Organic acid profiles in urine
Organic acids are a broad class of compounds that are formed during fundamental metabolic processes in the body. Metabolic reactions produce carboxylic acid compounds from the digestion of dietary proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
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The resulting organic acids are used by the body to produce cellular energy and provide many of the building blocks needed for cell function. Measurement of organic acids in urine provides a functional assessment of nutrient status. Often, their concentrations in urine are 100 times higher than in blood. A huge number of acids are detected in urine (over 1,000), however only some of them are known biomarkers of metabolic diseases or other pathological conditions.
The strong accumulation of organic acids in urine (organic oxyurea) may signal some inhibition or exclusion of metabolism. This blockage of metabolism may be due to nutrient deficiency, inherited enzyme deficiency, toxic accumulation, or drug effects. The enzymes responsible for the metabolism of organic acids are dependent on vitamins and minerals. Therefore, the increase in organic acids may reflect a functional need for these nutrients at the cellular and biochemical levels.
Disorders caused by the accumulation of organic acids vary and may include developmental disorders (physical and mental), sub- or hyper-glycemia, encephalopathy, lethargy, hyperactivity, seizures, dermatitis, deformities, macrocephaly, anemia, immunodeficiency with frequent infections, ketosis and lactic acidosis, hearing, speech or vision disorders, peripheral neuropathy, sudden cardiorespiratory arrest, nausea and coma. Organic acid disorders sometimes appear from the first days of a child’s birth, while in other cases, much later, during the life of a normal person up to that time.
Measuring the concentration of organic acids in the urine also provides very important information about the health and metabolism of athletes, helping to improve their performance.
Specifically, it demonstrates:
- The ability to produce ATP (the body’s energy currency) from fat or carbohydrates
- The management status of their blood sugar
- The possible deficiency of vitamins and minerals in their body
- The state of their intestinal function, including bacterial and fungal overgrowth often, due to poor digestion during training and competitions
- Their oxidative stress levels
- Levels of neurotransmitters, which can affect their mood and desire for training
- Oxalate levels associated with disorders such as nephrolithiasis, fibromyalgia and anemia
- The ability to remove toxins from their body.
The results of this analysis provide a detailed picture of the profile of 55 organic acids in urine, thus allowing the individualized approach and intervention to the examinee.