The faecal mineral and metal analysis reflects the dietary mineral and metal intake. Minerals and potentially toxic metals may be found in the items we consume such as food, beverages, medications 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 faeces 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 faecal metal content. Most algae sources including spirulina used in healthy diets contain various amounts of potentially toxic metals and through faecal testing we evaluate metal excretion.
The absorption of metals like nickel, cadmium or lead may be low but can increase significantly in the absence of specific minerals usually found in the diet. Divalent cations in metals may compete for divalent cation minerals as in lead and calcium, or cadmium and zinc.
Stool metal testing can assist in determining the efficacy of oral chelation. By comparing the metal concentration of an unprovoked sample, i.e. stool sample 1 (sampled before the oral chelator is administered) with the metals found in stool sample 2 (the sample taken after oral chelation) we can correlate how biliary excretion was affected.