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Home arrow Heavy Metal Testing Using Hair
Heavy Metal Testing Using Hair

Q. As practitioners we have done a number of HMD urine provocations and really don't get much out to demonstrate to people that they have heavy metals. Over the long term we all know and see that it does eliminate them but I am not sure that the provocation is effective enough, at least according to laboratory norms. Also how do the HMD provocation norms compare with those of the chemical chelators such as DMPS, DMSA and EDTA?

A.  Personally, I do not do these provocation tests with urine any more using HMD as a provocation agent as they cannot be comparable to DMSA, DMPS or EDTA as HMD is a ‘gentle’ chelator. Chemical chelators are aggressive in that they usually mobilize more metals than the body can eliminate, as well as strip the body of essential minerals and trace elements.



I think we need to begin to think outside the box! If metals are being eliminated with a 24-hour urine provocation test what does this mean? How do you use this data in a clinical setting to decide what is right for the patient? How do you monitor the patient's progress?



Urine provocation tests are a ‘snap-shot’ of how the body eliminates toxic metals at any one point in time. There is usually a comparison between an initial baseline sample of urine before the chelation agent is taken, then followed by another sample after the chemical agent is taken. If the post-test shows a percentage increase in metals then this is an indication that there are metals stored in the body tissues and organs.


It does not, however, give information on the total load of the body, nor is one provocation test comparable with another one repeated 3 months down the line. It simply means that if metals are still being eliminated after provocation with the chelating agent that there are metals stored in the body – stat! It really gives us no more information than this.


If the detoxification organs are compromised, as is often the case with autistic spectrum disorders, then there may be very few metals actually eliminated after provocation. What does this tell us? Can we conclude categorically that there are no metals stored in the body tissues and organs? Or few metals, or a moderate amount? How does this help us make clinical decisions? What do we tell the patient – that today they have 3 ppm of mercury on the urine test after provocation and in 3 months time they have 2.5 ppm. Does this mean that they have eliminated 0.5ppm of mercury in total and still have 2.5 ppm left? Obviously not!


Moreover, if the patient shows no percentage increase in metals in the post-provocation test, does this mean that they will not begin taking any chelating protocol as they do not need it? This decision based on these urine tests warrants considerable caution as an extremely toxic and ill person could end up getting a lot worse if left without a chelation protocol.


Basically, the only valid conclusion that we can really make when the level of toxic metals are higher on the post-test compared to baseline is that there are metals stored in the body tissues and organs – nothing more and nothing less!


As clinicians, however, we need to make clinical decisions based on data in order to help the patient eliminate these toxic metals from the body. So how do we do this?



Many laboratories that run pre-post provocation tests using urine and blood are generally against the use of natural chelators. Why is this? Well, given that only medical doctors are legally allowed to use IV chelation, then they are the ones that usually run these expensive tests. This is of obvious benefit to the laboratories as the medics are their prime source of income, so obviously they do not want to rock the boat with them! Maybe it is time that this blinkered approach needs to change in order to provide better clinical data that can be of more benefit to the patient, not the doctor and the laboratories running these tests.


There is a better protocol that I have been working with for some time now which is far more cost-effective for the patient, easy to use by all health practitioners, even the patient themselves and one can make meaningful clinical decisions with.Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is such a test that uses a simple hair sample either from the back of the scalp or the pubic area to measure levels of minerals, trace elements and metals in the hair.



What are we measuring from hair and why? When the body has toxic metals circulating in the blood, the first thing that it tries to do is remove them from circulation as they are prone to do a lot of damage to different cells of the body through their vicious free radical activity. The first place that the body stores these metals is in the inert tissues such as hair and nails. When these storage sites are full, then it will start distributing and storing in other less inert tissues and organs such as fat, liver, kidneys, thyroid, brain and other organs.


When we dissolve hair in acid the metals and minerals are released and we are able to measure these accurately to parts per billion levels using a Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS).


The hair sample taken is about a two month ‘history’ of what has been circulating in the blood and therefore stored in these inert tissues. We usually cut about 2 inches which takes about two months to grow. Therefore, the levels of metals in the hair correlate quite well with the levels in the circulating blood – if there are no metals circulating in the blood during the last two months, then they probably will not appear in the hair at all.


Zero levels of toxic metals in a hair analysis does not mean that there are zero metals stored in the body. The Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis is distinctly measuring the amount of metals that have been circulating in the blood the last couple of months, but does not tell us much about how many metals are stored in the body tissues and organs.



Firstly, the clinician takes a baseline hair sample from the patient. The results may actually show zero metals which is an indication that the patient has no circulating metals the last couple of months.


Start the patient on a HMD Ultimate Detoxification Protocol and then repeat the hair analysis in 2 months. Nearly always you get a dramatic INCREASE in the toxic metals compared to baseline - this indicates that the HMD is pulling out of storage sites into the blood and then into the hair. This is a sure indication that the person has metals stored in the body and the clinical decision is to continue taking the HMD.


The hair test can be repeated again after a further two months but always while they are still taking the HMD - a reduction in metals shows that the person is on the right track and the storage sites are diminishing. You can keep repeating this until there are negligible metals on the THMA which is a reflection of negligible metals in storage sites of the body.


This is a far more clinically significant test that facilitates the practitioner’s clinical decision-making as it is showing a time-line or history of progress, not simply a snapshot. There are also many advantages to using this over the urine pre-post provocation test using chemical provocation agents:

* It is a ‘gentle’ way to proceed as there is no aggressive mobilization and release of large quantities of metals with the chemical chelators – this can greatly exacerbate symptoms in neurological problems such as MS, cancer, autism, cardiovascular diseases and others.

* The history of progress can be mapped over time as the decline in toxic metals on the HTMA is an indication that the storage sites in the body are also diminishing. If the levels are still high on the HTMA, then this is an indication that the storage sites are still loaded and that HMD should be continued for longer.

* It is not the ‘snap-shot’ picture provided by the urine tests that are difficult to interpret over time.

Take a look at this intergenerational progression with a mother and her two children, before and after using HMD 

* The HTMA is far more cost effective than the urine tests – costing the patient $85 every two months.

* The HTMA is very easy to implement and quick, easily implemented by an assistant in any clinical setting. It also takes away the compliance problems often faced by practitioners when they ask the patient to collect urine over a 24-hour period.



Dr. George J Georgiou, Ph.D.,N.D.,DSc (AM).,MSc.,BSc

Director, DaVinci Natural Health Centre, Larnaca, Cyprus

Inventor and Patent-Pending Holder of HMD


NB. These chelation protocols have not been approved by the FDA or other medical authorities around the world and have been based on experimentation and anecdotal evidence collated by numerous practitioners using these products and procedures. It is the responsibility of the health practitioner and patient involved when trying any of these provocation procedures.


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