Heavy Metal Testing & Chelation

Heavy metal testing

Heavy metals toxicity caused by increasing levels of pollution and use of chemicals in industry is a growing threat to our health.

Many chemicals and metals are unable to break down in our environment, resulting in an accumulation and contamination of our foods and water supply.

Toxic elements are found in common household products and may contribute to a variety of symptoms.

  • Aluminum is found in cooking utensils, antiperspirants, some pickled foods, toothpaste, nasal spray, automotive exhausts, ceramics and baking powder.
  • Signs of toxicity may include impaired memory & increased risk of heart disease.
  • Arsenic is found in pressure-treated wood used in decks and playground equipment.
    Early signs of arsenic toxicity may include headaches, fatigue, restlessness, insomnia, drowsiness, dizziness, stomach aches, and pain.
  • Cadmium is found in cigarette smoke, some paint pigments, and in a variety of industrial products. Fatigue may be an early sign of cadmium toxicity.
  • Lead is still around from the days when we used leaded gasoline in cars, lead solder in plumbing and leaded paints. Lead exposure may contribute to mood and personality problems.
  • Mercury is found in dental fillings, fluorescent lights, and some electronics. Chronic exposure to mercury primarily affects the brain and nervous system. Symptoms like: weakness, fatigue, numbness in fingers and toes, weight loss and gastrointestinal disturbances are common with ongoing exposure to mercury.
  • Tin is found in canned foods. If acidic foods are sealed in an un-lined tin can, significant absorption of tin can occur. Excess absorption of tin may contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms.
Heavy metal testing

The Benefits of testing

  • Determine if metal toxicity or mineral deficiency is contributing to the disorder
  • Monitor the effects of chelation (elimination of heavy metals from the body)
  • Identify if supplementation of important minerals may bring about significant improvements

How does testing work?

Urine Element Analysis

Urine element analysis is traditionally used to assess exposure to toxic elements like lead, mercury or arsenic, but can also be used to measure essential elements (also called minerals). Measurement of toxic and essential elements in hair, urine and blood has been used clinically for decades.

A urine element test often includes a baseline (pre-provocation) followed by a provoked (after chelating agent given) urine test. The pre-provocation test measures the levels of toxic and/or essential elements present in urine. However, some toxic elements may remain in ‘storage’, so chelating agents are given to “provoke’ the release of toxic elements from fluid around cells so they can be eliminated in urine.

Hair Element Analysis
  • Hair element analysis is useful for assessing chronic exposure, as toxic elements can be sequestered and stored in hair tissue.
  • Unlike blood, hair element levels are not regulated by homeostatic mechanisms. Thus, deviations in hair element levels often appear prior to overt symptoms and can thereby be a valuable preliminary tool for predicting the development of physiological abnormalities.
  • Toxic elements may be 200-300 times more highly concentrated in hair than in blood or urine. Therefore, hair is the tissue of choice for detection of recent exposure to elements such as arsenic, aluminum, cadmium, lead, antimony, and mercury. The CDC acknowledges the value of hair mercury levels as a maternal and infant marker for exposure to neurotoxic methylmercury from fish.
Treatment options: Chelation & Chelating Agents

Some healthcare professionals use intravenous chelating agents, while others give chelating agents in pill form. The following is a list of some natural and chemical chelating agents:


• Alpha lipoic acid is transformed in the body into a compound (dithiol dihydrolipoic acid) that is able to chelate arsenic and mercury.

• Chlorella is a type of algae that helps accelerate the removal of mercury stored in tissues such as bone, muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and the gut wall.

• Cilantro is a plant in the parsley family shown to be an effective chelator of CNS toxic metals. Its active component is a mercaptan that can penetrate the blood brain barrier.

• DMPS is an amino acid used to bind mercury, arsenic, bismuth and/or lead.

• DMSA can be given intravenously or orally and is commonly used to chelate lead, arsenic and mercury.

• EDTA is commonly given intravenously to chelate lead.

• Modified citrus pectin is a highly viscous plant fibre taken orally to chelate arsenic, cadmium and lead.

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