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Hair alcohol testing

Hair alcohol testing
Brand: Viaguard/Accu-metrics
Product Code: VIAGUARD004
Availability: In Stock
Price: Get a Quote
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Hair alcohol testing

Hair testing is the most accurate and effective way of determining alcohol abuse. Every half inch of scalp hair represents a 30 day history of use. So the one and one-falf inch sample submitted gives a precise 90 day record of use.

Hair is a remarkable material for this determination. It is an annex of the skin, originated from the hair follicle, in which the germination centre is formed by matrix cells, which gives rise to the cuticle, cortex and medulla layers of the hair shaft. As alcohol is metabolized in the body, the metabolite ethyl glucuronide is deposited in the cortex by diffusion, and forms the basis of our analysis.

The complete alcohol test can now be done using nail clippings if hair is not practical.

Hair samples can identify chronic alcohol consumption and dependency.

Drinking alcohol over a long period of time profoundly affects the brain, which adapts to the intoxicant and causes withdrawal symptoms when consumption stops. Alcohol affects the process of signalling in nerve cells, which leads to anxiety, agitation, and in extreme cases, seizures.

It is estimated that in North America, over 30 million people routinely abuse the consumption of alcohol. This becomes a serious problem because alcohol is responsible for a wide range of physiological and psychological problems with complex socio-economic impact. While there are substantial differences in the alcohol tolerance of individuals, and body weight is a factor, as a general rule, the routine ingestion of more than the equivalent of 60 grams of ethyl alcohol a day typifies an alcoholic.

When alcohol is ingested, it is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and carried to the liver where it is metabolized by enzymes. The initial metabolism is a conversion to acetaldehyde, caused by alcohol dehydrogenase. Acetaldehyde is then converted to a variety of substances in a further series of detoxification reactions. A certain amount of acetaldehyde is conjugated with glucuronic acid to form ethyl glucuronide. This compound becomes a biomarker of ethyl alcohol when it reaches the hair follicle, and by osmosis, is deposited and retained in the cortex of the hair shaft.

The levels of EtG found in the cortex are then quantitatively linked to the levels of alcohol consumption:

Less than 25 pg/mg Negative
25-50 pg/mg Mild to Moderate consumption
50-80 pg/mg Excessive consumption
80+ pg/mg Serious Alcoholism

The Precision of the Viaguard Hair Alcohol Test

The analysis of hair for alcohol consumption starts by taking a sample of hair from the scalp or the body. The hair is washed to remove dirt and external deposits and the EtG marker that measures alcohol use is extracted and analyzed. The analysis is performed by a sensitive technique known as Gas Chromatography/Mass-Spectrometry The Etg marker is derived from the metabolism of alcohol in the liver. EtG provides a precise indicator of average alcohol consumption over a 90-day+ period.

The accepted standard for excessive consumption of alcohol is a result in excess of 0.25 pg/mg of EtG (ethyl glucuronide). To obtain a positive result, an individual on average will be consuming in excess of 60 grams of ethyl alcohol daily. For example, consuming 400 ml of beer with an average content of 5% alcohol would result in ingestion of about 20grams of ethyl alcohol, drinking a litre of beer (1000 ml) would result in ingestion of about 50 grams of ethyl alcohol. A positive result for alcohol ingestion means that the average consumption has been in excess of 60grams of ethyl alcohol daily.

The EtG level indicated by the test will show how excessive the consumption actually is.

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