Toxic Heavy Metals Urine Test - Micro Trace Minerals

Seppo Ilmarinen

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Pashalis said:
Sounds like a possible culprit. Are you still living in area that has a lot of arsenic?
Nowadays i live in area that has governmental water supply, where the arsenic levels should be measured and regulated.
 

shijing

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Since the end of last year, I'd been beginning to have intermittent symptoms of heavy metal toxicity again, so I finally decided to do another test a couple weeks ago (results attached). While I was glad to see that my lead levels (which are still relatively high) had decreased (from 18 mg/g to 12 mg/g) since the last time they were tested, I was disappointed to see that my mercury is higher than ever -- the first time I tested (toward the end of 2014) it was 6.4 mg/g and after 6 months of chelation I had brought it down to 4.3 mg/g, but now it's up again to 8.7 mg/g.

I don't know where the mercury is coming from, but as much as I hate to say it, one of the things I probably have to finally consider is the American Spirit tobacco I use. I don't know if that's part of what's contributing to my mercury burden or not, but I found this article several weeks ago:

Popular cigarettes found to contain toxic metals: Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic and Aluminum

I use the organic variety which they don't list in the table, but since two other kinds show fairly high levels of mercury (and lead) when tested, then I have to consider it a possibility. I'm going to continue trying to find other possible sources as well; also, while I do have some aluminum, arsenic, and cadmium in my system, those are all in the green range, despite American Spirit tobacco also showing high amounts of these in the article above.

I'll be talking with my doctor next week about starting some sort of chelation again -- I'm not too excited about that since it took a lot out of me last time I did it, but it's probably a good idea to bring my mercury levels down sooner rather than later.
 

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Keyhole

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
shijing, that it is a real shame. Did you do the DMSA provocation test, or was that a one-time urine sample?

I have recently been considering doing something similar about the tobacco. I suspect that, either due to the land it is grown on, or some processing method, tobacco is loaded with metals and probably glyphosate. Quitting is starting to look like a real possibility, and I never thought I would say that :(

On the results of your test, since it was urine, the high mercury is not necessarily reflective that you have toxicity. Sometimes it might reflect that your body is doing a good job at detoxifying it. On the other hand, you could be right that there is an issue there. Either way, good luck with chelation!
 

shijing

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for taking a look at this Keyhole, I appreciate it.

shijing, that it is a real shame. Did you do the DMSA provocation test, or was that a one-time urine sample?
I did the DMSA provocation test -- it's harder to get ahold of DMSA than last time I did this because of the increased regulation against it, but I was able to get some through a compounding pharmacy.

I have recently been considering doing something similar about the tobacco. I suspect that, either due to the land it is grown on, or some processing method, tobacco is loaded with metals and probably glyphosate. Quitting is starting to look like a real possibility, and I never thought I would say that :(
Yeah, me too -- I'm not physically addicted, but I am psychologically dependent on it, especially for stress relief (I also spend a lot of time in front of my computer, and smoke breaks are one thing I use to make sure I don't sit for too long at one time). I went for a month without smoking in January 2017 and didn't have any physical withdrawal symptoms, but I did miss it during that time and was tempted to fill the gap by snacking in a way that I didn't usually experience, so if I do quit it will take some willpower to not compensate with other unhealthy habits.

On the results of your test, since it was urine, the high mercury is not necessarily reflective that you have toxicity. Sometimes it might reflect that your body is doing a good job at detoxifying it. On the other hand, you could be right that there is an issue there. Either way, good luck with chelation!
Thanks -- I suppose there's no easy way to tell which is the case, which is frustrating. But even if it is the case that I was doing a good job of detoxifying the mercury and the levels in my report are deceptive, there's apparently something in my environment that's exposing me to mercury (or else I wouldn't be excreting it in the first place), so I guess the wisest thing to do is to proceed with the chelation.

There's one other thing I was wondering about -- when I do regular bloodwork, my creatinine levels are usually in the higher part of the normal range, but they're normal nonetheless. But I noticed in this test that my creatinine level is elevated (which wasn't the case in the previous heavy metal challenge tests I did). Is there anything that could be causing that elevated number besides actual kidney dysfunction?
 

