Category Archives: Gut health

Organic Acid Test, Part 7: Amino Acid Metabolites

Please note: The content of this post is my own unless the technical terms are too hard to explain, then the content is copy and paste. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery.

Test results, part 4

Amino Acids

What is an amino acid, you ask? Amino acids are used in every cell of your body to build the proteins you need to survive. The best sources of essential amino acids are animal proteins like meat, eggs and poultry.

In the Great Plains Organic Acid test, there are about 15 markers that are tested for regarding amino acids. In the SA test, it is broken up into two categories.

Urine organic acids: Branched-chain amino acid intermediates

2-Ethylhydracrylic-/2-Ethyl-3-OH-propionic acid 0.35 < 2 mmol/mol creat
2-Hydroxyisocaproic acid 0.22 < 2 mmol/mol creat
2-Hydroxyisovaleric acid BDL < 2 mmol/mol creat
2-Oxoisovaleric acid / 3-Methyl-2-oxobutyric acid 0.22 < 1.1 mmol/mol creat
3-Hydroxy-2-methylbutyric acid 0.85 < 11 mmol/mol creat
3-Hydroxyisobutyric acid 5.48 L 20 – 118 mmol/mol creat
3-Hydroxyisovaleric acid 5.51 5.1 – 23.1 mmol/mol creat
3-Methyl-2-oxovaleric-/2-Keto-3-methylvaleric acid BDL < 4.8 mmol/mol creat
3-Methylglutaconic acid 2.89 < 20 mmol/mol creat
3-Methylglutaric acid 0.99 < 3.9 mmol/mol creat
4-Methyl-2-oxovaleric acid/2-Ketoisocaproic acid 0.16 < 0.86 mmol/mol creat
Malonic acid BDL < 5 mmol/mol creat

Urine organic acids: Other Amino acid intermediates

3-Hydroxyglutaric acid (Lysine Metabolism) 2.05 < 8 mmol/mol creat
Glutaconic acid (Lysine Metabolism) 0.58 < 3.1 mmol/mol creat
N-Acetylaspartic acid  (Aspartic Metabolism) 0.54 < 13 mmol/mol creat

This one is a bit more difficult to break down.

According to the Great Plains Lab break down:

2-Hydroxyisovaleric Acid

2-Oxoisovaleric Acid

3-Methyl-2-oxovaleric Acid

2-Hydroxyisocaproic Acid

2-Oxoisocaproic Acid

A moderate increase of branched-chain amino acid metabolites in urine may result from lactic acidosis, episodic ketosis, or deficiencies of the vitamins thiamine or lipoic acid.  Elevated 2hydroxyisocaproic acid in urine has also been linked to short bowel syndrome.  A significant increase of branched-chain amino acid metabolites is associated with the genetic disorders maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) or pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency.  Patients with slight to moderate elevations may use dietary supplements containing thiamine to improve clinical symptoms.

2-Oxo-4-methiolbutyric Acid      Testing of plasma amino acids.        Elevated in an inborn error of methionine metabolism.  Confirmation of the genetic disorder requires

Malonic Acid Associated with the genetic disorders malonyl-CoA decarboxylase deficiency or malonic aciduria with normal malonyl-CoA decarboxylase activity.  Slightly elevated values in urine are unlikely to be clinically significant.

3-Methylglutaric Acid and 3-Methylglutaconic Significant increase are due to a reduced ability to metabolize the amino acid leucine.  This abnormality is found in the genetic disease methylglutaconic aciduria and in mitochondrial disorders.  3-Methylglutaconic acid may also be elevated.  Supplementation with coenzyme Q10, NAD+, L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine, riboflavin, nicotinamide, biotin, and vitamin E may be useful.

Amongst the list were also markers found under Neurotransmitters which include Phenylalanine and Tyrosine Metabolites. But more about those in the next post.

So any reading in this section was the 3-Hydroxyisobutyric acid, which was low.

3-Hydroxyisobutyric acid (or 3-hydroxy-2-methylpropanoic acid) is an intermediate in the metabolism of Valine.

