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Biomedical Testing: Organic Acids Test (OAT) for Autism, Depression and Anxiety.

Organic Acid Test (OAT).

This type of biomedical testing can be useful for people with the following conditions:





Here we take a look at some of the key information this test provides. The test examines over 70 different metabolites; we are going to take a brief look at some of them here.

Candida and other yeast overgrowths.

The organic acids test is another way to assess the state of your microflora. High levels of Tartaric Acid, Arabinose and other yeast markers give an indication as to whether a candida/yeast overgrowth may be going on in your gut. This is particularly relevant if this an individual also suffers with systemic yeast issues like thrush and athletes’ foot or digestive issues.

Clostridia overgrowth.

An overgrowth of clostridia in the gut can be seen via the metabolites HPHPA and sometimes 2-cresol. Clostridia thrive when antibiotics wipe out the other gut flora, in larger amounts it can be a neurotoxin, exerting its influence via the vagus nerve. I have seen this raised in people with autism and depression.


This specific test is useful for identifying oxalate issues. There are three markers for oxalate issues and if all of them are raised then it is something your practitioner needs to look at. This is vital information when non-verbal children may be in pain and unable to tell us. It is also useful to identify if this could be a factor in recurrent urinary tract issues.

Cellular function metabolites.

We can get information on function in the various cellular pathways . It allows us to understand if stress at a cellular level could be causing problems. It gives some insight as to whether mitochondrial dysfunction might be an issue. These are often affected by the state of the gut and digestion and can improve after intervention. We can glean information on oxidative stress and detoxification capacity from this test to.

Neurotransmitter metabolites.

Here we can see whether dopamine and/or serotonin function is compromised and find out whether there are markers of ‘brain inflammation’. We can understand whether issues with focus, concentration, mood, anxiety and behaviour are related to neurotransmitter issues.

Vitamin Markers.

If you want to find out about your B12 levels, this is more reliable than a blood test. A blood test shows levels of circulating B12 it does not tell you whether the B12 is being taken up and utilised by your cells. Methyl malonic acid is a better marker of B12 status.
Other vitamin metabolites that this test looks at are B6 (vital in mental health, immune system issues and autism spectrum disorders). The test also looks at B2 and the phosphoric acid marker can give information on vitamin D. We can get an insight on folate conversion too.

You can purchase an Organic Acid Test here.

Author: Sarah Hanratty

Sarah is a specialist practitioner at the Brain Food Clinic. She has a degree in Nutritional Medicine and is a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome Practitioner. Sarah helps people to overcome physical and mental health issues using bespoke nutritional protocols.

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