Personalized Nutrition with Hair Mineral Analysis

As the science of nutrition has evolved, the relationship between diet and optimal health and performance is now widely accepted and understood. It has become very clear that nutrition provides information to the cells and genes, and that diet and nutrition play an essential role in health risk prevention and recovery.

However, the science behind how nutrition influences health becomes even more vital as health issues become more common and prominent, such as obesity, diabetes, joint problems and the ever-growing population with early stage dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Just as no one has identical DNA, there is no cookie-cutter approach to structuring a nutritional program to complement everyone’s individual needs. The goal is to correct body chemistry and improve cellular function. A properly analyzed hair mineral analysis (HMA) provides a picture of body chemistry, metabolism, and stress level, providing a guide for targeted supplementation. 

Minerals and a Hair Mineral Analysis

Minerals are involved in almost all enzyme reactions in the body.  Without enzyme activity, life does not exist. The foundation of health lies in adequate mineral intake and ideal mineral ratios.

Hair is a recording filament that provides a record of past and current mineral levels and metabolic changes, furnishing an overview of key mineral interrelationships, imbalances, and deficiencies that have developed over time, as well as toxic metal accumulation that may need correction. HMA differs from urine, saliva, or sweat analysis because they only measure the levels that are absorbed, then excreted. Blood mineral tests only measure what is in the circulation, but not what is necessarily bioavailable for cellular function.  (1) (2)

The hair analysis tests 20 nutrient mineral levels, including calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, chromium, selenium, and more. These minerals are necessary for the proper functioning of organs and tissues of the body, but can also be stored in organs or tissues where they don’t belong and interfere with proper function. Important mineral ratios have been established that indicate ideal metabolic balance and function.

Some minerals need to be replenished and balanced. Some minerals are toxic such as aluminum, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and lead, and should be detoxified. Toxic metals directly interfere with cellular and metabolic function. (3)(4)

Toxins and a Hair Mineral Analysis

Toxins refer to anything that that can damage the cells and tissues of the body and their function. Most everyone has a level of toxic metals in their body. Hair mineral analysis is an excellent tool to identify the amount of toxins in the body and how effectively they are being removed. When the body isn’t detoxifying properly, toxins can become buried deep within body organs, tissues, and bones. (5) 

When these toxins accumulate in the body there can be the “tip of the iceberg vs. the whole iceberg” concept. This means the toxins that show up on the hair test, particularly on a first test, can be the tip of the iceberg in terms of toxicity, while others are buried within the body, unable to be detoxified effectively. A personalized nutritional balancing program will slowly uncover and remove the buried layers of toxicity over a period of several years or more. (5)

Balancing Minerals and a Hair Mineral Analysis

Balancing mineral levels is imperative to achieve proper mineral ratios. All minerals have complex interactions and affect each other. Possible deficiencies, inadequate intake, malabsorption disorders, or other metabolic imbalances are indicated by low mineral values. Excessive consumption or storage of one or more minerals or other imbalances are indicated by high mineral values. Excess intake of a single mineral can also decrease the intestinal absorption of another mineral. For example, a high intake of calcium depresses intestinal zinc absorption, while an excess intake of zinc can depress copper absorption. Poor equilibrium between nutrients can result in an adverse effect on health. (6)(7)

Common Causes of Mineral Imbalances

  • Stress depletes minerals from the body, most notably magnesium and zinc.
  • Toxic Metals and Chemicals. They can replace minerals in enzyme binding sites and interfere with mineral absorption.
  • Chronic Viral and Bacterial Infections are subtle stressors on the body, depleting minerals (ie: gut dysbiosis).
  • Toxic Food Supply. Our food and soils are depleted of minerals, which is why everyone needs nutritional supplements. Hybrid crops, superphosphate fertilizers (ie: Miracle Grow), refined foods, pesticides, food additives and more, all contribute to a nutritionally depleted and toxic food supply.
  • Drinking Water. Tap water is often contaminated due to added chlorine, aluminum, fluoride, and sometimes copper, which cause toxicity or displace other minerals.
  • Unhealthy Lifestyles. Many individuals do not get enough sleep, don’t exercise enough (or too much), or have other unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Thyroid Function and a Hair Mineral Analysis

A hair mineral analysis doesn’t show disease states, but shows function very well, especially thyroid function and adrenal gland function. A hair test is often a far more sensitive test than serum or other hormone tests. This means it will detect subtle thyroid imbalances, and at times, much sooner than other assessments. The hair test also offers clues as to the cause. Go here to dive into information about your thyroid function and how a hair mineral analysis can help.

Analyzing a Hair Mineral Analysis

In conclusion, hair mineral analysis is a basic, cost-effective test that delivers accurate information regarding the individual's history of mineral imbalances or toxicity. However, the crucial aspect of these results is the proper interpretation of the cause and effect relationships that can precede health issues in either animals or humans. HMA results can form the foundation to aid in the nutritional support of mineral imbalances and the health issues associated with them. To best apply HMA results, the most important criterion is that the analyzer has a clear knowledge of the complex interactions between various minerals with each other, whether antagonistic and/or synergistic. (8)(9)

-Jack Grogan

-Chief Science Officer for Uckele Health & Nutrition


About Jack Grogan

Jack Grogan is Chief Science Officer for Uckele Health & Nutrition. He is a recognized expert in Hair Mineral Analysis, a valuable tool in determining the causes of nutritional imbalances or deficiencies.  With considerable experience in the fields of biology, biochemistry and nutrition, he has been influential in the development of hundreds of proprietary nutritional formulas and programs.

Uckele Health & Nutrition is an innovation-driven health company committed to making people and their animals healthier.  Formulating for contract and private label clients for over 50 years on the leading edge of nutritional science and technology, Uckele formulates and manufactures a full spectrum of quality nutritional supplements incorporating the latest nutritional advances.


1. Flynn, A., Hill, O. A, Pories, W. J., Strain, W. H. “Trace Element Nutriture and Metabolism Through Head Hair Analysis”, Trace Substances in Environmental Health, 1972.

2. Sun Namkoong, et al. Reliability on Intra-Laboratory and Inter-Laboratory Data of Hair Mineral Analysis Comparing with Blood Analysis. Published online February 14, 2013.   

3. Wright, RO, “Metals and Neurotoxicology”, Journal of Nutrition, 2007.

4. Activation Analysis of Hair as an Indicator of Contamination of Man by Environmental Trace Elements Pollutants, Report IAEA/RL/50, 1977.

5. Lawrence Wilson, MD, Understanding Toxicity, accessed online 2/7/20.  

6. Watts, DL. Nutrient Interrelationships Minerals — Vitamins — Endocrines. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. Vol. 5, No. 1, 1990. 

7. Miekeley, N. “Elemental Anomalies in Hair as Indicators of Endocrinologic Pathologies and Deficiencies in Calcium and Bone Metabolism”, Trace Elemental Medical Biolology, 2005.

8. “Toxic Trace Metals in Mammalian Hair and Nails”, United States Environmental Protection Agency Publication, 1979.

9. Thomas H. Maugh II, Hair: A Diagnostic Tool to Complement Blood Serum and Urine. Science, New Series, Vol. 202, No. 4374 (Dec. 22, 1978), pp. 1271-1273

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