Why The Organic Acid Test And What Does It Tell You?
The organic acid test (OAT) from Great Plains lab in my opinion is one of the most useful diagnostic tolls other than a spectracell test. You may be asking why I hold this test to such high regard right? Okay first let me say I’m not a doctor, but I wish more doctors had a brain like mine. I say this because with any chronic may I say “invisible illness” standard tests and narrow-minded thinking will not work here. It takes a really intuitive practitioner to have the foresight to put the symptom puzzle together and the OAT test proves what is going on. The OAT test has become very popular amongst functional medicine doctors and dietitians. This urine-based test provides a wealth of information about the functioning of various bodily systems and can be used to identify possible nutrient deficiencies, gut dysbiosis, and more.
More importantly there really is not one other test on the market that shows all of these results;
- Errors In Metabolism
- Gut Dysbiosis
- Ketosis or Poor Metabolism
- Mitochondrial Dysfunction
- Poor Detoxification
- Oxidative Stress
- Neurotransmitter Metabolism
- Impaired Fatty Acid Metabolism
- Mold, Candida and Oxalates
I took it upon myself to run this on my own from this website here. The great thing about this website is they give you an interpretation as well. I did this because I knew I had some issues with oxalates and also living in a home that is damp pushed my actions to appease my ever so hungry brain for pie charts and test markers.
So, What Did I Find In My Test Results?
So, the OAT test revealed a lot of what I already knew and a lot I did not. Going into this I knew I had things like low B6 (most likely attributed to oxalates) poor antioxidant status and some mold issues.
The results were shocking to me and really were eye opening. This was the best money I’ve spent so far on a test, and my 8 files of tests over the last 6 years just got jealous. In this blog article I wanted to highlight some of my own test results and how that correlates to my health dilemma starting with the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. If you do not know what those are please search that class of drugs and never take them as there are safer alternatives. After reading this article I hope you will see some correlation and similarities you may have as well. At the end you will find my test results and a protocol I designed to treat the fungus and candida all for download.
Mold, Yes That Fungus Among Us.
So, I live outside of Boston, MA which in my area has a damper humid climate. This type of environment is amazing if you like crappy weather, rain and dreary days. All kidding aside the weather is what creates a perfect storm for mold growth most of the year. My home is brick and rather damp so its basically a mold fiesta in my home. Mycotoxins are some of the most prevalent toxins in the environment. So, mold is the first problem, but mycotoxins are metabolites produced by fungi like mold, which can infest buildings, vehicles, and foodstuffs. A majority of mycotoxin exposures are through food ingestion or airborne exposure. Unfortunately, mycotoxins are resistant to heat and many processing procedures. Fungi i.e. mold can grow on almost any surface, especially if the environment is warm and wet. Inner wall materials of buildings, wallpaper, fiberglass insulation, ceiling tiles, and gypsum support are all good surfaces for fungi to colonize. These fungi then release mycotoxins into the environment causing symptoms of many different chronic diseases
Ice Pick Like Pains
Vibrating or pulsing sensations
Tingling in the body
Depression and anxiety
Chest pain and shortness of breath
So, my OAT test showed that I have some issues with a certain mold Aspergillus. This mold produces mycotoxins (this is what drives your immune system crazy). As you can see in my test results below this proves my theories about my heightened immune system.
As you can see my #2 marker (5-Hydroxy-methyl-furoic Acid) is high and it shows that a metabolite produced by Aspergillus and possibly other fungal species in my GI tract. Moreover marker #4 (Furan-2,5-dicarboxylic) is also high and is a metabolite produced by Aspergillus and possibly other fungal species in the GI tract.
Did you know that mold and mycotoxins can assist in the production of oxalates? I will address this later in the article but for now let us review what I’m doing about this to remove the mold from my system. So, I have done a lot a research and I feel that natural antifungals can really help reduce the mold and mycotoxins from my system. At the end of this article you can find my protocol in a downloadable PDF. Some of the best sources I have found online for supplements that work to remove many types of mold and mycotoxins are;
These two supplements in my opinion are great because they are broad spectrum antifungals. While treating the mold and their mycotoxins you have to also take what is called a binder. I have found that for my specific mycotoxin profile in the gliotoxin family that these supplements work best;
Saccharomyces Boulardii (I know it’s a yeast, but it works)
Finally, before going on to Candida and how some doctors feel it is also a gliotoxin and has some moldy attributes I want to also talk about biofilms. Biofilms are in the simplest terms a suite of armor around a group of bacteria or fungi. This newly formed army of bacteria or fungi use polysaccharides to form a goo that holds them together. Why is this bad, well its much harder to break up a colony versus a single organism? So, while treating mold, candida or mycotoxins you need to address BIOFILM. Below are some things that can help bring down biofilm. At the end of this article I have a PDF download with my protocol I designed to assist you with this and a neat air purifier that effectively destroys mycotoxins in my home.
