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Amino Acids - Urine and Plasma

Urine and Plasma amino acid tests provide different views into body function. Amino acid levels help assess inborn errors of metabolism, vitamin and mineral functional deficiencies, protein intolerance, or lack of weight gain or weight loss. Urine amino acids have been discarded by the body as excess, or are being "wasted" because of kidney malfunction or nutritional imbalance. Plasma amino acid testing shows the circulation amino acids available for building structural proteins, for building immunoglobulins, and transport and storage of proteins. Amino acid testing my also reveal underlying causes of vomiting, stones, lethargy, fatigue, muscle weakness, or seizures. Besides levels of essential and non-essential amino acids, the amino acid test contains gastrointestinal, neurological and detoxification markers, and combinations of amino acid levels indicate magnesium status, B vitamin, and urea cycle status.

Benefits

  • More information when weighing treatment options
  • Clarification of diagnoses suggested by other testing
  • Indications for modifying diet

Treatment options

Depending on test results, suggestions can include

  • Modify diet: increase or decrease total protein, or increase specific amino acid groups
  • Increase or modify vitamins and antioxidant intake
  • Supplement with beneficial bacteria and nutrients that support GI flora
  • Reduce exposure to toxic chemicals

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Insurance Information

Aetna Anthem Care First Cigna United Health Care