Toxin Testing 101: The Different Types of Toxin Testing & How to Get Started

Toxin Testing 101: The Different Types of Toxin Testing & How to Get Started

With widespread wildfires and increased time at home due to COVID-19, this year has made toxin testing more relevant than ever. Toxins can be found in a variety of everyday products, but the toxic particulates from wildfire smoke and the toxins and molds found in indoor air have led to increased toxin exposure for many people. These toxins cause a variety of health issues, including increased inflammation and decreased immunity. Needless to say, adequate detoxification is crucial for immune health! (Which, for obvious reasons, is on everyone’s mind this year. 😅)

So how to get started with testing?

We’ve partnered with Dr. Amy Nett MD, IFMCP to explain how she approaches toxin testing & targeted detoxification. Dr. Nett presented at the 28th Annual A4M World Congress. In case you missed it, we’re sharing the testing highlights below and will also be linking to her talk, “Immune Resilience in a Toxic World: How to Build Targeted Testing & Detoxification Plans”, once the recording is available!

Step 1: Start with comprehensive blood work & gut testing.

Testing for toxins should begin with comprehensive blood work and gut testing.

For comprehensive blood work, pay particular attention to kidney and liver markers. Check nutrient markers, and also inflammatory markers like CRP-hs.

For gut testing, try a stool analysis, SIBO Breath test, an organic acids test, and an intestinal permeability assessment.

Step 2: Add further testing if needed: Mycotoxins, Environmental Toxins, Heavy Metals.

Depending on these results and the patient’s symptoms, further testing can be performed to detect urinary mycotoxins, environmental toxins, and/or heavy metals. These are the three main toxin categories for testing. These tests usually require stool, blood, or urine samples and are typically analyzed via liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.

Another Option: Testing for oxidative stress, 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG).

8-OHdG is one of the major products of DNA oxidation, serving as a biomarker of oxidative stress. High levels may be associated with increased risk of cancers, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis.

While you won’t know the source of the toxicity, you’ll be able to detect the presence of it, and can start a detox protocol from there. This is a great method if the toxin testing isn’t showing toxicity, however the patient is experiencing symptoms (the “description doesn’t match the picture”) or if the patient is not able to afford the specialty toxin testing.

Some labs that offer oxidative stress include: Doctor’s Data’s 8-OHdG marker, Genova’s Oxidative Stress Profile and Organix Comprehensive Panel, and Precision Analytical as part of the DUTCH Plus and DUTCH Complete panels.

When deciding on testing, we know it can be overwhelming with so many options! Our partner labs offer a variety of tests, so we created these quick comparison guides for you below.

Gut Health Testing

1. Stool

Doctor’s Data
GI 360
Great Plains Laboratory
Comprehensive Stool Analysis
Genova Diagnostics
GI Effects Comprehensive Panel
Vibrant Wellness
Gut Zoomer 3.0 Complete
Diagnostic Solutions
GI Map
Sample Type
Stool
Stool
Stool
Stool
Stool
Number of Markers
45 markers
204 markers
50 markers
246 markers
91 markers
Zonulin Included?
Zonulin
add-on
Zonulin
not included
Zonulin
add-on
Zonulin
included
Zonulin
add-on
Methodology
PCR, MALDI-TOF, microscopy
MALDI-TOF, culture
PCR, culture, microscopy
Microarray hybridization technology platform
qPCR
Practitioner Price
$383.00
$295.00
$379.00
$399.00
$287.00
Turnaround Time
3-8 days
7-21 days
7-21 days
7-14 days
5-10 days
Currently Available on Rupa

2. SIBO

Genova Diagnostics
GI 360
NUNM
Comprehensive Stool Analysis
Aerodiagnostics
GI Effects Comprehensive Panel
Sample Type
Breath
Breath
Breath
Number of Markers
2 markers
2 markers
2 markers
Methodology
GC-TDC/SSS
GC
GC
Practitioner Price
$179.00
$180.00
$199.74
Turnaround Time
7-21 days
5 days
1-3 days
Currently Available on Rupa
No
No

3. Organic Acids

Great Plains Laboratory
Organic Acids Test (OAT)
Precision Analytical
DUTCH OATs
Vibrant Wellness
Organic Acids
US Biotek
Organic Acids Profile
Genova Diagnostics
Organix® Dysbiosis Profile
Sample Type
Urine
Urine
Urine
Urine
Urine
Number of Markers
76 markers
6 markers
75 markers
36 markers
12 markers
Methodology
LC-MS
LC-MS
MS
LC-MS/MS
LC-MS/MS
Practitioner Price
$249.00
$160.00
$199.00
$219.00
$199.00
Turnaround Time
7-21 days
7-10 days
7-14 days
5-10 days
7-21 days
Currently Available on Rupa

4. Intestinal Permeability

Doctor’s Data
Intestinal Permeability
Vibrant Wellness
Leaky Gut/Intestinal Permeability Panel
Genova Diagnostics
Intestinal Permeability Assessment
Sample Type
Urine
Serum
Urine
Number of Markers
2 markers
7 markers
3 markers
Methodology
LC-MS/MS
Microarray hybridization
Enzyme
Practitioner Price
$64.00
$149.00
$99.00
Turnaround Time
3-8 days
7-14 days
7-21 days
Currently Available on Rupa

Toxin Testing

1. Urinary Mycotoxins

Great Plains Laboratory
MycoTOX profile
Vibrant Wellness
Mycotoxins
Real Time Labs
Mycotoxins
Sample Type
Urine
Urine
Urine
Number of Markers
11 markers
31 markers
16 markers
Methodology
LC-MS
MS
ImmunoChip-based competitive ELISA
Practitioner Price
$249.00
$300.00
$399.00
Turnaround Time
7-21 days
7-14 days
10 days
Currently Available on Rupa

2. Environmental Toxins

Great Plains Laboratory
GPL-TOX
Great Plains Laboratory
ENVIROtox Panel
Vibrant Wellness
Environmental Toxins
US Biotek
Environmental Pollutants Profile (EPP)
Sample Type
Urine
Urine
Urine
Urine
Number of Markers
19 markers
96 markers
39 markers
14 markers
Methodology
MS/MS
MS/MS
MS/MS
LC-MS/MS
Practitioner Price
$199.00
$459.00
$200.00
$149.00
Turnaround Time
7-21 days
7-21 days
7-14 days
5-10 days
Currently Available on Rupa

3. Heavy Metals

Quicksilver
Blood Metals Panel
Doctor’s Data
Urine Toxic Metals
Genova Diagnostics
Elemental Analysis
Great Plains Laboratory
Metals Fecal Test
Access Medical Laboratories
Heavy Metals Comprehensive Panel
Vibrant Wellness
Heavy Metals
Sample Type
Blood
Urine
Blood
Stool
Urine
Urine
Number of Markers
16 markers
20 markers
13 markers
13 markers
37 markers
20 markers
Methodology
ICP-MS
ICP-MS
ICP-MS
ICP-MS
ICP-MS/MS
ICP-MS
Practitioner Price
$129.00
$64.00
$179.00
$115.00
$99.00
$110.00
Turnaround Time
3-4 weeks
3-8 days
7-21 days
7-21 days
1-6 days
10-14 days
Currently Available on Rupa

To dive in deeper, watch Dr. Nett’s presentation!

Tara Viswanathan
Founder & CEO, Rupa Health. Certified Nutrition Counselor. Stanford University
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