2-Methylhippurate is a byproduct of detoxification of the common solvent xylene. Urinary excretion of 2-methylhippurate is a sensitive and specific marker for xylene exposure which increases oxidative stress.
What is Xylene?
Elevations indicate an exposure to this potentially toxic compound found in paint, varnishes, paint thinners, solvents, and many aerosols. Such exposures increase the burden on liver detoxification. An abundant supply of glycine (an amino acid) and vitamin B5 are important for removing xylene from the body.
Sources of Xylene:
- Automotive emissions: poor emission-control devices on older vehicles, poor maintenance practices, aviation fuel, waste and landfill sites, localized industrial discharges and spillage incidents, tobacco smoke.
- Household: topical contact or inhalation of varnish/polishers, paint, paint thinner, paint remover, shellac, rust preventatives, lacquers, inks, dyes, adhesives, cleaning fluids, degreasing agents, household cleaning products.
- Used as a solvent for rubbers, synthetic resins, gums, inks, paint.
- Fabric and leather treatments.
- Used in the synthesis of plasticizers and in the manufacture of polyester fiber, film, insecticide formulations, and perfumes.
Industry: paint and printing ink industries, automobile body and related repairs, photographic processing, rubber, leather, plastics and textile industries, flooring contractor.
If 2-methylhippurate comes back elevated, it means that you have ongoing exposure to (at least) xylene and probably other chemicals. It may also indicate insufficient glycine levels for detoxifying xylene, etc.
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