Hair is used for mineral testing because of its very nature. Hair is formed from clusters of specialized cells that make up the hair follicle. During the growth phase the hair is exposed to the internal environment such as blood, lymph and extra-cellular fluids. As the hair continues to grow and reaches the surface of the skin its outer layers harden, locking in the metabolic products accumulated during the period of formation. This biological process provides a blueprint and lasting record of mineral status and nutritional metabolic activity that has occurred during this time. The precise analytical method of determining the levels of minerals in the hair is a highly sophisticated technique: when performed to exacting standards and interpreted correctly, it may be used as a screening aid for determining mineral deficiencies, excesses, and/or imbalances. HTMA provides you and your healthcare professional with an economical and sensitive indicator of the long-term effects of diet, stress, toxic metal exposure and their effects on your mineral balance that is difficult to obtain through other clinical tests. It is important for the attending healthcare professional to determine your mineral status as minerals are absolutely critical for life and abundant health. They are involved in and are necessary for cellular metabolism, structural support, nerve conduction, muscular activity, immune functions, anti-oxidant and endocrine activity, enzyme functions, water and acid/alkaline balance and even DNA function. Many factors can affect mineral nutrition, such as; food preparation, dietary habits, genetic and metabolic disorders, disease, medications, stress, environmental factors, as well as exposure to heavy metals. Rarely does a single nutrient deficiency exist in a person today. Multiple nutritional imbalances however are quite common, contributing to an increased incidence of adverse health conditions. In fact, it is estimated that mild and sub-clinical nutritional imbalances are up to ten times more common than nutritional deficiency alone. The laboratory test results and the comprehensive report that follows should not be construed as diagnostic. This analysis is provided only as an additional source of information to the attending doctor. Test results were obtained by a licensed clinical laboratory adhering to analytical procedures that comply with governmental protocol and standards established by Trace Elements, Inc. U.S.A. The interpretive data based upon these results is defined by research conducted by David L. Watts, Ph.D.