Spectroscopic hair trace analysis / spectrogram – is modern diagnostic investigation of body mineral profile on presence and concentration of chemical agents in hair.

Hair could deposit and save information about mineral metabolism during the whole period of growth and indicate a deficit or overdose of mineral elements in whole body. Hair spectroscopic analysis includes indication of complex of basic 25 (essential) micronutrients or 40 micronutrients (25 basic and 15 additional, including toxic).

Results of spectroscopic hair analysis provides an ability to draw-up individual programme of correction of mineral metabolism disorders and provide diet recommendations.

Special features of method

Despite of ordinary blood tests, indicating current condition of minerals, spectroscopic analysis indicates information about elements, deposed in body for several years. Hair spectroscopic analysis also helps to discover liability to disease for the reason of deficiency of essential minerals, mineral balance disorders or toxin effect.

Core of method

Grounding on the research, scientists has proven that hair is a human “mineral passport”. Data of such passport is unique and inimitable as long as concentration and combination of minerals is different for each person. It is so because every sex, age, body-build has its own peculiar proportions of elements.

For human body to work well, it should have normal level of micronutrients. Thanks to spectroscopic analysts it is possible to indicate deficiency/overdose of some mineral. If concentration of one of elements is increasing or decreasing, it could indicate health disorders. This method helps to indicate changes in our bodies for the last half a year.

Problems, which could be indicated with hair spectroscopic analysis

  • Is the combination of macro- and micronutrients in body optimal and is it meeting your physiologic demands.
  • Is your diet correct, does your diet help you to provide body with essential macro- and micronutrients and other nutrients.
  • How does bad habits affect your body.
  • How safe is the environment where you are living and working.
  • Do you have any chronic illnesses of metabolism or liability to them.
  • How well does your organs work: liver, stomach, kidneys, etc.
  • Does your body have overdoses of some macro- and micronutrients, e.g. caused by incorrect diet or treatment.
  • How suitable assigned therapy is, isn’t it not enough or excessive.

Human body intakes minerals with food, but if person receives not enough minerals, it could cause some disease. For example:

  • vegetarians, who doesn’t eat animal origin food are often suffering from lack of cobalt, but the deficiency of this element causes development of skin hyperpigmentation, degenerative disorders of spinal cord, loss of a cycle.
  • in cases of manganese deficiency, a person may suffer from memory impairment, inhibition of hair growth, vitiligo, overweight, infertility, ovarian dysfunction, etc.
  • lack of copper causes disorders of hemopoiesis, nerve system, increases risk of skin allergies, menstrual disorder, etc.

Overdoses of several elements could be just as dangerous, as its deficiency. For example:

  • disorders of immune system and respiratory passages are often reported for children, having overdoses of sodium and cadmium in their blood. These elements are being inhaled with cigarettes smoke (smoking parents).

Deficiency of vitamins and elements affects health of hair and head skin. For example:

  • alopecia areata could be caused by deficit of sodium, iron, potassium, manganese, but alopecia totalis indicates zinc deficiency.

Indications for hair trace analysis:

  • suspected blunt immunity;
  • susceptibility to often catarrhal and other diseases;
  • presence of food and other allergies;
  • insufficient effect of traditional cardiovascular disease treatment;
  • increased irritability as an indication of chronic fatigue syndrome;
  • gastro-intestinal tract diseases, dysbacteriosis, etc.;
  • degenerative disc disease.
  • decreased libido;
  • infertility;
  • thyroid gland disorders;
  • physical and emotional overexertion, sports;
  • sporadic and dreary diet;
  • chronic stress;
  • working on hazardous industry, unhealthy conditions;
  • professions with increased radiation background;
  • living in environmentally fragile areas (plant emissions, radiation pollution);
  • osteoporosis;
  • rapid decrease of hair, skin and nails condition.

Patient who had test of traces of micronutrients receives:

  • detailed description of analysis results (25/ 40 micronutrients);
  • report on results of analysis (conclusions on alleged disorders, caused by increased or decreased concentration of elements in hair);
  • doctor’s report and recommendation on corrections of disorders.

On the basis of spectrogram:

  • nutritionist prepares professional diet recommendations, improves micronutrients balance, adding necessary products;
  • trichologist prepares optimal programmes for hair treatment and repair;

Analysis

  • An expert requires a hair specimen to perform element analysis.
  • Hair specimen for spectroscopic analysis is a strand of hair from the hind head, 3-4 cm of length and 1 cm of width, cut near the hair-root.
  • Provided hair specimen shall be similar to a match regarding the length and be in its normal hygienic condition.

Preparation to hair spectroscopic analysis:

  • Hair shall be clean without traces of hair styling products.
  • 1-2 weeks before the analysis you should stop using treating shampoos (e.g. against scruff, containing selenium or zinc) and use soft average one.
  • At least one month should pass after hair pigmentation or perming before the spectroscopic analysis.

In cases of impossibility to perform hair analysis from head, it is possible to take specimens from other body parts (pubic or underarm area, thoracic region). In some cases, nails, cut from all fingers and toes could also be used to perform spectroscopic analysis. Before cutting all the traces of nail polish should be removed.

About the laboratory

The spectral analysis of hair is carried out in the diagnostic laboratory of ANO “Centre for Biotic Medicine” (Moscow, Russia).

ANO “Centre for Biotic Medicine” is the largest medical company in Russia, specializing in laboratory diagnostics and other medical services. It was founded in 1988.

Analytical equipment of the Centre allows us to determine the content of more than 50 chemical elements and their isotopes, essential vitamins and essential amino acids. Based on the results of the analysis, ANO “Centre for Biotic Medicine” issues an opinion of the established form.

The laboratory of ANO “Centre for Biotic Medicine” has permission to process confidential data.

ANO “Centre for Biotic Medicine” collects, stores and uses your personal confidential data only to perform the spectral analysis for micronutrients you ordered.

ANO “Centre for Biotic Medicine” is certified according to the Quality Management System, which meets the requirements of the international standard ISO 9001: 2008.

 

Big screening of hair elements content (40 micronutrients)

Aluminium (26,98 a.m.u.) – one of the most circulated elements of Earth crust. A human intake from 5 to 50 mg of Aluminium every day. Aluminium is a tracer element.

Physiological concentration of aluminium in different organs and tissue is very low. Gastro-enteric tract is almost dense for this element: Normal absorption level is approx. 4% of the intaken aluminium. Aluminium constitutes sparsely soluble complexes (mostly with food phosphates), which are poorly-absorbing. Aluminium is easily bonding with plasmatic protein and is rapidly spreading in the body.

20% of plasmatic aluminium is free.

Content of aluminium in adult human body is 30 – 50 mg. Aluminium is being deposed in bones, liver, lungs and grey substance of our brains. Content of this element in lungs and brain is increasing with age.

Main ways of excretion of aluminium from the blood is urinary way and excretion with bilis. Decreased kidney function leads to the increased deposition of aluminium. Despite of the toxicity, aluminium is constituting biological molecule series and plays a pivotal physiologic role in our bodies. Deficiency of aluminium leads to parafunction of creation of phosphate and protein complexes, bone, connective and epithelium tissue regeneration, and parathyroid glands function.

As it was already mentioned, aluminium is a toxic element. Increased constitution of aluminium in occupational dust, release of industrial waste into urban water, usage of some medicines and medical procedures. Medics are using adsorbing, enveloping, antacid and anaesthetic features of aluminium containing agents (e.g. almagel); information about such agents contains its possible toxic exposure. Parenteral feeding and albumin solutions could contain increased concentrations of aluminium, caused by the way of its manufacturing and purification. Aluminium dishes, cosmetics and deodorants could be the ways of aluminium intake by humans.

The most often occasions of aluminium intoxication were registered for patients with chronic kidney disease when agents containing aluminium are affecting during the duration of treatment. Toxic effect of aluminium overdose include interference (displacement and substituting) with metabolism of calcium, phosphorus, iron and other biologically active elements, change of enzyme system activity.

Bones are being important targeted organs of aluminium pathologic effect are bones (aluminium is replacing calcium in mineralization, damaging normal secretion of osteoid, making bone calcium less available for mobilization) and brain (aluminium encephalopathy in case of severe intoxication).

Aluminium could replace calcium-linking areas in epithelial bodies, regulating phosphorus-calcium metabolism, casing the change of its physiological response. It was proven, that increase of aluminium concentration could cause decrease of absorption of many elements and vitamins.

Intake of overdoses of aluminium with occupational dust when breathing, could be deposed in lungs, causing fibrotic changes in lung tissue. Increased interest to the aluminium metabolism was caused by the discovery of accumulation thereof in separate parts of brain in cases of Alzheimer disease. Patients with kidney disease are potentially endangered of aluminium intoxication due to the parafunction of aluminium excretion. Intoxication Signs of intoxication in heavy occasions could include osteohalisteresis and encephalopathy.

Laboratory signs of aluminium intoxication of diffusion patients are lower than normal level of parathyroid hormone for existing stage of kidney disease, together with high concentration of aluminium in blood serum.

Patients with signs of osteohalisteresis and encephalopathy are often showing the level of intact parathyroid hormone lower than 16 pmol/l and level of aluminium serum higher than 60 mcg/l, patients with lack of such symptoms – parathyroid hormone higher than 16 pmol/l and level of aluminium serum lower than 20 mcg/l. IN cases of normal functioning of kidney, aluminium concentration in urine correlates to the level of aluminium intake by the body. Concentration of aluminium in hair and nails is reflecting chronic exposure of this element.

Barium (138,8 a.m.u.) low concentration is present in human body, mostly in bones в. Barium species are similar to the calcium species regarding its properties, it is also similar to calcium regarding spreading kinetics and ways of excretion.

Barium toxicity depends on forms of species. Barium sulphate is sparsely soluble, slightly-toxic, used in medicine as a radiopaque material. Other barium salts, e.g. highly-soluble barium chloride are highly-toxic.

Clinical implications of acute intoxication include respiratory distress, increase of pressure, heart beat disorder, liver involvement, kidney, heart, spleen damage and cerebral edema.

In manufacturing barium is used to produce paints, enamel, bricks, tiles, glass, pesticides, gasoline additives, rubber, vacuum package and pyrotechnics.

Sources of barium intake could be contaminated water, dust. Barium inhaled together with industrial dust could absorb in blood and depose in lungs, causing development of pneumoconiosis in some cases.

Barium intaken through gastroenteric tract is being spread among the whole body, but the bones accumulate most of it. Excretion of barium is mostly done by kidney and together with bilis. Concentration of barium in our hair correlates to the increased concentration of barium in industrial dust.

Berullium (9,0 a.m.u.) – Alkaline-earth metal of IInd periodic group. Widely used in manufacturing and medicine (X-ray machines). Physiological role of beryllium isn’t researched well enough, but it was proven that beryllium participates in regulation of phosphorus-calcium exchange and supports the immune system. Content of beryllium in adult human body is from 0,4 up to 40 mcg. It could be found in almost all the tissues and organs, including hair and nails.

Beryllium is a highly-toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic agent, however there is no data on its’ toxic and lethal doses. Beryllium salts arrests alkaline phosphatase and other ferments. Beryllium decreases and destroys bone tissue, damages lungs (fibrosis), skin (eczema, dermatosis), eye mucosa (foundryman’s fever), could become a reason of autoimmune processes. Magnesium is an antagonist of beryllium (their chemical characteristics are similar) – reason of down-regulation of magnesium ferments in cells. This is the reason why magnesium agents together with Toxic microelement in treatment of beryllium intoxication.

Beryllium intoxication is mostly caused by professional factors. Manufacturing sources of beryllium are linked with metal beneficiating, atomic, space, electronic, electro-technical manufacturing and production of rocket technologies. Beryllium alloys are strong and light, are widely used in household, including dentistry materials (higher beryllium exposure risk among dental technicians is being researched and discussed). Beryllium intoxication is mostly happening by inhalation of industrial inhalants and dust with higher concentration of this element.

Chronic inhalation of industrial dust, containing beryllium could cause the progression of chronic beryllium disease (berylliosis), leading to granulomas in lungs as a result of body immune reaction to the presence of beryllium agents. Disease could progress even in long-term perspective after the effects of moderate quantities of beryllium. Effect of idiosyncrasy and individual variations on beryllium is described. Contact of beryllium with damaged skin areas (wounds, abrasion) could cause lesion or ulcus. Foundry men could also face ocular and respiratory passages irritation.

Toxic effect of beryllium is associated with increased quantity of lungs cancer occasions. Concentration of beryllium in body bio-substrates may not correlate with the development of beryllium disease, but is an optional component of optimal diagnostics together with x-ray and immunologic methods.

Boron (10,8 a.m.u.). Element of IIIrd periodic group, non-metal. Boron is arbitrary essential, immune-toxic element.

It was proven that this element is also necessary for normal functioning of human body. Boron compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic and anti-tumour properties. This element participates in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium exchange, affects genital glands and thyroid body, increases level of male reproductive hormones. It was proven that Boron decreases basic metabolism during thyrotoxicosis and increases insulin effect. Highest boron concentration was discovered in blood of new-borns.

Boron is mostly intaken by body together with plant food – apples, grapes, carrot, as long as it is necessary for growth of plants and is being deposed in plants. Boron is well absorbed in gastro-intestinal tract (more than 90%) and is absorbed by the body mostly as boric acid, transported in blood in the form of this neutral form and is being spread among all the tissues of our body, easily excreting by kidneys with urine.

Boric acid and sodium borate – low-toxic agents, intoxication effect could be caused only by the intake of high doses of borates. Human occupied in quarrying, recycling and production of boron compounds could have increased intake of this element together with inhaled dust. In manufacturing this element is being used in chemical glass manufacturing processes. Content of boron in adult human body is approx. 20 mg. More than a half of common quantity of boron is deposed in bones, but approx. 10% in soft tissues. In cases of bone diseases (arthrosis, arthritis) concentration of boron in bones decreases rapidly.

In medicine and household boron compounds are used as antiseptic agents, preserving agents, anti-fungal agents, overdose, or occasional intake of high dose could cause specific toxic effects. Daily requirement of this element is approx. 2-3 mg. Deficit is a rare occasion. But if present, it could cause osteoporosis, decrease in immunity, damage of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus metabolism, creation of reproductive hormones imbalance. Female could face a menopause pain syndrome, but male – impotency. Expressed deficit is peculiar to arthritis patients.

In medical treatment boron medicines are used to prevent kidney stone disease as long as it decreases concentration of oxalates, which are causing kidney stones together with calcium. This property makes boron irreplaceable element in prevention of this disease. But the overdose of boron, including so called supplements, could cause intoxication. Resulting in sickness, vomit, headache, diarrhoea, decrease of temperature.

Long-period overdosing of boron causes stress, appetite decline, sloughing of skin, nephritis, decreased libido. Higher limit of daily average safe dose of boron for humans is 13 mg. Toxic dose – 4 grams per day. Minimal lethal dose is not established. Case of lethal outcome when 18 – 20 grams of boron were intaken are reported. Irritation with boric acid solution could cause symptoms of intoxication, but treatment of nipples of lactating mother with boric acid solution could cause intoxication of nursing infants.

