The Porphyrins Profile can help identify the severity of heavy metal toxicity or organic chemical exposure in patients. Chemical exposure and a heavy toxic burden can have physiological effects resulting in impaired metabolism and cellular function.
Why Evaluate Porphyrins?
Porphyrins are proteins involved in the formation of heme measured in urine. Heme is essential for the proper function of many proteins including oxygen transport, energy production, and detoxification. Proper porphyrin production is essential for our body’s capacity to detoxify toxins.
Porphyrins are particularly well suited for assessing heavy metal toxicity. First, the heme pathway is a constantly-changing pathway that is active in almost every cell of the body. Any disturbance in the pathway tends to cause rapid and relatively large accumulations of intermediates, such as porphyrins. Second, the enzymes of the pathway are widely distributed in human tissues, and are highly sensitive to the presence of various toxins, creating the large accumulation of porphyrins in the pathway.
Symptoms of toxicity:
- Chemical sensitivity
- Memory loss
- Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Loss of appetite
Sources of toxicants:
- Polluted air and soil
- Fluorescent bulbs
- Ground water
Test name(s): 0060 – Porphyrins Profile*
Method: UPLC/Fluorescence detection, Colorimetry
*Not available in New York
Test Type: Urine Test