Optimal Result: 0.02 - 0.22 mmol/mol creatinine.

3-Methyl-4-OH-Phenylglycol (MHPG) is a byproduct of the central nervous system’s norepinephrine (NE) metabolism. MHPG metabolizes to vanilmandelic acid (VMA) in the liver using the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Urinary MHPG was originally thought to represent CNS sympathetic output, but is now known to be principally derived from peripheral neuronal NE metabolism.

MHPG has been widely studied as a marker to predict response to medications used in mood disorders or as a biomarker to monitor pharmacotherapies.


- Robertson D, Low PA, Polinsky RJ. Primer on the Autonomic Nervous System. Academic Press; 2011.

-  Montoya A, Escobar R, Garcia-Polavieja MJ, et al. Changes of urine dihydroxyphenylglycol to norepinephrine ratio in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treated with atomoxetine. J Child Neurol. 2011;26(1):31-36.

- Hopkins SC, Sunkaraneni S, Skende E, et al. Pharmacokinetics and Exposure-Response Relationships of Dasotraline in the Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults. Clin Drug Invest. 2016;36(2):137-146.

- Garvey M, Hollon SD, DeRubeis RJ, Evans MD, Tuason V. Does 24-h urinary MHPG predict treatment response to antidepressants? I. A review. J Affect Dis. 1990;20(3):173-179.

- Perry G, Fitzsimmons B, Shapiro L, Irwin P. Clinical study of mianserin, imipramine and placebo in depression: blood level and MHPG correlations. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1978;5(S1):35S-41S.

- Eisenhofer G, Kopin IJ, Goldstein DS. Catecholamine metabolism: a contemporary view with implications for physiology and medicine. Pharmacol Rev. 2004;56(3):331-349.

- Mardh G, Luehr CA, Vallee BL. Human class I alcohol dehydrogenases catalyze the oxidation of glycols in the metabolism of norepinephrine. Pro Nat Acad Sci USA. 1985;82(15):4979-4982.

- Freedman RR. Biochemical, metabolic, and vascular mechanisms in menopausal hot flashes. Fertility Sterility. 1998;70(2):332-337.

- Freedman RR. Pathophysiology and treatment of menopausal hot flashes. Paper presented at: Seminars in reproductive medicine2005.

- Gaweesh SS, Abdel-Gawad MMM, Nagaty AM, Ewies AAA. Folic acid supplementation may cure hot flushes in postmenopausal women: a prospective cohort study. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010;26(9):658-662.

- Müller HU, Riemann D, Berger M, Müller W. The influence of total sleep deprivation on urinary excretion of catecholamine metabolites in major depression. Acta Psych Scand. 1993;88(1):16- 20.

- Baliga L, Rao A, Raja A, Rao SN. A study of urinary excretion of biogenic amine metabolites in epilepsy. Acta Neurol Scand. 1983;68(6):413-416.

- Garvey MJ, Tollefson GD, Orsulak PJ. Elevations of urinary MHPG in depressed patients with panic attacks. Psychiatry Res. 1987;20(3):183-187.

- Frankenhaeuser M, Lundberg U, Rauste von Wright M, von Wright J, Sedvall G. Urinary monoamine metabolites as indices of mental stress in healthy males and females. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1986;24(6):1521-1525.

- Lehnert H. Pheochromocytoma: Pathophysiology and Clinical Management. Vol 31: Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers; 2004.

- Seiden LS, Miller FE, Heffner TG. Neurotransmitters in Attention Deficit Disorder. Attention Deficit Disord Pod: Attention Deficit Disord Pod. 2013:223.

- Schildkraut JJ, Orsulak PJ, Schatzberg AF, et al. Toward a biochemical classification of depressive disorders. I. Differences in urinary excretion of MHPG and other catecholamine metabolites in clinically defined subtypes of depressions. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(12):1427-1433.

- Gerner RH, Gwirtsman HE. Abnormalities of dexamethasone suppression test and urinary MHPG in anorexia nervosa. Am J Psych. 1981.

What does it mean if your 3-Methyl-4-OH-phenylglycol result is too high?

The role of hepatic alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase explains the clinical observations that ethanol consumption decreases the excretion of VMA, while increasing MHPG.

Because norepinephrine is involved in the pathophysiology of hot flashes in postmenopausal women, MHPG levels have been studied in this patient population.

Interestingly, folic acid was found to interact with receptors causing subjective improvement in symptoms.

Sleep deprivation can act as a stimulus to the peripheral sympathetic nervous system, which can influence central nervous noradrenergic neurotransmitter levels and elevate MHPG.

As a central nervous system metabolite, levels can correlate with central catecholaminergic disturbances, as in anxiety and seizures.

Elevated MHPG levels have also been associated with the stress response.

Pheochromocytomas are rare, mostly benign tumors of the adrenal medulla which can secrete catecholamines causing a wide array of sympathetic symptoms. These tumors contain MAO and COMT. They can therefore produce MHPG. However, because peripheral sympathetic nerves can also contribute to high MHPG, using MHPG for diagnosis of pheochromocytoma limited. VMA is also not very sensitive for diagnosis of pheochromocytoma because it can be made in the liver from MHPG. Although neither organic acid is diagnostic of pheochromocytoma, it is possible to see elevations of these analytes in the disease.