Vanadium (50,9 a.m.u.) is allegedly an essential or biologically valuable element; however, its physiologic role is not yet established well enough. Obvious vanadium deficit is not reported. Vanadium possibly plays some role in carbohydrate metabolism processes, activity of this element regarding some valuable ferments is reported. Vanadium compounding were used as therapeutic agents in treatment of anaemia, tuberculosis, syphilis, rheumatism, nowadays scientists are researching possibility to use vanadium in diabetes mellitus treatment (increased insulin activity), being used in food supplements.

Vanadium is intaken in human body with food (vegetable oil, mushrooms, parsley and dill, liver, fatty meat, soy, breadstuffs, sea products). overdose could be caused by intake of fish, prawns, crabs, oysters from regions located near oil wells.

Cases of vanadium intoxication are mostly caused by industrial factors. This element is widely spread in steel industry, insecticide, colorants, ink, varnishes manufacturing, in photography, is an element of orthopaedic prostheses.

High concentration of vanadium in industrial dust could cause damage of respiratory passages mucosa, bronchitis, damages of eye mucosa.

Vanadium intake in gastro-intestinal tract could cause gastrointestinal problems, kidney diseases, cardiovascular system damages, cerebrospinal system damages. Early signs of vanadium intoxication are paleness, diarrhoea, green tongue. High concentration of vanadium in hair correlates to the over absorption of this element.

Bismuth (209 a.m.u.) – low-toxic tracer element. Not vital by present standards. Intaken with food and water, absorption in gastro-intestinal tract is low (approx. 5% of the intaken amount) and depends on solubility of bismuth salts.

Sources of bismuth could be cosmetics (lipstick), some drugs (De-Nol, vikalin, vikair, biochinol, etc.), glass and ceramics colorants, dental restoration material. Insoluble bismuth compounds are excreted with excrements, soluble – with urine after absorption in blood.

In human body bismuth is being deposed in kidneys, liver, spleen and bone tissue. Being excreted through gastro-intestinal tract, with urine and sweat. Excretion process is very long. Bismuth carcinogenicity level is not established.

Bismuth intoxication could be caused by long-lasting treatment of high doses of bismuth salts. Workers of cosmetics, disinfectants, colorants manufacturing could be exposed to impact of high doses of bismuth.

Chronic intoxication symptoms include weakness, decreased appetite, fervescence, rheumatic pain, respiratory distress, kidneys diseases, diarrhea, black gum limbus, osseous lesion. Signs of cerebrospinal system damages could be caused by high concentrations. One of the main signs – “bismuthal limbus” – inflammation of gum borders caused by concretion of bismuth sulphide. Damages of urinary tracts are also possible. Bismuth concentration in hair doesn’t always reflect level of its effect on the body.

Wolframium (183,9 a.m.u.) is not a vital element for human body. In manufacturing industry, it is being used for production of various alloys. High-melting and solid metal it is used in production of filaments in electric bulbs, x-ray tubes, vacuum tubes, heating elements, rocket technology.

Wolframium intoxication could be caused by long-lasting treatment of industrial dust and vapours and in cases of occasional swallowing of wolframates. Anionic form of wolframium (wolframate) is being easily absorbed in gastro-intestinal tract, cationic form and metallic wolframium are not absorbing. Toxicity mechanisms are being linked with blockage of molybdenum-containing ferments. Some researches states possible relation of increased wolframium concentration in environment with increasing cases of children leukaemia.

Gallium (69,7 a.m.u.) – rare element in human body contains ultratrace amounts of it. Industrial use is related to specific machinery and technologies (high-temperature thermometers, semiconductors, etc.).

In medicine gallium isotopes are being used in radioisotope diagnostics; gallium nitrate is being used in hypercalcemia therapy, caused by malignant diseases. Just like aluminium and cadmium, gallium suppresses bone exchange, metabolic changes could be expressed by growth inhibition. Three-valence gallium is capable to interfere with processes, where Fe3+ is being involved (including inflammation); clinical use of gallium agents against some antibiotic-resistant infections is being researched.

In human body gallium is accumulating in bone tissue, deposition in bone tissue could last several months. In case of skin contact, gallium could cause grey spots similar to dermatosis. Toxic effects mechanisms include interaction with phosphates and iron metabolism; cerebrospinal system could be the target of gallium toxic effect.

Degenerative functional and morphologic disorders are possible. Adverse events of use of gallium salts in malignant hypercalcaemia treatment include sickness, vomit, nephrotoxicity. In case of complications sodium iodide 1% solution shall be used.

Germanium (72,61 a.m.u.) potentially toxic IVth group element. Intaken by the body with food (quite high concentration in garlic, fish, boltings, vegetables, seeds, mushrooms, ginseng root). Easily absorbed and quite homogenously distributed in organs in tissues, excreted mostly with urine. In manufacturing is mostly used in fibre and infrared optics, organic synthesis (including polyethylene manufacturing), electronics (semiconductors).

Germanium compounds are potentially hazardous to human health. Acute toxicity of germanium to human is low, but the lethal cases of intoxication with food supplements, containing organic and non-organic compounds of germanium are reported

Manifestations of chronic germanium intoxication are reported as consequences of long-lasting intake of germanium in food supplements popular in Japan in 1970-ties and later in other countries, as “health elixir” for several diseases (e.g. cancer, AIDS). Cases of kidney diseases together with germanium accumulation and signs of kidney tubules degeneration with slow and partial recovery of kidney function after termination of intake of germanium, are also reported. Other adverse events included anaemia, muscular weakness, peripheral neuropathy. Clinical efficiency of germanium food supplements is not proven.

Iron (55,8 a.m.u.) – vital element constituting in erythrocyte (haemoglobin) respiratory pigment structure. Iron metabolism is changing in some physiologic and pathologic conditions, including active growth, pregnancy, various endocrine disorders, inflammation, contagious diseases, constitutional pathologies, tumour diseases, haemorrhages, helminthic invasions. Intake of phosphates, oxalates, calcium, zinc, E vitamin, etc. is effecting the absorption of iron.

Iron metabolism is being actively regulated and several mechanisms are ensuring the sustainability of iron concentration in body by regulating absorption processes, transportation processes, utilization, deposition processes, and preventing the excretion with urine. Iron overdoses caused by some hereditary diseases or extreme intake could result in intoxication effects (tissue injuries caused by deposition of iron toxicity).

Very few amount of iron is being naturally excreted with urine. Rapid increase of iron concentration in urine could be caused by haemoglobinuria, proteinuria or iron overload.

Concentration of iron in hair and nails depends on many factors: level of intake and absorption, physiology and pathology processes balance of endogenous metabolism and individual properties of growth factors of these tissues and presence of external pollution factors, including hygienic and cosmetic procedures. Concentration of iron in male hair is higher than in female hair. Persons suffering from diseases of liver, spleen, chronic alcoholism manifests higher concentration of iron in their hair.

Gold (197 a.m.u.) not a vital element, but could manifest biological activity regarding some ferments. Concentration of gold is human body is lower than 10 mg, 50% of it in bones.

Metallic gold is an inert metal. Metallic gold and alloys thereof are used in instrument engineering, space and electronic industries, jewelry. In medicine gold agents are being used for rheumatoid arthritis treatment, radioactive gold – in treatment of some types of growth, metallic gold and alloys – in dentistry.

Toxic effects of gold are mostly linked with overdosing or adverse events after using its salts for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. To achieve therapeutic benefits of gold agents in cases of rheumatoid arthritis, a specific amount of feeding and long-lasting supporting treatment with therapeutic level over 100 – 200 mcg of gold /dl of serum is required. Different tissues are accumulating gold in different amount. Traces of gold could be manifesting in serum for 10 months after therapy.

The most frequent manifest of gold agents’ toxicity is dermatitis with eosinophilia. In addition to allergic reactions, adverse events could include autoimmune reactions, toxic effect on kidneys and liver and damage of hematopoiesis system. There is no direct correlation reported between therapeutic doses, concentration of gold in urine and serum and clinical effects, but skin allergic reactions were mostly reported for patients with higher concentration of this element in blood. Mechanisms of toxic effect of gold are being linked with gold thiol groups and inhibition of thiol-containing ferments.

Iodine (126,9 a.m.u.) — A vital element. A basis of thyroid hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Its physiological and pathological effects are depending on the dose.

Deficit of iodine is an important reason of thyroid gland diseases: hypothyroid infantilism, hypothyroidism with hypothyreosis, Hashimoto syndrome, impairment of fertility, stillbirth, congenital anomaly, bradygenesis of children and diminution of intellectual output of adults. High concentrations of iodine are containing in sea water and sea products. Concentration of iodine in ready-to-cook food is considered depending on its initial level and the type of processing such products has underwent. Some fast-food variations could contain concentration of iodine exceeding daily demands. Artificial iodine supplement in food is being widely used for prevention and treatment of iodine deficit diseases of thyroid gland, including mass events in endemic regions (iodized salt, iodized oil, etc.).

Disinfecting options of iodine are being used in medicine, but iodine-containing agents are being used to decrease the deposition of radioactive iodine. However, overdoses of iodine due to uncontrolled intaken of specific food supplements, as well as a deficit of iodine could be the reason of severe pathology: thyroid gland (thyrotoxicosis), skin and respiratory passages damages, weakness, depression, teratogenic effect on the foetus, allegropathy, Plummer’s disease and Pendred’s syndrome.

Concentration of iodine in hair correlates to the level of iodine intake by the body, but the proportion is not obvious. Decrease of iodine level in hair was reported for 59% of inhabitants of regions with iodine deficit. In cases of thyroid gland diseases, level of iodine in hair and nails could be decreased (more often), or even increased.

Cadmium (112,4 a.m.u.) not a vital element. Intakes of higher concentrations of cadmium causes toxic effects. As well as mercuric this metal is able to evaporate. Cases of cadmium intoxication are mostly caused by industrial pollution. It could be discharged in the air during ore processing (is a by-product of liquation of lead and zinc), during waste burning – plastic, cadmium-nickel batteries, etc. Cadmium is used in production of alloys, pigments, electro-technical industry.

This metal is being deposed in cereals and leafy vegetables, when soil is being polluted with cadmium-containing industrial waste. In liver of adult mammals and oysters there is rather high concentration of cadmium. Cadmium could get into our food when being stored in packages containing this element for a long period of time.

One of the significant sources of cadmium intake is a cigarette smoke, this is the reason why smokers have higher concentrations of cadmium in their blood, than no-smokers. Gastro-intestinal absorption of cadmium is rather low – approx. 3 – 8%, absorption through skin is low. After inhalation of cadmium dust or aerosol it is being quickly and almost completely absorbed in lungs. Concentrations of cadmium in soft tissues are presented in compounds with metallothionein afforded in liver. Toxicity of this compound is significantly lower than of free cadmium. Cadmium is hardly excreted by kidneys.

Throughout life cadmium is being accumulated in tissues, mostly in liver and kidneys; there is no cadmium in new-born babies’ bodies. 95% of cadmium in blood is concentrated in erythrocytes. Cadmium toxic effects are being caused by competition with other metals on compounds with ferments and damage of their activity, binding them with various proteins with further denaturation and change of properties. Chronic effect of cadmium vapours causes damage of nasal epithelium and deposition of cadmium in lungs, causing development of emphysema.

On a kidney level toxic effect of cadmium is manifesting in cadmium nephropathy, causing damage of kidney tubules, early signs of which are increase of beta-2-microglobulin secretion with urine.

Chronic cadmium treatment could cause osteohalisteresis and damage of bones mineralization. It is combined with brakes and deformation of bones. Overdoses of cadmium could cause anaemia, liver diseases, cardiopathy and hypertonia development. Acute toxication of high doses of cadmium causes heavy damages of respiratory organs, pulmonary oedema is also possible.

Potassium (39,1 a.m.u.) – vital macronutrient, basic intracellular cation, required for functioning of all body cells. Potassium is being intaken with food: quite high concentration of potassium is in meat and milk products, cacao, many fruits, parsley, black tea.

Potassium agents are being used in medicine and various clinical occasions. Potassium is being easily absorbed and excreted from the body, mainly with urine. Concentration of potassium in plasm doesn’t reflect its real condition in cells. Mostly it is reflecting on hair. Concentration of potassium in hair and nails depends on the intake in body, spreading among tissues, general electrolytes balance, regulatory systems conditions (adrenal body hormones, sympathicoadrenal system, insulin).

Increase of potassium level in hair could mean excessive deposition of potassium in our body or disproportionation of this element among tissues; imbalance of electrolyte exchange or dysfunction of adrenal cortex.

Decreased concentration could indicate over-fatigue, metabolic diseases, cachexia of adrenal bodies. Decreased concentration of potassium increases risks of myocardial damages, erosion of gastric mucosa and endometrial mucosa, impairment of fertility and termination of pregnancy. In cases of regular potassium deficit patience face skin dryness, hair weakness and wounds are healing badly.

Calcium (40,08 a.m.u.) – the most vital macronutrient in our body. An element of multiple vital processes. 99% of the body calcium is deposed in bone tissue structure, making it strong. Necessary concentration of calcium in our blood is being supported in strict limits thanks to several regulation mechanisms of metabolism processes in bone tissue, absorption in gastro-intestinal tract, reabsorption in kidneys.

Concentration of calcium in hair and nails could vary. Calcium level in these biomaterials is not depending on the level of calcium intake. Increased concentration of calcium in hair could reflect not only overdosed intake, but quite opposite – increased mobilisation and loss of bone calcium (e.g. in cases of osteoporosis in menopause). Decrease of calcium level in hair was registered in myocardial infarction cases, combined with aorta calcification level.

When children are in active growth period and intake increased amounts of calcium, its level in hair could decrease and not reflect the intake level.

Calcium exchange and containing of calcium in tissues is linked with metabolism of other metals and anions: phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, cobalt, potassium, sodium, heavy metals. Calcium metabolism is being changed in stress situations, long-lasting bed regime, kidney pathology, pancreas gland disease and thyroid body disease in case of drugs treatment.

Cobalt (58,9 a.m.u.) – B12 vitamin component, required for the synthesis of DNA, haematopoiesis, functioning of excitatory system and many other processes.

Deficit of cobalt is a reason of severe diseases: macrocytic achylic anaemia (Addison-Biermer disease), funicular myelosis, megaloblastic anaemia, diphyllobothriasis (broad tapeworm disease). But the overdoses of cobalt in contact treatment causes lungs fibrosis, hyperkeratosis, myocardiopathy and hypothyreosis.

Human body cells are not able to synthesize vitamin B12, it is being absorbed in gastro-intestinal tract.

In diagnostics of conditions, caused by deficit or overdose of B12 vitamin, there is a reason to use direct indication of B12 concentration.

But the indication of cobalt plays an important role in differentiation of B12-deficit anaemia from folium-deficit anaemia, when concentration of cobalt in blood is within normal limits.

