Toxicity testing part 3

Testing for heavy metals

If you think you have metal toxicity you can look beyond a hair mineral analysis, which is commonly used. There are two tests that may be of use. First you can look at the red-cell form of the glutathione S-transferase enzyme (GST). GST is a family of enzymes that conjugates a toxin to reduced glutathione. Red blood cell GST is concerned with the detoxification of metals. Assessing this red blood cell enzyme can detect which metals you have been intoxicated with.
Another test to use is to quantify serum metallothionein and the metals it is carrying. Metallothionein is a cysteine-rich protein localised to the membrane of the Golgi apparatus of the cell. They have the capacity to bind metals and may provide protection against metal toxicity.

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