Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Hair analysis

Our hair analysis results have come back, and make very interesting reading.

We tend not to have puddings very often, although when we do we usually have cream or yogurt with them. We also only really buy cheese when we have visitors, although I do occasionally put grated cheese on a pasta dish. But since I was advised to drink half a pint of milk a day during my first two week wait, I have carried on drinking a lot more milk, while DH has stayed at his usual level of consumption. That probably explains why my calcium level is 563 against a recommended minimum value of 380, while DH's is only 299. No little old lady osteoporosis for me! I am going to get him drinking more milk, though.

My magnesium level is also pretty high, but iron, potassium and sodium are all low. DH has normal magnesium and also has low iron, potassium and sodium. I tend to use very little salt in my cooking, so especially as I'm giving us as much fresh food as possible and trying to wean DH off processed stuff at the moment, I suppose I'd better start using a bit more salt.

Having read that selenium and zinc are good for fertility and that many people are deficient in them, I've had us eating five brazil nuts a day each since early last summer. I encourage DH to eat his by giving him four normal ones and one chocolate-covered one. Also, since about October/November last year, we've been taking an additional zinc and selenium supplement. We've been taking preconception vitamins for what seems like for ever, and I'm sure they also have zinc in them.

So I was surprised to see that, although DH's selenium level is OK, my selenium is a little on the low side and we both have low zinc. This either means that I was right about us needing the supplements but our levels haven't quite caught up yet, or that we're not absorbing it properly. My friend who tried this several years ago had a similar problem with magnesium.

I have normal levels of chromium, cobalt and copper, but manganese, molybdenum (which I've never even heard of) and vanadium are also on the low side, and nickel is half what it should be.

DH has very low levels of all of those things, and his nickel level is even lower than mine.

They also test for metals which shouldn't be present in high quantities. We're both within the acceptable range for aluminium, cadmium and mercury, but both have trace levels of tin (where on earth does that come from?), and I have a slightly raised level of lead.

They've recommended a whole bunch of supplements, and we have to take those, follow their other advice (which I'll tell you about later) and then get our hair retested in four months. They advise us not to get pregnant in the meantime. Not that I think there's any chance of that, but they reckon if you get pregnant while your nutritional levels are not optimised, you have a much higher chance of a miscarriage or of birth defects.

Once we get our supplements, I'll be on 19 pills a day and DH will be on 26. If you're walking down the street and meet someone coming the other way who rattles as they walk, that'll be us...


  1. These results are so interesting. Do you know if the company has any information on how different individuals might absorb various things more/less efficiently?

    Out of curiosity I google tin exposure and I can't imagine how you got that in your system. It seems like it's mostly only a concern for people in industrial work. Random!

    That's an impressive number of pills you'll both be taking!!

  2. From its name, I think one of the supplements they're recommending for DH has the function of improving absorption. They also have some interesting stuff about how to improve your absorption of zinc - I'll do a post on it in the next few days.

    That's weird about the tin - I have no idea where it came from, or why we both have traces of it. I don't think I've fed it to him...

  3. This is really interesting, do they say that your levels are specifically leading to infertility? I guess its helps to have it all there in black and white doesn't it? Takes the guess work out of it. YOu'll need to build a new cupboard to store all your pills in!!!! x