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Just for fun: the chemical structure of 3-Hyrdoxyisobutyric acid

An interesting fact about Valine, it was first isolated from casein in 1901 by Hermann Emil Fisher. The name valine comes from valeric acid, which in turn is named after the plant valerian due to the presence of the acid in the roots of the plant. Casein which is present in milk.

This result should be right because Alex does not drink milk or eat any dairy products, not because he is allergic to it or on a casein-free diet, but because he does not like it.

Dr Lindenberg comments: “Branched-chain amino acids OK with relatively low tyrosine metabolism.”

Interesting read: An Amino-Acid Deficiency That Causes Neurological Problems

There is a condition called 3-hydroxyisobutyric aciduria. In many affected people, the exact underlying cause of 3-hydroxyisobutyric aciduria is poorly understood. Scientists believe that some cases are caused by changes (mutations) in the ALDH6A1 gene. This gene encodes an enzyme called methylmalonate semialdehyde dehydrogenase, which helps the body break down certain amino acids (the building blocks of protein) found in food. If this gene isn’t working properly, the body is unable to break down the amino acids valine and thymine which leads to a build-up of toxic substances in the body and the many signs and symptoms of 3-hydroxyisobutyric aciduria. There is no cure for 3-hydroxyisobutyric aciduria. Because it is so rare, there is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of treatment. However, affected people have been treated with a protein-restricted diet and carnitine supplementation with varying degrees of success. (https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/5662/3-hydroxyisobutyric-aciduria

 

Organic Acid Test: Part 5, Ketones and Fatty Acids

Please note: The content of this post is my own unless the technical terms are too hard to explain, then the content is copy and paste. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery.

Test Results, Part 3

Urine organic acids: Fatty acid oxidation intermediates

3-Hydroxybutyric  acid BDL < 10 mmol/mol creat
Acetoacetic acid BDL < 24.9 mmol/mol creat
Adipic acid 9.43 < 37 mmol/mol creat
Ethylmalonic acid 3.49 < 17 mmol/mol creat
Methylsuccinic acid BDL < 6.05 mmol/mol creat
Sebacic acid 0.11 < 16 mmol/mol creat
Suberic acid 28.9 H < 20 mmol/mol creat

The markers measured here will show how well your body can process fat. These markers are sometimes elevated for persons on the Ketogenic diet or Low-carbs diet, but if there is an elevation in the results and a person is not on a Ketogenic diet it means that the body is not processing that fat too well.

If you are unable to process fat effectively your cells cannot put out the energy needed to function optimally.  Candida, bacterial toxins, and high oxalates can contribute to fat malabsorption. An anti-inflammatory nutrition plan is critical for improving these markers, along with targeted supplementation as indicated by other abnormal markers.

If you want to read more about Ketones, follow the link here.

Many people are following the Ketogenic diet, many dieticians or functional medicine practitioners have suggested the Ketogenic diet for Autistic people. Click here.

On the Great Plains lab results they list the following under Ketone and Fatty Acid Oxidation:

  1. 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid & Acetoacetic Acid
Ketones, such as 3-hydroxybutyric and acetoacetic acids, are the end-products of rapid or excessive fatty-acid breakdown.  Common causes of elevated ketones are prolonged fasting, protein malnutrition, high fat diet, vitamin B12 deficiency, severe GI Candida overgrowth, and pulmonary infections.  Dietary supplements containing L-carnitine or acetyl-L-carnitine may be beneficial.
2. 4-Hydroxybutyric Acid A moderate urinary increase in 4-hydroxybutyric acid may be due to intake of dietary supplements containing 4-hydroxybutyric acid, also known as gamma-hydroxybutyric acid.  Very high results may indicate the genetic disorder involving succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency.

3. Adipic Acid Slightly elevated adipic acid may result from excessive ingestion of gelatin or other “junk” food containing adipic acid as an additive.  Elevated adipic acid may also indicate an abnormality in fatty acid metabolism.  Dietary supplements containing L-carnitine or L-acetyl-carnitine may be beneficial.  

