Porphyrin Testing

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.

Porphyrin testing helps identify:

  • Levels of biochemical damage caused by toxicant exposure
  • Physiologic burden of a person’s level of toxins
  • Levels of porphyrin elevation correlated with levels of toxic interference
  • Toxicity of patients before and during chelation therapy
  • Toxicity of therapeutic drugs
Porphyrin Testing

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.

Studies have demonstrated that urinary porphyrin testing is successful in:

  • Demonstrating the role of mercury in ASD populations
  • Identifying the physiologic burden of children and adults exposed to mercury
  • Tracking mercury excretion from affected children undergoing treatment
  • Symptoms of toxicity:
  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Irritability