R. several times believing she was having a heart attack, and G.I. symptoms that prevented her from eating and her weight was down to 78 lbs. In fact, her body was “dumping” magnesium because other nutrients were so out-of-balance the body couldn’t use it! Is it any wonder this woman was experiencing the above symptoms? Without magnesium the right signals are not sent to the muscles, including the heart muscle! Click the link below to view sample page of her HTMA lab report.
When new hair cells are forming the hair follicle, they take-in traces of substances going through your blood, and as hair grows, new cells push out older ones. As cells emerge from the bulb, they die and harden and create a long-lasting record of whatever was in the blood when they were forming.
In addition to the actual hair strand itself, the sebum that coats the hair (from sebaceous gland connected to the hair follicle) also contains traces of the drugs and minerals flowing through the body. And, if the root or the root sheath is attached to the hair, it provides a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) record as unique as a fingerprint.
This type of testing can provide a more exacting long-lasting record (archive) of what passes through the body than that of blood or urine. Each hair lives about 5-6 years before it falls off the scalp, unless there are extinguishing health consequences for it to fall out sooner.
Modern, more sophisticated, hair analysis uses gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to chemically test hair or find its DNA composition. Usually, a pencil-tip thickness of hair close to the body (from the region behind the head just above the neck) is cut out. The hair closest to the scalp is used because it is the most recent growth, and can be expected to show the most recent condition of the body.
The lab sample of hair is usually dissolved and the extract is analyzed for minerals, drugs, toxins or heavy metals. This data is then used to report/identify imbalances that can lead to diseases and deficiencies/excesses in your system.
Modern methods are sensitive enough to find traces of minerals/metals/drugs that are a thousandth of a gram (microgram), or a nanogram (one billionth of a gram) or even a picogram (one thousandth of a nanogram) per gram of hair.
Uses for Hair Analysis
Hair analysis is a standard medical test for chronic arsenic poisoning – the stuff of “health detectives”, often seen in agricultural workers who inhale fumes containing arsenic from insecticide sprays or dust.
Another accepted use of hair analysis is to show if someone has been taking illegal drugs – cocaine, marijuana, amphetamines, or alcohol. The analyst checks for the presence of the substances themselves or their metabolites (the products of the body’s metabolism of these substances) in the strand of the hair. The results of such tests have been acceptable in courts of law a long time. SO, if you had any doubt of the effectiveness and value of a HTMA, hopefully, those doubts have been dissolved.
Other Benefits of HTMA:
- Nutrient loss from the body can become so advanced that severe health conditions develop without any appreciable changes noted in those same nutrient levels in a blood/urine test because the body will try to keep the blood levels normal for as long as it can. Once the blood begins to show the condition, it means the body is no longer able to fully compensate for the problem.
- Symptoms of elemental deficiency can be present long before low levels can be detected in the blood/urine.
- Hair is used as one of the tissues of choice by the Environmental Protection Agency in determining toxic metal exposure. An E.P.A. report stated that human hair can be effectively used for biological monitoring of the highest priority toxic metals. This report confirmed the findings of other studies in the U.S. and abroad, which concluded that human hair may be a more appropriate tissue than blood or urine for studying community exposure to some trace elements since hair analysis can indicate toxic substances stored in the body.
Approximately 30 to 40 days after exposure to a large amount of lead, elevated blood levels may be undetectable in blood or urine testing. This is due to the body removing the lead from the blood and depositing the metal into such tissues as the liver, bones, teeth and hair as a protective measure. Once the lead is removed from the blood, typically, it will not show up in blood or urine test. However, it will still show in a properly performed hair analysis.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency listed in this report and all other testing shows, “within normal range”, consider ordering the HTMA kit. It’s easy with complete directions and diagrams to show you how to cut the hair sample and then you mail back to us and we submit to the lab. As soon as the report is received we contact you for a telephone consultation to interpret the results and provide nutritional protocols to assist in correcting imbalances. You do not have to be a client in order to order and consult regarding the results. Click here to order.