Hair Analysis: Top 5 Reasons Over 50’s Should

hair analysis secrets

With ageing our health becomes more important. I’m not telling you anything profound or new there. What a lot of people don’t know is that valuable insights into your bodies nutritional status can be determined with a simple inexpensive test called a hair analysis. We’ve written a lot about this before and you can check it out here but in this article we are exploring the top five reasons why over 50’s should consider doing a hair mineral analysis.

hair analysis sample


This is so simple and important; yet commonly overlooked. Here is the rule that you must always remember: all cells require nutrients to function. If the nutrient is not present, the cell will not function at its best. A simple example is oxygen. Without it, we have no life. Without our minerals and vitamins, we would face similar fates. With today’s lifestyles and diets, it is not surprising that deficiencies are commonplace. Magnesium, zinc and iron are common deficiencies but all minerals need to be in the correct range.


In our consumer-driven society, we are often led to believe that more is better. We buy into this in many subtle ways. One way is by using multivitamins indiscriminately. We tend to buy them as insurance policies and think that if we just keep putting more in, it will be good for us. This logic couldn’t be further from the truth! Let’s take Vitamin C as an example because, as it turns out, Linus Pauling had it wrong. He thought there was no way to have too much vitamin C, but the reality is that just as deficiency is an issue, excess is as well. If you have too little vitamin C, you will be immuno-depressed; if you have too much, you will become immunosuppressed. Either way, you experience a similar outcome. Copper, sodium and manganese are examples of minerals that are often found in excess.


Simply put, this is about getting the balance of your chemistry correct. The minerals in your body, for example, are in relationship with each other in a similar way that you are in relationships with your family and friends. Whatever you do, you need to take into account the effect it may have on your body. When you raise the level of a single nutrient, such as magnesium, you will affect the levels of other minerals. A very important example is the relationship between copper and zinc as well as Vitamin D and calcium.

Toxic Metals

Toxins have a far greater influence on your body than most people think—and everyone must deal with this growing problem. Toxins have the adverse effect of substituting or replacing the preferred nutrients in the body and they have the devastating effect of blocking the ability of the body to use nutrients, EVEN IF the nutrient is already present. Common toxic metals that are detected in excess are mercury, lead, aluminum amongst others.


Valuable information about your body’s oxidation/metabolism rate can be detected with hair analysis. As we age we become more fatigued and it becomes vital to ensure our mitochondria and metabolism are functioning as well as possible. While not an exact science we can gain insight into our metabolism and specifically if it’s running fast or slow. Fast is usually the result of stress and we tend to see high sodium and potassium. Slow is far too common and we tend to see high levels of calcium and magnesium in the hair analysis. Slow oxidation has the added detrimental effect of reducing our ability to eliminate toxic metals.

Hair Analysis

I would acknowledge that a hair analysis test is not that well known and has limitations. I would also point out though, that all tests have limitations and you wouldn’t get a blood test if you suspected a broken bone. If you are having health issues and suspect that there may be some deficiencies, excesses, imbalances, or toxins it would be a good idea to investigate getting a hair mineral analysis done. In the hands of a practitioner who can properly interpret it based on the actual science that exists you can get insights you can act upon.

Personalised health care is the result.

To learn more you can visit our website blog HERE

To order a test you can do so at Lifestyle Integration

Here is a condensed video version to watch or share with those interested.


We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our free eBook on how to manage metabolic dysfunction
The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction

Blood Pressure, Water Hardness and Hair Mineral Analysis

water hardness and bloodpressure

The levels of essential minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium play a crucial role in blood pressure regulation. This article explores the connection between hard and soft water, their influence on blood pressure, and the potential benefits of hair mineral analysis in detecting mineral imbalances so proper decisions can be made with diet and supplementation.

Understanding Hard and Soft Water

Hard water contains higher concentrations of minerals, including calcium and magnesium, while soft water has fewer minerals due to its natural state or treatment processes that remove them. The hardness or softness of water depends on the geological characteristics of the region and the water source.

Surprisingly water can be classified as being stimulatory or sedative and can therefore have a positive or negative effect on our total health.

Hard water, for example, is classified as being sedative, as it has a high amount of calcium and magnesium relative to sodium and potassium.  Think about the old wives’ tale where you drink a glass of warm milk to fall asleep.  It’s the sedative characteristic of calcium primarily that does this.