Most of the food contains cobalt. Industrial increased cobalt treatment is caused by manufacturing procedures and processing of alloys of cobalt. Cobalt agents are being widely used in medicine for different prevention matters, mostly as vitamin B12. Cobalt chloride is used for therapy of some types of anaemia, cobalt isotopes – for diagnostics and therapy of several oncology diseases.

Increased concentration of cobalt in body could be caused by destruction of orthopaedic implants in some cases. Overdose of cobalt causes intoxication. Exposition to cobalt, inhalation of cobalt dust because of manufacturing, could cause allergic dermatitis, asthma, interstitial lungs diseases.

Cases of acute cobalt intoxication could cause myocardiopathy and kidney diseases. Indications of cobalt toxic effects were reported for patients with kidney diseases, treated with cobalt containing erythropoietic agents. Toxic effect of cobalt overdoses includes hyperplasia of thyroid bodies, myxoedema, myocardiopathy (especially in cases of alcoholism), polycythaemia and nerve diseases.

Silica (28,08 a.m.u.). One of the most circulated natural elements. Contains 26% of Earth crust. Human body contains small amounts of it and concentration decreases with ageing. Silica deficit could develop if too small amounts are intaken (less than 5mg/day), but the toxicity level is 500 mg/day. The highest concentration of silica is in aortic wall, trachea, joints, bones, skin and hair.  Role of silica in conjunctive tissue structure is very important.

Silica deficit causes inhibition of growth, fragility of nails and hair, flail joints rotation (simultaneous deficit of calcium and silica). Its deficit damages bone structure, causes abnormal changes of cartilaginous tissue and joints, causes development of atherosclerosis, hypertonia, and atherosclerotic heart disease, deposition of aluminium in brain. Excreted from the body with urine and excrements; in cases of increased intake (e.g. professional treatment of silica dust), excretion of silica with urine is being slightly increased.

Silica and its compounds are being widely used in production of foodstuffs, pharmacology and medicine. Especially dangerous toxic effect of silica oxides and various silicates, asbestos in particular. Inhalation of dust containing such agents causes deposition in lungs and degradation of lungs tissues, pneumoconiosis (silicosis).

Methylated silica polymers (silicon) are used in implants. Women with silicone implants has silica concentration in their blood higher than others, but stays within the normal limit of variations of this indication among healthy people. Silica level in blood correlates to the presence of implant, not to the existence of joints diseases. Increased concentration of silica could indicate diseases of water-salt metabolism and danger of kidney stone disease, degenerative disc disease, arthrosis and atherosclerosis.

Lanthanum (138,9 a.m.u.) – rare-earth element deposing in very low concentrations in several organs (spleen, dentine, tooth enamel). Vital dose is not proven, but lanthanum like other metals of this group increases phagocyte activity of leucocytes. In industry it is used in household and technical optics, laser machines, nuclear energetics, catalyst oil refinery, electronic industry, pigments manufacturing. Radioactive lanthanum isotopes are present in radioactive rain (containing in side-products of uranium, thorium and plutonium fission).

In medicine lanthanum carbonate is being used as phosphate-linking agent (Fosrenol) for treatment of patients with terminal stage of kidney disease together with hyperphosphatemia and kidney osteodystrophy. Speed of absorption in gastro-intestinal tract is very low because of development of hardly-soluble compounds, mainly phosphates. Main organs of lanthanum deposition are – bone tissue and liver. There is data about toxic effect of lanthanum on liver. The main way of excretion – bilis. All the lanthanum compounds are considered toxic.

Lanthanum and other lanthanide elements are able to compete with essential elements – calcium, magnesium, manganese, cobalt, cuprum, zinc in various biochemical processes. Toxic effects of lanthanum could be mostly caused by its effect on phosphates metabolism. Lanthanum level in hair correlates with its concentration in environment.

Lithium (6,9 a.m.u.) Low concentrations in all the tissues of our body; concentration in extracellular fluid and intracellular fluid are not very different. There is many lithium in eggs, milk and milk products, meat, fish, vegetables. Daily demand is approx. 2 mg. Concentration in soil and water could vary in different regions.

When intaken, lithium is absorbed almost completely, excreted mainly with urine. Patients with chronic alcoholism has lower concentrations of lithium.

Lithium deficit is possible in cases of immunodeficient diseases, several neoplasms and depressions. There are researches allowing to suppose the linkage of low concentration of lithium in drinking water with the frequency of moral diseases and behaviour diseases. Lithium agents are used to treat maniacal diseases. Supposedly lithium increases the reuptake of catecholamine decreasing concentration thereof in neuronal synapses concentration.

There is data that lithium could prevent the suicide attempts.

Mechanisms of lithium biochemical effects are various and include the effect on sodium, calcium and magnesium metabolism, changes of functions of various ferments, hormones, vitamins and growth factors. Side-effects of lithium intakes could include neurologic symptoms, fatigue, apathy, lack of appetite, vomit, unsteady gait, lethargy, weakening and loss of hair.

Acute intoxication causes muscular rigidity, hyperactivity of deep tendon reflexes and epileptic spasms. After acute intoxication with lithium symptoms are manifesting in 1 – 4 hours, causing sickness, vomit, diarrhoea, ataxia, tremor, spasms, depression of consciousness up to coma. Possible hypothermia. Analyses indicate hyperglycaemia, leucocytosis, glycosuria, albuminuria, polyuria and urine hyposmolarity. Heartbeat is damages. All these symptoms are indicative for chronic lithium intoxication. Intoxication risk is increased with dehydration and kidney diseases.

Possible targeted organs of lithium are bones and thyroid gland. There is data on effect of lithium on neuroendocrine processes, lipometabolism and carbohydrate metabolism (insulin-like effect). Toxic dose for human is 92 – 200 mg. Optimal therapeutic response to lithium is not always linked with its concentration in blood, but lithium toxicity always correlates with its concentration in serum. This is why research of lithium serum are being used to monitor a therapy with this medicine.

Long-lasting intake of lithium drugs combined with its accumulation in tissues, reflects the increase of lithium level in hair. Low concentration of lithium in tissues could be caused not only by low level of intake in body, but also with change of metabolism in some pathological conditions.

Magnesium 24,3 a.m.u.) one of the most vital macronutrients in human body: activity of multiple ferments and metabolism processes related thereto are magnesium-dependant. Magnesium is mostly accumulated in bone and muscular tissues. Magnesium is mainly excreted by kidneys. Magnesium is intaken with food, water and sodium chloride. Vegetable food is especially rich of magnesium. Intake of magnesium salt even in high dosages doesn’t cause intoxication, but has evacuant effect. In cases of parenteral injection of magnesium sulphate, intoxication symptoms are possible: general suppression, fatigue, drowsiness. In cases of severe overdoses, intoxication risk is increased. Low concentration of magnesium in hair are reported in cases of small intake, malabsorption syndrome and in cases of chronic loss of magnesium. Decreased concentration of magnesium in hair is described for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Increased demand for magnesium is being reported on pregnancy, in growth and rehabilitation periods and in cases of chronic alcoholism.

Absorption of magnesium is being damaged in cases of excessive intake of calcium, phosphates, fat, alcohol, coffee, antibiotics, several cancer treatment agents and excessive intake of manganese, cobalt, plumb, sodium or cadmium.

Magnesium deficit is indicating with multiple clinical manifestations: hyposomnia, headaches, back pains and osteoporosis, arterial hypertonia and arrhythmia, hyperglycaemia, coprostasia, etc. Decreased concentration of magnesium in hair mainly comes with strength loss, fatigability, dizziness, muscular pain and overweight.

Low level of magnesium is peculiar to patients with disseminated sclerosis, vitiligo, pancreatic diabetes, various allergic diseases and rheumatic disorders. 50% of children suffering from bronchial asthma has decreased level of magnesium in hair.

Manganese (54,9 a.m.u.) – vital element for human, present in multiple metal ferments, acting also as non-specific enzyme activator. Manganese-dependent enzymes are superoxide dismutase (mitochondria), pyruvate carboxylase, arginase, glycosyltransferase. Mn2+ ions in activations of several enzymes could be replaced by Mg2+, Co2+ or other bivalent ions. This element is related to the processes of development of conjunctive tissues and bones, growth mechanisms, fertility, carbohydrates and lipids metabolism. In normal conditions only low amounts of manganese are being intaken by body with air, food and water. Most part of manganese intaken with food is not being absorbed, but the main passage of excretion is bilis.

Urine excretion of this element indicates low reaction to the fluctuations of manganese in diet. Manganese is transferred with blood together with proteins. In blood it is mostly linked with erythrocytes haemoglobin.

Long-lasting artificial nutrition with lack of manganese could cause signs of bones demineralization and growth damages, recovered in cases of intake of special supplements.

Experimental limitation of manganese in food led to the development of skin damages, decrease of cholesterol level. Rare genetic disease – pirrolidase deficit of children indicated with skin ulcers, mental retardation, increase of urine excretion of iminopeptides, by-pass infections with megalosplenia associated with damages of manganese metabolism (manganese is deposed in erythrocytes, arginase activity of erythrocytes loses half of its norm, but the content of manganese in serum is normal).

Decrease of manganese level was reported in some unlinked medical conditions: osteoporosis, insulin-resistant pancreatic diabetes, epilepsy, infertility, etc. Low level of manganese is peculiar to patients with disseminated sclerosis, vitiligo, pancreatic diabetes, allergic diseases and rheumatic disorders. Half of children suffering from bronchial asthma has decreased level of manganese in hair.

Overdoses of manganese causes neurotic syndromes, over-fatigue, rachitism, hypothyreosis. Toxic effects of manganese could be caused by the treatment of professional factors: inhalation of dust and vapours containing manganese, used to manufacture steel, dry batteries, construction materials, paints, ceramics, lead-free gasoline.

Throughout months and years of manganese exposition various neurologic symptoms are developing, peculiar to Parkinson disease, degenerative disorders of cerebrospinal system. Chronic intoxication with manganese are peculiar to foundry-men, welders, miners, workers of drugs manufacturing, ceramics, glass, varnish, food supplements.

Manganese toxicity was reported for some children with long-lasting parenteral feeding. Changes of manganese metabolism could make a contribution to the symptoms of developing encephalopathy, severe liver diseases due to damages of manganese excretion with bilis.

Copper (63,5 a.m.u.) present in two conditions in human body – Cu2+ and Cu1+; easy transformation ensures its oxidizing-recovering properties. Copper creates a stable bond with proteins, peptides and other organic elements, concentration of free copper in cytoplasm is very low. Key organ in copper metabolism is liver – content of copper-containing enzymes and other proteins. More than 90% of copper is being transported from liver to peripheral tissues in complex with caeruloplasmin.

Copper is a catalytic component of several enzymes and structural element of many vital proteins. Most part of multiple copper-containing proteins are oxidases, localizing outside cytoplasm on the surface of cell membranes or in vesicles. Copper-containing metal-enzyme – superoxide dismutase – provides protection for plasm and cytoplasm components from free radicals. Cytochrome-c-oxidase enzyme is important for intercellular processes. Lysyl oxidase is vital for stabilization of extracellular matrix, including development of cross-bonds of collagen and elastin. Copper-containing enzymes, including caeruloplasmin are present in iron metabolism. Copper-containing enzyme, catalysing dopamine transformation to noradrenalin is also an enzyme, catalysing melatonin synthesis. Copper-containing proteins are a part of gene transcription processes.

Content of copper in food products is variable and depends on the food cooking conditions and supplements. Meat products contains a lot of copper, quite a lot – in sea products, nuts, whole grains, boltings and cocoa-containing products. Milk products (goat milk) and white meat contains very low concentrations of copper.

Inborn copper metabolism defects cause heavy disorders: Menkes syndrome (genetic disorder of copper absorption in intestinal canal), Wilson’s disease (disorder of copper transportation, including its involvement in caeruloplasmin, combined with aggregation of copper in organs and tissues). Copper deficiency symptoms include neutropenia, anaemia (resistant to iron medicines), osteoporosis, neurologic symptoms and heartbeat disorders. Copper absorption deficit could be indicated in diffuse diseases of small intestine together with high concentration of competing zinc and cadmium ions. Copper deficit could be reported for nursing infants (especially – premature children), patients receiving long-lasting parenteral feeding with micronutrients deficiency, taking zinc-type drugs, like penicillamine.

Symptoms of copper salts intoxication (fungicide activities, absorption of copper-containing solutions) are indicating sickness, vomit, headache, diarrhoea, stomach pain. In cases of copper intoxication liver diseases, hepatitis and hemocidal shock are possible. To evaluate copper status, it would be recommended to establish copper concentration level in plasm together with establishment of caeruloplasmin level, however, in cases of allied changes these investigations could not be sensible enough.

Arsenic (74,9 a.m.u.) – one of the most recognized toxic metals. Present in several toxic and non-toxic forms. Non-organic compounds As3+ – As (III) and As5+ – As (V) are toxic; last one is the most toxic. Non-toxic forms of organic arsenic are present in some kinds of food; mostly in sea products. Low concentrations of arsenic could supposedly be considered as conditionally essential nutrient. It interacts with thiol-containing proteins, cysteine, glutathione, lipoic acid and affects oxidation processes in mitochondria.

Deficit (reported in experiments with animals) results in fertile disorders, misbirths, stillbirths, decrease of antitumor immunity; concentration of copper and manganese is increasing in organs and tissues in cases of arsenic deficit. Arsenic compounds are used in medicine. Non-organic compounds in small doses could contain in general tonic agents, medicinal water and mud. Organic compounds of arsenic are used as antibacterial and antiprotozoal drug.

Sources of arsenic intoxication could be industrial treatment or intake of pesticides. In cases of heavy intoxications, mostly indicative are gastro-intestinal symptoms, possible spasms and coma, respiration and heartbeat disturbances. Chronic exposure causes damage of skin and mucosa, disorders in nervous system (neurologic pain in feet, weakness, sensibility disorders), disorders of intestinal tract. Cases of cancer caused by arsenic are reported.

In case of intake of toxic arsenic forms As5+ and As3+ they are often excreted with urine in unchanged form, partly metabolising in less toxic methylated metabolite arsino-methyl, arsino-dimethyl), and partly absorbed and deposed in tissues and cells, interacting with phosphates. Toxicity of non-organic arsenic is related to the competition with phosphates and inhibition of enzymes, participating in energetic processes and sulfhydryl group protein binding. This is the reason why arsenic is called “thiol poison”.

When arsenic is intaken, increase of its concentration in blood is monitored only within 4 hours. Research of blood for presence of arsenic is used only to establish the fact of acute intoxication. Urine could be used as a specimen for investigation, as long as arsenic is being excreted from body mostly by kidneys and is present in urine in concentrated condition. Concentration of non-organic As5+ andAs3+ in urine is highest in 10 hours after the intake and is back to normal in 20 – 30 hours. Concentration of methylated metabolites in urine is highest in 40 – 60 hours and is back to normal on 6th – 20th day after arsenic was intaken. Organic arsenic is completely excreted from the body within 1 – 2 days after intaken.

