Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 161–168 | Cite as

A Preliminary Study of a Peruvian Diet Using Dietary Analysis and Hair Mineral Content as Indicators

  • Daniel J. Tueller
  • Dennis L. Eggett
  • Tory L. ParkerEmail author


Observations among former American residents living long-term in Peru suggested that hair health improved while in Peru. To determine if a Peruvian diet correlates with hair composition, dietary intake of nutrients and mineral content of hair were measured among Peruvian and matched US residents. Selected foods from Peru were also analyzed for mineral and antioxidant content and compared with equivalent foods available in the USA. Statistically significant differences between Peruvian and US residents’ hair were found for sodium (decreased in Peru, p = 0.007) and vanadium (decreased in Peru, p = 0.03). Differences in hair composition between residencies may be explained by lower dietary sodium and vanadium intake among Peruvian residents or by lower concentrations of these minerals in Peruvian drinking water. Many significant mineral differences were also identified between Peruvian foods and their US equivalents. Although no statistically significant correlations between dietary intake and hair mineral content were found, results indicate that a Peruvian diet contributes differently to hair composition than a US diet. More research is needed to elucidate the link between a Peruvian diet and specific aspects of hair health.


Peru Hair Diet Minerals Antioxidants 



The funding for this study was gratefully provided by Fisher Company (Salt Lake City, UT, USA), whose owner spent some time in Peru and made the initial observations. The authors thank the Environmental Analytical Laboratory at Brigham Young University for carrying out the mineral analysis of hair and food samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel J. Tueller
    • 1
  • Dennis L. Eggett
    • 2
  • Tory L. Parker
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food ScienceBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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