Nutrient and Toxic Elements in Urine
Some elements can accumulate in tissues causing toxic effects. Metal toxicity is a significant environmental health concern. A toxic load of lead, cadmium, mercury or arsenic is capable of rendering considerable damage to the brain and nervous system, particularly in children. Toxic elements produce their many negative effects through various mechanisms.
One mechanism, irreversible enzyme inhibition, is illustrated by the anemia caused when lead binds to enzymes in the hemoglobin synthesis pathway. The cancer-inducing effect of arsenic seems to be due to an inhibition of DNA repair. Genotoxicity, in which chromosomes are damaged, is linked to the free radical generation abilities of cadmium, lead and nickel. Mercury causes enzyme poisoning.
Which Test Should I use?
Urine element testing is primarily useful to monitor levels of toxic metals such as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury and for special mineral uptake testing. The 6-8 hour collection profiles are primarily for patients who are receiving oral or IV metal chelating agents to mobilize toxic elements from body pools. The 24-hour collection profiles may be used with or without administration of chelating agents to assess the rate of excretion of the elements reported. The total output of urine over 24 hours is collected and the daily output of nutrient and/or toxic elements is determined.
Metametrix offers flexibility in urine element testing. Clinicians can select from challenged and unchallenged protocols. They can select both nutrient and toxic elements or toxic elements only. Although many clinicians do both pre- and post-challenge testing, some now elect to only test following the oral or IV administration of a chelating agent.
In order to allow comparison between different test protocols, Metametrix results are reported using standardized units. 24-hour urine collections are reported as units per day. 6-8 hour collections are reported as units per mg creatinine to allow for variations in urine dilution.
Metametrix urine element analysis features:
- Testing with the latest advances in technology (DRC ICP-MS), which can guide therapy by pinpointing imbalances of these important substances.
- Flexible test configurations to fit your protocols.
- A cost-effective approach for monitoring nutrient and toxic elements.