Separated establishment of toxic non-organic arsenic and non-toxic organic arsenic requires very special methods. Often moderate increase of arsenic excretion with urine is reasoned by the presence of its non-toxic organic forms, peculiar to sea products. Normal level of arsenic excretion with urine is 0 – 120 mcg/day. Arsenic has high affinity for keratin, this is the reason why concentration of arsenic in hair and nails is higher than in other tissues. Average hair growth speed is 0,5 cm/month. Hair specimens, cut near roots on the hind head allows to judge on the recent exposure of arsenic. Concentration of arsenic in hair higher than 1 mcg/g of dry mass indicates active exposition to arsenic.

Sodium (22,98 a.m.u.) – essential extracellular cation, participating in sustentation of arterial pressure, regulation of water balance, actuation and contraction mechanisms. Main source of sodium intake – sodium salt.

Sodium is being easily absorbed and distributed in body tissues, being excreted mostly with urine. Sodium metabolism is being regulated by mechanisms of sustentation of arterial pressure, circulating blood volume and mineral balance.

Concentration of sodium in body doesn’t show direct correlation with level of intake, mostly is depends on the changes of regulating procedures, electrolyte balance and kidneys function. Increased concentration of sodium in hair indicates the increased intake of sodium salt, pancreatic diabetes, kidney disorders and tendency to hypertonia.

Nickel (58,69 a.m.u.), supposedly could be a vital element in very low concentrations, as long as it is containing in structures of several proteins (including urea enzyme), RNA, DNA. Deficit of nickel manifests organism development disorder, testis atrophy, anaemia, hypercholesterinaemia and decrease of glycogen savings. Nickel is an element with well-known toxic effects, including hypersensitivity reactions (dermatitis – “nickel scabies”) and cancerigenic effects (respiration organs).

Sources of chronic nickel exposure are – manufacturing of ink, magnets, paints, stainless steel, enamel, ceramics, batteries, glass, alloys. It is being used for manufacturing of coins and jewellery. 10 – 15% of people has allergy for nickel. It could be caused by using of nickel-containing products, implanted prostheses and indicating in local and generalized dermatitis.

Refined nickel dust and nickel subsulphide are classified as carcinogens for human. Inhaled nickel salts, especially with cigarette smoke are deposed in bronchi for a long time. Inhaled dust of powder nickel is often absorbed in lung parenchyma, partly swallowed with slime, partly breathed out. Vapoury nickel carbonoxide is absorbed in much bigger amounts; it is one of the most toxic chemicals, damaging lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, adrenal body. Levels of nickel in blood serum and urine are the most useful indexes, showing person’s exposition to nickel.

Female hair contains 3,96 – 1,055 mg/kg, male – just 0,97 – 0,147 mg/kg. Research of nickel in hair is being used to evaluate its effect over the long term.

Tin (188,7 а.е.м.) – tracer element, potentially toxic. Tin is containing in gastrin (gastric enzyme), affecting the activity of flavin enzymes, able to increase growth processes. Metallic tin and alloys thereof are widely used in household (tin cans, cans, food containers, foil) Non-organic compounds of tin are hardly-soluble, hardly absorbed and weakly toxic, but in high concentrations could cause inflammation of gastric mucosa. Chronic inhalation of metallic tin-containing dust causes lungs diseases.

Organic compounds of tin could be very toxic. They are present in polyvinyl plastic, elastic paints, fungicides, insecticides, anthelmintic agents. Tin intoxication causes headaches, muscular weakness, fatigue, giddiness, sense of smell disorders and hyperglycaemia.

In severe cases – kidney, eyes, immune and cerebrospinal system diseases. Very long-lasting intoxication with tin dust could cause pneumoconiosis. Increased concentration of tin in hair could indicate constant or past increased level of tin intake.

Platinum (107.86 a.m.u.) relatively non-toxic as a metal. But complex salts thereof, used in medicine for chemotherapy of cancer (cisplatin, etc.) are highly-toxic not only regarding cancer, but also regarding healthy cells of the body. Side-effects of intake of these drugs include cumulative nephrotoxicity, symptoms of disorder of gastro-intestinal tract, liver, hematopoietic system and neurotoxicity.

In ecologic research increased interest to platinum is caused by the increase of level of elements of platinum group in environment, regarding use thereof as catalysers in purification of exhaust gases. Platinum containing in road dust in cases of absorption in gastro-intestinal tract doesn’t create precipitates and is absorbed quite easily. It is supposed that soluble chloride complexes could be created, being potentially hazardous because of allergic and toxic features thereof.

Some compounds (e.g. caffeine) could increase toxic exposure of platinum compounds. Workers of factories of regeneration, production and recycle of catalysers could be suffering from increased level of platinum in blood, urine and hair. But the platinum, like all the metals of platinum group is very sensibly active. This is why people occupied in platinum production could face platinosis – disease caused mostly by delayed-type hypersensitivity. It could cause bronchial asthma, skin and eye damage, hypothalamic syndrome. Immune system disorders are also reported up to the development of secondary immunodeficiency.

Rubidium (85,47 a.m.u.) present in body in tracer amounts. Approx. 1 g of rubidium is present in human body. Food sources – tea, coffee, mineral water. Minimal daily demand of rubidium is 0,1 mg. Intake of rubidium could be increased for workers of electronic, chemical and glass production. Rubidium is similar to potassium regarding kinetics and intake, distribution and excretion mechanisms. It is being quickly absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract, in blood mostly present in erythrocytes, excreted mainly by kidneys.

Potentially could be indicative as potassium competitor. In experiments shows physiologic effect on muscular contraction and acid-base balance similar to potassium. Toxicity mechanisms of overdoses of rubidium concentrates in experiments are also indicating similarity to the potassium overdoses toxicity mechanism.

Physiologic role of rubidium is its ability to inhibit prostaglandins PGE1 and PGE2, PGE2-alpha and presence of antihistamine features. Radioactive isotope 87Rb is hazardous to health. Mostly it constitutes 28% of rubidium total amount, intaken by a body. Excessive intake of rubidium could indicate local irritation of skin and mucosa, chronic irritation of upper respiratory passages, arrhythmias, sleep disorders, headaches, proteinuria. Concentration of rubidium lower than 250 mcg/kg in food of experimental animals could cause disorders of prenatal development, abortions and preterm deliveries.

In recent decades in experimental medicine perspective of use of rubidium salts for treatment of nervous and muscular systems diseases are being researched. Radioactive rubidium isotope is being used in radiologic investigation methods.

Lead (207,2 a.m.u.) – heavy metal with toxic features. Lead and compounds thereof are being widely used in everyday life; intoxications with compounds of lead could be indicated in production and household.

Household sources of lead intake – increased concentration of lead in air of old constructions and building, where lead-based paints were used, water polluted with lead and other drinking liquids (lead could be intaken from lead solders of water pipe and metal dishware), use of ceramics with high concentrations of lead, vapours of leaded gasoline in environment. Lead is hardly absorbing in gastro-intestinal tract, but inhaled with polluted air is absorbed almost completely. Lead absorption is increased in cases of deficiency of calcium, phosphor and iron. Most part of lead in blood is in erythrocytes and only 5% – in plasm as compounds with phosphates, proteins and organic acids. Excretion of lead is mostly performed by kidneys. In cases of overdoses of intake, lead is starting to depose in body, creating stable depos, mostly in bone tissues.

Excessed level of exposition to lead is indicated for people of “risk group” – drivers, coachwork workers, workers of varnish-and-paint production, people living along automobile roads – all these could be reasons of saturnism. It is a professional intoxication with lead, causing “lead colouring” (sallow skin colour), lead line on the borders of gums and lips, increased risk of arterial hypertonia and worsened duration of kidneys chronic diseases. Peculiar symptom of chronic lead intoxication is anaemia. Unhealthy ecology conditions are especially dangerous for children at active growth period (aged 3 -12), indicating with high level of elements absorption. Increased puberty period and neurologic disorders of kids with subclinical level of lead intoxication are reported. Acute intoxications with lead are indicating with erythrocyte pathology, polyneuritis, lead encephalopathy, dyspepsia and lead colic.

Best indicator of lead intoxication is investigation of lead concentration in whole blood, but investigation of urine is also used.

Hair as a specimen for investigation is mostly used for children, living in unhealthy ecology conditions.

Selenium (78,96 a.m.u.) – vital macronutrient. Essential for normal thyroid function and normal functioning of immune, reproductive, cardiovascular and nerve systems. More than 30 biologically active selenium-containing proteins are reported. Glutathione peroxidase enzyme includes selenium (enzyme in body protection against damaging effect of active oxygen forms) and iodothyronine deiodinase (enzyme transforming non-active thyroxin (T4) enzyme into active 3-iodothyronine (T3)). Selenium is functionally bond with E vitamin. Selenium compounds as natural anti-oxidant are used for prevention and treatment of many diseases, but in dermatology and cosmetology experts are using medicated selenium-containing shampoos, soaps, gels and creams.

Selenium is similar to mercury regarding biochemical features. Selenium is able to replace mercury in cysteine; this is why selenium-cysteine is a special amino acid with special features. Selenium is intaken with food, mostly as selenium methionine of plants, which are absorbing this micronutrient from soil. Concentration of selenium in blood serum and other biological liquids varies depending on concentration of selenium in food and water. In blood plasm approx. 50 – 60% of selenium is bond with selenium protein P, approx. 30% is constituting glutathione peroxidase, but the remaining selenium is associated with albumin. In body selenium is partly transferring into dimethyl selenium and excreted through lungs. Main ways of selenium excretion are kidneys with urine.

Selenium level in plasm is decreasing during the acute body response level to irritation or infection. Selenium deficit could be caused by the lack of it in food and by disorders in diet or digestion. Indicative deficiency of selenium could be caused by Keshan disease – endemic cardiomyopathy, peculiar to Keshan region in China. This region is famous of deficiency of selenium in soil. Together with other factors, selenium makes a solid contribution to the Kashin-Beck disease – multiple lesions of joints, caused by mineral balance disorders. This endemic disease is described in China and could be also caused by artificial feeding with low concentration of selenium. Even a small deficiency of selenium could lead to changes of thyroid, immune and reproductive systems and could also cause psychic disorders.

Selenium deficit is reported in cases of pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, increase of virulence of viruses, decrease of bodily defence from some kinds of cancer.

Overdoses of selenium could be toxic. Symptoms of intoxication with overdoses of selenium could be indicated in appearance of garlic smell in outbreath and of urine, metallic taste, headaches, sickness, loss of hair and damage of nails. Loss of sensibility, spasms, pneumonia, pulmonary oedema, cardiovascular collapse.

Cases of selenium intoxication were reported not only in cases of exposition to selenium, related to the manufacturing, but also in cases of self- prescription. Investigation of serum or plasm could quite precisely indicate the status of selenium in body and adequacy of last intake (in case ow awareness of changes in the setting of acute phase response).

To assess the level of selenium toxicity it is reasonable to investigate 24-hour urine. Concentration of selenium in it depending on geography source of intaken food could vary from 20 up to 1000 mcg/l.

Investigation of selenium in hair is recommended to assess the long-lasting intake of selenium. It shall be mentioned that medicated shampoos and other haircare products could contain selenium and cause external soiling of specimen.

Silver (107,9 a.m.u.) Not a vital element. Silver and its salts are widely used in instrument manufacture, photography and jewellery. Significant amounts of silver were discovered in cereals and several mushrooms. Toxic effects caused by food sources of silver were not discovered. Gastro-intestinal absorption of silver salts is low due to its low solubility and ability of transformation of soluble salts into non-soluble silver chlorides in stomach.

In medicine silver salts are used as antiseptics and local cohesive agents. Causes of intoxication are mostly caused by uncontrolled intake of silver agents. Silver salts, excluding silver nitrate are not very toxic. Occasional intake of silver nitrate could cause damage of gastro-intestinal tract mucosa, stomach pain, diarrhoea, sickness, spasms and even death. Deficit of silver is not reported in literature. Depending on dosage silver could stimulate or decrease phagocytosis.

Affected by silver, quantity of immunoglobulins A, M and G is increasing, percentage composition of absolute quantity of T-lymphocytes is also increasing. Silver is xenobiotic; ions of silver are replacing ions in enzymes, e.g. (Co), responsible for metabolism and fertility. Maximum permissible concentration in drinking water is 0,05 mg/l and is normed on sanitary-toxic hazard level: hazard class 2 (highly hazardous). Use of silver in water, provided for the children feeding is prohibited on legislation level.

In cases of long-lasting intake of silver-containing agents and silver-containing water, kidneys could be damages, digestion and nerve system could be disordered. Clinical interest to silver research could be caused by the treatment of burn patients using silver sulfadiazine or monitoring of nasal decongestants usage (vasoconstrictive agents, decreasing nasal stuffiness).

Overdoses of silver – argyria – could be caused by chronic intake of inhalation of silver. It is indicating by irreversible change of skin, mucosa and nail colour from grey to bluish-grey. Argyria is associated with inhibition of growth, changes of hemiparesis, distensibility of cardiac chambers, degenerative disorders of liver with damages of kidney tubules. More than 1g of soluble silver salts could cause argyria.

Strontium (87,6 a.m.u.). Vital role of this element is still not established. But it is proven that strontium plays an essential role in secretion and strength of tooth enamel and osteogenesis. Use of strontium containing agents really decreases risk of fractures for aged and old women. This microelement is providing cytoprotective effect. Intaken with food, strontium is absorbed quite hardly.

Overdoses of strontium could cause changes of mineral metabolism in bone tissue. Kashin-Beck disease – endemic disease indicated by disorder of mineral balance, initially discovered near Urov river in Eastern Siberia.

Strontium is used in metal industry, production of TV equipment, accumulators and pyrotechnics. Radioactive 90Sr and 89Sr are hazardous side-products of nuclear reactions. Radiation-free strontium-88 is used to protect body from radioactive forms of strontium (competition mechanisms). Radioactive 89Sr is used in therapy of some cancer diseases. Concentration of strontium in hair indicates exposition to this element and correlates to its concentration in bones.

Antimony (121,7 a.m.u.) Antimony is not a vital element, but could stimulate physiologic processes in small doses, just like arsenic does. Since ancient ages antimony compounds were used as cosmetic agent and for treatment purposes. Nowadays antimony is being widely used in chemical and polygraph production, to produce accumulator batteries, semiconductors, bearings, cables. Organic compounds of antimony are used as fungicides. Antimony agents are used in medicine to treat leishmaniosis and several helminthiases.

Toxicity of antimony compounds depends on doses and way of intake. Acute intoxication with antimony compounds could happen in cases of intake of some therapeutic agents and under manufacturing conditions: metallic taste, headaches, sickness, then vomit, diarrhoea and gastric spasms.

In cases of chronic intoxication one could indicate cardiac arrhythmia, inflammations of respiratory passages and eyes mucosa, dermatitis, if patient is pregnant – spontaneous abortions, premature birth. Workers of ore extraction and processing plants are exposed of increased risk of professional intoxication with antimony. Antimony absorption from lungs is happening faster than in gastro-intestinal tract. Speed and way of excretion depends on forms of its compounds. Increased concentration of antimony in hair is indicating recent and long-period chronic exposition to this element.