4. Suberic Acid, Sebacic Acid, Ethylmalonic Acid & Methylsuccinic Acid Increased urinary products of omega- fatty acid metabolism pathway may be due to carnitine deficiency, fasting, or increased intake of triglycerides from coconut oil, or some infant formulas.  Very elevated values may indicate a genetic disorder.  Fatty acid oxidation defects are associated with hypoglycemia and lethargy.  Regardless of the cause, intake of dietary supplements containing L-carnitine, or acetyl-L-carnitine may improve clinical symptoms.

On Alex’s test, the Suberic Acid was elevated 28.9/ 20.  This is a very interesting acid, as it can indicate some-one was fasting overnight or AN INCREASE IN OIL USE.

The comments from the Lab technician stated: “The isolated increase in Suberic acid is likely dietary in origin and not suggestive of compromised beta-oxidation capacity.” 

The reason why I said that this result is interesting is that because we have been struggling with Alex to pick up weight, we started to give Alex food with a higher fat content like full cream yoghurt and using spread that 70% more fat spread than the more plastic margarine.  Also, and I know this is maybe THE reason why this acid is so elevated is that his chicken patties and french fries have been fried, even if it is only a little bit of oil, and not baked.

Organic Acid Test: Part 2, Intestinal Microbiomes

Please note: The content of this post is my own unless the technical terms are too hard to explain, then the content is copy and paste. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery.

Results part 1 – Intestinal Microbiome

The test was done by my son’s specialist through North West University.

Urine organic acids: Micobiome markers

2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid 5.17 < 12 mmol/mol creat
2-Hydroxyphenylacetic acid 0.68 < 20 mmol/mol creat
3,4-Dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid 0.11 < 0.35 mmol/mol creat
3,5-Dihydroxyphenylpropionoic acid (DHPPA) 0.04 < 0.38 mmol/mol creat
3-Hydroxyphenyl-3-hydroxypropionic acid  (HPHPA) 1.81 < 91.5 mmol/mol creat
3-Indoleacetic acid 4.28 < 12.3 mmol/mol creat
3-Oxoglutaric acid/3-Ketoglutaric acid BDL < 0.46 mmol/mol creat
4-Hydroxybenzoic acid 8.57 H < 3.6 mmol/mol creat
4-Hydroxyhippuric acid 7.76 < 14 mmol/mol creat
4-Hydroxyphenylacetic acid 21.93 9.7 – 187.4 mmol/mol creat
5-Hydroxymethyl-2-furoic acid (Sumiki’s acid) 8.09 H < 1.7 mmol/mol creat
Arabinose 4.28 < 19.4 mmol/mol creat

The Microbiome makers look for:

  1. Yeast (Candida)
  2. Mould (Aspergillus)
  3. Fungus
  4. Bacterial
  5. Clostridia
Yeast

Candida albicans is the most common form of yeast in the body. Candida can build up toxins that contribute to fibromyalgia, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain fog, depression, and other symptoms.

In the Organic Acid test, Arabinose is normally an indicator for Candida. Tartaric Acid and 3-Oxoglutaric are also indicators of a candida infection.   When Candida becomes invasive, it attaches to the intestinal wall causing leaky gut. This can result in food sensitivities, nutrient malabsorption, and intestinal disorders.

(As from Great Plains Clinical break down sheet:

Arabinose  Produced by the action of Candida hyaluronidase on the intercellular cement hyaluronic acid.  Oxidation of the hyaluronic acid breakdown products produces tartaric acid and arabinose.  Since arabinose is also a major sugar in apples, grapes, and pears, these fruits and their products must be avoided 24 hours prior to urine collection to avoid interference.  Antifungal treatment and high-potency multi-strain probiotics may help rebalance GI flora.

Tartaric Acid Produced by the action of Candida hyaluronidase on the intercellular cement hyaluronic acid. Oxidation of the hyaluronic acid breakdown products produces tartaric acid and arabinose.  Since grapes, grape juice, and dried grapes (raisins) contain tartaric acid, these foods must be avoided 24 hours prior to urine collection to avoid interference.  Antifungal treatment and high-potency multi-strain probiotics may help rebalance GI flora. 

3-Oxoglutaric Acid Indicates a possible yeast overgrowth in the GI tract.  High-potency multi-strain probiotics may help rebalance GI flora.)

