A Deeper Look at the Amino Acid Metabolite Mitochondrial Markers on the Organic Acids Test


Kurt Woeller, DO, FMAPS


The mitochondria produce large amounts of ATP through its metabolism of fats and amino acids. However, only certain amino acids get metabolized for precursor molecules used in the mitochondrial for Krebs Cycle activity and eventual electron transport chain sequencing. The Mitochondrial Markers – Amino Acid Metabolites section of the OAT often shows elevated markers. This lecture by Kurt N. Woeller, DO will explore this section of the OAT in more detail and discuss the clinical relevance of these markers.

Q: Would this test reveal perturbations in thiamine status (sufficiency/deficiency, function, other), and if so — how?

A: Only as a reflection of lactic acid levels, and certain markers within the Amino Acid Metabolites (#62-#66).


Q: Would this test reveal perturbations in ALDEHYDE metabolism? Can it distinguish between exogenous exposure; excess endogenous formation; triggering of endogenous cellular defense mechanism; other…?

A: Arabinose (marker #7) is an aldehyde. Other organic acid structures could be checked for aldehyde status. There is always the possibility within certain markers biochemically that its elevation could be influenced by exogenous exposure, but a representative elevated acid could be triggered for multiple reasons. The OAT is not going to identify specifically exogenous aldehydes specifically that I am aware of.


Q: Would this test reveal the status of mitochondrial form and function?

A: The OAT does provide information about the function of mitochondrial activity.


Q: In other words, would it reveal the Healing and Aging Cycle stage? (ref RK Naviaux) Would it indicate changes in mitochondrial membrane permeability?

A: The OAT is not going to get that detailed into mitochondrial permeability. However, mitochondrial membrane disruption could be one reason OAT mitochondrial markers are elevated.


Q: What does elevated suberic acid imply?

A: This is commonly associated with a fasting state but could indicate poor cellular fat metabolism. Generally, the use of L-carnitine is helpful.

Q: Do you use plasma amino acids test along with Organic Acids Test for the information you talk about today? Can we see changes in plasma amino acids when OAT is abnormal?

A: It is possible to see plasma amino acid levels out of balance in relation to certain deficiency states or genetic influences on amino acid pathways.


Q: I am a bit confused if you said marker 31 is a Leucine or Lysine metabolite?

A: Markers #30 and #32 are linked to leucine, and marker #31 is linked to lysine.

Kurt Woeller DO

About the Author

Kurt Woeller, DO, FMAPS

Kurt N. Woeller, DO, FMAPS, is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, integrative and functional medicine physician, and biomedical Autism Treatment Specialist in clinical practice for over 25 years.

Dr. Woeller is the education director and main course developer for his Integrative Medicine Academy (https://integrativemedicineacademy.com), an online academy for health professionals. He is also the Organic Acids Test (OAT) seminar creator and presenter for Mosaic Diagnostics Laboratory (formally Great Plains Laboratory’s GPL Academy) Mosaic EDGE seminars and has been involved in monthly educational webinars for GPL/Mosaic Diagnostics, and other organizations for over a decade.

His private practice, Sunrise Functional Medicine (https://mysunrisecenter.com), focuses on specialized diagnostic testing and treatments for individuals with complex medical conditions like autism, autoimmune, gastrointestinal, certain neurological disorders, and other chronic health conditions. Dr. Woeller is a Fellow of the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS).

He has served as a clinical consultant for various laboratory companies, i.e., Great Plains Laboratory, BioHealth Laboratory, providing health practitioner education regarding functional and integrative medicine.

You can follow Dr. Woeller for ongoing education articles and videos through his Substack at https://drwoeller.substack.com/ and his YouTube channel for Integrative Medicine Academyhttps://www.youtube.com/@integrativemedicineacademy. Finally, listen to Dr. Woeller’s latest health professional interviews through his Functional Medicine Doc Talk Podcast – https://functionalmedicinedoctalk.com.