Too Many Questions Surround Hair Analysis

Article excerpt

Obviously, I am a big fan of many aspects of nontraditional medicine (also a proponent of many aspects of traditional medicine).However, there are some therapies and tests in nontraditional medicine that lack any reasonable validity and reliability in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. A case in point is hair analysis.

Hair analysis is a procedure that is relatively common in some areas of nontraditional medicine.The hair is analyzed for content of specific minerals and vitamins. The theory behind it suggests that the content of minerals, heavy metals and vitamins in the hair reflects the mineral, heavy metals and vitamin content in the body.Low mineral and vitamin levels in the hair is believed to indicate low levels of minerals vitamins and body and ultimately is related to various medical conditions.

Unfortunately, except for detecting acute arsenic and cadmium poisoning as well as illegal drug use, there is no reliable data to indicate that this particular procedure is beneficial in diagnosing or treating any specific medical condition.

Since hair analysis does not require a medical license, it is most commonly used by alternative medicine practitioners who are unable to draw blood or write a prescription to have blood drawn.This includes nutritionists, dietitians, counselors and other ancillary health care providers.The general public is unaware of the limited legitimacy of hair analysis as a diagnostic tool.Therefore, any treatment program based on hair analysis should be questioned.

Compounding the problem with hair analysis is that there are no standardized testing methods for hair analysis. …