Keyhole

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
There's one other thing I was wondering about -- when I do regular bloodwork, my creatinine levels are usually in the higher part of the normal range, but they're normal nonetheless. But I noticed in this test that my creatinine level is elevated (which wasn't the case in the previous heavy metal challenge tests I did). Is there anything that could be causing that elevated number besides actual kidney dysfunction?
Its not really an area that I have much knowledge in, but from what I understand a paleo/ketogenic diet tends to elevate creatinine slightly. A moderate increase is not necessarily bad (I don't think). Meat, especially of the red variety, is really high in creatine content, and creatine is converted into creatinine.

Apparently urine levels of creatinine are not as reliable as serum levels. You could keep an eye out for your next blood work to check the creatinine levels on that in case you are worried. I know that EDTA chelation can temporarily alter creatinine clearance, and there is also some research on nephrotoxicity at higher doses. But you took a small amount of DMSA, and I couldnt find any research on that.

Excessive or lack of exercise and other things can also alter creatinine clearance. But take this all FWIW, since I am not a doctor! You could ask your doc about it if you are concerned, or maybe one of the docs on this forum may be able to chime in.
 

Gaby

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What I would keep in mind is that mercury detox can be erratic. For instance, you can do 6 cycles of DMSA and get absolutely nothing released in the first few cycles. Then everything comes out on the 5th. In "Detoxification and Healing", I think the author used the analogy of dirty socks in the washing machine. That is, it's not like that at all. You might start by detoxing a lot, and then there is a stagnant period and then stuff comes out again. It is not predictable when and where mercury will come out in respect to the detox cycles.

When I had my DMSA urine challenge test, I was happy to see that at least a bunch of stuff was coming out with the DMSA. It could have been worse... Stuff could have stayed inside.

Might be worth re-checking down the road. In the time being, I think that detox efforts are well spent.
 

shijing

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Its not really an area that I have much knowledge in, but from what I understand a paleo/ketogenic diet tends to elevate creatinine slightly. A moderate increase is not necessarily bad (I don't think). Meat, especially of the red variety, is really high in creatine content, and creatine is converted into creatinine.

Apparently urine levels of creatinine are not as reliable as serum levels. You could keep an eye out for your next blood work to check the creatinine levels on that in case you are worried. I know that EDTA chelation can temporarily alter creatinine clearance, and there is also some research on nephrotoxicity at higher doses. But you took a small amount of DMSA, and I couldnt find any research on that.

Excessive or lack of exercise and other things can also alter creatinine clearance. But take this all FWIW, since I am not a doctor! You could ask your doc about it if you are concerned, or maybe one of the docs on this forum may be able to chime in.
Thanks for your feedback, Keyhole, especially what you mentioned about urine levels of creatinine not being as reliable as serum levels, since the latter are what show my creatinine to be within the normal range. Thanks also for trying to find info about DMSA and creatinine. The other factors you mentioned could certainly be a part of it as well -- meat consumption and exercise (I try to get regular exercise, but probably don't get as much as I should). I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor next week, and I'll also ask her about this then.

What I would keep in mind is that mercury detox can be erratic. For instance, you can do 6 cycles of DMSA and get absolutely nothing released in the first few cycles. Then everything comes out on the 5th. In "Detoxification and Healing", I think the author used the analogy of dirty socks in the washing machine. That is, it's not like that at all. You might start by detoxing a lot, and then there is a stagnant period and then stuff comes out again. It is not predictable when and where mercury will come out in respect to the detox cycles.

When I had my DMSA urine challenge test, I was happy to see that at least a bunch of stuff was coming out with the DMSA. It could have been worse... Stuff could have stayed inside.

Might be worth re-checking down the road. In the time being, I think that detox efforts are well spent.
Thanks for your feedback too, Gaby. It's a little frustrating that the detox amounts can vary from cycle to cycle, since we can't do repeated tests (it's cost-prohibitive) to monitor the ongoing amounts of metals that we're unloading as we go. Your point is well taken, though, and I'm glad that when you did the test you saw solid results from the detox and that your body wasn't stubborn about sequestering the metals. I agree that it's a good idea to move forward with the detox for now, and then I do want to recheck my levels, maybe toward the end of this year.
 

