Dysbiosis is the condition of having microbial imbalances on or within the body. This can happen anywhere on the body, but typically is discussed in terms of the digestive tract. The Organix Profile focuses on these imbalances in the small intestine by measuring compounds in the urine that are only made by bacteria. The chemicals made by these bacteria in the small intestine are absorbed into the blood stream and excreted via the kidneys. When found in high amounts in the urine these compounds can indicate an overgrowth of a certain species of bacteria or yeast. Symptoms of dysbiosis can range anywhere from asymptomatic to gas, bloating, and constipation or diarrhea.
Under the Bacterial – general section of the Organix profile (see below), we can’t tell you what bacteria is overgrown, but a healthy bowel should not have elevations in any of the bacterial byproducts measured. When there are elevations in these compounds it means that particular bacteria are present in greater amounts than normal.
Notice in the example below that there are three compounds that are elevated, and one of those three (#6) is above the 95th percentile, meaning that 95 percent of people measured have values below that number. This could be considered intestinal dysbiosis that can be remedied by the introduction of probiotics to crowd out the over-grown bacteria. In more severe cases like this one below, the combination of probiotics with anti-microbials such as berberine, grapefruit seed extract, or oregano oil might need to be employed to help restore balance.
One thing to note when benzoate is high is that although bacteria do make it, it also comes from our diet in the form of the preservative sodium benzoate. Benzoate is then converted to hippurate in phase II liver detox. So if levels of these two compounds are high in your patient’s urine, ask about intake such as hot dogs, sausages, pickles, and cranberry juice, or any foods that list sodium benzoate on the label.
The final sections of the dysbiosis section of the Organix identify specific bacteria or yeast overgrowths in the patients small bowel.
D-lactate elevations indicate an overgrowth of the Lactobacillus acidophilus species of bacteria. This is a common probiotic given, and works quite well in normal amounts. In some cases, however, this bacteria can overgrow and produce too much of its metabolic byproduct, D-lactate. D-lactate elevations in the blood (lactic acidosis) can cause your patient to feel brain fog, cause headaches, or lead to minor neurological symptoms. The lactobacillus sp. of bacteria thrive on sugar and simple carbohydrates, so when D-lactate is high, recommend a diet low in sugar while working to restore balance. You might also supplement with Bifidobacter sp. probiotics.
Clostridia overgrowth in the small bowel can be detected in the urine by the measurement of 3, 4-dihydrophenylproprionate. Saccharomyces boulardi, a friendly yeast, has been shown to be an effective intervention in decreasing clostridial overgrowth.
The final marker on the Organix Profile is D-arabinitol. This compound is made by intestinal candida (yeast), and when found in high amounts in the urine is a good indicator of small intestinal yeast overgrowth. Effective anti-fungal agents include oregano oil, undecylenic acid, or garlic. Yeast also thrive off of sugar and simple carbohydrates, so limiting these in the diet are crucial to treating this overgrowth.
In summary, identifying any imbalances in these byproducts of bacteria and/or yeast metabolism in the small bowel can help with designing effective therapies to rid your patients of symptoms such as gas, bloating, or intestinal discomfort.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts on steps to understanding the Organix Profile. I find this profile to be essential in helping to treat patients, I hope you will too. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
On that note, I just wanted to remind you that Metametrix offers complimentary consultative services (clinicians only) on all of the laboratory tests you order, so please call (800-221-4640) and make an appointment today to talk to one of the clinical educators!