Functional Lab Test

Heavy Metal & Porphyrin Testing

Urinary porphyrins are oxidized intermediate metabolites of heme biosynthesis and are readily excreted in excess when porphyrinogens accumulate as a result of inhibition of specific enzymes in the heme biosynthetic pathway. Heme is required for oxygen binding, transport and utilization, cytochromes, and electron transport in mitrochondira.

Small amounts of several porphyrins appear in urine normally. The relative amounts of each porphyrin are altered by certain hereditary diseases and by environmental or nutritional influences. The classic cases of hereditary porphyria displayed highly colored urine and skin eruptions and neurological symptoms of mania and “madness.”

The high rate of production of heme facilitates the use of urinary porphyrins as early and sensitive biomarkers of disorders in heme production, which has long been associated with genetic disorders, metabolic disturbances and diseases, nutritional status, oxidative stress and high-level exposure to toxic chemicals or metals.

Analytes tested include, but not limted to:

  • Coproporphyrin I and III (CP)
  • Heptacarboxy (7-CP)
  • Hexacarboxy (6-CP)
  • Pentacarboxy (5-CP)
  • Precoproporphyrin (PreCP)
  • Uroporphyrins (UP)

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