Toxicity Testing

We offer a range of tests to help us determine whether you’re suffering from a dangerous build-up of toxins such as heavy metals and mycotoxins.

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Toxicity Testing London UK

What is toxicity testing?

In the modern world we are exposed to thousands of toxins in our environment. We ingest, inhale and absorb toxins in drinking water, air, and the food supply, cosmetics and home pesticides. Some of these toxic chemicals resist metabolism and excretion and accumulate in body tissues, defined as a ‘body burden’ [1]. These chemicals can dramatically influence our digestive health, immunity, hormones and brain function. 

Environmental and heavy metal toxicity testing have become a crucial part of our approach. At the London Clinic of Nutrition, we use environmental and toxicity tests such as mould and mycotoxin testing, heavy metals testing and toxic non-metal chemicals.

How do you test for toxicity?

Urine, serum, plasma, whole blood, red blood cells, faeces, hair, fingernails and the list goes on. Many testing companies test for 30+ elements, most commonly in urine and blood serum.  When testing for toxicity, different testing methods are often combined, simply because a single sample test may not give us the most accurate result for some of the toxins. This is because each toxin is unique in the way it’s excreted, when it’s excreted, and how the results should be interpreted.  

Here are some of the examples of how we would investigate your toxicity levels at our clinic: 

  • Heavy Metals testing which may involve hair, urine, and/or blood test (often combined) and can show current exposure and past exposure that is stored in the body.
  • Mould Toxicity testing to determine your exposure and identify the species and treatment needed.
  • Genetic testing to identify genes that control liver detoxification, oxidative stress and detoxification ability of environmental pollutant by-products.
  • Whole Blood test and red blood cell analysis to test for specific heavy metals, such as mercury.
  • Blood and urine testing for environmental chemicals to identify exposure and accumulation of PCBs, organochlorine chemicals, organophosphate chemicals, glyphosate, phthalates, parabens, and other endocrine disruptors.
  • We would also look at your overall health and nutritional status and test for immunity/inflammation markers as key indicators. 

     

    How do you test for heavy metal toxicity?

    Chronic exposure to heavy metals is an increasing public health concern. Toxic heavy metals are difficult to excrete and they tend to accumulate in the body. Heavy metal toxicity affects almost every organ and body system, which can lead to a cascade of health problems [2]. The most common toxic metals humans come into contact with are lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and aluminium [3]. These metals affect each organ differently and are accumulated, detoxified and eliminated by slightly different processes in the body. For example:

    • Arsenic and cadmium are mainly accumulated in the kidneys, therefore urinary measures are good indicators while testing. 
    • Lead is bound to red blood cells so a whole blood test may give us a better understanding of lead levels. 
    • Mercury levels are best to be tested in urine, whole blood and red blood cells and hair combined as there are three types of mercury present in our body (elemental, ionic and organic, typically methyl mercury).

    The nuances of each metals’ ability to accumulate in different parts of the body and their elimination process can make comprehensive testing for heavy metals rather challenging. 

    Here at the London Clinic of Nutrition, we find that for getting a good overview of heavy metal toxicity, the best method is a Provoked urine toxic test. More on this below.

     

    What are the symptoms of heavy metal detoxification?

    Toxic heavy metals are virtually everywhere, and are present in things we come in contact with every day. Common sources of exposure include:   

    • Cigarette smoking (cadmium) [3]
    • Pollution from fuel combustion and exhaust.
    • Paint and/or pipes in old buildings (lead)
    • Drinking water (arsenic, lead) [4]
    • Fish (mercury)
    • Plants grown in polluted soil [5]
    • Indoor dust in homes, schools, and workplace [6]
    • Cosmetics [7]
    • Pesticides and herbicides (which are hard to completely avoid even on a strict organic diet), are a common source of heavy metals.

     An important aspect of heavy metal toxicity is the fact that based on our history, each of us has a unique signature blend, our own personal combination of heavy metals. Which is why it is always recommended that you consult a qualified practitioner who can provide you with personalised support based on your antecedent and how your genes in your DNA interact with the given environmental challenges.

    In general, it is expected to experience some short-term symptoms during a detoxification process:

    • Bloating and gas
    • Nausea or vomiting 
    • Diarrhoea or constipation 
    • Headaches 
    • Skin rash 
    • Changes in appetite 
    • Low energy 
    • Metallic or sour taste in the mouth

     

    Our Toxicity Tests

    Provoked Urine Toxic Metal Test 

    By taking a urine sample before and after administering the provoking agent DMSA we can determine the amount of heavy metals that have accumulated in your body. 

    We test for:

    • aluminium
    • arsenic
    • beryllium
    • chromium
    • copper
    • manganese
    • molybdenum
    • selenium
    • tin
    • antimony
    • barium
    • cadmium
    • cobalt
    • lead
    • mercury
    • nickel
    • thallium
    • zinc

    Mercury Tri-Test

    Mercury is considered to be one of the most toxic heavy metals in the environment [8]. It has the ability to combine with other elements and form organic and inorganic mercury. Exposure to elevated levels of metallic, organic and inorganic mercury can damage the brain and kidneys [9] hence its link to disorders such as autism.

    Mercury Tri-Test is a new patented test utilizing samples of hair, blood, and urine to assess the body’s mercury burden and its ability to eliminate it. This test helps us to understand the magnitude and source of mercury exposure and give us an indication of additional support that may be needed in the process of mercury detoxification.

    We test for:

    • inorganic mercury
    • methyl mercury

     

    MycoTOX profile

    Mycotoxins are some of the most prevalent toxins in the environment. Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by fungi like mould, which can infest buildings, vehicles, and foodstuffs. There are a wide range of symptoms linked to mycotoxin exposure.

    MycoTOX profile is one of the most comprehensive and competitively priced tests on the market. It’s a urine sample that screens for seven different types of mycotoxins from 40 species of mould.

    We test for:

    • aflatoxin m1 (AFM1)
    • sterigmatocystin (STG)
    • verrucarin a
    • zearalenone (ZEA)
    • ochratoxin a (OTA)
    • roridin e
    • enniatin b1

    Using the functional medicine framework allows us to improve the body’s ability to adapt to a toxic world, through a broad system-wide approach.

    We combine industry-leading nutrition and functional medicine expertise, alongside the latest in-house testing, so we can attend to all your health needs in one trip. 

    Only your practitioner will be able to determine the most suitable test for you following an initial consultation. To find out more about working with a practitioner, get in touch today.

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