Bluefyre

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
I finally got the testing kit and sent it off Wednesday, got my results back this morning. Pretty shocking. I've ordered the DMSA, ALA and NAC from the Canadian site linked in the email response. I still have major sleep issues, even with NO and reducing hypervigilance, so the lead would explain that I think. I did the mercury detox years ago after having all amalgams removed but it appears there is still more to remove. Interestingly, I lived in Manitoba for 5 years in my 20s, which helps explain the cesium, along with living on the BC coast post-Fukishima. Thank you everyone for the information and links.
 

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whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
For those in the states, I found this lab in Illinois that does heavy metal testing for $129.95, postage paid and they include the DMSA you need to take as well. Urine Challenge Test for Heavy Metals Using DMSA

The results look similar to Joe's test results. They test for 20 different metals. Seems like a pretty decent deal.
That looks like a good deal. Is there any particular reason to favor a DMSA provocation over a DMSA+EDTA provocation? I'm looking around and it looks like they can pick up different things, but due to the costs of testing I'm wondering if you start to get diminishing returns if you look into additional chelators.
 

Keyhole

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
FWIW, I would really question the efficacy of a provocation test of any kind. Since researching the topic in some depth and attending professional lectures on this topic by Dr Chris Shade, I would not trust DMSA provocation. It was once a useful method when technology was not available for the public, but now we have Quicksilver Scientific and other companies performing inductively coupled mass spectrometry, and different ways of measuring urine, blood, and hair together.

In short, DMSA can give an extremely high (false) reading, making it look like someone is clearing out loads of metals. It can make someone who is not metal toxic, look like they are metal toxic. Practically all of the bigwigs in the functional world have now switched away from DMSA usage in practice because of it's pitfalls, and a more effective way to clear out metals is upregulating the glutathione system (backed by a tonne of data). The idea of "chelating" is kind of a faulty premise, because the cells can actually get rid of metals themselves as long as glutathione, NRF-2, and phase-3 transporters (OCPs, MRPs etc) are in good working order. The organs need to effectively be able to clear our the metals.

Likewise, someone can have low urine metals, but actually have a serious toxic burden. The reason is that the kidneys need to be able to perform phase 3 transport across the nephro cell membrane. If that is blocked, then someone will be peeing out very little metals, yet have a high blood load of metals. Hence, you get a false negative. Furthermore, DMSA is going to be carrying them out of tissues, but if phase 3 transporters in the intestine, kidney, and liver are not blocked up, then the metal can potentially just get recirculated.

Overall, it is quite complex however I would recommend everyone interested in this area to watch this set of lectures:

 

Zar

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
There are interesting videos Keyhole, I've watched the first two and I'm going to attempt to write some notes/questions that come up as I go through the last video. I know I've got big gaps in my knowledge so let me know were/how many times I loose the plot.

One thing to note is that the importance of the DMSA protocol is not that it provide accurate test results but that it detoxes well, I think this was discussed earlier in the thread.

- One more thing to note from the first/second videos is that he has the idea that there are safe levels of heavy metals that can remain in the body. As I understand it there are no safe levels of heavy metals, so it makes me wonder if our own detox system can even get to all the heavy metals since that's the detoxing mechanism he's using.

- In the third video, the first thing is that it seems the FDA is pushing to get rid of chelators. It's an obvious red flag since the FDA has a vested interested in ensuring people are loaded with heavy metals. Considering that I"m wondering if this detox approach is created to please the FDA. So shields up and charge the photon cannons.

- Not only does the glutathione system detox heavy metals, but it also detoxes everything else. So considering that we are loaded with all types of toxins I wonder if this system can even be 100% efficient in removing heavy metals.

- In a petri dish experiment it was concluded that as along as a cell's systems are working it can survive being around large amounts of heavy metals since it'll always detox them. But I'm wondering what types of toxins/condidtions would force the to Glutathioned system to malfunction, is it glyphosate/inflammation/heavy metals/pathogens?. He does mention that with an increase in inflammation there is a reduction in the detoxing mechanism but I'm not sure if there are more contributors aside from inflammation, especially considering how everything is linked.

