Organic Acids Testing for Detox Decisions

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How to Get an Inside Look at Your Detox Systems

We have all heard the term detox. If you have been told you need to detox, it can be a challenge to understand what this means and know where to start.

The truth is, detoxing is important for everyone; however, it looks different for each individual. This is because each person’s body is unique, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to anything when it comes to health.

The good news is, you don’t have to make detox decisions in the dark. There are laboratory tests which can help you gain insight into where your body needs the most support in detoxing.

How Detoxification Works

Our bodies are equipped with a natural detoxification system which is complex and involves many different systems in the body, including:

  • The liver

  • The digestive system

  • The skin

  • The kidneys 

  • And more!

Our body uses this detox system to remove the toxic chemicals we are exposed to, such as the pesticide glyphosate, as well as natural breakdown products the body creates. This is achieved through various metabolic processes which rely on sufficient nutritional cofactors, healthy intestinal flora, and optimal elimination through the skin, gut, and kidneys.

This multi-step system can become disrupted in several ways, including:

  • Genetic detox pathway issues

  • Bacteria or yeast overgrowth 

  • Nutritional deficiencies 

  • Digestive problems such as leaky gut

  • And more

The Organic Acids Test measures many metabolites that indicate issues with these natural detox pathways.

It is the ideal test to give you insight into where you need help with your detox pathways.

Organic Acid Testing

The Organic Acids Test from Great Plains Laboratory is the perfect test to understand how your body is processing various factors involved in detox. 

This test provides a real-time snapshot of detox systems in your body by looking at breakdown products, or metabolites, in your urine that represent different metabolic processes. These are called organic acids, which is where the test name is derived.

The results paint a picture of how all the puzzle pieces of your detox pathways fit together. This is because many of the markers tie into one another. For example, yeast and bacterial overgrowth can create or block enzymes that are needed to process neurotransmitters properly (we will get more into this in a minute).

The best part is, the test has specific indicators of common issues which prevent proper detox, including:

  • Intestinal yeast and bacteria overgrowth

  • Kreb Cycle dysfunction

  • Glutathione levels

  • Nutritional markers

Also, this test has indicators of how healthy your body’s detox system is functioning through measuring glutathione status, the body’s master antioxidant.

Who Needs the Organic Acids Test?

The Organic Acid Test is ideal for a variety of conditions. For example: 

  • Someone who struggles with neurological or mood issues

  • People with chronic digestive issues

  • Those who have been exposed to pesticides, metals, or other toxins 

  • Individuals who want to know how to support their detox pathways

This test pairs perfectly with a mold test to assess for mold exposure and toxicity, a non-metal chemical test, or a glyphosate test, which measure different toxic burdens in the body. Learn more about these test offerings here.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite parts of the Organic Acids Test.

Yeast and Bacteria Makers

The microbes in our guts play an integral role in our health. They also impact our detox pathways and give insight into what toxic exposure we may be dealing with.

The Organic Acids Test looks at nine different yeast metabolites, as well as nine different bacterial metabolites, including markers for toxic types of Clostridia.

These are two important aspects in detoxification because imbalances in either of these can create toxic elements that affect other body systems.

Clostridia 

Some types of the bacteria Clostridia produce toxins which then disrupt neurotransmitter processing, such as dopamine and serotonin. For example, the marker HPHPA on the Organic Acid Test indicates that yeast overgrowth is negatively affecting the dopamine pathway. (1)

A disruption of neurotransmitter processing can lead to changes in mood, energy, concentration, and behaviors.

Also, some of these toxins can enter the brain directly by crossing the blood-brain barrier. Once inside the brain, they can cause several neurological effects, such as damage the neurons, change how they communicate, and even cause cells to die. (2)

Although stool tests may measure clostridia, they do not differentiate between the harmful types that produce these toxins and types that do not. This is why the Organic Acids Test is superior in looking for Clostridia, which may be producing toxins which are harming your body. 

Yeast and Candida 

Yeast is a natural part of our gut flora. However, an overgrowth can lead to various health issues. Yeast overgrowth can cause a surge in yeast breakdown products, such as tartaric acid which is measured on the Organic Acids Test. 

Studies show that tartaric acid is toxic to the brain and associated with mental health disorders, including depression and autism, as well as fibromyalgia. (3)

Also, very high levels of yeast markers on the Organic Acids Test may indicate mold exposure. Adding on a mycotoxin test which tests for mold is ideal in these situations.

If your Organic Acids Tests indicates that you have harmful bacteria or yeast overgrowth in your gut, eliminating them and rebalancing your gut flora is a critical step in preventing toxins that are coming from your own body.