Thallium (204,38 a.m.u.) not a vital element. Total amount in body is approx. 0,1 mg, but the amount of intake with food is not significant. After absorption in blood, thallium ions are quickly spreading in tissues, but part is deposing in erythrocytes. In blood thallium is mostly present in form of free ions Tl+.

In increased concentrations, thallium is toxic. It is caused by disorder of metabolism of essential organism cations – sodium and potassium. Rat poison, some fungicides and pesticides are thallium compounds. Thallium salts (sulphate, acetate) are used in some medicines, cosmetics, but radioactive thallium – in radiology diagnostic procedures.

Increased concentrations of thallium could be discovered near metallurgical production, coal plants, in glass manufacturing on chemical factories. Soluble thallium compounds are easily absorbed in gastro-intestinal tract, easily absorbed through skin and respiratory passages. Period of thallium presence in human body is small: half-period is lesser than two days, but after 25 days after intoxication just a small amount of intaken dose is still present. Main way of excretion – kidneys, second one – intestinal tract. Lethal dose of thallium for human is approx. 10 – 15 mg/kg.

Intoxication symptoms increasing soon after the intake of high doses of thallium include sickness, vomit, stomach pain, diarrhoea, gastro-intestinal bleeding, pulmonary oedema. Later signs of nerve system disorders are being indicated – brain fog, motion coordination disorders, choreatic movements, spasms and sight disorders. Peculiar sign of chronic intoxication with thallium (thallium toxicosis) is alopecia (diffusive hair loss). If doses are 8 mcg/kg; in 2 – 3 weeks a hair is lost and paralyses appears.

Mercury (200,59 a.m.u.) not a vital element, toxic, present in tracer amount. Mercury is the only metal being a liquid at room temperature. Source of mercury in environment – natural evaporation from the Earth crust, industrial pollution (chloride production, alkali production, electro-technical industry, pharmacy, production of cellulose and paper) burning of black coal.

Mercury is used in medicine and cosmetology (unguents, creams, disinfection solutions) in dentistry (amalgamate filling materials), mercury agents are used as fungicides for grain poisoning. Elementary metallic mercury in case of absence of chemistry and biology systems, which could transform it is of low toxicity. When transformed into ionized (non-organic) form it becomes toxic. Further transformations of non-organic mercury by some microbes into organic mercury (methylmercury) results in creation of high-toxic compounds of mercury, which are being selectively bond by tissues with high concentrations of lipids.

Methylmercury is lipophilic with high affinity to nervous tissues rich of lipids. Myelin is very sensitive to such damaging treatment. Mercury methylation is performing in bottom sediments of seas, lakes and other waterbodies. Intake of some species of fish and molluscs could be dangerous for humans (Minamata syndrome) indicating by toxic encephalopathy. Source of intoxication with methylmercury could be food of wildfowl from the regions where mercury-containing fungicides were used. Metallic mercury is easily absorbed when inhaling vapours, in gastro-intestinal tract it is almost not absorbing. Non-organic mercury is being hardly absorbed from gastro-intestinal tract. Organic mercury is absorbed easily from lungs and from gastro-intestinal tract. More than 99% of blood mercury is bond with erythrocytes (haemoglobin).

Non-organic mercury is excreted with urine, organic – secreted into bilis, goes to the gastro-intestinal tract, but then again absorbed in blood-stream. Toxic features of mercury are caused by the fact that its ions are easily binding with sulfhydryl protein groups. It changes their structure and features, including antigen characteristics in autoimmune reactions. Acute intoxication with mercury is mostly caused by intake of non-organic compounds of mercury, damaging the gastro-intestinal tract and kidney tubules. Chronic intoxication is mostly caused by inhaling or intake of small amounts of mercury. It could become the reason of gingivitis, stomatitis, extreme irritability, tremor, neurotic syndrome, colitis, anaemia and erythredema of children (Feer’s disease). Profession intoxication with mercury vapours – mercurialism is caused by the fact that mercury is a thiol poison. It is being indicated by nephropathy and hepatopathy.

Intoxication with organic mercury in indicating in sense of fatigue, headaches, loss of memory, apathy, mood swing, changes of sensibility, movement coordination, speech disorders, eyesight and hearing disorders. In severe cases intoxication could result in coma and death.

Whole blood is a recommended specimen to assess the intoxication with methylmercury.

Urine – recommended specimen to assess the effect of non-organic mercury.

Hair is used for retrospective evaluation of mercury effect on the body for long previous period.

Phosphorus (30,97 а.m.u.) – one of vital macronutrients. Most part of phosphorus is present in bones, but also in all other tissues and as a component of various proteins. Main sources of phosphorus in food – milk products, meat, eggs, beans. Phosphorus metabolism is mostly linked with calcium exchange. Main organ participating in phosphorus balance stabilization – kidneys.

Increased concentration of phosphorus in hair is indicated in cases of kidney diseases and increased intake of phosphate and D vitamin. Decrease of phosphorus level in hair could indicate decreased intake of phosphorus with food, disorder of protein digestion and inadequate intake of calcium or magnesium.

Chromium (51,99 а.m.u.) – vital microelement. It is supposed that lack of chromium in body could be one of the reasons causing disorders of glucose tolerance. Chromium is a component of insulin and trypsin. It is bond with nucleic acids and protects them from denaturation. Development of glucose tolerance disorders and appearance of neuropathies is documented in cases of long-lasting intravenous artificial feeding with solutions of not enough concentrations of chromium. Increase of chrome concentrations restored glucose tolerance and decreased neurologic symptoms. Chromium is acting like a co-factor in process of insulin starting on the level of peripheral tissue intracellular receptors.

Chrome deficiency was discovered in cases of pancreatic diabetes of II type.

Biologically active chromium form, allegedly represents Cr3+ complex with nicotine acid, analogue to the glucose tolerance factor, discovered for brewers’ yeast. Physiological chromium effects related to lipid metabolism (with increase of concentration of cholesterol lipoproteins of high-density). Ways of metabolism and toxicity of chromium are depending on oxygenation stage. Absorption of chromium in gastro-intestinal tract is low – 0,4 – 2,5% of the total amount.

Main food source of chromium – meat, wholegrain cereals, green beans, broccoli. Cr3+ after absorption is transported in blood in complex with beta-globulins (mostly – transferrin). It is being diffusely spread in the body, excreted mostly with urine. Chromium absorption in lungs depends on solubility of chromium salts. For Cr6+ a possibility of intake through skin was demonstrated. Pure metallic chromium is non-toxic. Cr6+ is much more toxic, than Cr3+. Despite of Cr3+ compounds are comparably non-toxic, but in cases of intake of high doses, even chromium picolinate used in food supplements could cause diseases of liver and kidneys. Cr6+ is a carcinogen. Presence of Cr6+ in vapours and industrial dust could cause increased risk of lungs cancer, dermatitis, skin ulcers. Intake could lead to the appearance of giddiness, stomach pain, sickness, anuria, spasms, shock, coma.

Sources of chromium – production of steel, pigments, processing of leather, protective solutions for wood processing, photography, mixtures, used in galvanization and electrolytic surfacing and in concrete production. Pollution of soil with waste from production of paints, leathermaking plants, containing Cr6+ could be hazardous to health. It was reported that level of chromium in hair correlates with increased concentration thereof in serum and in urine in cases of professional exposition to this element. Decreased level of chromium in hair of patients with pancreatic diabetes indicated correlation with decrease of chromium level in blood serum (concentration of chromium in urine of patients with pancreatic diabetes is increased).

Zinc (65,39 а.m.u.) – vital element, one of the most circulated microelements in our body, second after iron. More than 300 of metal enzymes are containing zinc, including carbonic anhydrase, alkaline phosphatase, RNA and DNA-polymerases, thymidine kinase carboxypeptidase, alcohol dehydrogenase. Key role of zinc in protein and nucleic acid synthesis describes disorders of growth and wounds healing, indicating in cases of deficiency of this element. It participates in mechanisms, linked with genes expression regulation processes. It is connected with development biology in general, including foetation and regulation of steroid, thyroid and other hormones synthesis.

In food zinc is mostly bond with proteins and bio accessibility thereof is depending on proteopepsis. Zinc is mostly accessible in red meat and fish. Wheat germs and boltings are also being a good source of zinc. Symptoms of zinc deficiency are often caused by diet, poor of animal protein and rich of cereals, containing phytates, binding zinc. Zinc absorption could also be decreased by iron supplements. Rare occasions of excessive intake of zinc could be caused by use of galvanized reservoirs for drinking liquids. Overdoses of zinc could cause irritation of gastro-intestinal tract.

Absorbed zinc in liver is actively binding with metal enzymes and plasm proteins. Blood plasm contains at least 1% of total amount of zinc in body. Most part of plasm zinc is bond with albumin (80%), but the remaining part – mostly with alpha-2-macroglobulin. Almost all the zinc in erythrocytes is concentrated in carbonic anhydrase. Concentration of zinc in erythrocytes is almost ten times higher than in plasm. Excretion of zinc from the body is performed with bilis and urine.

Clinical indications of zinc deficiency (as it follows from variety of its biological functions) are not specific, are variable and depending on the duration of deficiency.

Deficiency symptoms include inhibition of growth, increased frequency of infections, caused by disorders of immune system, diarrhoea, appetite loss, disorder of cognitive function, disorders of carbohydrates metabolism, anaemia, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, teratogenesis, skin damages, hair loss and eyesight disorders.

To investigate the zinc status in body serum or plasm is recommended (hemolysis could distort the results!) Level of zinc in blood is depending on daily rhythm – peak is in the morning at approx. 9am and another peak is in the evening at approx. 6pm. After a meal zinc level is decreasing. Sampling conditions shall be controlled (time of the day, food intake, presence of drug therapy). Content of albumin in blood (decrease in period of acute inflammation phase) could distort the result, so it is recommended to establish the albumin and C-reactive protein levels simultaneously.

Investigation of zinc excretion with urine is an indicator of loosely bound metabolic zinc, which doesn’t always indicate the total reserves of this element in body. Concentration of zinc in urine depends on the level of intake and direction of metabolism processes in body. zinc excretion with urine could triple after short-term starvation as a result of catabolism processes activation. Low level of zinc in hair of children is used to evaluate the deficiency of this element. It shall be taken into account that speed of hair growth and external pollutions, such as hair colours, medicated shampoos, cosmetic agents for haircare, containing zinc, could also distort the results.

Zirconium (91,2 а.m.u.) present in biological systems in quite high concentration for micronutrient, but no biological function is discovered. Zirconium could be intaken through lungs or gastro-intestinal tract. After absorption it is being captured by soft tissues and then, more slowly, also by bone tissue.

Industrial sources of zirconium exposition – ore processing and alloy manufacturing, used for production of nuclear reactors construction, bodies of rockets and planes, fire-resistant constructions, reflecting surfaces, piezo-ceramics, metal-ceramics, oscillating tubes and corrosion-proof materials for chemical machinery. Zirconium sulphate is used as a tanning material in leather industry. Zirconium is biologically inert and used in medicine as a component of dental ceramics and materials of orthopaedic restoration.

Potential zirconium toxicity – from low to moderate. Inhalation of industrial dust, containing zirconium could cause increased risk of development of lungs diseases (granulation growth). Long contact of zirconium with skin could cause papules in some cases. Interest to the researches about zirconium is reasoned by spreading spectre of use thereof.

Small screening of hair elements content (25 micronutrients)

Aluminium (26,98 a.m.u.) – one of the most circulated elements of Earth crust. A human intake from 5 to 50 mg of Aluminium every day. Aluminium is a tracer element.

Physiological concentration of aluminium in different organs and tissue is very low. Gastro-enteric tract is almost dense for this element: Normal absorption level is approx. 4% of the intaken aluminium. Aluminium constitutes sparsely soluble complexes (mostly with food phosphates), which are poorly-absorbing. Aluminium is easily bonding with plasmatic protein and is rapidly spreading in the body.

20% of plasmatic aluminium is free.

Content of aluminium in adult human body is 30 – 50 mg. Aluminium is being deposed in bones, liver, lungs and grey substance of our brains. Content of this element in lungs and brain is increasing with age.

Main ways of excretion of aluminium from the blood is urinary way and excretion with bilis. Decreased kidney function leads to the increased deposition of aluminium. Despite of the toxicity, aluminium is constituting biological molecule series and plays a pivotal physiologic role in our bodies. Deficiency of aluminium leads to parafunction of creation of phosphate and protein complexes, bone, connective and epithelium tissue regeneration, and parathyroid glands function.

As it was already mentioned, aluminium is a toxic element. Increased constitution of aluminium in occupational dust, release of industrial waste into urban water, usage of some medicines and medical procedures. Medics are using adsorbing, enveloping, antacid and anaesthetic features of aluminium containing agents (e.g. almagel); information about such agents contains its possible toxic exposure. Parenteral feeding and albumin solutions could contain increased concentrations of aluminium, caused by the way of its manufacturing and purification. Aluminium dishes, cosmetics and deodorants could be the ways of aluminium intake by humans.

The most often occasions of aluminium intoxication were registered for patients with chronic kidney disease when agents containing aluminium are affecting during the duration of treatment. Toxic effect of aluminium overdose include interference (displacement and substituting) with metabolism of calcium, phosphorus, iron and other biologically active elements, change of enzyme system activity.

Bones are being important targeted organs of aluminium pathologic effect are bones (aluminium is replacing calcium in mineralization, damaging normal secretion of osteoid, making bone calcium less available for mobilization) and brain (aluminium encephalopathy in case of severe intoxication).

Aluminium could replace calcium-linking areas in epithelial bodies, regulating phosphorus-calcium metabolism, casing the change of its physiological response. It was proven, that increase of aluminium concentration could cause decrease of absorption of many elements and vitamins.

Intake of overdoses of aluminium with occupational dust when breathing, could be deposed in lungs, causing fibrotic changes in lung tissue. Increased interest to the aluminium metabolism was caused by the discovery of accumulation thereof in separate parts of brain in cases of Alzheimer disease. Patients with kidney disease are potentially endangered of aluminium intoxication due to the parafunction of aluminium excretion. Intoxication Signs of intoxication in heavy occasions could include osteohalisteresis and encephalopathy.

Laboratory signs of aluminium intoxication of diffusion patients are lower than normal level of parathyroid hormone for existing stage of kidney disease, together with high concentration of aluminium in blood serum.

Patients with signs of osteohalisteresis and encephalopathy are often showing the level of intact parathyroid hormone lower than 16 pmol/l and level of aluminium serum higher than 60 mcg/l, patients with lack of such symptoms – parathyroid hormone higher than 16 pmol/l and level of aluminium serum lower than 20 mcg/l. IN cases of normal functioning of kidney, aluminium concentration in urine correlates to the level of aluminium intake by the body. Concentration of aluminium in hair and nails is reflecting chronic exposure of this element.

