Trace Elements Test


1. What is the difference between testing blood, urine, and hair or nail sample for trace elements?

The laboratory has its protocol on processing difference samples for trace elements, resulting in the difference in test items between panels. Blood and urine test reveal the recent level of trace elements on our body while the hair and nail sample tell more about long term toxin accumulation within.


2. Is there any restriction on collecting hair or nail sample?

Yes. The hair sample has to be taken from 5cm away the root of hair. Hair sample taken too close from the scalp usually comes with oily secretion or sweat which may affect the test result. Dyed hair, gel or polished nails will not be accepted.


3. Is there any difference between Serum/Plasma analyses?

For the Serum/Plasma Panel, either serum or plasma is used for the analysis. Though the sampling agent is different, tested items and results would not be changed after screening.


4. Is the Dental & Environmental Panel only for our teeth health and environmental issues?

In Dental & Environmental testing, mineral nutrients level is not included in the analysis; the main purpose of the test is to analyze a short-term exposure of toxin levels.


5. How does this trace elements test help to reveal more about my health status?

There are 2 parts of testing: Mineral nutrients level and toxic metal level. Testing mineral nutrients within could let us know the level of trace minerals in our body, help address the potential deficiency, while testing toxic metals indicate the chronic exposure to some trace elements, help the test clients to pay more attention to their surroundings, and avoid the intake of these toxic chemical, which may burden their health.


6. What are the sources of toxic metal elements?

The most common heavy metal elements in Hong Kong are arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury. Pollution from environment and chemicals have become a part of urban lifestyle. The recent food safety scandals have arouse concerns on chemical additives in food. These toxic metal elements can be found in water pipes, cosmetics, food or some herbal medicine, chronic intake will definitely burden our health, lead to an array of health issues.


7. How long can a hair or nail test trace the chronic trace elements exposure in your system?

An overview of chronic toxic metal exposure requests hair or nail sample for analysis. The growth of hair, finger nails or toes nails vary from person to person, in most of the case, an analysis of these sample can show the trace elements exposure in 3 to 9 months.


8. Can I take the sample at home? Or it has to be done at the sample collection outlets?

You can collect the urine, hair or nail at home at your convenience, as for blood sample, it has to be taken at our sample collection outlets throughout Hong Kong. You can feel free to call us to book a blood drawing session.


9. How is the protocol and testing detail after I have submitted my sample?

The sample will be sent to the laboratory in Germany for analysis. With the ICP-MS technology, the laboratory is able to determine the level or distribution of metal particles from the sample.


10. How accurate is this testing?

To ensure the accuracy and reliable testing protocol, Micro Trace Minerals has joined the Round Robin Test (comparison of analysis between laboratories by a third party laboratory. In the comparison, the accuracy of Micro Trace Minerals is found to be 100%! This shows that the measurement and analysis done in this laboratory is highly accurate and reliable.


11. Has Micro Trace Minerals got certified?

Their analytical technique and equipment has passed the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 certification, recognize the ability of the laboratory to produce accurate results. In Germany, they are certified with AKS-PL-20918, and appointed by RECIEPE as one of the reference laboratories in 2011.


12. How long does it take to get the report ready?

Generally about 2 weeks, including the time for sample logistics and processing.


13. Is there any follow up after testing? If yes, what would it be?

The report will present the level of trace elements in data and charts. Each report comes with detailed explanation. A consultation will be provided for report interpretation, our nutritionist or senior staff will go through the special patterns from the report. Information about data in Hong Kong and detox service will also be offered for your information.


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