Glutathione 

Glutathione is our master antioxidant and having a sufficient amount in your body is key to detoxing. Our cells naturally make glutathione from three amino acids: (4)

  • Glutamine

  • Glycine

  • Cystine

It’s job it to quench oxidative stress in the body which comes from normal metabolic processes, as well from break down products during detoxification. As our bodies break down chemicals, pollutants, and other toxins we are exposed to, glutathione helps to protect cells against damage. (5)

Without enough glutathione, our cells are vulnerable to damage from the toxic metabolites. In this case, your detox protocol can be doing more harm than good!

The Organic Acids Test assesses your glutathione levels through a few metabolites.

  1. Pyroglutamic acid is a metabolite of glutathione, and high levels indicate glutathione stores are low.

  1.  2-Hydroxybutyric Acid is a breakdown product that indicates high levels of oxidative stress or toxic exposures. 

This is essential information to know before beginning any detoxification. If your glutathione levels are low, supplementing with cofactors like N-Acetylcysteine, selenium, or curcumin might be where you want to start, to get your glutathione levels up. (6)

There are very few tests which assess your glutathione levels. This is why we love using the Organic Acids Test to help make detox decisions.

The Krebs Cycle

The Krebs cycle is a process that occurs in the mitochondria (the energy powerhouse) of cells. It is how cells create and transform energy which then powers them to do their job. Therefore, for cells to function correctly, healthy mitochondria is a necessity.

Our mitochondria create our energy currency - ATP. ATP powers almost every process in the body you can think of, including the steps needed for detox. The Organic Acids Test evaluates mitochondria function by looking at eight different markers of the Krebs cycle. 

Mitochondria are susceptible to chemicals and toxins. Toxic exposures, such as heavy metals or pesticides, can block some of the Kreb Cycle steps. On the flip side, a well-functioning mitochondria is essential to detoxifying toxic compounds.  

In addition, when mitochondria create ATP, they produce many by-products which can damage the cells if they are not properly handled; this is known as oxidative stress. (7)

As previously mentioned, glutathione is responsible for dealing the oxidative stress, so as you can see, these two go hand in hand. This is another reason why we love the Organic Acids Test as it looks at the whole picture and helps tremendously with detox decisions.

If there are issues with specific steps in your Krebs Cycle, the first step before detoxing would be to mitochondria support such as CoQ10. (7)

Nutrient Markers

Another great aspect of the Organic Acids Test is nutrient markers. Nutrients and vitamins are needed for detoxification as they are cofactors for many of the steps involved in breaking down and removing toxic wastes from the body.

For example, our P450 enzymes which are found all over the body and are the highest in the liver, are the enzymes that are needed for part one of our two-part detoxification system. These enzymes require B vitamins like B6 and B12 to do their job. (8)

The Organic Acids Test can assess your levels of a number of vitamins, in real-time. It looks at several nutrients, including B2, B6, B12, Vitamin C, CoQ10, and N-acetylcysteine. 

As previously mentioned, Co10 is a crucial nutrient for the Krebs Cycle, and N-acetylcysteine is a precursor to glutathione production. These nutrients markers tie into other aspects of the test to give insight into how areas relate to one another. 

Ensuring you have enough nutrients onboard is vital before engaging in any detox program as they are needed in the detox pathways.

Final Thoughts on the Organic Acids Test

Before starting any form of detox protocol, it is important to know if there are any deficits in your body’s metabolic pathways. The Organic Acids Test provides detailed insight into imbalances in gut flora, weaknesses in the Krebs Cycle, or low levels of glutathione. 

These are critical factors to know when making detox decisions, and The Organic Acids Test gives you an idea of where you should start for an effective and safe detox.

Get Tested Now!

We are currently offering the OAT test as part of our Mold and Toxins testing package through the Great Plains laboratory. 

We offer three options:

  1. Mold Testing Only

  2. Mold Testing + Organic Acids Test (OAT test)

  3. All of the above plus non-metal toxins and glyphosate

Learn about all three testing options here.

Hormone Detox Shop is unique because:

A. Our coaches understand toxins and mold very well

B. Every test comes with a private consultation

C. Every test comes with customized recommendations for your case, including supplementation

We are also unique in that we get down to business. You are in charge of your own health and you likely have already done a lot of research. If you are ready to test, you can purchase your at-home test kit today, and we’ll schedule your consultation when your results are ready.

If you are ready to test, please take advantage of it!

Questions? Ask below or contact us here!


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative, LLC and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Check our her easy 5-Day DIY Detox Guide here!