Laboratory Spotlight: The Organic Acid Test

Dr. Tasreen Alibhai, N.D.
Dr. Tasreen Alibhai

Do you experience symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, reduced mental alertness, gastrointestinal symptoms (such as gas and bloating) and mood imbalances? I frequently see patients in my clinic who are experiencing some of these symptoms. Many of them have recently completed blood work with their physician and are told all labs are within range and everything is normal. The problem is these patients do not feel well and are looking for treatment options to improve their health. This type of patient may be a great candidate for an Organic Acid Test (OAT)

A comprehensive assessment of your metabolism

In this article, I will be discussing one of my favorite and commonly used laboratory tests, the Organic Acid Test (OAT) This test is a great tool that provides an overall assessment or “snapshot” of what may be metabolically occurring in a person’s body.

It is one of my favorite tests because it provides so much information about a person’s overall health. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I can use this information, together with a patient’s health history, to develop a treatment plan addressing the key metabolic imbalances found from the test. This can help guide recommendations in diet, lifestyle and supplements.

The OAT only requires a simple first morning urine sample. Organic acids are chemical compounds excreted in the urine that are the products of metabolism. They are often present at 100X their concentration compared to blood. Click here for a sample report

By assessing these key areas of a person’s metabolism, we can get valuable information on possible areas to consider for treatment. For example, if a person is experiencing brain fog, fatigue, skin rashes, gas, bloating, loose stools and/or constipation, the OAT can be used to test for metabolites related to mold toxins, yeast toxins and bacterial toxins. If found in significant amounts, a yeast/ bacterial treatment may be helpful in treating those symptoms.
Some of the nutrients evaluated for deficiencies include folic acid, glutathione, B12, B6, B5, B2, CoQ10 and biotin. These are important nutrients for energy production.

The OAT evaluates mitochondrial function within our cells. This is where our energy is produced. Our cells metabolize the nutrients we eat (carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids) and produce energy. The OAT gives us a snapshot of how well our mitochondria is functioning to produce energy. We need energy to run our body. Especially our brain, nervous system, cardiovascular system, immune system and digestive system. Anything that impairs our mitochondria may affect these systems. The patient may experience fatigue, brain fog, reduced capacity to handle physical or mental stress and mood imbalances.
The OAT provides information on how well our body metabolizes carbohydrates and fatty acids. If there is a deficiency in fatty acid metabolism, dietary recommendations and certain nutrients may improve the way the body metabolizes fat to produce energy.

As you can see, the Organic Acid test is a great tool that provides a snapshot of a person’s metabolism that may help in producing energy, improving mental alertness and assist in the treatment of Gastrointestinal problems. I frequently use this test in complex cases where the patient does not feel well but all lab test results are within normal range. It’s a simple test that only requires a morning urine sample. For more information on this test or any of the lab tests we offer, please give us a call at 604-566-9355.

Yours in health,
Dr Tasreen Alibhai, ND