Publish Date

February 23, 2021

There are various laboratory tests useful in functional medicine. The Organic Acids Test (OAT) is one such profile which reveals a lot of important information that every integrative and functional medicine practitioner should learn how to interpret. This lecture will provide information useful for a new practitioner to the OAT and those more experienced in applying OAT information in clinical practice.

Functional Medicine And The Organic Acids Test (OAT) from The Great Plains Laboratory on Vimeo.

During the course of the Webinar, individuals were able to ask questions of the speaker. Because of time constraints, not all the questions were able to be answered in real time. We are happily able to answer those questions below.

Q: Is this Lactic acid the same that is elevated with sepsis?

A: Yes. It could be elevated because of sepsis.

Q: Is there any relationship between aspartame metabolism and the production of acetaldehyde?

A: I am not sure. That would be an interesting thing to research.

Q: Will the OAT aid in knowing about heavy metals?

A: Not specifically. You would need to do specific heavy metal testing like blood and/or hair analysis.

Q: Every time the need arises to be aware of CKD and filtration deficit – we have to know how to direct the OAT test to decreased GFR – but you have shrugged that off. How can we work with this kidney pandemic and OAT testing?

A: Mosaic Diagnostics does creatinine correction method on their urine samples which can help offset some the issues in kidney disease. There may be specific types of kidney disorders that would need special attention. The lab would know the answers to these scenarios. My recommendation is contact Mosaic Diagnostics directly and speak to one of their lab scientists.

Q: Could you explain more about B5 role in this? Why would it be high for example?

A: Vitamin B5, pantothenic acid, is the precursor to Coenzyme A, which combines with an Acetyl group, to become Acetyl-CoA. The enzyme Pyruvate Dehydrogenase which converts Pyruvic Acid to Acetyl-CoA needs the actions of Vitamin B1, B2 and B5, along with Magnesium, Lipoic Acid and NAD+.

Q: Are migraine headaches a sign of possible vitamin B2 deficiency?

A: They could be one cause. I know there has been some use of B2 for migraines. Personally, do not know a lot about the research into this situation.

Q: Do you prescribe a B complex or individual B’s? any favorite brands of B vitamins?

A: Most of the time I am starting people on a multi-vitamin/multi-mineral and use B-complex to boost things up as needed. In some cases where a singular nutrient really needs support, e.g., B6, B1, I will use them individually.

Q: Is there a reason why Clostridia and Candida would appear to be a indicator or problem on an OAT but not show up on a GI test?

A: This is common. Most labs are only looking for C. difficile associated toxins A &B on stool testing and there can be various of strains of C. diff. not associated with digestive system disease. Candida often does not culture on stool testing because of various unique evasive methods it has to become invasive at the mucosal level in the digestive system. Also, upregulation of immunity in the gut against Candida may impede its growth is stool samples.

Q: What would cause Aspartame to be high on an OAT if the person does not consume sugary foods or drinks and and has seizures and autism?

A: The markers 2-Hydroxyhippuric can occur from aspartame exposure, but things may elevate it too such as intestinal bacteria, aspirin consumption, artificial colors, and flavors in food.

Q: On a previous workshop you mentioned if amino acids appear low is of no significance but pay attention if high. Too often I see amino acid levels very low – would this not signal poor protein absorption/assimilation, perhaps related to dysbiosis? Hypochlorhydria? etc.

A: The Amino Acid Metabolite section on the Organic Acids Test is related to inborn errors of metabolism where various enzyme systems are compromised leading to inflated metabolites of amino acid pathways. There can be multiple chemical conversion steps that take a particular amino acid to its metabolic end-product. An enzyme defect along that path will alter pathway end-products but will also cause elevations of chemicals preceding the defect. Most of these disorders are seen in rare genetic diseases in children.

Q: I am interested in how to use OAT & Mycotoxin tests for mold diagnosis that I have as a patient. Do you have information on this in your online library?

A: Great Plains Laboratory has a library of webinars on their website. If you would like to consult me directly I would suggest becoming a member of Functional Medicine Clinical Rounds. Inside the website, you can schedule consults with me directly through the Lab Advising service.

The material contained within this article is not intended to replace the services and/or medical advice of a licensed healthcare practitioner, nor is it meant to encourage diagnosis and treatment of disease. It is for educational purposes only. Any application of suggestions set forth in the following portions of this article is at the reader’s discretion and sole risk. Implementation or experimentation with any supplements, herbs, dietary changes, medications, and/or lifestyle changes, etc., is done so at your sole risk and responsibility.

Kurt N. Woeller, DO

About the Author


Kurt N. Woeller, DO has been an integrative medicine physician and biomedical autism specialist for over 20+ years. He is an author of several health books including Autism – The Road To Recovery, Methyl-B12 Therapy For Autism, Methyl-B12 for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, and 5 Things You MUST Do Right Now To Help With Your Rheumatoid Arthritis. He is an international speaker, educator, and practicing clinician offering specialized interventions for individuals with complex medical conditions. His health consulting practice for autism alone is multinational with families from various countries. Dr. Woeller serves as a clinical and lab consult for Functional Medicine Clinical Rounds, as well as provides educational seminars for Great Plains Laboratory, LLC. He is co-founder of Integrative Medicine Academy, which is an online training academy for health practitioners learning integrative medicine.