Create Vibrant Health News: What  you can learn about your health from  a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis May, 2011
Dear James,



The condition of your hair and nails can tell us a lot about your health. Brittle nails and dry hair often indicate poor protein digestion and mineral deficiencies; and fatty acid deficiencies respectively. When hair starts turning gray that is often a sign of adrenal and thyroid stress as well as mineral deficiencies. A laboratory analysis of the mineral and toxic metal content of a hair sample can tell you even more and can be a great tool for monitoring numerous functions of the body.

When looking at a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis report, understanding mineral patterns is one component to good interpretation. If interpreted correctly, there are numerous variables a hair test can identify. These include: mineral deficiencies, adrenal function, thyroid function, toxic metals & hidden toxic metals, various components of digestive function and carbohydrate tolerance.

In addition to these, there are several mineral patterns that can be identified from a hair test. These patterns can reveal much about a person’s behavioral tendencies, stress patterns as well as nutrient deficiencies.

My personal experience with the HTMA was in  2003 following a year of eating an impeccable diet but not taking any nutrient supplements. I had developed some minor health issues including some gastrointestinal disturbances and fatigue.

My HTMA  came back in the four low pattern (see below). I had believed that I could maintain good health with a diet high in free-range poultry and eggs, grass fed meat, organic vegetables (including daily fresh vegetable juices) and fresh raw milk. My results were disappointing yet not totally unexpected since I was feeling run down. I added some glandular support, vitamin mineral supplements and a 30 day parasite and candida cleanse. I also started eating more cooked vegetables and food and a little less raw foods. My health and test results improved dramatically over the next three months. After six months my HTMA report came back in near perfect form.

At this point I started recommending the HTMA to my clients and to this day it is one of the most important assessments I provide.

In this newsletter I will give some examples of hair tests and interpretations. Note in the lower left of the report are mineral ratios. These ratios are reflective of endocrine function, toxicity, carbohydrate metabolism and more. A ratio of 100% is ideal. The mineral levels ideally should be in the blue zone and at or near the dark grey horizontal line

For those without incredible eyesight or a magnifying glass, these ratios are from top to bottom: calcium/magnesium, calcium/potassium, sodium/potassium, zinc/copper,calcium/phosphorus.

Credit is given to  Lawrence Wilson, MD who taught me how to interpret HTMA and to my colleague Michael McEvoy, CNC for his contributions to this article summation.



James Jordan, CNC, JD


4 highs
Four Highs Pattern

4 Highs Pattern is when the first four electrolyte minerals are elevated, higher than the “Ideal”. A 4 Highs pattern is identified with Calcium greater than 40, Magnesium greater than 6, Sodium greater than 25 and Potassium greater than 10. A 4 Highs Pattern reflects abnormally high deposit of minerals into the hair, which is a major sign of “bio-unavailability” of these minerals. According to Dr. Wilson, a 4 Highs Patterns often reflect defensiveness, as well as deep biological and/or emotional stresses of some kind.

Also noted in this test are significant levels of toxic metals, including mercury, aluminum and cadmium. It is suspected with this test pattern that there are more metals that are hidden. As the 4 highs pattern corrects through nutritional balancing, it has been my experience that toxic metal excretion often increase on a follow up test if the patient follows suggested dietary and supplement protocols. This is a good response and will usually drop down  in 6-12 months.

‘4 Lows’ Pattern

4 lows
Four Lows Pattern


The four lows pattern is quite different than a 4 highs pattern. 4 lows pattern is a sign of severe digestive distress. It is often a sign of a Hydrochloric acid (HCL) deficiency. There may be numerous reasons for this, including underlying infections, gut permeability, and low intestinal immunoglobulin function.

A 4 Lows pattern represents severe stress, often exhaustion, as Dr. Wilson describes 4 lows: “a car spinning its wheels and getting nowhere fast.” The low phosphorous level of 12 also indicates impaired digestive function and poor protein assimilation.

Accompanying 4 lows on this hair test is a high sodium/potassium ratio, indicative of hyper adrenal function. This person is very stressed out and needs to rest as well as heal their intestinal tract.

4 Lows patterns can oftentimes take quite a while to correct, as often stomach and gut repair needs to be facilitated. In most of these cases there is an underlying candida and/or parasite infection. Once the candida/parasite infection is cleared up more nutrition will be available for healing and regeneration of the endocrine system.


“Calcium Shell”, Adrenal Hypofunction with Copper Toxicity

“Calcium Shell”, Adrenal hypo-function with copper toxicity


Calcium Shell is when hair calcium is higher than 165. This test reveals hair calcium of 209. It is a sign of bio unavailable calcium. Accompanying this pattern is also  bio unavailable magnesium, which is indicated by the Mg level of 14.0. A Calcium shell indicates psychological withdrawal, suppression or repression, as Dr. Wilson puts it: “living behind a wall of calcium.” This is a very common finding in people with chronic fatigue syndrome and severe stress. 

Accompanying this pattern is hidden copper toxicity as indicated by high zinc, high calcium and a low sodium/potassium ratio. By “hidden copper toxicity” it is meant that there is more copper stored in teh cells that is not being released and identified in the hair sample. 

Copper toxicity is a serious problem that is very common. Some symptoms of copper toxicity include: adrenal insufficiency, allergies, constipation, hyperactivity, anxiety and chronic inflammation.

Some of the more common causes of copper toxicity include: vegetarian diets which are high in copper and low in zinc, low functioning adrenal glands and use of copper IUDs and birth control pills. Also reflected on this hair test is diminished adrenal function as indicated by both a low sodium/potassium ratio and a low sodium/magnesium ratio.

This is very common test pattern I see in my practice with clients who are withdrawn from social life and do not have energy to make changes in their lives.

Arsenic, Mercury, Copper Toxicity, Adrenal Hyperfunction, ‘Step Down’ Pattern


Arsenic, Mercury, Copper Toxicity, Adrenal Hyperfunction, ‘Step Down’ Pattern


A Step Down pattern appears when the first 4 electrolytes appear to have a continuous decent. According to Dr. Wilson, this pattern indicates the person is often persevering despite “great odds”. Accompanying this pattern is excess adrenal activity as indicated by the elevated sodium/potassium ratio. This person’s arsenic level and copper levels are extremely high, indicated high tissue levels of these metals. The elevated calcium/magnesium ratio indicates excess carbohydrate consumption and potentially high blood sugar levels.

I have seen all of these patterns in my practice over the past eight years . All patterns and the patients health improve dramatically when dietary, supplement, detoxification and stress management protocols are implemented consistently over several months.I hope this information has been helpful to you.If you have any questions please contact my office at 541.482.2250 Sincerely,James Jordan, JD, CNC, CMTA