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Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and why you may want one!

I attended a seminar on the weekend hosted by Mediscan.  Mediscan are a Perth based company that provides Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA).  I have used this test personally several times and have been amazed and what it has told me.  My first test, indicated I had an extremely high mercury load and led me down the path of understanding why and what the sources of my mercury exposure were.

What is HTMA?

It is a test in which a sample of your hair from the nape of your neck is analysed in a lab for toxic elements and mineral content.

Why would you want a HTMA?

The analysis provides an accurate concentration of minerals and toxic elements that have accumulated over time, typically 1-3 months.  So, it gives a measure of what substances have entered your body and bloodstream.

It is such a simple, non-invasive and relatively cheap test, that provides so much information. And, being based right here in WA means that you can get your results in less than a week!

Why is this important?

Many health conditions are caused or aggravated by toxic element exposure or mineral deficiencies.  Minerals are essential for our well being and there are many factors that affect our ability to absorb minerals from our food.  One challenge being that, particularly here in WA, our soils are so old and nutrient poor that they simply do not have enough zinc, selenium, molybdenum or magnesium and as a consequence neither does our fresh food. Another challenge is our food sources and our lives can be contaminated with toxic elements.

So, it is really important to use real data to measure and monitor changes in our health and I believe the HTMA is one of the most useful and cost-effective ways to do this.

HTMA gives an indication of whether you have had significant toxic element exposure. It will also tell you if you have possible malabsorption issues that require further treatment.  It is very important that any causes of malabsorption are treated before addressing any mineral deficiencies.  Otherwise, you are literally pouring money down the drain by treating the deficiencies while the “plumbing is still leaking”.

It is equally important to address the root sources of any toxic element exposure.  You need to remove the source of exposure, clean up the resultant damage and then heal and rebuild.

And, don’t underestimate the role of stress in mineral deficiencies.  While you are under significant stress, your body will soak up everything in an effort to keep the metabolic processes going.  So just as important as eliminating the source of toxic element exposure and addressing the root cause of any malabsorption, it is just as important to minimise the source/s of your stress.

Is it accurate?

The interpretation algorithms are created by Dr Dane Pervan in conjunction with Mediscan and have been perfected over many years of interpreting the results of HTMA.  The testing protocol was developed by Professor John Watling, Chief Scientist through the Centre for Forensic Science. It has been proven over and over again with over 36,000 hair tissue samples analysed and more than 3 million mineral analysis completed.  Samples are analysed with state-of-the-art ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) and ICP-AES (Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy) analytical instrumentation to determine the analyte concentrations in the hair tissue.

The use of both instruments and correlations of data, enables the most accurate concentration determination to be made.

We are not talking fluke results, these are huge sample sizes with high precision and accuracy.

This just excited my chemical engineering brain.  I love data and I love precision and accuracy.  I always look for sample size, repeatability, precision and accuracy in any data or studies I use or reference.  The Mediscan HTMA ticks all these boxes and more.


So, if you want to get a baseline and get to the root cause of your chronic illness, you can start with Savvy Belly.  We now offer HTMA that you can add on to your Introductory Session. You will get an analysis of your toxic element exposure, your essential mineral profile, an assessment of potential malabsorption issues and suggested supplements as well as a referral for follow up as required.


To find our more please get in touch

Tracie is a certified Health and Wellness Coach, Member of the Institute of Complimentary Therapists, holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering and has spent over 20 years driving change at all organizational levels in the corporate space, with small businesses and more recently with individuals looking to live a thriving, fulfilling life.