Welcome everybody to More Than Healthy as we continue to share our weekly health tips. This week is focused on providing clarity about one of the pages of your hair analysis report. Specifically, we’re talking about how to interpret Circulatory Support Indicators on your hair analysis, our Tip #70.
Our first tip of every month will be a deeper dive into a section of your hair analysis report. Hair analysis provides such an amazing wealth of information! But sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what all that information means.
So, we’re dedicating one post a month to helping you understand it better. You can find other helpful articles on previous report pages in our More Than Healthy Blog Post Repository.
What are Circulatory Support Indicators?
First, let’s quickly review what the circulatory system is, and why it matters.
The circulatory system involves the heart and all the blood vessels of the body. This system moves blood through the body, supplying tissues with sufficient oxygen and nutrients. It also helps get rid of waste in the body. The lymph system, connected to the blood system, is also part of the circulatory system.
An unhealthy circulatory system can lead to major problems – things like high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, stroke, heart failure, and heart attacks. So keeping this system functioning well is pretty important!
The Circulatory Support Indicators page is usually found on page 9. It provides a list of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and antioxidants that affect the circulatory system, and specifically highlights weak areas that need additional support.
The graph includes:
- Superoxide Dismutase
- Co-Enzyme Q10
- Alpha Linolenic Acid – 3 (ALA)
- Docosahexaenoic Acid – 3 (DHA)
- Eicosapentaenoic Acid – 3 (EPA)
- Arachidonic Acid – 6 (AA)
- Oleic Acid – 9
We’ve done posts on many of these already, including how to get more of them. Click on any of the linked items above to learn more.
The graph on the page looks like this:
How can you interpret your score?
Just like on other pages of the report we’ve already talked about, there is a score to the right of each section with a total at the bottom. The lower the score, the better.
- If you have a score of 7+, you need high maintenance to get healthy again.
- A score of 4-6 means you need moderate help.
- A score of 3 and below, you will be in maintenance mode.
As we’ve discussed in previous posts, if anything on this page is highlighted, you will want to address it. All of these areas relate to the cardiovascular system. So some of the vitamins and minerals needed for gut and immune health (find more information on these pages here and here) might show up here again. However, we often see that there will be different needs for the circulatory system. All of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and antioxidants listed here play different roles specific to your cardiovascular health.
How Should I Prioritize Circulatory Support Indicators?
As we’ve explained before, it’s important to address the environmental factors in the gut and immune system (see our informative post on this here) first. If there are problems in those areas, making adjustments in these other areas might be futile. Once the environmental factors have been improved, then we look at these categories.
The exception to that is if this report’s score is over 7 and you are having symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, feeling sick, and general body pain. If that’s the case, then we would want to work on this area along with removing the environmental stressors to see if we could alleviate these symptoms.
If the symptoms progress to include any of the following, you would want to contact a doctor immediately:
- Chest pain
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the neck
- Pain in the jaw
- Pain in the upper belly area
- Pain in the back
- Pain, numbness, weakness, or coldness in your legs or arms
One of the greatest advantages of hair analysis is that it gives you the ability to identify potential problems before they ever get to this stage. We’re trying to help you spot issues early and hopefully avoid these conditions.
Since cardiovascular disease is still the #1 killer in the nation, this isn’t an area to ignore. Many issues can be resolved with the gut and immune system to help the circulatory system, but only if you find out early on. Our goal here at More Than Healthy is to help you avoid major issues down the road.
A helpful ‘Before and After’ example
I think the easiest way to help you understand this page is to show David’s two reports, done 90 days apart. This is a good visual example of how this page of the report works.
Hair Analysis Test #1, conducted September 2022:
This first report shows nine areas of concern (any area in green shows a deficiency). David’s areas included selenium, iodine (which are minerals), B-6, K1, betaine (which are vitamins), proline, lysine (which are amino acids), alpha-linolenic (ALA -3) which is a fatty acid, and anthocyanins (which is an antioxidant).
Since this hair analysis report showed that he also had a parasite, I hesitated to address these issues until we removed them from his system. We focused on doing a cleanse to get rid of that and some other environmental factors. You can read more about that here.
Hair Analysis Test #2, conducted December 2022 (90 days later):
In David’s second report, it showed he had eliminated the parasite. By tackling some of those high-priority issues, you can see that several of the categories initially highlighted on this page went away.