As you start treating some of these offenders your body will react because of the release of those mycotoxins in the body and its biofilms. We want to ensure these invaders do not get recycled in the enterohepatic system and get back to where they came from we must use binders! I personally like GI detox and Tudca. That should get all of the pathogens to the gut and released to the stool. Any other pathogens left over you would need to detox in a IR sauna. Please see my reccomendation below for a great low EMF sauna under $600.
Candida, the yeast you do not want to arm wrestle with
Over the years I’ve heard of Candida and the supplement companies scare tactics that work and have you running out to buy supplements. Here is all you need to know about Candida and how to mitigate this pathogenic yeast. Candida is a tough thing to get out of your system. First off if you have leaky gut you most likely do now because Candida gets everywhere in your GI tract. Some say it is a gliotoxin. Candida is hard to really get to the bottom of because any sugar and or carbohydrate can feed the Candida problem. Candida craves sugar and your cravings for sugar can be a biochemical signal from the Candida to feed them. Candida once in the gut flourishes on a high sugar high carb diet and creates the following symptoms;
- Chronic Fatigue
- Brain Fog (from aldehydes)
- Digestive Issues
- Recurring UTI
- Food Sensitivities
As you can see my OAT test shows some markers for Candida. Also, Candida is fueling my oxalate production in my body creating more of a problem, but more on that later.
Main yeast marker is Arabinose, as you can see my high elevations indicate an overgrowth of candida in the digestive system. Another level is the Citramalic, my level was high.
So, to treat this I’m using all the antifungals I’ve added some candida specific supplements to assist. You basically need to create an environment that Candida hates. Candida is a bully so if you get enough good guys i.e. beneficial bacteria and take away Candida’s sugar it’s a one two punch to eradicate it. I’m supplementing with only the best producer of candida specific supplements from a great company in Florida called Microbiome labs. I use three products listed below to eradicate the mold, assist in healing the gut wall and recruiting some good beneficial bacteria.
Finally, you need to make sure you cut down on sugars and carbs for at least 30 days. This is the hardest part for me because I love fruits, but I must do without them for a while. Also adding Biocidin and Saccharomyces Boulardii can really help break up some of those colonized Candida and get them ready to be excreted in the stool. The last adjunct supplement I would like to mention is NAC and Glutathione. These are potent antioxidants and the liver assistants that mop up junk in the system. So, adding these can help you clean house after a detox. There is so many protocols to follow and a great book to read is Toxic by Dr Neil Nathan.
Oxalates, The last piece of the puzzle.
So, a quick overview of oxalates first so you understand what they are and what they do. You can also read my in-depth article here on oxalates. Oxalates Oxalic acid is an organic compound found in many plants. These include leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, cocoa, nuts and seeds. In plants, it’s usually bound to minerals, forming oxalate. The terms “oxalic acid” and “oxalate” are used interchangeably in nutrition science.
So why are we talking about oxalates here. Well the problem with oxalates starts with the bacteria that really breakdown these plant compounds. That bacteria are called Oxalobacter formigenes and without it you will have more free soluble and insoluble oxalates in the body. If you want to SEE MORE SEE MY BLOG ON OXALATES. An antibiotic I had taken called Cipro destroys this bacteria in the gut. So now my body does not really have the capacity to breakdown these compounds. Also, I have a genetic SNP that produces endogenous oxalates in the body. More on this topic later and why everyone’s liver makes a small number of oxalates in the body. So, what are the symptoms of high oxalates in the body you may ask?
Pain in connective tissues
Joint problems and tendinitis
Mood and cognitive disturbances
Digestive Problems and so many more.
From my OAT test you can see I have high oxalate levels in both food and internal pathways. This is a big problem for me, and I’ve known that for quite some time. Every sweet potatoes and almond cookie left me sore and the next day a sandy stool in the toilet. So, what is the correlation between Candida, mold and oxalates.
First oxalates can be a problem on their own and that may be enough to stress you out. However, when you add candida to the mix there is a shunt in the Krebs cycle (the start of energy production in cells by taking glucose and making pyruvate which generates ATP eventually) that will produce some oxalates. The reason it does this (shown below) is candida will shunt and convert energy a quicker way via the glyoxylate pathway *shown below. Both Candida and mold both have the enzyme capacity to shunt the Krebs cycle. Every human will create oxalates in the body in three ways via from three sources: liver cells (endogenously), yeast species (exogenously), and food (also exogenous).
So, you may have mold and fungi issues and not even know it that is creating oxalates in the body. So, you may ask what I am doing about all this. Well I created a protocol to help me get some of the mold and candida out *SEE BELOW. I’m going slow at this because I’m getting reactions from my immune system for sure. I purchased a few books on the subject, a massive air purifier and some other biohackery to get the job done. The next 6 months will be killing the mold and yeast and go on a low oxalate diet. I will post all the links and recommendations below.
In summary I suggest you get an OAT test to see if your having issues with oxalates and maybe you can finally get to the bottom of your pain and digestives issues. I hope these articles are informative, insightful and helpful. Please take a moment to comment below and I will answer any question you may have. Also please join my mailing list to get all the updates, blog articles and any relevant health topics I will discuss.