Berullium (9,0 a.m.u.) – Alkaline-earth metal of IInd periodic group. Widely used in manufacturing and medicine (X-ray machines). Physiological role of beryllium isn’t researched well enough, but it was proven that beryllium participates in regulation of phosphorus-calcium exchange and supports the immune system. Content of beryllium in adult human body is from 0,4 up to 40 mcg. It could be found in almost all the tissues and organs, including hair and nails.

Beryllium is a highly-toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic agent, however there is no data on its’ toxic and lethal doses. Beryllium salts arrests alkaline phosphatase and other ferments. Beryllium decreases and destroys bone tissue, damages lungs (fibrosis), skin (eczema, dermatosis), eye mucosa (foundryman’s fever), could become a reason of autoimmune processes. Magnesium is an antagonist of beryllium (their chemical characteristics are similar) – reason of down-regulation of magnesium ferments in cells. This is the reason why magnesium agents together with Toxic microelement in treatment of beryllium intoxication.

Beryllium intoxication is mostly caused by professional factors. Manufacturing sources of beryllium are linked with metal beneficiating, atomic, space, electronic, electro-technical manufacturing and production of rocket technologies. Beryllium alloys are strong and light, are widely used in household, including dentistry materials (higher beryllium exposure risk among dental technicians is being researched and discussed). Beryllium intoxication is mostly happening by inhalation of industrial inhalants and dust with higher concentration of this element.

Chronic inhalation of industrial dust, containing beryllium could cause the progression of chronic beryllium disease (berylliosis), leading to granulomas in lungs as a result of body immune reaction to the presence of beryllium agents. Disease could progress even in long-term perspective after the effects of moderate quantities of beryllium. Effect of idiosyncrasy and individual variations on beryllium is described. Contact of beryllium with damaged skin areas (wounds, abrasion) could cause lesion or ulcus. Foundry men could also face ocular and respiratory passages irritation.

Toxic effect of beryllium is associated with increased quantity of lungs cancer occasions. Concentration of beryllium in body bio-substrates may not correlate with the development of beryllium disease, but is an optional component of optimal diagnostics together with x-ray and immunologic methods.

Boron (10,8 a.m.u.). Element of IIIrd periodic group, non-metal. Boron is arbitrary essential, immune-toxic element.

It was proven that this element is also necessary for normal functioning of human body. Boron compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic and anti-tumour properties. This element participates in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium exchange, affects genital glands and thyroid body, increases level of male reproductive hormones. It was proven that Boron decreases basic metabolism during thyrotoxicosis and increases insulin effect. Highest boron concentration was discovered in blood of new-borns.

Boron is mostly intaken by body together with plant food – apples, grapes, carrot, as long as it is necessary for growth of plants and is being deposed in plants. Boron is well absorbed in gastro-intestinal tract (more than 90%) and is absorbed by the body mostly as boric acid, transported in blood in the form of this neutral form and is being spread among all the tissues of our body, easily excreting by kidneys with urine.

Boric acid and sodium borate – low-toxic agents, intoxication effect could be caused only by the intake of high doses of borates. Human occupied in quarrying, recycling and production of boron compounds could have increased intake of this element together with inhaled dust. In manufacturing this element is being used in chemical glass manufacturing processes. Content of boron in adult human body is approx. 20 mg. More than a half of common quantity of boron is deposed in bones, but approx. 10% in soft tissues. In cases of bone diseases (arthrosis, arthritis) concentration of boron in bones decreases rapidly.

In medicine and household boron compounds are used as antiseptic agents, preserving agents, anti-fungal agents, overdose, or occasional intake of high dose could cause specific toxic effects. Daily requirement of this element is approx. 2-3 mg. Deficit is a rare occasion. But if present, it could cause osteoporosis, decrease in immunity, damage of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus metabolism, creation of reproductive hormones imbalance. Female could face a menopause pain syndrome, but male – impotency. Expressed deficit is peculiar to arthritis patients.

In medical treatment boron medicines are used to prevent kidney stone disease as long as it decreases concentration of oxalates, which are causing kidney stones together with calcium. This property makes boron irreplaceable element in prevention of this disease. But the overdose of boron, including so called supplements, could cause intoxication. Resulting in sickness, vomit, headache, diarrhoea, decrease of temperature.

Long-period overdosing of boron causes stress, appetite decline, sloughing of skin, nephritis, decreased libido. Higher limit of daily average safe dose of boron for humans is 13 mg. Toxic dose – 4 grams per day. Minimal lethal dose is not established. Case of lethal outcome when 18 – 20 grams of boron were intaken are reported. Irritation with boric acid solution could cause symptoms of intoxication, but treatment of nipples of lactating mother with boric acid solution could cause intoxication of nursing infants.

Vanadium (50,9 a.m.u.) is allegedly an essential or biologically valuable element; however, its physiologic role is not yet established well enough. Obvious vanadium deficit is not reported. Vanadium possibly plays some role in carbohydrate metabolism processes, activity of this element regarding some valuable ferments is reported. Vanadium compounding were used as therapeutic agents in treatment of anaemia, tuberculosis, syphilis, rheumatism, nowadays scientists are researching possibility to use vanadium in diabetes mellitus treatment (increased insulin activity), being used in food supplements.

Vanadium is intaken in human body with food (vegetable oil, mushrooms, parsley and dill, liver, fatty meat, soy, breadstuffs, sea products). overdose could be caused by intake of fish, prawns, crabs, oysters from regions located near oil wells.

Cases of vanadium intoxication are mostly caused by industrial factors. This element is widely spread in steel industry, insecticide, colorants, ink, varnishes manufacturing, in photography, is an element of orthopaedic prostheses.

High concentration of vanadium in industrial dust could cause damage of respiratory passages mucosa, bronchitis, damages of eye mucosa.

Vanadium intake in gastro-intestinal tract could cause gastrointestinal problems, kidney diseases, cardiovascular system damages, cerebrospinal system damages. Early signs of vanadium intoxication are paleness, diarrhoea, green tongue. High concentration of vanadium in hair correlates to the over absorption of this element.

Iron (55,8 a.m.u.) – vital element constituting in erythrocyte (haemoglobin) respiratory pigment structure. Iron metabolism is changing in some physiologic and pathologic conditions, including active growth, pregnancy, various endocrine disorders, inflammation, contagious diseases, constitutional pathologies, tumour diseases, haemorrhages, helminthic invasions. Intake of phosphates, oxalates, calcium, zinc, E vitamin, etc. is effecting the absorption of iron.

Iron metabolism is being actively regulated and several mechanisms are ensuring the sustainability of iron concentration in body by regulating absorption processes, transportation processes, utilization, deposition processes, and preventing the excretion with urine. Iron overdoses caused by some hereditary diseases or extreme intake could result in intoxication effects (tissue injuries caused by deposition of iron toxicity).

Very few amount of iron is being naturally excreted with urine. Rapid increase of iron concentration in urine could be caused by haemoglobinuria, proteinuria or iron overload.

Concentration of iron in hair and nails depends on many factors: level of intake and absorption, physiology and pathology processes balance of endogenous metabolism and individual properties of growth factors of these tissues and presence of external pollution factors, including hygienic and cosmetic procedures. Concentration of iron in male hair is higher than in female hair. Persons suffering from diseases of liver, spleen, chronic alcoholism manifests higher concentration of iron in their hair.

Iodine (126,9 a.m.u.) — A vital element. A basis of thyroid hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Its physiological and pathological effects are depending on the dose.

Deficit of iodine is an important reason of thyroid gland diseases: hypothyroid infantilism, hypothyroidism with hypothyreosis, Hashimoto syndrome, impairment of fertility, stillbirth, congenital anomaly, bradygenesis of children and diminution of intellectual output of adults. High concentrations of iodine are containing in sea water and sea products. Concentration of iodine in ready-to-cook food is considered depending on its initial level and the type of processing such products has underwent. Some fast-food variations could contain concentration of iodine exceeding daily demands. Artificial iodine supplement in food is being widely used for prevention and treatment of iodine deficit diseases of thyroid gland, including mass events in endemic regions (iodized salt, iodized oil, etc.).

Disinfecting options of iodine are being used in medicine, but iodine-containing agents are being used to decrease the deposition of radioactive iodine. However, overdoses of iodine due to uncontrolled intaken of specific food supplements, as well as a deficit of iodine could be the reason of severe pathology: thyroid gland (thyrotoxicosis), skin and respiratory passages damages, weakness, depression, teratogenic effect on the foetus, allegropathy, Plummer’s disease and Pendred’s syndrome.

Concentration of iodine in hair correlates to the level of iodine intake by the body, but the proportion is not obvious. Decrease of iodine level in hair was reported for 59% of inhabitants of regions with iodine deficit. In cases of thyroid gland diseases, level of iodine in hair and nails could be decreased (more often), or even increased.

Cadmium (112,4 a.m.u.) not a vital element. Intakes of higher concentrations of cadmium causes toxic effects. As well as mercuric this metal is able to evaporate. Cases of cadmium intoxication are mostly caused by industrial pollution. It could be discharged in the air during ore processing (is a by-product of liquation of lead and zinc), during waste burning – plastic, cadmium-nickel batteries, etc. Cadmium is used in production of alloys, pigments, electro-technical industry.

This metal is being deposed in cereals and leafy vegetables, when soil is being polluted with cadmium-containing industrial waste. In liver of adult mammals and oysters there is rather high concentration of cadmium. Cadmium could get into our food when being stored in packages containing this element for a long period of time.

One of the significant sources of cadmium intake is a cigarette smoke, this is the reason why smokers have higher concentrations of cadmium in their blood, than no-smokers. Gastro-intestinal absorption of cadmium is rather low – approx. 3 – 8%, absorption through skin is low. After inhalation of cadmium dust or aerosol it is being quickly and almost completely absorbed in lungs. Concentrations of cadmium in soft tissues are presented in compounds with metallothionein afforded in liver. Toxicity of this compound is significantly lower than of free cadmium. Cadmium is hardly excreted by kidneys.

Throughout life cadmium is being accumulated in tissues, mostly in liver and kidneys; there is no cadmium in new-born babies’ bodies. 95% of cadmium in blood is concentrated in erythrocytes. Cadmium toxic effects are being caused by competition with other metals on compounds with ferments and damage of their activity, binding them with various proteins with further denaturation and change of properties. Chronic effect of cadmium vapours causes damage of nasal epithelium and deposition of cadmium in lungs, causing development of emphysema.

On a kidney level toxic effect of cadmium is manifesting in cadmium nephropathy, causing damage of kidney tubules, early signs of which are increase of beta-2-microglobulin secretion with urine.

Chronic cadmium treatment could cause osteohalisteresis and damage of bones mineralization. It is combined with brakes and deformation of bones. Overdoses of cadmium could cause anaemia, liver diseases, cardiopathy and hypertonia development. Acute toxication of high doses of cadmium causes heavy damages of respiratory organs, pulmonary oedema is also possible.

Potassium (39,1 a.m.u.) – vital macronutrient, basic intracellular cation, required for functioning of all body cells. Potassium is being intaken with food: quite high concentration of potassium is in meat and milk products, cacao, many fruits, parsley, black tea.

Potassium agents are being used in medicine and various clinical occasions. Potassium is being easily absorbed and excreted from the body, mainly with urine. Concentration of potassium in plasm doesn’t reflect its real condition in cells. Mostly it is reflecting on hair. Concentration of potassium in hair and nails depends on the intake in body, spreading among tissues, general electrolytes balance, regulatory systems conditions (adrenal body hormones, sympathicoadrenal system, insulin).

Increase of potassium level in hair could mean excessive deposition of potassium in our body or disproportionation of this element among tissues; imbalance of electrolyte exchange or dysfunction of adrenal cortex.

Decreased concentration could indicate over-fatigue, metabolic diseases, cachexia of adrenal bodies. Decreased concentration of potassium increases risks of myocardial damages, erosion of gastric mucosa and endometrial mucosa, impairment of fertility and termination of pregnancy. In cases of regular potassium deficit patience face skin dryness, hair weakness and wounds are healing badly.

Calcium (40,08 a.m.u.) – the most vital macronutrient in our body. An element of multiple vital processes. 99% of the body calcium is deposed in bone tissue structure, making it strong. Necessary concentration of calcium in our blood is being supported in strict limits thanks to several regulation mechanisms of metabolism processes in bone tissue, absorption in gastro-intestinal tract, reabsorption in kidneys.

Concentration of calcium in hair and nails could vary. Calcium level in these biomaterials is not depending on the level of calcium intake. Increased concentration of calcium in hair could reflect not only overdosed intake, but quite opposite – increased mobilisation and loss of bone calcium (e.g. in cases of osteoporosis in menopause). Decrease of calcium level in hair was registered in myocardial infarction cases, combined with aorta calcification level.

When children are in active growth period and intake increased amounts of calcium, its level in hair could decrease and not reflect the intake level.

Calcium exchange and containing of calcium in tissues is linked with metabolism of other metals and anions: phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, cobalt, potassium, sodium, heavy metals. Calcium metabolism is being changed in stress situations, long-lasting bed regime, kidney pathology, pancreas gland disease and thyroid body disease in case of drugs treatment.

Cobalt (58,9 a.m.u.) – B12 vitamin component, required for the synthesis of DNA, haematopoiesis, functioning of excitatory system and many other processes.

Deficit of cobalt is a reason of severe diseases: macrocytic achylic anaemia (Addison-Biermer disease), funicular myelosis, megaloblastic anaemia, diphyllobothriasis (broad tapeworm disease). But the overdoses of cobalt in contact treatment causes lungs fibrosis, hyperkeratosis, myocardiopathy and hypothyreosis.

Human body cells are not able to synthesize vitamin B12, it is being absorbed in gastro-intestinal tract.

In diagnostics of conditions, caused by deficit or overdose of B12 vitamin, there is a reason to use direct indication of B12 concentration.

But the indication of cobalt plays an important role in differentiation of B12-deficit anaemia from folium-deficit anaemia, when concentration of cobalt in blood is within normal limits.

Most of the food contains cobalt. Industrial increased cobalt treatment is caused by manufacturing procedures and processing of alloys of cobalt. Cobalt agents are being widely used in medicine for different prevention matters, mostly as vitamin B12. Cobalt chloride is used for therapy of some types of anaemia, cobalt isotopes – for diagnostics and therapy of several oncology diseases.

Increased concentration of cobalt in body could be caused by destruction of orthopaedic implants in some cases. Overdose of cobalt causes intoxication. Exposition to cobalt, inhalation of cobalt dust because of manufacturing, could cause allergic dermatitis, asthma, interstitial lungs diseases.

Cases of acute cobalt intoxication could cause myocardiopathy and kidney diseases. Indications of cobalt toxic effects were reported for patients with kidney diseases, treated with cobalt containing erythropoietic agents. Toxic effect of cobalt overdoses includes hyperplasia of thyroid bodies, myxoedema, myocardiopathy (especially in cases of alcoholism), polycythaemia and nerve diseases.

