The Quicksilver Mercury Tri-Test is the only clinical test that utilizes mercury speciation analysis, a patented advanced technology that separates methyl mercury (MeHg) from inorganic mercury (HgII) and measures each directly. Quicksilver Scientific's instruments are sensitive enough to measure ambient mercury levels in the body without the need for challenge testing.
NOTE: The Mercury Tri-Test can only be shipped to the following U.S. states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, and West Virginia. If your state is not in this list, please contact us at (800) 366-6056 for more information.
This technique provides unprecedented information for the healthcare practitioner, allowing them to assess the patient's exposure sources, body burden and ability to excrete each form of mercury. This detailed information helps build an informed picture and allows the clinician to plan a rational approach to successful detoxification strategy for the patient.
What about Mercury Challenge Testing? In the 1990's, sensitivity of analytical equipment was not advanced enough to measure ambient (steady state) blood mercury levels. Therefore, "challenge" or "provocation" testing, using high doses of strong chelation agents, was developed to "pull" mercury out of organic cellular structure for urinary analysis under the diagnostic premise that it shows the mercury "body burden" of an individual and establishes correlation of long-term mercury burden.
While mercury challenge testing was clinically relevant for the time, advances in technology and clinical study have proven challenge testing to be unreliable and even potentially damaging to the patient.
Problems associated with challenge testing include:
Challenge Test does not differentiate between MeHg and Hgll. Only Total mercury level is represented (HgT).
Challenge does not reflect the "pool" of mercury premise.
There is no "non-challenged" reference range to compare the challenge test to; from a regulatory standpoint, there is an obvious potential for over-treatment.
Lack of standardization of challenge conditions:
Challenge does not reflect long-term exposure as proven by clinical trial* reference p.120.
Challenge does not reflect long-term exposure as proven by clinical trial* reference.
DMPS has a very different strength and specificity than DMSA.
IV vs. oral administration has vastly different pharmacokinetics.
Use of adjuncts such as EDTA, glutathione and glycine vastly changes the dynamics of the test and its output.
Challenge exposes individual to large dose of exogenous substance.
Challenge may cause redistribution of mercury into organs, including the brain.
Challenge does not measure ambient mercury burden.
Challenge does not elucidate elimination abilities of patient.
Challenge results are skewed in individuals with renal insufficiency (common in Hgll toxicity).
Test Example 1: False Negative: Patient consumes little or no fish meals and has dental amalgams. (Patient levels indicated by blue bars and squares.)
Explanation: MeHg typically shows a greater than a one decimal place order of magnitude compared to Hgll in ambient blood levels. In single, unspeciated blood, urine, hair and challenge testing, MeHg level overshadows Hgll level that may be at high, possibly toxic levels.
Competing testing technologies will show the following:
Blood HgT: Low. This test missed it! Patient is not excreting more highly toxic Hgll, but the MeHg level is very low, causing overall mercury level determination to fall below level that would indicate they have a problem. (MeHg typically exhibits a greater than one decimal place greater concentration in ambient blood level.) ADDITIONALLY, a blood total mercury test alone would not reveal that the patient is not excreting Hgll anywhere near an optimum level, and is therefore accumulating Hgll.
Urine THg: Low: This test missed it! Urinary excretion is principal route of Hgll elimination. Patient is not eliminating, so urine test will not reveal meaningful information about mercury burden of patient.
Hair: Low: Missed it! Hair predominantly measures MeHg excretion, and patient has low MeHg level.
Challenge: Low: Missed it! Challenge test fails to detect proper level of HgT due to severely compromised kidney function in this patient.
Test Example 2: Potential False Positives: Patient consumes high amount of fish meals and has no dental amalgams. (Patient levels indicated by blue bars and squares.)
Explanation: For equal body burden MeHg is typically 10–15 times higher than Hgll in ambient blood levels, due to different tissue:blood partitioning. Potential False positive created by HIGH MeHg and low Hgll.
Competing testing technologies will show the following:
Blood HgT: High: False positive created by HIGH MeHg and low Hgll.
Urine: Low: This test may correctly identify the patient as low Hg burden due to low Hgll level.
Hair: High: Patient is efficiently excreting MeHg, and test may falsely cause alarm to practioner.
Challenge: High: Challenge testing incorrectly shows high in this patient due to efficient kidney function and elimination.
Test Example 3: Patient is demethylating MeHg: (Patient levels indicated by blue bars and squares.) Patient has very high fish consumption and no dental amalgams. The overburden of MeHg is being de-methylated to Hgll, and driving Hgll levels up. Additionally, patient has depressed kidney function causing Hgll to be accumulated. This is a high-risk scenario.
Competing testing technologies will show the following:
Blood HgT: High: Though this test will show high burden, it will not be able to decipher the source of exposure or the distribution into each pool.
Urine: There is a chance this test will fail to determine high mercury burden due to very compromised kidney function, and certainly will not be able to decipher the source of exposure, or the most obvious remedy.
Hair: High: Though this test will likely show high burden, it will not show the extent of inorganic mercury accumulation due to demethylation.
Challenge: There is a chance this test will fail to determine high mercury burden due to very compromised kidney function, and it certainly will not be able to decipher the source of exposure.
Cost of the test & shipping is included in the price.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I order a test directly or do I have to have a practitioner order it for me?
Some states in the US will allow us to ship a test kit direct to the patient. This is referred to as a Direct Access State (DAT). The following states are considered DAT states, wherein you can order the test without having to have a practitioner order it for you. These states are: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Due to the restrictions of the State of New York Department of Health, we cannot analyze samples taken in the state of New York. We recommend you arrange with another practitioner in a surrounding state and test with them. Our lab will not accept any samples taken in the State of New York. If you do not live in a Direct Access Testing state, we recommend working with a practitioner regarding our testing and detoxification protocols. You can work with any practitioner you select.
