Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 2, 2002
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
Citation: Klevay, L.M., Christopherson, D.M., Shuler, T.R. 2003. Hair as a biopsy material in assessing nutriture and intoxication [abstract]. Journal of Nutrition. v.133(5S-1). p.238E-239E. Technical Abstract: Trace elements in hair are being measured and advice on treatment - either supplementation or detoxification - is being given. It is possible to measure trace elements in hair to satisfy the skeptical chemist, but analytical utility in diagnosis, prognosis and therapy generally has not been validated by the usual method of clinical research. Hair was collected dfrom the occiptonuchal region of a healthy, middle-aged man with some regularity between February 1968 and December 1986 to evaluate within- person variability of data on several elements. Two shampoos low in copper and zinc were used exclusively; neither prescription medicines for long periods nor nutritional supplements were taken. There was no unusual occupational exposure to elements. After washing with ether, sodium lauryl sulfate detergent in demineralized water and acetone, samples were dessicated and dissolved in nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide for spectroscopic analysis. Data for six elements are tabulated. The coefficients of variation generally are several fold larger than those for similar analysis on a standard hair sample from China. Aluminum, cadmium, copper and lead decreased in the interval; selenium increased. Zinc was unchanged. No seasonal effects were detected. Medical, nutritional or toxicologic statements based on analysis of a single sample are of dubious validity because of within-person variability and possible age effects.