The Unfamiliar OAT
by Dr. Isabel SharkarUnlike the oats most people are familiar with, this OAT (Organic Acids Test) is not edible. The Organic Acids Test (OAT) is a simple urine test that assesses urine metabolites in order to evaluate four critical areas of metabolism—gastrointestinal function, energy production, neurotransmitter processing and amino acid/organic acid balance. Organic acids are metabolic byproducts of cellular metabolism. They provide an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria, which often excrete several abnormal organic acids. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, headache, digestion, fatigue, immune function, and muscular or joint pain.
This test is good for anyone looking to produce more energy. Upon treatment, patients and practitioners have reported significant improvement such as decreased fatigue, regular bowel function, increased energy and alertness, increased concentration, improved verbal skills, less hyperactivity and decreased abdominal pain.
The OAT measures gastrointestinal malabsorption and dysbiosis, which may result in chronic digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies, yeast overgrowth, cognitive impairment, gastrointestinal distress and degenerative conditions. It also measures energy production by looking at metabolites that serve as important intermediates in the citric acid (Krebs) cycle. This cycle supplies the body with its primary needs, converting 90 percent of food energy into cellular energy. It assesses carbohydrate metabolites that can signal impaired glucose metabolism, evaluates breakdown of fats and production of cholesterol and coenzyme Q10. Imbalances of cellular energy metabolites may result in chronic fatigue, accelerated cell breakdown and unhealthy aging.
The OAT also looks at key aspects of neuropsychiatric function by evaluating a special group of urinary neurotransmitter metabolites. These metabolites of powerful central nervous system neurotransmitters like epinehprine, dopamine and serotonin can profoundly influence patterns of stress response, emotional well-being, cognition and sleep. Lastly, the OAT analyzes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, coenzymes, elements, enzyme activators and other nutrients.
Overall, the OAT assesses
- Vitamin, mineral and amino acid insufficiencies
- Oxidative damage and antioxidant sufficiency markers
- Functional markers of B-complex deficiency
- Neurotransmitter metabolites to assess central nervous system function
- Lipoic acid and CoQ10 sufficiency markers
- Dysbiosis markers for bacterial and yeast overgrowth
Dr. Isabel Sharkar, ND, is a licensed naturopathic physician and co-owner of Indigo Integrative Health Clinic, in Georgetown. For more information, visit IndigoHealthClinic.com or call 202-298-9131.