Silica (28,08 a.m.u.). One of the most circulated natural elements. Contains 26% of Earth crust. Human body contains small amounts of it and concentration decreases with ageing. Silica deficit could develop if too small amounts are intaken (less than 5mg/day), but the toxicity level is 500 mg/day. The highest concentration of silica is in aortic wall, trachea, joints, bones, skin and hair.  Role of silica in conjunctive tissue structure is very important.

Silica deficit causes inhibition of growth, fragility of nails and hair, flail joints rotation (simultaneous deficit of calcium and silica). Its deficit damages bone structure, causes abnormal changes of cartilaginous tissue and joints, causes development of atherosclerosis, hypertonia, and atherosclerotic heart disease, deposition of aluminium in brain. Excreted from the body with urine and excrements; in cases of increased intake (e.g. professional treatment of silica dust), excretion of silica with urine is being slightly increased.

Silica and its compounds are being widely used in production of foodstuffs, pharmacology and medicine. Especially dangerous toxic effect of silica oxides and various silicates, asbestos in particular. Inhalation of dust containing such agents causes deposition in lungs and degradation of lungs tissues, pneumoconiosis (silicosis).

Methylated silica polymers (silicon) are used in implants. Women with silicone implants has silica concentration in their blood higher than others, but stays within the normal limit of variations of this indication among healthy people. Silica level in blood correlates to the presence of implant, not to the existence of joints diseases. Increased concentration of silica could indicate diseases of water-salt metabolism and danger of kidney stone disease, degenerative disc disease, arthrosis and atherosclerosis.

Lithium (6,9 a.m.u.) Low concentrations in all the tissues of our body; concentration in extracellular fluid and intracellular fluid are not very different. There is many lithium in eggs, milk and milk products, meat, fish, vegetables. Daily demand is approx. 2 mg. Concentration in soil and water could vary in different regions.

When intaken, lithium is absorbed almost completely, excreted mainly with urine. Patients with chronic alcoholism has lower concentrations of lithium.

Lithium deficit is possible in cases of immunodeficient diseases, several neoplasms and depressions. There are researches allowing to suppose the linkage of low concentration of lithium in drinking water with the frequency of moral diseases and behaviour diseases. Lithium agents are used to treat maniacal diseases. Supposedly lithium increases the reuptake of catecholamine decreasing concentration thereof in neuronal synapses concentration.

There is data that lithium could prevent the suicide attempts.

Mechanisms of lithium biochemical effects are various and include the effect on sodium, calcium and magnesium metabolism, changes of functions of various ferments, hormones, vitamins and growth factors. Side-effects of lithium intakes could include neurologic symptoms, fatigue, apathy, lack of appetite, vomit, unsteady gait, lethargy, weakening and loss of hair.

Acute intoxication causes muscular rigidity, hyperactivity of deep tendon reflexes and epileptic spasms. After acute intoxication with lithium symptoms are manifesting in 1 – 4 hours, causing sickness, vomit, diarrhoea, ataxia, tremor, spasms, depression of consciousness up to coma. Possible hypothermia. Analyses indicate hyperglycaemia, leucocytosis, glycosuria, albuminuria, polyuria and urine hyposmolarity. Heartbeat is damages. All these symptoms are indicative for chronic lithium intoxication. Intoxication risk is increased with dehydration and kidney diseases.

Possible targeted organs of lithium are bones and thyroid gland. There is data on effect of lithium on neuroendocrine processes, lipometabolism and carbohydrate metabolism (insulin-like effect). Toxic dose for human is 92 – 200 mg. Optimal therapeutic response to lithium is not always linked with its concentration in blood, but lithium toxicity always correlates with its concentration in serum. This is why research of lithium serum are being used to monitor a therapy with this medicine.

Long-lasting intake of lithium drugs combined with its accumulation in tissues, reflects the increase of lithium level in hair. Low concentration of lithium in tissues could be caused not only by low level of intake in body, but also with change of metabolism in some pathological conditions.

Magnesium 24,3 a.m.u.) one of the most vital macronutrients in human body: activity of multiple ferments and metabolism processes related thereto are magnesium-dependant. Magnesium is mostly accumulated in bone and muscular tissues. Magnesium is mainly excreted by kidneys. Magnesium is intaken with food, water and sodium chloride. Vegetable food is especially rich of magnesium. Intake of magnesium salt even in high dosages doesn’t cause intoxication, but has evacuant effect. In cases of parenteral injection of magnesium sulphate, intoxication symptoms are possible: general suppression, fatigue, drowsiness. In cases of severe overdoses, intoxication risk is increased. Low concentration of magnesium in hair are reported in cases of small intake, malabsorption syndrome and in cases of chronic loss of magnesium. Decreased concentration of magnesium in hair is described for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Increased demand for magnesium is being reported on pregnancy, in growth and rehabilitation periods and in cases of chronic alcoholism.

Absorption of magnesium is being damaged in cases of excessive intake of calcium, phosphates, fat, alcohol, coffee, antibiotics, several cancer treatment agents and excessive intake of manganese, cobalt, plumb, sodium or cadmium.

Magnesium deficit is indicating with multiple clinical manifestations: hyposomnia, headaches, back pains and osteoporosis, arterial hypertonia and arrhythmia, hyperglycaemia, coprostasia, etc. Decreased concentration of magnesium in hair mainly comes with strength loss, fatigability, dizziness, muscular pain and overweight.

Low level of magnesium is peculiar to patients with disseminated sclerosis, vitiligo, pancreatic diabetes, various allergic diseases and rheumatic disorders. 50% of children suffering from bronchial asthma has decreased level of magnesium in hair.

Manganese (54,9 a.m.u.) – vital element for human, present in multiple metal ferments, acting also as non-specific enzyme activator. Manganese-dependent enzymes are superoxide dismutase (mitochondria), pyruvate carboxylase, arginase, glycosyltransferase. Mn2+ ions in activations of several enzymes could be replaced by Mg2+, Co2+ or other bivalent ions. This element is related to the processes of development of conjunctive tissues and bones, growth mechanisms, fertility, carbohydrates and lipids metabolism. In normal conditions only low amounts of manganese are being intaken by body with air, food and water. Most part of manganese intaken with food is not being absorbed, but the main passage of excretion is bilis.

Urine excretion of this element indicates low reaction to the fluctuations of manganese in diet. Manganese is transferred with blood together with proteins. In blood it is mostly linked with erythrocytes haemoglobin.

Long-lasting artificial nutrition with lack of manganese could cause signs of bones demineralization and growth damages, recovered in cases of intake of special supplements.

Experimental limitation of manganese in food led to the development of skin damages, decrease of cholesterol level. Rare genetic disease – pirrolidase deficit of children indicated with skin ulcers, mental retardation, increase of urine excretion of iminopeptides, by-pass infections with megalosplenia associated with damages of manganese metabolism (manganese is deposed in erythrocytes, arginase activity of erythrocytes loses half of its norm, but the content of manganese in serum is normal).

Decrease of manganese level was reported in some unlinked medical conditions: osteoporosis, insulin-resistant pancreatic diabetes, epilepsy, infertility, etc. Low level of manganese is peculiar to patients with disseminated sclerosis, vitiligo, pancreatic diabetes, allergic diseases and rheumatic disorders. Half of children suffering from bronchial asthma has decreased level of manganese in hair.

Overdoses of manganese causes neurotic syndromes, over-fatigue, rachitism, hypothyreosis. Toxic effects of manganese could be caused by the treatment of professional factors: inhalation of dust and vapours containing manganese, used to manufacture steel, dry batteries, construction materials, paints, ceramics, lead-free gasoline.

Throughout months and years of manganese exposition various neurologic symptoms are developing, peculiar to Parkinson disease, degenerative disorders of cerebrospinal system. Chronic intoxication with manganese are peculiar to foundry-men, welders, miners, workers of drugs manufacturing, ceramics, glass, varnish, food supplements.

Manganese toxicity was reported for some children with long-lasting parenteral feeding. Changes of manganese metabolism could make a contribution to the symptoms of developing encephalopathy, severe liver diseases due to damages of manganese excretion with bilis.

Copper (63,5 a.m.u.) present in two conditions in human body – Cu2+ and Cu1+; easy transformation ensures its oxidizing-recovering properties. Copper creates a stable bond with proteins, peptides and other organic elements, concentration of free copper in cytoplasm is very low. Key organ in copper metabolism is liver – content of copper-containing enzymes and other proteins. More than 90% of copper is being transported from liver to peripheral tissues in complex with caeruloplasmin.

Copper is a catalytic component of several enzymes and structural element of many vital proteins. Most part of multiple copper-containing proteins are oxidases, localizing outside cytoplasm on the surface of cell membranes or in vesicles. Copper-containing metal-enzyme – superoxide dismutase – provides protection for plasm and cytoplasm components from free radicals. Cytochrome-c-oxidase enzyme is important for intercellular processes. Lysyl oxidase is vital for stabilization of extracellular matrix, including development of cross-bonds of collagen and elastin. Copper-containing enzymes, including caeruloplasmin are present in iron metabolism. Copper-containing enzyme, catalysing dopamine transformation to noradrenalin is also an enzyme, catalysing melatonin synthesis. Copper-containing proteins are a part of gene transcription processes.

Content of copper in food products is variable and depends on the food cooking conditions and supplements. Meat products contains a lot of copper, quite a lot – in sea products, nuts, whole grains, boltings and cocoa-containing products. Milk products (goat milk) and white meat contains very low concentrations of copper.

Inborn copper metabolism defects cause heavy disorders: Menkes syndrome (genetic disorder of copper absorption in intestinal canal), Wilson’s disease (disorder of copper transportation, including its involvement in caeruloplasmin, combined with aggregation of copper in organs and tissues). Copper deficiency symptoms include neutropenia, anaemia (resistant to iron medicines), osteoporosis, neurologic symptoms and heartbeat disorders. Copper absorption deficit could be indicated in diffuse diseases of small intestine together with high concentration of competing zinc and cadmium ions. Copper deficit could be reported for nursing infants (especially – premature children), patients receiving long-lasting parenteral feeding with micronutrients deficiency, taking zinc-type drugs, like penicillamine.

Symptoms of copper salts intoxication (fungicide activities, absorption of copper-containing solutions) are indicating sickness, vomit, headache, diarrhoea, stomach pain. In cases of copper intoxication liver diseases, hepatitis and hemocidal shock are possible. To evaluate copper status, it would be recommended to establish copper concentration level in plasm together with establishment of caeruloplasmin level, however, in cases of allied changes these investigations could not be sensible enough.

Arsenic (74,9 a.m.u.) – one of the most recognized toxic metals. Present in several toxic and non-toxic forms. Non-organic compounds As3+ – As (III) and As5+ – As (V) are toxic; last one is the most toxic. Non-toxic forms of organic arsenic are present in some kinds of food; mostly in sea products. Low concentrations of arsenic could supposedly be considered as conditionally essential nutrient. It interacts with thiol-containing proteins, cysteine, glutathione, lipoic acid and affects oxidation processes in mitochondria.

Deficit (reported in experiments with animals) results in fertile disorders, misbirths, stillbirths, decrease of antitumor immunity; concentration of copper and manganese is increasing in organs and tissues in cases of arsenic deficit. Arsenic compounds are used in medicine. Non-organic compounds in small doses could contain in general tonic agents, medicinal water and mud. Organic compounds of arsenic are used as antibacterial and antiprotozoal drug.

Sources of arsenic intoxication could be industrial treatment or intake of pesticides. In cases of heavy intoxications, mostly indicative are gastro-intestinal symptoms, possible spasms and coma, respiration and heartbeat disturbances. Chronic exposure causes damage of skin and mucosa, disorders in nervous system (neurologic pain in feet, weakness, sensibility disorders), disorders of intestinal tract. Cases of cancer caused by arsenic are reported.

In case of intake of toxic arsenic forms As5+ and As3+ they are often excreted with urine in unchanged form, partly metabolising in less toxic methylated metabolite arsino-methyl, arsino-dimethyl), and partly absorbed and deposed in tissues and cells, interacting with phosphates. Toxicity of non-organic arsenic is related to the competition with phosphates and inhibition of enzymes, participating in energetic processes and sulfhydryl group protein binding. This is the reason why arsenic is called “thiol poison”.

When arsenic is intaken, increase of its concentration in blood is monitored only within 4 hours. Research of blood for presence of arsenic is used only to establish the fact of acute intoxication. Urine could be used as a specimen for investigation, as long as arsenic is being excreted from body mostly by kidneys and is present in urine in concentrated condition. Concentration of non-organic As5+ andAs3+ in urine is highest in 10 hours after the intake and is back to normal in 20 – 30 hours. Concentration of methylated metabolites in urine is highest in 40 – 60 hours and is back to normal on 6th – 20th day after arsenic was intaken. Organic arsenic is completely excreted from the body within 1 – 2 days after intaken.

Separated establishment of toxic non-organic arsenic and non-toxic organic arsenic requires very special methods. Often moderate increase of arsenic excretion with urine is reasoned by the presence of its non-toxic organic forms, peculiar to sea products. Normal level of arsenic excretion with urine is 0 – 120 mcg/day. Arsenic has high affinity for keratin, this is the reason why concentration of arsenic in hair and nails is higher than in other tissues. Average hair growth speed is 0,5 cm/month. Hair specimens, cut near roots on the hind head allows to judge on the recent exposure of arsenic. Concentration of arsenic in hair higher than 1 mcg/g of dry mass indicates active exposition to arsenic.

Sodium (22,98 a.m.u.) – essential extracellular cation, participating in sustentation of arterial pressure, regulation of water balance, actuation and contraction mechanisms. Main source of sodium intake – sodium salt.

Sodium is being easily absorbed and distributed in body tissues, being excreted mostly with urine. Sodium metabolism is being regulated by mechanisms of sustentation of arterial pressure, circulating blood volume and mineral balance.

Concentration of sodium in body doesn’t show direct correlation with level of intake, mostly is depends on the changes of regulating procedures, electrolyte balance and kidneys function. Increased concentration of sodium in hair indicates the increased intake of sodium salt, pancreatic diabetes, kidney disorders and tendency to hypertonia.

Nickel (58,69 a.m.u.), supposedly could be a vital element in very low concentrations, as long as it is containing in structures of several proteins (including urea enzyme), RNA, DNA. Deficit of nickel manifests organism development disorder, testis atrophy, anaemia, hypercholesterinaemia and decrease of glycogen savings. Nickel is an element with well-known toxic effects, including hypersensitivity reactions (dermatitis – “nickel scabies”) and cancerigenic effects (respiration organs).

Sources of chronic nickel exposure are – manufacturing of ink, magnets, paints, stainless steel, enamel, ceramics, batteries, glass, alloys. It is being used for manufacturing of coins and jewellery. 10 – 15% of people has allergy for nickel. It could be caused by using of nickel-containing products, implanted prostheses and indicating in local and generalized dermatitis.

Refined nickel dust and nickel subsulphide are classified as carcinogens for human. Inhaled nickel salts, especially with cigarette smoke are deposed in bronchi for a long time. Inhaled dust of powder nickel is often absorbed in lung parenchyma, partly swallowed with slime, partly breathed out. Vapoury nickel carbonoxide is absorbed in much bigger amounts; it is one of the most toxic chemicals, damaging lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, adrenal body. Levels of nickel in blood serum and urine are the most useful indexes, showing person’s exposition to nickel.

