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Gold (Au)

Gold is a metal. When solid, it is yellow, but when granulated, it can be black or purple. It is the most malleable and ductile metal. It is very soft and is usually alloyed to give it more strength. Gold is a good conductor of heat and electricity and is unaffected by air and most reagents.

Applications of Gold

Gold is used in jewelry, glassware, and electronics. Jewelry uses approximately 75% of all gold produced. Gold may have several shades depending on the metal with which the alloy was formed (white, red, blue, green, etc.). Colloidal gold is added to glass to make it red or purple, and metallic gold is applied as a thin film to the windows of large buildings to reflect the sun's heat. Gold is used in the electronics industry to protect copper parts.

Gold is widely distributed on earth as a free metal and when bound to quartz, ferropyrite, and other metals.

Impact of Gold on Human Health

Inhalation of gold may irritate if the exposure is prolonged or excessive. Ingestion of gold has no known harmful effects. Gold can cause irritation and allergic reactions when in contact with the skin, while contact with the eyes can irritate.

Gold compounds have been used for medical purposes since antiquity and are still in use. Gold is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis when treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs fails to provide relief.

Only the salts and radioisotopes of gold are of pharmacological value because elemental gold is inactive in all chemicals found inside the body (if ingested, gold cannot be affected by stomach acid).

Gold alloys are used in restorative dentistry, especially in dental restorations, such as crowns and permanent bridges. Gold can be used as a food additive and has the number E175. Gold leaf, flakes, or powder are also used as a decorative ingredient in some gourmet foods, especially sweets and drinks. However, since metallic gold is inactive in all of the body's chemical systems, it has no taste, no nutritional value, and is left unchanged. However, gold-soluble compounds, such as gold chloride, are toxic to the liver and kidneys.

In clinical practice, DMPS effectively mobilizes and excretes bismuth, mercury (organic and inorganic), copper, lead, arsenic, antimony, nickel, tin, tungsten, and gold. Still, it does not affect aluminum or uranium excretion. In most adult patients, mercury is the predominant metal eliminated after DMPS use. DMPS-stimulated metals are mainly excreted by the kidneys and, to a lesser extent, by the liver (bile/stool). Another chelating agent for the mobilization of metals by the body, DMSA, is used in challenge tests and for detoxification from lead, mercury, and other sulfhydryl reactive metals (e.g., arsenic, antimony). Several studies have shown the efficacy of DMSA in increasing renal excretion of lead and mercury and in lowering the blood levels of these metals.

How can one determine if one has been exposed to Gold?

We can measure gold levels in blood and most biological materials.

Determination of metals is done by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Mass Spectrometry), a method that enables the simultaneous detection of many metals. Its sensitivity and accuracy are significantly better than conventional atomic absorption, with the ability to measure metals at concentrations up to 1 in 1015 (1 in 1 quadrillion, ppq)!



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for diagnosing and monitoring all pathological conditions. Between 70% and 80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased."

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted solely based on the numerical result of a single analysis. They should be interpreted in relation to each individual case, family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon, we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and contact your doctor to ensure you receive the best possible medical care.

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