Heavy Metal Urine Test

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-21 (EDT)

See Also Lab Tests

A heavy metal urine test is used for the assessing the body status or body burden of toxic metals, monitoring detoxification therapy, and identifying or quantifying renal wasting conditions. Hevy metals do not have any useful physiological function and can adversely affect virtually every organ system and disrupt the homeostasis of nutrient elements.


Heavy metal urine test assesses the retention of toxic metals in the body and the status of essential nutrient elements. Toxic metals do not have any useful physiological function, adversely affect virtually every organ system and disrupt the homeostasis of nutrient elements.[1]

Analysis of the levels of toxic metals in urine after the administration of a provocative detoxification agent is an objective way to evaluate the accumulation of toxic metals. A heavy metal urine test is an effective tool at determining the degree that heavy metals are affecting a person's health. Net retention of heavy metals is determined by the difference between the rates of assimilation and excretion of metals. A way to evaluate net retention is to compare the levels of metals in urine before and after the administration of a pharmaceutical metal detoxification agent such as EDTA, DMSA or DMPS. Different compounds have different affinities for specific metals, but all function by sequestering “hidden” metals from deep tissue stores and mobilizing the metals to the kidneys for excretion in the urine.[1]

Comparison of Provocative Agents
Agent Half Life Collection Period
EDTA ~1 hr 6 - 24 hrs
DMPS (IV) ~1 hr 2 - 6 hrs
DMPS (oral) ~9 hrs 6 - 9 hrs
DMSA ~4 hrs 6 - 9 hrs

  • Performing both a pre-and post-provocation urinalysis helps to permit distinction between ongoing exposures to metals (pre-) and net bodily retention. The pre-provocation urine collection can also be utilized to assess the rate of creatinine clearance if a serum specimen is also submitted.
  • Assessing the essential elements in urine helps to evaluate nutritional status and the efficacy of mineral supplementation during metal detoxification therapy. Metal detoxification agents can significantly increase the excretion of specific nutrient elements such as zinc, copper, manganese, and molybdenum.[1]

Patient Preparation

Elements Assessed

  • Toxic Elements

Associated Tests

A urinary tests of heavy metals is often associated with the following tests:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Doctor's Data]