He now had some new problems to work on, but not as many. He had also moved from high maintenance to moderate support, just by tackling those pesky environmental factors. The only problem area that was on both reports was vitamin B6. We discovered that David had a homocysteine problem, and he needed to add folate to his B-6 to help him absorb the vitamin better.
Taking the guesswork out of your health
However, new problems popped up on this one. This is what seems to happen. And honestly, I think this is the purpose (and true value) of hair analysis. As we address and solve a problem area, other areas come to the surface to deal with.
Health is a journey, not a destination. It will never be a “one-and-done” situation. It is ever-changing and evolving, and hopefully, as we continue to proactively manage our health, we can progress on our journey to optimal health while preventing future health issues.
As a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor, these reports help me feel much more confident in suggesting changes in supplementation now that we have the data. Hair analysis totally removes the guesswork and all that time spent in trial and error. With this information, I could see exactly what David needed to do.
Based on the Circulatory Support Indicators page of his second hair analysis, these are the changes we made for David:
- Since vitamin E, cystine, and magnesium were highlighted, he upped his magnesium intake and added more olive oil to his diet.
- For the highlighted eicosapentaenoic acid and omega-3 fatty acid which were both highlighted, we added more salmon to his diet and upped his omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.
- We also added folate to help with his vitamin B6 absorption.
The great thing is, when he gets his next hair analysis after another 90 days, we will be able to see if what he is doing is working, and what his next health priority should be. No guessing needed!
Should I supplement through food first?
I always suggest adding the needed vitamin, mineral, fatty acid, amino acid, or antioxidant first with food. However, I understand that sometimes that’s not possible. For example, it is very hard to eat enough fish to get the optimal amount of omega-3 we need. There are times when supplementation is fine until you reach sufficient levels.
I like to have people go to the Optimize Indicator page (it’s usually page 27 of the report). I tell them when they’re at the store to buy the foods on this list, starting at the top and working their way down. These foods can help you get needed elements through your diet. For example, in David’s case, you can see oleic acid is in beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, and cheese. David can’t have cheese, so he doesn’t add that one.
The next one on this page is the omega-3 fatty acids. This is why we upped David’s salmon intake and added more omega-3 fish oil. You just continue down that page to add the foods that are deficient for you.
If you have any of these foods on your food restriction list, then of course you shouldn’t add those.
Circulatory Support Indicators and Heart Health
Years ago, when Dr. Gundry told David his labs showed that he was over five times more likely to have a heart attack than other men his age, we were stunned. We knew that he had some health issues, but we had no idea they were affecting his heart.
We are lucky that we were aggressively working on those health issues, because he didn’t have any of the symptoms we talked about earlier. There weren’t symptoms yet of heart problems. I’m so grateful we started addressing some of his issues back then. And he made lots of progress in his health. But honestly, it was once he started getting hair analysis that he truly started seeing a difference.
Does hair analysis make a difference?
Now we can see in black and white every 90 days if what we’re doing is helping or not. And, it’s helping! All of David’s labs have improved. Every single number! As both his wife and a Functional Nutrition Counselor, that’s pretty darn exciting to see.
And that’s not the only number that’s improving for David. He just had an epigenetic test. That’s a test that looks at the methylation sites of our DNA. It shows which genes are turned on and off to determine your biological age. So even though David is 66 at the cellular level, epigenetic testing says he’s 43.
Did you catch that? He’s actually growing younger!! I think that’s a pretty good indicator that what we’re doing dramatically affects our lives. And, it’s working for me too…I test 11 years younger than my chronological age. I’ll take it!
How can You Learn About Your Circulatory Support Indicators Through Hair Analysis?
We hope this helps you understand some of the data in your hair analysis. If you haven’t got one yet, what are you waiting for? Even if you don’t have any significant health problems (I fall into this category), hair analysis will give you so much awesome preventative information so that you can keep it that way.
We always enjoy hearing from you. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. You can always ask on our social media pages on Facebook or Instagram (@morethanhealthyliving) or private message us. We try to respond to all questions.
We’d love to become your health coaches as you work to become “more than healthy” and achieve optimal health.
See you next week!
Note: Remember, we’re not doctors. We’re sharing what’s worked for us on our health journey. You will want to consult your doctor before significantly changing your diet and supplementation.