Replacement Therapy and Why We Do Not Recommend It
Replacement therapy is a method of treatment that many physicians consider when utilizing hair analysis. This approach involves supplementing minerals that reflect a deficiency on the hair test and avoiding the recommendation of a mineral that is elevated. Analytical Research Labs does not recommend this form of therapy.
This is a very important topic and a major difference between ARL and other laboratories and doctors who use hair mineral testing. The failure of replacement therapy is the main reason hair analysis is misunderstood and attacked in the media, even in the alternative healing literature. Researchers attempt to alter the level of one mineral in the hair by supplementing that mineral. When this approach fails, they often condemn the entire validity of hair analysis.
Assumptions Of Replacement Therapy
Replacement therapy is popular because it is simple. It assumes that mineral levels in the hair are a reflection of the levels in the body. If a mineral is low, it must be deficient. It further assumes that by ingesting more of the low mineral the level in the hair will rise.
Conversely, replacement therapy assumes that an excess of a mineral in the hair means there is an excess present in the body. Reducing the intake of that mineral should lower the hair level.
In the mid 1970's, Dr. Paul Eck discovered that hair mineral levels do not represent the levels of the mineral in the entire body. Some minerals concentrate in the hair, while others are stored elsewhere in the body. At times, an elevated level of a mineral in the hair represents an excretion or loss of that mineral from the body. For example, a high hair calcium level is often found in cases of osteoporosis.
The first assumption of replacement therapy is utterly false.
Dr. Eck experimented with replacement therapy on many clients when he first began researching hair analysis. He recommended zinc to an individual whose hair zinc level was low. But often, the more zinc that was given, the lower the zinc level would go on a retest. He recommended calcium to those with a low calcium level and the calcium level would not budge. He found that some individuals who never salted their food had a high sodium level. Others, who put salt on all their food, had a low sodium level that would not go up, no matter how much salt or sodium-rich foods they ate.
The second premise of replacement therapy, that giving more of a mineral would increase the level in the hair, also proved to be false.
This was very puzzling and frustrating and made little sense. Dr. Eck persisted in his research. He noticed other strange phenomena. For example, if he recommended copper to an individual with low calcium, the copper might not go up, but the calcium level went up. He noticed that if he recommended potassium to a person with a low sodium level, the sodium level would rise. For several years, the results of Dr. Eck's research were both inconclusive and puzzling.
The turning point came when Dr. Eck learned about mineral interactions, or as he called it, the intimate relationships between minerals. He first found this in a book about minerals by Davies (Davies, I.J.T., The Clinical Significance of the Essential Biological Metals, C.C. Thomas, 1972.). He began to see that there is a 'mineral system'. The body keeps all the minerals in a delicate balance, in order to maintain homeostasis or equilibrium.
For example, if replacement therapy were valid and one ate a very high calcium diet, say sesame seeds, greens, yogurt and ice cream for dessert, the calcium level in the body might rise so high it would be fatal. The same would be true if one ate too much potassium, or too much sodium. The body has powerful buffering systems to avoid such a calamity. The minerals are maintained in balance, even if one ingests a large amount of one mineral, which can happen at meals.
Dr. Eck discovered that in order to change the balance of the minerals, one had to work with, not against, the mineral system within the body. It is a complex system, in which the minerals not only interact with each other, but also with vitamins, with glands and with other body systems.
A summary of the major interactions is found in the mineral wheel on the cover of the hair analysis report. A simple graphic representation is available from the laboratory. Only by paying heed to the principles of mineral balancing can one reliably affect the levels of the minerals.
The development of the science of mineral balancing took years and thousands of trial and error experiments. Slowly, Dr. Eck found that the mineral system could be simplified by identifying the oxidation types according to Dr. Watson and the stages of stress according to Dr. Hans Selye. He found that mineral ratios are more important for assessing the mineral system than mineral levels. Over the years, more pieces of the puzzle fell into place.
The truth is the levels on a hair analysis represent a blueprint of how the body is reacting to stress. Unfortunately, the years of research are hard to appreciate just from reading a hair analysis report. It is like trying to appreciate the years of research that went into the car you buy.
To obtain good results with hair analysis, we strongly suggest following the recommendations that come with the hair analysis report. This is why ARL issues the reports, which most other labs do not. Try to avoid the temptation to engage in replacement therapy. Replacement therapy is simple. The design of the human body, however, is not.
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.