By: Dr. Andrew Baranski
It has been estimated that each human is comprised of 69 trillion human and bacterial cells.¹ The metabolic activity of these different cells results in byproducts called organic acids. These metabolic byproducts can be easily obtained via urine samples and provide great insight on a number of biomarkers including beta-oxidation, blood sugar stabilization, nutritional deficiency energy production, methylation, toxin accumulation, detoxification efficiency, oxidative stress, antioxidant ability,
neurotransmitter turnover, and intestinal bacterial overgrowth.²
Organic acid tests offer promise in helping practitioners formulate efficient treatment protocols for complicated presentations and conditions. The organic acid test offers values on a plethora of metabolic pathways that give insight into the performance of the multiple systems comprising the body. This allows the whole person to be treated and not just the symptoms, and the doctor is more empowered with the necessary information to treat the cause. Lab values are presented sooner indicating the cause of symptoms with the organic acid test when compared to tests such a complete metabolic panel from blood serum. In a functioning kidney, the metabolic byproducts are excreted as waste readily, and it will take time for the waste products to accumulate in blood serum in high enough quantities to present positive lab values.
The identification of candida overgrowth is a complicated diagnosis to reach, but the utilization of an organic acid test quantifies the amount of d-arabinitol, a sugar-alcohol byproduct of candida metabolism, and is available in quantifiable value days to weeks before blood serum would present with a candida.² The most common site of candida overgrowth is the terminal ileum and ascending colon. Organic acid testing is better at identifying high levels of candida sooner than a stool sample; because stool samples usually do not show positive for candida until it present in high enough values in the descending colon.³
The organic acid d-arabinitol is a part of a group of organic acids depicting gut flora function. When dysbiosis is present there will be an increase of bacterial metabolites found in urine. Some of the organic acids associated with intestinal bacteria can be formed from metabolic activities of human cells, and are presented as normal when there is homeostasis of gut flora. When the numbers are presented as high or lower than normal this is most likely due to an imbalance between harmful and commensal bacteria.² D-arabinitol is a metabolite only of harmful candida species and indicates the presence of candida overgrowth; because it cannot be a byproduct of a human cell.³
Sample Organic Acid Report
The “Sample Organic Acid Report” provided renders an example of values presented due to dysbiosis. As a practitioner, this would be the main problem to be highlighted when providing treatment to this patient. Presented in the sample is abnormally high values of d-arabinitol indicating candida overgrowth, Candida overgrowth is associated with nutrient malabsorption and immune system suppression.² Candida inflames the intestinal mucosa and irritates the gap junctions by downregulating the zonulin pathway. This allows for candida along with a myriad of toxins to exit the intestines and an immune response is elicited. This chronic immune system activation is linked to a desensitized immune system and an immune response that attack normal human cells when activated chronically.⁴ Candida antigen has been shown to emulate thyroid autoantigen in the circulatory system, and this results in an immune attack on human cells.²
Candida has been shown in clinical studies to be a causative agent of nutritional deficiencies such as EFA, B6, and Magnesium. These are critical nutrients for human survival. EFA and B6 are important nutrients for cognition, and B6 is a versatile coenzyme that is needed for many processes of the body. Magnesium is an essential mineral for a properly functioning cardiovascular system, and low levels are linked to mitral valve prolapse. Vitamins A, B1, B3, B12, C, calcium, and iron have been observed
to be altered in patients suffering from candida overgrowth but studies have yet to confirm candida as the cause.⁵
Candida overgrowth can present with varying symptoms and affecting all systems of the body. A practitioner would be best suited to treat the candida overgrowth first due to the number of symptoms it is correlated with, and the nutrient deficiencies it causes. The symptoms in a patient will not resolve unless the candida is first managed, and the gut microbiota can move towards a state of homeostasis.² This is why at Chiropractic Plus we perform an Organic Acid Test on every patient, so we can identify the cause of symptoms and then treat with a customized approach to give patients the health they deserve.
- “How Many Bacteria vs Human Cells Are in the Body?” The American Microbiome Institute. 2016. www.microbiomeinstitute.org/blog/2016/1/20/how-many-bacterial-vs-human-cells-are-in-the-body.
- Rogers S. USING ORGANIC ACIDS TO DIAGNOSE AND MANAGE RECALCITRANT PATIENTS. Continuing Medical Education. 2006;12(4).
- Lord R. Clinical Applications of Urinary Organic Acids. Part 2. Dysbiosis Markers. Alternative Medicine Review. 2008; 13(4)
- Fasano A. Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease. Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology. 2012 Feb;42(1)
Galland L. Nutrition and Candidiasis. JOURNAL OF ORTHOMOLECULAR PSYCHIATRY. 1985; 14(3)