Low blood pressure hard water mineral profile

(from Trace Elements and Other Essential Nutrients by David Watts)

Soft water, on the other hand, is stimulatory.  In soft water, the mineral pattern is opposite to the mineral pattern of hard water. Calcium and magnesium levels are very low relative to sodium and potassium. Several studies have confirmed that death rates from cardiovascular disease are higher in areas with soft water.

High Blood Pressure soft water mineral profile

Sodium and Blood Pressure Regulation

Sodium is an essential electrolyte that is involved in maintaining fluid balance and regulating blood pressure. Excessive sodium intake is known to lead to water retention, causing increased blood volume and elevated blood pressure.  It is a stimulatory mineral and high levels are associated with stress and fast metabolism. Monitoring sodium levels is therefore important for individuals with hypertension or those at risk of developing high blood pressure.

Calcium and Magnesium in Blood Pressure Regulation

Adequate calcium intake supports the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, contributing to optimal blood flow and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Magnesium is a vital mineral that helps relax blood vessels, promoting vasodilation and improving blood flow. It also plays a role in regulating the balance of other minerals, such as calcium and potassium, which impact blood pressure regulation. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with increased blood pressure and hypertension.

So, we need to get the BALANCE of these minerals correct.  Too much can be an issue, and too little can be an issue.  With respect to blood pressure, it’s generally accepted that high sodium is a problem as well as low magnesium, so it makes sense to know two things.

What type of water are we drinking?
What are our individual levels of minerals?

When we know this, we can make decisions such as do we add or remove salt from our diet.  Should we be supplementing with magnesium?

Hair Mineral Analysis

Hair mineral analysis is a non-invasive method that can provide insights into mineral imbalances within the body.

First, we need to address the elephant in the room.  The inevitable question that always comes up is why not run blood tests to assess minerals?  The short answer is that blood is held in a very tight homeostatic range and won’t fluctuate much.  It’s maintained at the expense of the tissues.  It’s a classic case of a good test but the wrong test.  For example, if you broke your leg, you wouldn’t want a blood test, you would want an x-ray.

Here’s how it works

A small sample of hair is collected, typically from the back of the head, and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The hair sample reflects the mineral content accumulated over time, offering information about long-term nutrient status.

Hair mineral analysis can help detect calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium imbalances by measuring their relative concentrations in the hair sample. Deviations from optimal ranges may indicate potential issues with blood pressure regulation.

When you have this information you can then make decisions on the consumption of salt, magnesium supplementation, or other diet and supplement aspects.  In general, the hair mineral analysis pattern you need to look out for is what’s called fast oxidation where sodium and potassium are elevated. This usually occurs in very stressed individuals, and they are best advised to limit sodium consumption and to increase magnesium amongst other suggestions.

To learn more details about hair mineral analysis here is our in depth blog. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Explained 

To learn more about hair mineral analysis and how it can help with metabolic disease you can download our free eBook. The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction


Water hardness, as well as the levels of essential minerals like sodium and potassium, can influence blood pressure regulation. More research needs to be done on the accurate connection between water hardness and blood pressure but monitoring sodium and potassium levels would most likely be helpful for maintaining healthy blood pressure.

Hair mineral analysis serves as a valuable tool in detecting imbalances. By providing insights into long-term mineral status, this non-invasive test can assist in early detection and personalized recommendations to restore balance and support healthy blood pressure levels.

Yours in Health,
Dr Todd Lizon B.P.H.E., D.C.

We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our free eBook on how to manage metabolic dysfunction
The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction

Melatonin Tips For Production and Preservation

Melatonin is a hormone that is well established as a significant antioxidant, as well as an important hormone for healthy and restorative sleep.  It has also been increasingly implicated to have anti-aging and obesity benefits as well as mitochondrial function.  Suffice to say that healthy melatonin function is important to our health at any age, but particularly as we pass 50.  But where does it come from and how can we maximise it?


To produce melatonin you need the raw building blocks.  This is the amino acid tryptophan.  It’s found in things like turkey, milk, nuts, and tuna.  Just eating the food with the tryptophan is not enough necessarily.  The following chart will help to explain.

melatonin production chart
From The Visual Textbook Of Nutritional Medicine by Dr. Igor Tabrizian

You can see down the left side of the chart that you have a list of nutrients.  Things like magnesium, zinc and iron.  You need these nutrients to convert the tryptophan into melatonin.  If they are deficient in your diet, you will have issues in converting the tryptophan to melatonin.

