|Does her hair hold the secret to her fitness body? Actually that's unlikely, but it appears possible that a hair analysis could reveals what's keeping you back from a similarly amazing physique.|
Much in contrast to serum levels, by the way. If those are off, it's either due to an acute event (like diarrhea, for example ;-) or you have a real reason to be concerned. There is after all a really good reason these minerals are also called "electrolytes": They are heavily involved in the ion and thus charge-exchange that keeps your heart beating!
Before we get to the actual hair mineral analysis data, let's briefly have a look at another set of striking and not so striking differences between the "normal" subjects and those with established metabolic syndrome:
|Figure 1: Serum mineral concentrations, visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous body fat and smoking status in subjects w/ and w/out metabolic syndrome (Choi. 2014)|
Potassium, insulin resistance & obesity: Later in this article you will learn that there was a negative association between the amount of potassium in the hair of the subjects and their HDL and insulin sensitivity. It's important not to confuse this with the message "potassium is bad for your insulin sensitivity" - in fact, in 1980, Rowe et al. observed significant decreases in plasma insulin response to sustained hyperglycemia and a ~30% reduction in glucose metabolism (Rowe. 1980).Moverover, visceral fat was a much more reliable parameter to distinguish the healthy and unhealthy subjects than subcutaneous fat and... a bit to my surprise: Smoking appears to be associated with a lower metabolic risk than non-smoking.
Let's take a look at the hair analysis, now
Much in contrast to the serum levels, the hair mineral analysis did reveal significant inter-group differences and corresponding correlations:
- Choi, Whan-Seok, Se-Hong Kim, and Ju-Hye Chung. "Relationships of Hair Mineral Concentrations with Insulin Resistance in Metabolic Syndrome." Biological Trace Element Research (2014): 1-7.
- Rowe, John W., et al. "Effect of experimental potassium deficiency on glucose and insulin metabolism." Metabolism 29.6 (1980): 498-502.