Fecal metal analysis

Fecal metal analysis reflects the dietary metal intake. Minerals, trace elements and potentially toxic metals may be found in food, drink, medication and nutritional supplements. Whatever metals are not absorbed are excreted via various pathways, including the hepato-intestinal system, and for certain elements such as antimony and uranium, biliary excretion into feces is the primary route of natural excretion from the body.

Certain foods such as fish from polluted water may be high in arsenic or mercury, and consumption naturally increases the fecal metal content. Studies performed at Micro Trace Minerals indicate that most algae product contain various amounts of potentially toxic metals and through fecal testing we evaluate metal excretion.

Due to exposure of mercury in the oral cavity, people with amalgam fillings typically show higher mercury concentration in feces than individuals without amalgams.

Bjorkman L, Sandborgh-Englund G, Ekstand J. Mercury in Saliva and Feces after Removal of Amalgam Fillings. Toxicology & Applied Pharmacology 144:156-162. 1997

Comparing metals in blood, faeces and urine

Children in polluted areas are particularly vulnerable to metal exposure, where clinical signs and symptoms could be nonspecific. Absorbed metals are excreted primarily in urine and reflect exposure from all sources. The researchers analyzed Pb and Cd concentrations in blood, feces and urine of children from polluted townships near a lead-zinc mine in Kabwe, Zambia, to determine concurrent childhood exposure to the metals. The study determined the Pb and Cd relationships among urine, feces and blood as well as accessed the potential of urine and fecal analysis for biomonitoring of Pb and Cd exposure in children. Fecal Pb (up to 2252 mg/kg, dry weight) and urine Pb (up to 2914 μg/L) were extremely high.

Yabe J, Nakayama SMM, Ikenaka Y, Yohannes YB, Bortey-Sam N, Kabalo AN, Ntapisha J, Mizukawa H, Umemura T, Ishizuka M. Lead and cadmium excretion in feces and urine of children from polluted townships near a lead-zinc mine in Kabwe, Zambia. Chemosphere. 2018 Jul;202:48-55. 

Saliva and Fecal Metal Testing

Read more about the evaluation of an unusual diagnostic approach.