As a result, you will therefore not have enough melatonin for optimal function.  When you look at the literature it’s clear there are a lot of people with magnesium, zinc and iron deficiencies.

Toxic Metals

The next aspect to consider is across the top of the chart.  The toxic metals like mercury, aluminium and, in excess, copper.  What the toxic metals do is “block” the good nutrient from working.  This means that you could have the zinc present in the body in adequate amounts but if you have mercury present it will stop the zinc from functioning.

It gets worse.

Toxic metals have differing strengths of antagonism.  For example one mercury will block up to 1000 zinc.  That’s pretty strong antagonism.  Copper can block up to 6 zinc.  If you have high copper, mercury and aluminium, which is somewhat common, you will not be able to use your zinc.  As a result you will not be able to convert your tryptophan into melatonin and you will then have melatonin deficiency.

The pineal gland gets most of the recognition for producing melatonin.  This is not really accurate.

Red Light Therapy

A lessor known source of melatonin production is from exposure to red light and near infrared light which is known as photobiomodulation.  The paper titled Aging of lymphoid organs: Can photobiomodulation reverse age-associated thymic involution via stimulation of extrapineal melatonin synthesis and bone marrow stem cells? states that “a review of the literature suggests that not only retinal, but also whole body and intranasal irradiation with red light leads to a notable increase in serum melatonin levels in humans.”

Red light and near infrared light increases melatoinin production independent of the pineal gland.

This is important.

Traditionally, before electricity, we  only had candle light and fire after sunset.  We also witnessed every sunset.  The point being we were exposed to much higher levels of red light and this in turn would help to raise or maintain our melatonin level.  Think back to how well you slept on your last camping trip and you will know what I mean.

If you are wondering how to do this at home you can either use red LED lamps to light up your home or you can mimic sunset and fire at the same time with a near infrared sauna which is our personal favourite.

So far, we’ve looked at production.

  • You need to get tryptophan.
  • We need to have the right nutrients to convert it.
  • There can’t be toxic metals blocking the conversion.
  • You need to have adequate red light exposure.


Now you need to keep your levels naturally high and not accidentally deplete them.

The main thing to be aware of here is blue light exposure.  This is the sort of light you get from overhead lights, TV’s, laptops, computers, tablets and mobile phones.  The light decimates our melatonin.  This is quite well documented and yet it amazes me that more people don’t pay attention.   Here is one quick example in the literature.  “Melatonin suppressions after 1-h and 2-h exposures to tablets viewed with the blue light were significantly greater than zero.”  Have a google search to confirm for yourself how important this is.

One solution is to turn you devices off.

A bit harsh…..yes, but very successful.

If this isn’t possible then consider using a pair of blue-light blocking glasses.  These filter out the blue light and only allow in the red which then does not interfere with your natural melatonin production.

Another home based thing you can do to help maximise your melatonin levels is to get a hair mineral analysis.  This test will assess your levels of nutrients and toxic metals in the tissues.  If you identify issues then you can address them.  It’s always best to work on root causes of problems and not go chasing our tails around.

Finally you can monitor your sleep.  You can use watch based apps or for best results consider a OURA ring.  If you can assess your deep and REM sleep you can then look for patterns that have interrupted your sleep and look to correct them.  For example, if I don’t wear my red light blocking glasses I notice a decrease in my deep sleep.  Another example is if I eat a meal too late I don’t sleep well.

Melatonin production and preservation is a critical piece to our overall health management.  Even more so as we pass 50.  Hopefully these tips and pointers will help you get a deeper and more refreshing sleep and help you to restore your energy.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Todd Lizon, (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.

We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our free eBook on how to manage metabolic dysfunction
The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction



Hair Analysis Is An Ideal Test To Measure Your Stress Level

stress management

Five ways to measure your stress level with a hair analysis

A hair mineral analysis (HMA) is a screening test that measures the levels of twenty-one minerals and toxic metals present in a sample of hair.  When it comes to stress assessment and then guiding the process to recovery this test is crucial.  To really understand why this test is so critical to the process we need to go a little deeper into understanding how stress affects us.

