How to Measure Your Metabolism with Organic Acids

March 17, 2016

Three years ago I went through round after round of blood testing until eventually I realised that the doctor was following a procedure laid out in a flow chart. Heck, he even showed me the flow chart. Two months and thousands of dollars of insurance deductibles later I was no closer to understanding the underlying cause of my fatigue, insomnia, brain fog and other symptoms.

My doctor seemed somewhat willing to run any blood test I wanted but he held the results very close to his chest. Everything was normal, and the Google searches I made in an attempt to understand better my results yielded nothing useful. It’s not that sodium and potassium on a blood chemistry don’t mean anything, they do, it’s that you won’t ever be able to figure it out without some help.

When I finally admitted defeat and looked outside the network of doctors willing to accept the insurance that was costing me a fortune and getting me nowhere fast, I found someone who wanted to run a urinary organic acids test.

What is an organic acid?

William Shaw, Ph.D., is board certified in the fields of clinical chemistry and toxicology by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. Before he founded The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc., he worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr Shaw describes organic acids as “the stuff of metabolism”. Organic acids are surrogate markers that give valuable clues about what’s going on inside your body.

Finally, I had a window on what was really going on.

I don’t think anyone expected me to look at the result as a patient, but that’s what I did, and I was excited because now my searches started yielding useful information. Take for example vanillylmandelic, a breakdown product of epinephrine and norepinephrine, also known as adrenaline. Low levels of vanillylmandelic indicate little activity of a hormone that acts increases blood pressure, respiration rate, heart rate, increases glucose, and dilates the pupils, all for the purpose of enabling you to quickly and safely get out of a potentially life-threatening situation. Sounds a lot like adrenal fatigue, huh?

But there probably wasn’t anything wrong with adrenal glands.

In addition to low vanillylmandelic, I had (and have) high levels of HPHPA (3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-3-hydroxypropionic acid), a metabolite created by certain Clostridia species of bacteria (C. sporogenes, C. caloritolerans, C. botulinum & others). HPHPA looks enough like dopamine to downregulate the activity of the enzyme dopamine-beta-hydroxylase, but not enough to have the other biological effects, leading to a derangement of neurotransmitter balance.

Your gut can mess with your brain!

The fix?

A high end probiotic containing 50-100 billion CFU of Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

I’ve honed in just one example of problems that can be revealed and fixed easily using organic acids. Besides offering the most complete and accurate evaluation of gut yeast and bacteria, the test also provides information on important nutritional markers, glutathione status, oxalate metabolism, and much more.

Download my full result

By all means, order an organic acids test for yourself, and I will help you understand the results but know that this test is a single tool in our chest that includes other tests and diet and lifestyle modification. Book a free consultation and Amelia will walk you through the testing process.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Dr William Shaw, Ph.D.

0:00:16    Dr William Shaw, Ph.D is the founder of Great Plains lab.

0:00:23    Formerly a clinical chemist and toxicologist at the CDC.

0:00:46    Using mass spectrometry on urine would allow Dr. Shaw to measure virtually anything in metabolism.

0:01:33    Dr Shaw has been highly motivated from the beginning.

0:02:00    It's rare for someone to do an organic acids test and not find something significant.

0:02:59    Organic acids are the stuff of metabolism.

0:03:50    The metabolites from bacteria and other microorganisms have a profound impact on human health.

0:04:49    The Great Plains OAT measures the complex balance of man and microbiome.

0:05:09    The wrong microorganisms can harm mental health.

0:05:34    Once you have the results, you can manipulate them.

0:05:47    The OAT takes out the guess work.

0:06:29    Why are GPs not running the OAT?

0:06:50    The OAT is complex.

0:07:24    A one day seminar is usually enough to cover the basics.

0:07:37    The insurance has become very tightfisted.

0:08:13    Even if you have to pay out of pocket, the test is not that expensive.

0:09:08    The OAT covers all systems of the body.

0:09:49    Mass spectrometry is the truth machine.

0:10:08    Mark Newman on my podcast.

0:11:04    The Khan Academy organic chemistry.

0:11:19    Metabolic Fitness Pro.

0:11:57    Dr Shaw has taught the grandson of Krebs.

0:12:26    My OAT result.