- He seems like he's selling this "black box" products too much. Makes me suspicious. We'll see what they contain later.

- In minutes 19 to 33ish he talks about different types of mercury and how they get into the body, elemental/inorganic/methylmercury/ethylmercury. Eventually they all turn to inorganice which is the most destructive to the cells. Mercury in the brain is horrible and it is not known how long it takes mercury to leave the brain once it gets there, he says 2 months to 17 years. (I doubt it can take 2 months, but in this instance I think DMSA would work much better than your own system to detox mercury, since your own system can take many years...) He does talk about vaccines still containing mercury and all that, so brownie points for him.

- Talks about the targets of Mercury; Brain/CNS, Kidneys, Liver, Heart, Thyroid/pituitary gland.

Stopped at 43 mins will continue later.
 

Zar

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Continued.

- He states that mercury in utero damages the glutathione system making these kids susceptible to the next time they are loaded with heavy metals/pesticides/etc.

- Seleno-enzymes are destroyed by mercury, meaning selenium is needed to rebuild those enzimes when you detox the mercury. He also goes into some detail how mercury effects the heart, kidney, and immune system.

- Goes into detail on the symptoms of mercury toxicity, toxicity and blood, synergistic heavy metals. most of this goes over my head.

- He states that chelators are substances that form 2 bonds on one molecule and DMSA only forms one bond, so DMSA is not considered a true chelator. It's very powerful and water soluble which is why it works, but not an actual chelator.

- Talks about the three phases of detoxification, genetic susceptibility, how age affects glutathione system.

My brain is getting tired, so I'll stop it here for today. 1:45ish.
 

Zar

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Continued.

- 3 phases in our glutathione detox system; Phase 1 - Oxidative activation, phase 2 - Glutathione congugation/Sulfation/Glucuronidation, and Phase 3 - Cellular MRP2/Blood/kindey/liver/small intestine pathway. Biggest reason for phase 3 disruption is inflammation(especially GI inflammation). Phase 3 can also be damaged by heavy metals. If Phase 3 is damaged -> down regulates the activity of the MRP2 -> Negative feedback inhibition in phase 2 -> Phase 3 and 2 shutdown and a build up of toxins. Phase 1 though continues to produce free radicals despite phase 2 and 3 shutdown.

- Enterohepatic circulation of mercury is happening in the gut while the body is trying to detox itself. As mercury loaded glutathione enters the GI track through the bile the glutathione disintegrates and allows the re-absorption of the mercury. Because of this circulation it takes a long time to get rid of mercury (and I'm assuming other heavy metals as well). Need to use specific binder that grab the metals before they are reabsorbed, he mentions asialate and cilica.

- Products used for detox. IMD (intestinal metal detox, silica and asialate I think) opens phase 3 pathways.
Phytonutrients: upregulates synthesis of phase 2 enzymes. Uses loads of polyphenolic antioxidants, lipoic acid, crucifers(with melibdenum), garlic oil(can be rough).
Cofactors; Glutathione, Vit C/R-LA, EDTA .
EDTA is crucial for lead and helps work on cadnium/arsenic/alluminum/nickel. Only Lipsomal EDTA can take out intracellular plutonium and uranium.
The final 25 mins are used to describe all the products used in the Black box protocol, there is too much info and it's delivered very quickly so I recommend people check out the final part of the video for that if they care to.

From what I gather the two problems with DMSA is that it's not the most effective test chelator, but again our approach is to remove as much heavy metal as we can/all of it, and that it may create free radicals through a very complex process; keap1-NrF2 signalling by phase 2 inducers. Seen @ 1:36 minutes. I haven't seen the research paper that indicates DMSA may create free radicals, and I don't understand it enough to be sure. But overall DMSA does work, and this other protocol is just using EDTA instead of DMSA with a boat load of other products to prevent damage and ensure all the body systems are working correctly. I don't even think most of these are necessary for our particular group considering how well we take care of ourselves.
 

Turgon

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Thanks for sharing the videos Keyhole, and Zar, for the synopsis of the last two videos. I started watching the first video and brought up some of the main points in that one. Really interesting to say the least.