FACT #1:

Physical, emotional, and chemical stresses are the negative driving factors of chronic degenerative disease.

FACT #2:

If you can measure or see a change in your body, then your chemistry has changed from normal to abnormal.

The chemistry changes we are going to look at and measure are magnesium, zinc, sodium and iron.

hair analysis sample



Magnesium is lost through the sweat and urine and this is increased by alcohol and coffee. Most importantly when you are under stress, you stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin deplete magnesium.


Zinc is another heavy hitter when it comes to stress management.  A hair mineral analysis is one of the better ways to assess this notoriously difficult to measure mineral.  It helps with stress in several synergistic ways. Prolonged stress is well established factor that depletes zinc levels in the body. It has also been demonstrated that zinc deficiency increases plasma cortisol and some pro-inflammatory markers.


Sodium is known as the great solvent.  A general example is adding salt to your swimming pool to try and avoid calcium from precipitating.  It keeps calcium in solution.  When sodium is low on a hair analysis you will often see calcium levels in the tissue being very high.  Conversely,  when under the acute stage of stress we see high levels of Na in the tissue and low levels of calcium (and magnesium).  High sodium is a very clear indicator of acute stress.

Iron and Selenium

In this study plasma zinc, iron, copper, and selenium and selected blood proteins were measured in 66 men during a 5 day period of sustained physical and psychological stress called Hell Week.  Here are the relevant results.

Iron decreased by 44%
Selenium by 12%
Zinc by 33%


When you perform a hair analysis test you take the 3cm of hair closest to the scalp.  This represents three months of stress. Each cm is representative of one month of growth.  This is good news for assessing chronic stress as we need an average over TIME.  A blood test tells you what is happening now.  A hair mineral test shows you what is happening over time.

Both are valuable. They are just telling you different things and this is why a blood test will often be normal but a hair analysis will show you the bigger picture.

We have been using hair analysis testing for over 10 years.  A test can be purchased at Lifestyle Integration and it is all done online. No in person meetings are required so no matter where you live you can benefit from this unique form of assessment.

Want to know more or have some questions?  Reach out!

Yours in Health,

Dr Todd Lizon (Chiropractor)
B.P.H.E., D.C.


Córdova A, Navas FJ. Effect of training on zinc metabolism: changes in serum and sweat zinc concentrations in sportsmen. Ann Nutr Metab. 1998;42(5):274-82.

Chen WQ, Cheng YY, Zhao XL, Li ST, Hou Y, Hong Y. Effects of zinc on the induction of metallothionein isoforms in hippocampus in stress rats. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2006;231(9):1564-8.

Singh A, Smoak BL, Patterson KY, LeMay LG, Veillon C, Deuster PA. Biochemical indices of selected trace minerals in men: effect of stress. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Jan;53(1):126-31. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/53.1.126. PMID: 1984337.

High Calcium Levels In A Hair Analysis Explained

high calcium on hair analysis


Chemically this causes a reduced level of sodium and potassium in the tissues which you can see in the above diagram. This is important to understand as sodium and potassium are referred to as the body’s solvents. This means they are responsible for keeping the minerals like calcium in solution. When they go low this ability decreases and the calcium starts to change its form.  It precipitates out of the blood and into the tissues, including the hair, hence the high levels we frequently see on hair tissue mineral analysis.

The bad news about this movement of calcium out of the blood is that it is not just going into the hair it is going to many other tissues. Stop and think about what calcification (hardening) of the body would look like. There would be a predisposition for arthritis, muscle aches, bone spurs, gall and kidney stones, hardening of the arteries and then high blood pressure, and memory loss to name a few. This is a very real and significant issue in the aging and chronic degenerative process.

Psychological Qualities

There are also psychological qualities associated with high levels of calcium such as stability, hardness, rigidity. One might imagine that while these might be considered positive traits, when applied in excess they would become negatives. The opposite would also be true with not enough of these traits as calcium is also an important sedative mineral.

A calcium “shell” occurs when the hair tissue calcium level is above about 170mg%. As Dr. Wilson writes “It is common, especially in adult women, and is associated with psychological withdrawal, depression and emotional suppression in most cases.  It lowers one’s awareness level, like living behind a concrete wall of calcium.” One is virtually trying to wall oneself off and away from the overwhelming stresses of life.