Clostridia

The toxins released by Clostridia metabolites can inhibit key neurotransmitters in the brain. Clostridia is associated with gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

The most common clostridial infection is gastroenteritis (Clostridium perfringens food poisoning), a usually mild infection that typically resolves on its own.

If makers 4-Hydroxyphenylacetic, HPHPA and 4-Cresol is elevated then you have a Clostridia infection.

These markers can inhibit the enzyme dopamine beta-hydroxylase which can elevate dopamine and cause neurotransmitter imbalances. Both HPHPA and 4-Cresol are said to be higher in Autistic, people with ADHD and other psychiatric disorders.

It is said that 4-Cresol feeds on Tyrosine.

(As from the Great Plains Lab clinical breakdown sheet:

4-Hydroxyphenylacetic A tyrosine metabolic product of GI bacteria.  Elevated levels are associated with bacterial overgrowth or small bowel disease.  May also indicate celiac disease.

HPHPA An abnormal phenylalanine metabolite produced by gastrointestinal bacteria of Clostridia species, including sporogenes, botulinum, caloritolerans, mangenoti, ghoni, bifermentans, difficile, and   sordellii.  Negative stool tests for C.difficile do not rule out the presence of other Clostridia species.  This metabolite may is frequently associated with behavioural and neurological abnormalities that resolve after antimicrobial therapy.  In many cases, Clostridia overgrowth can be controlled by supplementation with 30 billion cells per day of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (Culturelle) and/or 2-6 billion cfu’s of Saccharomyces boulardii.   

4-Cresol Indicates a possible overgrowth of intestinal bacteria that are specific p-cresol producers including 4-Cresol is a phenolic product poorly metabolized in children with autism.  High-potency multi-strain probiotics may help rebalance GI flora.)

Fungus

The Tricarballyllic acid maker is an indicator of a fungal infection. Overgrowths of yeast and fungi poison the mitochondria and contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction, stress hormone imbalances, and nutritional malabsorption.

(As from the Great Plains Lab breakdown sheet:

Tricarballyllic Acid A chemical by-product released from fumonisins during passage through the gastrointestinal tract. Fumonisins are fungal toxins produced primarily by F. verticillioides.  Elevated levels can be caused by the intake of corn or corn-based food contaminated with fumonisins. )

Good Bacteria

The biomarker DHPPA shows how much good bacteria you have in your gut.

(As from the Great Plains Labs breakdown Sheet:

DHPPA  DHPPA in urine indicates intake of chlorogenic acid, a common substance in beverages and many fruits and vegetables.  Harmless or beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, and E. coli increase the breakdown of chlorogenic acid to DHPPA so high values are mainly associated with increased amounts of these species in the GI tract.)

The only two markers left is the Mold and the Bacterial, those were the ones that were most elevated on Alex’s test.

Mold

The Aspergillus mold is the most common one found in the gut. The presence of Aspergillus indicates mold from food and water.

The markers for mold is 5-Hydroxymethyl-2-Furoic (Sumiki’s acid), Furan-2.5-dicarboxylic acid and N-2-Furancarbonylglycine:

5-Hydroxymethyl-2-Furoic (Sumiki’s acid)            8.9 H / <1.7

These markers are important because Aspergillus produces a specific mycotoxin called aflatoxin which is a carcinogen. These mycotoxins are also damaging to the kidneys and liver. The presence of mold can suppress immune function in the gut increasing susceptibility to other microbial overgrowths.

(As per the Great Plains Labs breakdown sheet:

5-Hydroxymethyl-2-Furoic (Sumiki’s acid) A metabolite produced by Aspergillus and possibly other fungal species in the GI tract.  Prescription or natural antifungals, along with high potency multi-strain probiotics, may reduce overgrowth levels. 

Furan-2.5-dicarboxylic acid A metabolite produced by Aspergillus and possibly other fungal species in the GI tract.  Prescription or natural antifungals, along with high potency multi-strain probiotics, may reduce overgrowth levels. 

N-2-Furancarbonylglycine A metabolite natural antifungals, along with high potency multi-strain probiotics, may reduce overgrowth. produced by Aspergillus and possibly other fungal species in the GI tract.)

