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Altern Med Rev. 2008 Dec;13(4):292-306.

Clinical applications of urinary organic acids. Part 2. Dysbiosis markers.

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Metametrix Institute, 3425 Corporate Way, Duluth, Georgia, USA.


Part 1 of this series focused on urinary organic acids as markers of detoxification; part 2 focuses on dysbiosis markers. Intestinal microbial growth is accompanied by the release of products of their metabolism that may be absorbed and excreted in urine. Several organic acids are known to be specific products of bacterial metabolic action on dietary polyphenols or unassimilated amino acids or carbohydrates. Associated gastrointestinal or neurological symptoms may result from irritation of the intestinal mucosa or systemic distribution of absorbed neurotoxic products. Detection of abnormally elevated levels of these products is a useful diagnostic tool for patients with gastrointestinal or toxicological symptoms. Test profiles of urinary organic acids associated with microbial overgrowth can include benzoate, hippurate, phenylacetate, phenylpropionate, cresol, hydroxybenzoate, hydroxyphenylacetate, hydroxyphenylpropionate and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylpropionate, indican, tricarballylate, D-lactate, and D-arabinitol. Effective treatments for the associated microbial overgrowths may be directed at reducing microbial populations, introducing favorable microbes, and restoring intestinal mucosal integrity.

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