OK, so methyl-mercury, the kind we can absorb through eating certain kinds of fish like swordfish, rapidly moves through our body so that if you measure one part of the body, like say your blood, it'll give more of an accurate reading of what the rest of your body holds in terms of that kind of mercury. Inorganic mercury (dental amalgams) moves a lot slower in to the different parts of the body and is much slower to move out so it's a lot harder to tell how toxic you are based on blood testing. But usually there's a lot more mercury in our tissues than circulating in the blood. For example, with inorganic mercury, it could be 100-150 fold higher in the tissues.

There was a myth floating around that mercury only stays in your system for three days, but that's not true.

If you eat something with methyl-mercury in it, there'll be a peak and decay scenario where mercury in the blood spikes exponentially in the first 12-24 hours then starts to decay for several day afterwards to form a new baseline that is a lot higher than the original baseline before ingesting the mercury. The Walleye experiment showed it took healthy grad students 160 days, and during the Iraq poisoning in the 70's, upwards of 240 days, so anywhere from 6-9 months for their mercury levels to drop to their original pre-ingestion baseline.

The speed at which your body can process and detox mercury depends largely on the the glutathione systems and liver function.

You can test mercury through:
  • Hair
  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Stool
Ambient measurements: Hair samples test for methyl mercury only. Blood tests for both. Urine is good for measuring inorganic mercury but this only works if your kidneys are functioning properly and there's no retention. Stool measures methyl and inorganic mercury, but isn't a good measurement when trying to separate the two.

Provoked measurements (using DMSA and DMPS) can measure both types through the urine, as long transport proteins and proximal tubule are working properly. If either of those aren't, the person will suffer from retention toxicity and the chelators will send a lot of mercury to the kidneys which won't be able to process out of the body through the urine, which will causes the mercury to redistribute in the body and blood stream. As Zar already said, methyl mercury from fish can eventually demethylate into inorganic mercury which is far more harmful at a cellular level. Some people can eat fish and not have that happen as much, while others demethylate much quicker and bare a larger neurotoxic load. Dr. Shade recommends people that have the latter issue should not eat fish at all.

This poses additional problems because usually the amount of mercury traveling through the blood is roughly the same as what's in the brain and if inorganic mercury is in the blood stream it can't cross the blood-brain barrier, which is a good thing. However, if your a high demethylater, the methyl-mercury in the brain will break down into inorganic mercury causing all sorts of neurological damage. It's a lot more difficult to detox the brain than it is the bloodstream and dentists especially are at high risk for over-exposure.

Ideally, Dr. Shade says that having methyl mercury levels at 2 parts/billions and inorganic at 0.05 parts/billion is a relatively safe zone to be in. He's been detoxing for years and is roughly around 0.02 parts/billion.

Goes in-depth into the extracellular matrix, which the lymph and plasma fluid plays an important role. Metals causes the extracellular fluid to coagulate and thicken. One of the best ways to develop the membranes attached to this matrix is to supplement with phosphatidyl choline.

Wow! There's apparently no correlation between poor methylators, someone with MTHFR mutations and high demethylators of methyl-mercury. He's measured the levels for people who have severe C677T polymorphisms and found almost no traces of mercury in their test results. It wasn't until they worked through the poor methylation issues and cleared up diet, EMF sensitivities, etc. did mercury actually start to show up on the test results. So for whatever reason, if someone has active polymorphisms, mercury holds up in tissue to the point of being almost unreadable in urine and blood tests.

Gaba plays an important role in detoxification because it's the inhibitory factor to glutamate's excitation. And a lot of toxins glob onto glutamate receptors including mercury. So the more that's activated, it creates free radicals as well as anxiety and low-level inflammation while keeping the brain in a sympathetic fight and flight tone. When in that state it's impossible for the body to detoxify.

Finally he answers a couple of questions and one of them was a basic protocol for mercury detoxification. It's not an easy question to answer but basically start with getting the kidneys up and running first. And if a person has had trouble with detox programs in the past, that it might be a good idea to start with homeopathics first.
 
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Zar

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Though DMSA is not the more accurate test for heavy metals I did a test a few weeks ago and forgot to post my results so here they are.

According to DMSA test I'm relatively heavy in lead with is a surprise. So I've started the DMSA protocol and will maybe update later.
 

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