How do I find a practitioner in my area that knows and understands Quicksilver?
If you do not have a practitioner to work with, Quicksilver’s website: http://www.quicksilverscientific.com has a practitioner locator with contact information for practitioners who have worked with our testing and/or detoxification protocols. This is not an exclusive list. You can use any type of licensed practitioner, Acupuncturist, Chiropractor, Dentist, MD, ND, DO, OMD etc to request the test kits for you. If you are interested in having the practitioner guide you through the detoxification program, you will need to ask them directly if they have experience in this regard.
How do I get my blood drawn?
Check with your doctor’s office to see if they will draw your blood. If so, take your test to your doctor and have your blood drawn. If your practitioner does not draw blood, then your local Quest Diagnostics, Lab Corps, or your local hospital may be able to draw blood. Quicksilver nor ProHealth contracts directly with Lab Corps, Quest Diagnostics, or any lab establishments. Please note these labs are franchised and the policies do vary from lab to lab. You may also contact any local hospital and request a blood draw service through their phlebotomy lab. You would be responsible for any additional cost. ***You will need to have the following items with you when you go get your blood drawn:
your paperwork (PRF Form)
hair and urine samples
If you are using a lab please NOTE many labs cannot release the blood draw back to you after it is drawn so please do not forget to bring your entire kit with you so it can be shipped back to Quicksilver Scientific immediately from the laboratory.
How long will it take to get my results after I send in my samples?
The results for the Mercury-Tri test typically take up to two weeks from the date the samples were received. The results for the Blood Metals panel can take up to three weeks from the date Quicksilver receives the samples. Quicksilver sends all results to the email address provided on the PRF form which was included inside the test kit.
What are the two tests Quicksilver offers and how are they different?
The QS Mercury Tri-Test: Quicksilver’s patented speciation testing technology provides analysis for both inorganic and methyl mercury, allowing specific data targeting for better defined solutions. Quicksilver Scientific’s Mercury Tri-Test is the only clinical testing suite that utilizes blood, hair, and urine to measure both exposures and excretion abilities. Inorganic mercury (HgII) in blood usually reflects a dental amalgam exposure and urine is a route of excretion for it. Some is generated from the breakdown of methylmercury inside the body. This is the most cytotoxic form of mercury so an important pool to track. The urine: blood ratio gives an index of excretion efficiency for inorganic mercury. Methylmercury (MeHg) reflects seafood consumption, though some is made in the gut from swallowed amalgam-based mercury. Excretion of methylmercury is reflected in the hair. The hair: blood ratio gives an index of excretion efficiency of methylmercury. The QS Blood Metals Panel: Quicksilver Scientific’s Blood Metals Panel screens a broad range of nutrient and toxic metals to show elevated exposures to toxic metals or imbalances of nutrient metals in whole blood. Nutrient Elements: Calcium, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Zinc Potentially Toxic Elements: Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Lead, Mercury, Nickel, Silver, Strontium, Titanium, Uranium
Will the Mercury Tri-Test determine my mercury toxicity?
There is no test that directly measures toxicity. Toxicity is not a level of something but rather the body’s reaction to a level. The reaction is determined by genetics, nutritional status, presence of other synergistic toxins (e.g. lead, mold exposure, PCB’s), and presence of other pathologies such as chronic or hidden infections. The testing informs the practitioner about levels of different forms of mercury and status of their detox pathways; the practitioner combines this with the history and clinical presentation of the patient to decide whether the metal burden in the individual is a potential problem for the patient or a contributing factor to the individual’s health state.
Is additional paperwork required for the blood draw?
Paperwork required to obtain a blood draw may vary from lab to lab. Contact the lab you will use prior to your appointment to confirm what paperwork you may need. If you do require additional paperwork outside of the included patient requisition form, your practitioner will provide you with it. Please also confirm who will be shipping the samples back to us, you or the blood draw lab. If the blood draw lab is to send samples back, make sure to bring all paperwork, urine, hair and shipping materials to your blood draw appointment.
After the blood draw how quickly do the samples need to be returned?
For best results, SHIP IMMEDIATELY. Quicksilver provides 2 day return shipping packaging for domestic orders.
Will the weather affect the blood?
Yes, Blood exposed to temperatures exceeding 100 degrees for more than 6 hours can partially convert the methymercury to inorganic mercury. Please be certain that the blood does not sit in a UPS box for over a day in warm weather. Cold weather will not affect the samples whatsoever.
Why am I missing a data point on my test results?
Check the grey numerical results panel below the blood mercury comparison and below the excretion graphs. If any of these fields show “<#.##” this means that your level is below Quicksilver’s reporting limit.
Why doesn't Quicksilver use provocation agents in their mercury test?
Mercury speciation technology has the ability to read methyl and inorganic mercury in the part per trillion range. This test is designed to see how well you excrete these toxins out of the blood. The use of provocation agents artificially inflates the levels in the blood and urine which disrupts the biological information of how your body is dealing with its mercury load under normal day-to-day conditions. It has been reported that the provocation agents add stress to the body. If you are under stress or are already in a state of poor health, we highly recommend that you AVOID this method. The tests that have been created at Quicksilver Scientific, however, do NOT put any stress on the body whatsoever.
Do I need to fast before blood is drawn for either test. What about the urine portion of the mercury test?
You do not need to fast before the blood draw portion of either test. You do, however, need to do the first morning urine, mid-stream catch, on an empty stomach with no food or water for the urine portion of the Mercury Tri Test.