You can read an interesting article about mold from Dr Jockers – Mold Exposure: Signs of Mold growth & health risks

Bacterial

2-Hydroxyphenylacetic Acid, 4 Hydroxybenzoic Acid, and 4-Hydroxyhippuric Acid and Hippuric acid are indicators of bacterial overgrowth in your gut and intestines.

4-Hydroxybenzoic acid                                               8.57 H / < 3.6

Elevations in these markers are generally seen with gut dysbiosis and bacterial imbalances. 4-Hydrobenzoic acid is also an indication of eating too many jams and pie fillings containing paraben preservatives.

Parabens are derived from para-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) that occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, cherries, carrots, blueberries and onions. PHBA also is naturally formed in the human body by the breakdown of some amino acids.

For more about Parabens, click here.

(As per the Great Plains Labs breakdown sheet:

2-Hydroxyphenylacetic Acid Elevated 2-hydroxyphenylacetic acid is associated with intestinal bacteria overgrowth.  High-potency multi-strain probiotics may help rebalance GI flora. 

4 Hydroxybenzoic Acid A marker for intestinal dysbiosis. The use of probiotics and the exclusion of paraben-containing foods is the first treatment consideration.

4-Hydroxyhippuric Acid A glycine conjugate of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, a metabolite of paraben preservatives.  May be elevated after exposure to paraben antimicrobials in certain foods and cosmetics.  Intake of fruits containing polyphenols rich in anthocyanins, flavonols, and hydroxycinnamates may increase this compound in the urine.  Avoid exposure to parabens.   

Hippuric acid A bacterial product of phenylalanine metabolism.  Most hippuric acid in urine is derived from the microbial breakdown of chlorogenic acid, a common substance found in beverages and in many fruits and vegetables.  Higher levels indicate GI bacterial overgrowth that can be reduced with natural antibacterial agents and/or high-potency multi-strain probiotics.)

Labs comments: The microbial metabolic profile is suggestive of gut dysbiosis, primarily of yeast/fungal origin. 

Dr Lindenberg’s comments: Mixed dysbiosis (imbalance) – bacterial and fungal: start treatment with Rifaximin and Fluzol and good probiotics

Organic Acids Test: part 1, Introduction

Please note: The content of this post is my own unless the technical terms are too hard to explain, then the content is copy and paste. I am not a medical professional and thus the post is my point of view. But the content is science-based and credible. Just because it is a new science, does not necessarily make it quackery.

What is It?

The Organic Acids Test (OAT) is a comprehensive test that gives metabolic insight into a person’s overall health. Some of the markers on the organic acids test including vitamins and antioxidants, oxidative stress, energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter levels, oxalates, and intestinal yeast and bacteria.

It is believed that people with chronic illnesses, neurological issues, and other health conditions often excrete abnormal acids in their urine.

Organic Acids Test
What does it all look at?

The OAT looks at complex biomarkers from various metabolic pathways.

Abnormal concentrations of organic acids provide functional markers for the metabolic effects of micronutrient inadequacies, toxin exposure, neuroendocrine activity, enzyme deficiencies, and intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

The OAT gives an overview of several major systems in the body and analyzes nutrient deficiencies. Utilizing this test can reveal the need for dietary modifications, antioxidant and nutrient support, detoxification, oxalate reduction, and other therapies.

As you can see there is also a lot of sections that the Methylation Test also tests for, but the organic acid test tells you in the pathways is missing.

Next, we will look at who to review a test through Alex’s results.

pictures from Dr Jockers.com

Back to the Gut – again!

When we started this journey, it began at the gut. And here we are again.

We had an Organic Acid test done, this the second big test to do after the Methylation Test. Though a stool test can also tell you the health of your gut, an Organic Acid test is a little bit more sensitive to the environments of the body’s biome.

All this test requires is so pee in a cup.

So, instead, of the usual Candida/ Yeast infection like he had last time…

… He has a Bacterial and Mould infection – urrgghh!

Eczema is a result of a gut infection, and Alex had a really back case of it for the last two weeks.

The best course of treatment? Rifaximin and Fluzol.

Then a good gut repair, prebiotics and probiotics, and digestive enzymes.

More on the Organic Acid test and treatment to follow.