Tests for Mercury Poisoning - Page 2
Using this test to evaluate the body’s burden of mercury can also be misleading. Anywhere from 70% to nearly 95% of the mercury found in a hair sample comes from organic, or methyl mercury. The main source of methyl mercury is from contaminated fish. So, if you have high mercury hair levels the majority of it could be from fish, and not from the elemental mercury released by amalgam fillings. Thus, you could still be exposed to high levels of elemental mercury and yet show low readings of mercury in the hair that won’t accurately reflect your body burden of mercury.
Mercury released from amalgam fillings is taken up by various enzymes and proteins found in the cells, nerves, organs and tissues of the body. This means the hair analysis can’t accurately determine the body burden of mercury because only a portion of the mercury you are exposed to will ever find its way into hair follicles.
In addition, hair mercury analysis only records whether mercury was available to the hair follicle during the time that portion of the hair was growing. It tells us nothing about exposure to mercury before or after that period, nor does it provide any indication about how much mercury is present in the body and the brain. Unless this test is accompanied by a fecal metals test, it doesn’t yield much usable information about the amount, or type, of mercury entering or leaving the body.
However, many believe that the hair analysis is a relatively good test for evaluating the body’s mineral levels, and interpreted correctly, it can be helpful for that purpose. I believe the best lab for this test is Doctor's Data, Inc. www.doctorsdata.com.
Urine Porphyrin Profile
This is a more recently available, non-invasive, test that can detect recent exposure to mercury, not just the mercury that is stored in the body. The test is based on the fact that the cells of the body manufacture a molecule called heme.
Heme is a molecule essential to the formation of hemoglobin, the iron containing compound found in red blood cells that takes up oxygen in the blood and transports it throughout the body. There is a series of reactions essential to the creation of heme, each involving the step-by-step conversion of a protein called porphyrin into heme.
If the enzymes involved in converting porphyrins to heme are interfered with, they can escape the cell and are excreted in the urine. The type of porphyrin detected in the urine is dependent on which enzyme is not functioning. In this test, the type of porphyrins that shows up in the urine are there because mercury blocked the enzyme that would normally convert it to the next porphyrin compound in heme formation.
Based on my research, I think this test is very useful in determining an ongoing exposure to mercury, especially from amalgam fillings. However, it does not determine the amount of mercury already stored in the body, or what the body is removing naturally. It would be informative if done in conjunction with a fecal metals test. Particularly for those who’ve already had their amalgam fillings removed.
It would also be a valuable test for the dentist, and staff, in evaluating their mercury exposure. The test is available in the United States from Metametrix Clinical Laboratories. I believe the best lab for this test is Doctor's Data, Inc. www.doctorsdata.com.
Recommended Testing Laboratories
Fecal Metals Test, Hair Analysis, Urine Challenge, Tests, and Urine Porphyrin Profile
Doctors Data, Inc.
3755 Illinois St.
Charles, IL 60174-7860
Toll free: 800-323-2784
amalgam/silver fillings - by various means of stimulation - and
how toxic mercury is to the body, Click on the Image on the Left
to watch Dr. Tom McGuire's YouTube Video: Mercury The Poison