Dynamics of Detoxification by Dr. George M. Tamari, Ph.D.
Recently, we have received questions about the increased level of toxic elements in follow-ups of hair mineral analysis (HMA). These results were "disappointingly" surprising. One or more toxic elements appeared at a higher level in the second test that previously were present at a lower concentration. Why did it happen? This logical question prompted us to further investigate the matter.
It is important to take into consideration the fact that we have in our body different compartments: intracellular and extra cellular compartments. Blood and urine belong to the extra cellular whereas cells and hair tissue represent the intracellular compartment. Jacob et al. (1) indicated that hair copper in adult rats was found to correlate directly with copper in the whole liver. Another comparative study of the copper content of the liver and hair of African children with kwashiorkor suggested a direct correlation between the reduced levels of copper in the hair and the liver of these subjects (2).
First, we have to answer a simple question: which source is the best for detecting the presence of toxic elements? In case of chronic exposure, blood analysis would be the method of choice. For elements such as heavy metals, however, where the cumulative intake needs to be known, blood reveals little. Petering et al (3) concluded that "blood is not a suitable material to analyse for cadmium since the metal remains in the blood only briefly and, in consequence, the levels are always extremely low", as they are deposited in the different organs. Chamberlain et al (4) showed that blood lead concentrations due to inhaled lead peaked after 4-5 hours, and after about 24 hours for ingested lead. After reaching the maximum level, the lead concentrations in the blood declined exponentially.
Blood can be used only for immediate measurement of exposure to lead and cadmium, as it gives no indication to the cumulative levels of these elements. Similar arguments apply to testing for arsenic and mercury; when a factory released some arsenic compound into a residential area, for example, it was some time before residents were examined and blood levels had declined to normal (5), but hair was successfully used to determine those contaminated by the release.
Interaction of minerals and trace elements
The observation in nature that soils rich in certain minerals can cause a deficiency in others has incited many nutritionists to study these interrelationships among the different elements. In the last 60-70 years, many studies were conducted in order to find the explanation for these antagonistic behaviour.
It was found that ions whose valance shell electronic structures (6) or electronic configurations (7-9) were similar, would be antagonistic. Impressive data was compiled by the Task Group on Metal Interaction (10) and also on nutrient interaction with toxic elements (11). We can take advantage of this antagonistic relationship among the elements to our advantage. The fact is that nutritional elements like calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc are in short supply in a typical North American diet. Deficiency in these elements provides opportunities for the toxic minerals, like lead, cadmium, mercury and aluminium to be incorporated into metabolic key-position. By supplementing the deficient nutritional elements, and taking advantage of their antagonism to the toxic element, the toxic element will be removed (replaced). This theoretical assumption has been proven by studies (12,13,14), indicating that children with lower dietary calcium intake were more prone to lead-burden than children with a diet richer in calcium. Therefore, the data on the interaction of essential minerals and toxic elements can be used effectively in two ways:
It happens many times, therefore, that after starting the patient on a supplementation program, the hair analysis does not immediately indicate the presence of toxic elements, and may only show up in the next analysis. This demonstrates that they (the toxic elements) were replaced by nutritional elements. When a toxic element is detected by HMA and a supplementation program initiated, the higher level of the toxic element may show up in the next analysis. It just proves that the supplementation program was effective in removing the toxic element. The same result could be achieved by using urine analysis. It is an excellent monitoring system in following up on the removal of unwanted (toxic) elements. The great advantage of urine analysis, compared to HMA is that it indicates immediate results, whereas in case of HMA, there is a waiting period of at least 4-6 weeks, due to the growth rate of hair.
We are privileged to look back at a quarter of a century of Anamol's existence. Our lab is the first and the best in Canada and one of the best among all the other labs in the world. We pride ourselves in our high quality performance, excellent service and ongoing growth and development through educating ourselves and our customers in the field of mineral and trace element metabolism and assessment techniques.
In 1978 hair mineral analysis (HMA) was not a well-known commodity. When we introduced our lab to doctors saying: "We are doing hair analysis" , the most frequent response was: "Doing what?" It took some time until HMA became a recognized screening and assessment test.
On the way to success we had to contend with quite a few obstacles. The College of Physicians and Surgeons, Ministry of Health, the Quack busters, were just a few among many who caused us countless sleepless nights.
On the other hand, the Board of the Canadian Naturopathic College and several physicians belonging to the Canadian Holistic Association have received us with open arms. We are especially grateful to those doctors who have been with us from the very beginning of our existence. Their encouragement and support have assisted Anamol through the initial steps.
We experienced a good number of internal hurdles also, as we went through trials and tribulations and eventually succeeded to assemble a team of trustworthy and knowledgeable staff. Though our dedicated staff are 100% reliable, the fine instruments we work with cannot be taken for granted. Several practitioners might remember our panic call - it happened twice in the 25 years - when a major part of the analytical instrument (ICAP) broke down and we could not produce reports for over two weeks. A heartfelt thank you to those of our customers who expressed their encouragement and understanding!
One of the greatest achievements is our excellent, often informal relationship with our clients. We value all of our customers and give them all the assistance in our power to give. It has been honest good work, reasonable fees, the sharing of knowledge and the belief in the validity and importance of HMA have carried Anamol through these past successful 25 years.
Anamol Laboratories. 25th
10 Free Hair Analyses! On February 25th, we had an internal party to mark and celebrate our 25th Anniversary. One of the highlights of the celebration was a draw in which the names of practitioners who have been with us from year one were eligible for the prize. The lucky winner was: Dr. Jozef Krop.
During my 15 years with Anamol Laboratories I've been striving to provide our customers with accurate, fast and courteous service. To improve the administration of incoming samples by preventing delays and unnecessary phone calls, I would need your assistance with the following:
• When completing hair analysis forms (H101) & Dietary Surveys (N2002), the doctor's and patient's name should be printed to ensure correct spelling.
• The marking of gender (sex) and hair location (from where the sample was taken e.g. head, nape, pubic), and the submitted quantity of hair of 1 tablespoon are all essential for correct and accurate results.
We respectfully ask all of our customers to mark the method of payment as well. Anamol Laboratories is operating on a prepaid basis and we accept payment by cash, cheque, VISA or MasterCard.
Some health practitioners request their patients to complete the submittal form and mailing the hair sample. In these cases, please stamp on the form the doctor's name first and make sure payment is added to the shipment.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. If you have any request, comment or suggestion to further improvements, please write or e-mail us, or if it is urgent, contact us by telephone.
Nagy Azat, M.Sc., N.C.
Tel.: (905) 660-1225 ext. 24
A Review of the Literature
Recent additions to the Related Abstracts Archive:
Further studies of vanadium in depressive psychosis
GJ Naylor, FM Corrigan, AH Smith, P Connelly, NI Ward. Br. J Psychiatry, 1987;150:656-661
Use of hair analysis for evaluating
mercury intoxication of the human body A review
SA Katz, RB Katz, J Appl Tocicology 1992;12:79-84
Contents of trace elements in the hair of
aplastic anemia patients and the treatment based on an overall analysis of
symptoms and signs
A Pang, J Traditional Chinese Med 1999;14:98-100
Anamol Laboratories Ltd.
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