0:12:51    The GP has a lot more markers than the Genova equivalent.

0:13:10    Whenever you buy an OAT, you're buying some of Dr Shaw's experience.

0:13:56    The reference ranges come from healthy volunteers.

0:14:25    There's a statistical analysis, the ranges are based on the vast majority.

0:14:50    Only healthy individuals are included.

0:15:21    The Genova test use the conjugate base name.

0:16:10    Nobody is writing junk about organic acids, that makes research much easier.

0:16:44    The GP OAT has the most comprehensive coverage of the gut microbiome.

0:17:08    Some of the metabolites produced can affects neurotransmitters.

0:17:43    Marker #16 HPHPA.

0:18:15    HPHPA is very similar to dopamine.

0:18:23    This interferes with the conversion of dopamine to epinephrine and norepinephrine.

0:18:26    Most people have an equal amount of dopamine and epinephrine and norepinephrine

0:18:52    The clostridia inhibit dopamine beta dehydrogenase.

0:19:49    Markers #33 and #34.

0:20:12    High levels of dopamine are a problem.

0:20:29    Dopamine causes oxidative stress and can kill neurons.

0:21:01    10x my result have been seen in autism and schizophrenia.

0:21:32    The oxidative metabolite is called dopachrome.

0:22:29    Elevated HPHPA may start with GI symptoms.

0:22:42    Later this could become depression or obsessive compulsive behaviour.

0:23:20    The peripheral nervous system uses norepinephrine.

0:24:27    Norepinephrine is what you need at the start of a race.

0:25:18    OAT is almost like cheating.

0:26:10    The clostridial species are usually easily treatable with probiotics with lactobacillus.

0:27:19    L. rhamnosus.

0:27:42    Cresol has the same effect on dopamine but is toxic in its own right and can be smelled on the breath.

0:28:44    Cresol is made by C. diff.

0:29:04    14,000 people die of C. diff infection each year.

0:29:39    Cresol is common in anorexia.

0:30:36    We've tested for the A&B toxins in stool.

0:32:00    I've always had a yeast problem.

0:32:18    D-Arabinitol is different from D-Arabinose.

0:33:06    I have an overgrowth of Candida that can easily be treated.

0:33:22    Coconut oil or caprylic acid.

0:33:31    Nystatin.

0:33:43    Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia.

0:34:00    Sugar craving!

0:34:39    Evidence yeast can metabolize ketones.

0:35:11    Dr Shaw thinks that the ketones will not be fuelling the yeast.

0:35:27    Markers #47-49 carnitine deficiency.

0:36:13    Carnitine shuttles fatty acids into the mitochondria.

0:37:05    Fats are oxidized with less energy yield in the peroxisomes.

0:37:56    The GP test has 9 yeast markers, I'm used to seeing one.

0:38:08    Candida can metabolize isocitrate into oxalate.

0:38:44    Dr Shaw discovered that this week!

0:38:59    The research will take time, a year or longer before anything is in print.

0:39:20    Marker #21.

0:39:57    Candida metabolize isocitrate into oxalate and that's the connection between the yeast and kidney stones. Oxalates are also capable of crystallizing anywhere in the urinary tract, blood vessels, the blood brain barrier, the thyroid, liver and muscles.

0:40:44    Oxalates may turn out to be more important than cholesterol.

0:42:10    High oxalate foods, spinach and soy, nuts and berries.

0:42:29    300mg Calcium and 150mg magnesium citrate can be protective.

0:43:02    Great Plains have just started DNA testing and they look at oxalate metabolism SNPs.

0:44:33    Vitamin B6 deficiency causes oxalate production.

0:45:09    People with high oxalates should supplement with 100 mg per of B6.

0:45:53    Dr Shaw needs to write the manual.

0:46:54    Narrowing down a list of possibilities to a list of probabilities.

0:47:23    Order a Great Plains OAT.

0:47:45    There are currently 75 markers, more soon.

0:48:36    Great Plains are working on a test for jet fuel toxicity.

0:49:19    The Dreamliner has separate air system.

0:50:05    The Great Plains webinar archive.

0:50:59    The low cholesterol problem.

Join the discussion on the NBT forum when you support us on Patreon.

© 2013-2024 nourishbalancethrive