The Calcium Dichotomy

An interesting dichotomy also occurs with this biounavailable calcium. Obviously on the hair tissue analysis we are seeing a high level of calcium but as we have mentioned it is in a form that the body cannot properly use. This allows the situation to exist where one will potentially have symptoms of both high and low calcium at the SAME time. This can be most confusing unless you understand what is going on and is important to know so that you can determine the right amount of calcium for the individual.

Remember too much OR too little is an issue.

Thyroid Connection

Finally another reason for a very high level of calcium is if the thyroid stats to fatigue and slow down. When this occurs the opposite gland, the parathyroid, will typically speed up. The thyroid puts calcium into the blood and the parathyroid puts calcium in the tissues as a general rule. High tissue calcium can therefore be reflective of a tired underperforming thyroid and the resultant higher parathyroid activity.

Hopefully from the above examples you can see how important it is to have a proper hair tissue mineral analysis done and interpreted. Blood is a different medium altogether and will often show normal while the tissues and a person’s symptoms are saying something totally different. With this knowledge much can be done to address and reverse the many and varied chronic degenerative diseases that are plaguing us in modern times.

To have a test performed visit us at

My Hair Mineral Analysis And Blood Tests Show Different Results?

hair mineral analysis

My daughter is pregnant with what will be our first grandchild.  This got me thinking a bit about nutrition and how it’s assessed.  Most of us are familiar with the old belief that the foetus’s nutritional needs would be accommodated for, regardless of what the mother ate. Turns out this isn’t entirely true, but it gets you thinking about how a nutrient could be normal in one area of the body and not another.  A hair mineral analysis is a lot like this and the levels we see in a hair mineral analysis are often completely different to what we see on blood tests.

The first thought most people have when they see this is that the blood test is the gold standard so the hair mineral test must be flawed or inaccurate.  This is not the case at all.

Blood will take nutrients from your tissues and cells.

Our blood is under strict homeostatic control.  For the most part, it has to stay within the normal ranges for the body to function optimally so if a mineral like magnesium is dropping in the blood our body will take it from the tissues and cells so that it can stay normal.  If this goes on for a long time you will then have normal levels of a mineral in the blood but deficient levels in the tissue.  A hair mineral analysis is very helpful in assessing these sorts of scenarios

We need to be very careful when we are comparing hair analysis results with other tests such as blood.

The Right Test

If you broke your arm, would you want an X-ray or a blood test?  Clearly an X-ray but does that make a blood test an inherently BAD test?  No.  But it does make it the wrong test in that situation. 

When it comes to biochemistry in our bodies it’s pretty easy to understand that if it goes “off” then illness will result.  The thing is that when you really think about it, biochemistry is going on in our tissues like muscle, bone or brain NOT just blood.  When we understand most of our biochemistry is occurring in our tissues, not blood, AND that blood will take at the expense of the tissues it becomes clear that a hair mineral analysis is a valuable test even if, especially if, it is giving different results to the blood test.

Short Term vs Long Term

When you take the hair, and have it tested, you take the most recent 3cm of growth.  In other words, the 3cm closest to your scalp and you throw the rest away.  Hair grows at a consistent rate. About 1cm per month so our 3cm sample is representative of the 3 month AVERAGE of the nutrients we are measuring.  This has a distinct advantage. Let’s say you eat bananas before having a blood test taken.  Your blood potassium level may be high that day. However, if you have your blood tested the next day and did not eat bananas, your blood potassium may be normal, or even low. The hair mineral analysis potassium level is reflective of overall, or long term dietary habits NOT what is consumed just for a day or two.

This is important if you are looking to determine what you should be supplementing with.

This is just a short list of some of the differences that exist between hair mineral analysis and blood tests.  The reality is that there is not one single test that will give us all the information we need.  We need different pieces of the puzzle as they say to see the whole thing.  We need to know your symptoms, sometimes exam you, look at blood or urine tests and sometimes we need a hair mineral analysis.

At Lifestyle Integration we have been providing hair mineral analysis testing for well over 10 years.  If you are looking for that missing piece of information or just want to know what is actually happening in your tissues we can help.

We care deeply about your metabolic health here at Lifestyle Integration.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our free eBook on how to manage metabolic dysfunction
The SPEED Trap: How To Reverse Metabolic Dysfunction