Female hair contains 3,96 – 1,055 mg/kg, male – just 0,97 – 0,147 mg/kg. Research of nickel in hair is being used to evaluate its effect over the long term.

Tin (188,7 а.е.м.) – tracer element, potentially toxic. Tin is containing in gastrin (gastric enzyme), affecting the activity of flavin enzymes, able to increase growth processes. Metallic tin and alloys thereof are widely used in household (tin cans, cans, food containers, foil) Non-organic compounds of tin are hardly-soluble, hardly absorbed and weakly toxic, but in high concentrations could cause inflammation of gastric mucosa. Chronic inhalation of metallic tin-containing dust causes lungs diseases.

Organic compounds of tin could be very toxic. They are present in polyvinyl plastic, elastic paints, fungicides, insecticides, anthelmintic agents. Tin intoxication causes headaches, muscular weakness, fatigue, giddiness, sense of smell disorders and hyperglycaemia.

In severe cases – kidney, eyes, immune and cerebrospinal system diseases. Very long-lasting intoxication with tin dust could cause pneumoconiosis. Increased concentration of tin in hair could indicate constant or past increased level of tin intake.

Lead (207,2 a.m.u.) – heavy metal with toxic features. Lead and compounds thereof are being widely used in everyday life; intoxications with compounds of lead could be indicated in production and household.

Household sources of lead intake – increased concentration of lead in air of old constructions and building, where lead-based paints were used, water polluted with lead and other drinking liquids (lead could be intaken from lead solders of water pipe and metal dishware), use of ceramics with high concentrations of lead, vapours of leaded gasoline in environment. Lead is hardly absorbing in gastro-intestinal tract, but inhaled with polluted air is absorbed almost completely. Lead absorption is increased in cases of deficiency of calcium, phosphor and iron. Most part of lead in blood is in erythrocytes and only 5% – in plasm as compounds with phosphates, proteins and organic acids. Excretion of lead is mostly performed by kidneys. In cases of overdoses of intake, lead is starting to depose in body, creating stable depos, mostly in bone tissues.

Excessed level of exposition to lead is indicated for people of “risk group” – drivers, coachwork workers, workers of varnish-and-paint production, people living along automobile roads – all these could be reasons of saturnism. It is a professional intoxication with lead, causing “lead colouring” (sallow skin colour), lead line on the borders of gums and lips, increased risk of arterial hypertonia and worsened duration of kidneys chronic diseases. Peculiar symptom of chronic lead intoxication is anaemia. Unhealthy ecology conditions are especially dangerous for children at active growth period (aged 3 -12), indicating with high level of elements absorption. Increased puberty period and neurologic disorders of kids with subclinical level of lead intoxication are reported. Acute intoxications with lead are indicating with erythrocyte pathology, polyneuritis, lead encephalopathy, dyspepsia and lead colic.

Best indicator of lead intoxication is investigation of lead concentration in whole blood, but investigation of urine is also used.

Hair as a specimen for investigation is mostly used for children, living in unhealthy ecology conditions.

Selenium (78,96 a.m.u.) – vital macronutrient. Essential for normal thyroid function and normal functioning of immune, reproductive, cardiovascular and nerve systems. More than 30 biologically active selenium-containing proteins are reported. Glutathione peroxidase enzyme includes selenium (enzyme in body protection against damaging effect of active oxygen forms) and iodothyronine deiodinase (enzyme transforming non-active thyroxin (T4) enzyme into active 3-iodothyronine (T3)). Selenium is functionally bond with E vitamin. Selenium compounds as natural anti-oxidant are used for prevention and treatment of many diseases, but in dermatology and cosmetology experts are using medicated selenium-containing shampoos, soaps, gels and creams.

Selenium is similar to mercury regarding biochemical features. Selenium is able to replace mercury in cysteine; this is why selenium-cysteine is a special amino acid with special features. Selenium is intaken with food, mostly as selenium methionine of plants, which are absorbing this micronutrient from soil. Concentration of selenium in blood serum and other biological liquids varies depending on concentration of selenium in food and water. In blood plasm approx. 50 – 60% of selenium is bond with selenium protein P, approx. 30% is constituting glutathione peroxidase, but the remaining selenium is associated with albumin. In body selenium is partly transferring into dimethyl selenium and excreted through lungs. Main ways of selenium excretion are kidneys with urine.

Selenium level in plasm is decreasing during the acute body response level to irritation or infection. Selenium deficit could be caused by the lack of it in food and by disorders in diet or digestion. Indicative deficiency of selenium could be caused by Keshan disease – endemic cardiomyopathy, peculiar to Keshan region in China. This region is famous of deficiency of selenium in soil. Together with other factors, selenium makes a solid contribution to the Kashin-Beck disease – multiple lesions of joints, caused by mineral balance disorders. This endemic disease is described in China and could be also caused by artificial feeding with low concentration of selenium. Even a small deficiency of selenium could lead to changes of thyroid, immune and reproductive systems and could also cause psychic disorders.

Selenium deficit is reported in cases of pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, increase of virulence of viruses, decrease of bodily defence from some kinds of cancer.

Overdoses of selenium could be toxic. Symptoms of intoxication with overdoses of selenium could be indicated in appearance of garlic smell in outbreath and of urine, metallic taste, headaches, sickness, loss of hair and damage of nails. Loss of sensibility, spasms, pneumonia, pulmonary oedema, cardiovascular collapse.

Cases of selenium intoxication were reported not only in cases of exposition to selenium, related to the manufacturing, but also in cases of self- prescription. Investigation of serum or plasm could quite precisely indicate the status of selenium in body and adequacy of last intake (in case ow awareness of changes in the setting of acute phase response).

To assess the level of selenium toxicity it is reasonable to investigate 24-hour urine. Concentration of selenium in it depending on geography source of intaken food could vary from 20 up to 1000 mcg/l.

Investigation of selenium in hair is recommended to assess the long-lasting intake of selenium. It shall be mentioned that medicated shampoos and other haircare products could contain selenium and cause external soiling of specimen.

Mercury (200,59 a.m.u.) not a vital element, toxic, present in tracer amount. Mercury is the only metal being a liquid at room temperature. Source of mercury in environment – natural evaporation from the Earth crust, industrial pollution (chloride production, alkali production, electro-technical industry, pharmacy, production of cellulose and paper) burning of black coal.

Mercury is used in medicine and cosmetology (unguents, creams, disinfection solutions) in dentistry (amalgamate filling materials), mercury agents are used as fungicides for grain poisoning. Elementary metallic mercury in case of absence of chemistry and biology systems, which could transform it is of low toxicity. When transformed into ionized (non-organic) form it becomes toxic. Further transformations of non-organic mercury by some microbes into organic mercury (methylmercury) results in creation of high-toxic compounds of mercury, which are being selectively bond by tissues with high concentrations of lipids.

Methylmercury is lipophilic with high affinity to nervous tissues rich of lipids. Myelin is very sensitive to such damaging treatment. Mercury methylation is performing in bottom sediments of seas, lakes and other waterbodies. Intake of some species of fish and molluscs could be dangerous for humans (Minamata syndrome) indicating by toxic encephalopathy. Source of intoxication with methylmercury could be food of wildfowl from the regions where mercury-containing fungicides were used. Metallic mercury is easily absorbed when inhaling vapours, in gastro-intestinal tract it is almost not absorbing. Non-organic mercury is being hardly absorbed from gastro-intestinal tract. Organic mercury is absorbed easily from lungs and from gastro-intestinal tract. More than 99% of blood mercury is bond with erythrocytes (haemoglobin).

Non-organic mercury is excreted with urine, organic – secreted into bilis, goes to the gastro-intestinal tract, but then again absorbed in blood-stream. Toxic features of mercury are caused by the fact that its ions are easily binding with sulfhydryl protein groups. It changes their structure and features, including antigen characteristics in autoimmune reactions. Acute intoxication with mercury is mostly caused by intake of non-organic compounds of mercury, damaging the gastro-intestinal tract and kidney tubules. Chronic intoxication is mostly caused by inhaling or intake of small amounts of mercury. It could become the reason of gingivitis, stomatitis, extreme irritability, tremor, neurotic syndrome, colitis, anaemia and erythredema of children (Feer’s disease). Profession intoxication with mercury vapours – mercurialism is caused by the fact that mercury is a thiol poison. It is being indicated by nephropathy and hepatopathy.

Intoxication with organic mercury in indicating in sense of fatigue, headaches, loss of memory, apathy, mood swing, changes of sensibility, movement coordination, speech disorders, eyesight and hearing disorders. In severe cases intoxication could result in coma and death.

Whole blood is a recommended specimen to assess the intoxication with methylmercury.

Urine – recommended specimen to assess the effect of non-organic mercury.

Hair is used for retrospective evaluation of mercury effect on the body for long previous period.

Phosphorus (30,97 а.m.u.) – one of vital macronutrients. Most part of phosphorus is present in bones, but also in all other tissues and as a component of various proteins. Main sources of phosphorus in food – milk products, meat, eggs, beans. Phosphorus metabolism is mostly linked with calcium exchange. Main organ participating in phosphorus balance stabilization – kidneys.

Increased concentration of phosphorus in hair is indicated in cases of kidney diseases and increased intake of phosphate and D vitamin. Decrease of phosphorus level in hair could indicate decreased intake of phosphorus with food, disorder of protein digestion and inadequate intake of calcium or magnesium.

Chromium (51,99 а.m.u.) – vital microelement. It is supposed that lack of chromium in body could be one of the reasons causing disorders of glucose tolerance. Chromium is a component of insulin and trypsin. It is bond with nucleic acids and protects them from denaturation. Development of glucose tolerance disorders and appearance of neuropathies is documented in cases of long-lasting intravenous artificial feeding with solutions of not enough concentrations of chromium. Increase of chrome concentrations restored glucose tolerance and decreased neurologic symptoms. Chromium is acting like a co-factor in process of insulin starting on the level of peripheral tissue intracellular receptors.

Chrome deficiency was discovered in cases of pancreatic diabetes of II type.

Biologically active chromium form, allegedly represents Cr3+ complex with nicotine acid, analogue to the glucose tolerance factor, discovered for brewers’ yeast. Physiological chromium effects related to lipid metabolism (with increase of concentration of cholesterol lipoproteins of high-density). Ways of metabolism and toxicity of chromium are depending on oxygenation stage. Absorption of chromium in gastro-intestinal tract is low – 0,4 – 2,5% of the total amount.

Main food source of chromium – meat, wholegrain cereals, green beans, broccoli. Cr3+ after absorption is transported in blood in complex with beta-globulins (mostly – transferrin). It is being diffusely spread in the body, excreted mostly with urine. Chromium absorption in lungs depends on solubility of chromium salts. For Cr6+ a possibility of intake through skin was demonstrated. Pure metallic chromium is non-toxic. Cr6+ is much more toxic, than Cr3+. Despite of Cr3+ compounds are comparably non-toxic, but in cases of intake of high doses, even chromium picolinate used in food supplements could cause diseases of liver and kidneys. Cr6+ is a carcinogen. Presence of Cr6+ in vapours and industrial dust could cause increased risk of lungs cancer, dermatitis, skin ulcers. Intake could lead to the appearance of giddiness, stomach pain, sickness, anuria, spasms, shock, coma.

Sources of chromium – production of steel, pigments, processing of leather, protective solutions for wood processing, photography, mixtures, used in galvanization and electrolytic surfacing and in concrete production. Pollution of soil with waste from production of paints, leathermaking plants, containing Cr6+ could be hazardous to health. It was reported that level of chromium in hair correlates with increased concentration thereof in serum and in urine in cases of professional exposition to this element. Decreased level of chromium in hair of patients with pancreatic diabetes indicated correlation with decrease of chromium level in blood serum (concentration of chromium in urine of patients with pancreatic diabetes is increased).

Zinc (65,39 а.m.u.) – vital element, one of the most circulated microelements in our body, second after iron. More than 300 of metal enzymes are containing zinc, including carbonic anhydrase, alkaline phosphatase, RNA and DNA-polymerases, thymidine kinase carboxypeptidase, alcohol dehydrogenase. Key role of zinc in protein and nucleic acid synthesis describes disorders of growth and wounds healing, indicating in cases of deficiency of this element. It participates in mechanisms, linked with genes expression regulation processes. It is connected with development biology in general, including foetation and regulation of steroid, thyroid and other hormones synthesis.

In food zinc is mostly bond with proteins and bio accessibility thereof is depending on proteopepsis. Zinc is mostly accessible in red meat and fish. Wheat germs and boltings are also being a good source of zinc. Symptoms of zinc deficiency are often caused by diet, poor of animal protein and rich of cereals, containing phytates, binding zinc. Zinc absorption could also be decreased by iron supplements. Rare occasions of excessive intake of zinc could be caused by use of galvanized reservoirs for drinking liquids. Overdoses of zinc could cause irritation of gastro-intestinal tract.

Absorbed zinc in liver is actively binding with metal enzymes and plasm proteins. Blood plasm contains at least 1% of total amount of zinc in body. Most part of plasm zinc is bond with albumin (80%), but the remaining part – mostly with alpha-2-macroglobulin. Almost all the zinc in erythrocytes is concentrated in carbonic anhydrase. Concentration of zinc in erythrocytes is almost ten times higher than in plasm. Excretion of zinc from the body is performed with bilis and urine.

Clinical indications of zinc deficiency (as it follows from variety of its biological functions) are not specific, are variable and depending on the duration of deficiency.

Deficiency symptoms include inhibition of growth, increased frequency of infections, caused by disorders of immune system, diarrhoea, appetite loss, disorder of cognitive function, disorders of carbohydrates metabolism, anaemia, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, teratogenesis, skin damages, hair loss and eyesight disorders.

To investigate the zinc status in body serum or plasm is recommended (hemolysis could distort the results!) Level of zinc in blood is depending on daily rhythm – peak is in the morning at approx. 9am and another peak is in the evening at approx. 6pm. After a meal zinc level is decreasing. Sampling conditions shall be controlled (time of the day, food intake, presence of drug therapy). Content of albumin in blood (decrease in period of acute inflammation phase) could distort the result, so it is recommended to establish the albumin and C-reactive protein levels simultaneously.

Investigation of zinc excretion with urine is an indicator of loosely bound metabolic zinc, which doesn’t always indicate the total reserves of this element in body. Concentration of zinc in urine depends on the level of intake and direction of metabolism processes in body. zinc excretion with urine could triple after short-term starvation as a result of catabolism processes activation. Low level of zinc in hair of children is used to evaluate the deficiency of this element. It shall be taken into account that speed of hair growth and external pollutions, such as hair colours, medicated shampoos, cosmetic agents for haircare, containing zinc, could also distort the results.

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Spectroscopic hair trace analysis

Small screening of hair elements content (25 micronutrients)
105.00 €
Big screening of hair elements content (40 micronutrients)
130.00 €
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