Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 57, Issue 26, pp 3460–3465 | Cite as

Relation between mineral composition of human hair and common illnesses

  • Izabela MichalakEmail author
  • Katarzyna Chojnacka
  • Agnieszka Saeid
Open Access
Article Preventive Medicine & Hygienics


The aim of the present study was to find the relation between mineral composition of human hair and illnesses such as infections of the respiratory system, asthma, vertigo, migraine, nervousness, hair loss, dandruff, brittle fingernails and white spots on fingernails. The mineral content of human hair was determined by multielemental analysis using ICP-OES and ICP-MS. Information about the health condition of the examined subjects was obtained by questionnaire. It was found that the hair of individuals who currently suffered from infections of the respiratory system or who had asthma had higher Zr content, the hair of sufferers of vertigo had a lower Ca, La and Sr content and in the hair of migraine sufferers the W content was higher than in the hair of healthy subjects. The level of K in the hair of nervous people was three times higher than in hair of people who never suffered from nervousness. Individuals who complained of hair loss had an increased level of Cu in the hair. For individuals with dandruff, brittle fingernails and white spots on fingernails, the content of Ca and La in the hair was higher than in the hair of individuals who did not suffer from any of these conditions. The results of this study indicate that the metal content in hair could be used in the diagnosis of some common illnesses.


hair mineral composition common illnesses ICP-OES 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Izabela Michalak
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katarzyna Chojnacka
    • 1
  • Agnieszka Saeid
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Inorganic Technology and Mineral FertilizersWrocław University of TechnologyWrocławPoland

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