What does it mean if your 3-Methyl-4-OH-phenylglycol result is too low?

Since catecholamines are made from dopamine, low levels of the MHPG metabolite can result from low levels of dopamine, dopamine amino acid precursors, nutrient enzymatic cofactor deficiencies in dopamine metabolism, and overall methylation defects. Low levels of MHPG have been correlated to mood and behavioral disorders, anorexia, and ADHD.

Frequently asked questions

Unlock Your Health Journey with Healthmatters.io! Ever wished for a one-stop digital health haven for all your lab tests? Look no further! Healthmatters.io is your personalized health dashboard, bringing together test reports from any lab. Say goodbye to scattered results—organize and centralize your lab data effortlessly. Dive into the details of each biomarker and gain insights into the meaning behind your medical test data.

Join the community of thousands who've transformed the way they understand their lab results. Experience the joy of having all your lab data neatly organized, regardless of where or when the tests were done.

For our professional users, Healthmatters.io is a game-changer. Revel in the intuitive tools that not only streamline analysis but also save valuable time when delving into your client's lab report history. It's not just a dashboard; it's your gateway to a smarter, more informed health journey!

Healthmatters.io personal account provides in-depth research on 4000+ biomarkers, including information and suggestions for test panels such as, but not limited to:

  • The GI Effects® Comprehensive Stool Profile,
  • GI-MAP,
  • The NutrEval FMV®,
  • The ION Profile,
  • Amino Acids Profile,
  • Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones (DUTCH),
  • Organic Acids Test,
  • Organix Comprehensive Profile,
  • Toxic Metals,
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC),
  • Metabolic panel,
  • Thyroid panel,
  • Lipid Panel,
  • Urinalysis,
  • And many, many more.

You can combine all test reports inside your Healthmatters account and keep them in one place. It gives you an excellent overview of all your health data. Once you retest, you can add new results and compare them.

If you are still determining whether Healthmatters support your lab results, the rule is that if you can test it, you can upload it to Healthmatters.

While we do talk about popular labs, we welcome reports from lots of other places too. It's as simple as this: if you can get a test done, you can upload it to Healthmatters. We can interpret results from any lab out there. If laboratories can analyze it, we can interpret it.

Still on the hunt for a specific biomarker? Just tell us, and we'll add it to our database. Anything from blood, urine, saliva, or stool can be uploaded, understood, and tracked with your Healthmatters account!

There are two ways to add your test reports to your healthmatters.io account. One option is to input the data using the data entry forms. The other method is to utilize our "Data entry service."

Our data entry forms offer an easy, fast, and free way for you to input the reports yourself. Self-entry allows you to add an unlimited number of reports at no cost. We make the self-entry process user-friendly, providing dozens of templates that pre-populate the most popular laboratory panels and offering instant feedback on entered values.

For those who prefer assistance, we offer a "Data entry service" to help you input your data. Simply attach an image or file of your lab test results, and a qualified team member from our data entry team will add the results for you. We support various file types, including PDFs, JPGs, or Excel. This service is particularly useful if you have many reports to upload or if you're too busy to handle the data entry yourself.

Our special data entry service makes it easy to add your results to your private dashboard. Just attach an image or a file of your lab test results, and our skilled data entry team will do the work for you. It's all done by humans, ensuring that your data is entered accurately and with personal care for each client.

Depending on your account, the data entry service can be included for free or come at an additional cost of $15 per report.

For users on the Complete monthly plan, the first report is entered free of charge, and each additional report incurs a fee of $15.

Unlimited account holders enjoy the entry of ten reports without charge. Subsequent reports are subject to a $15 fee per report.

Additionally, users on the Complete plan can upgrade to a yearly subscription from the account settings. The annual subscription includes a data entry service for five reports.

The Unlimited plan is a one-time purchase for $250, and it covers your account for a lifetime with no additional payments.

For the Complete plan, the cost is $15 per month. You have the flexibility to cancel it anytime through your account settings, ensuring no further payments. To avoid charges, remember to cancel at least a day before the renewal date. Once canceled, the subscription remains active until the end of the current billing cycle.

Additionally, you can upgrade to the yearly Advanced plan from within your account. The annual cost is $79, and it comes with a data entry service for five reports.

You can always upgrade to a lifetime version with a prorated price from a monthly or yearly subscription.

Simply log in and navigate to your account settings to cancel your subscription. Scroll down to locate the 'Cancel' button at the bottom of the page. Ensure you cancel at least one day before the renewal date to prevent any charges. Once cancellation is requested, the subscription remains active until the conclusion of the current billing cycle.

Unlocking the insights from your lab tests has never been this intuitive! We've crafted multiple ways for you to navigate your data, whether you're glancing at a single report or delving into a treasure trove of testing data.

1. Graph View:

Dive into a visual journey with our biomarker graphs, showcasing over 40 data points. Combining years of results unveils trends, empowering you to make informed decisions. Our visualization tools make it a breeze to compare and understand changes over time, even if your results are from different labs. A search function and filters simplify the exploration of extensive data, allowing you to focus on what needs attention.

2. All Tests View

Get a quick grasp of your test reports in minutes! Explore neatly organized reports on a timeline, highlighting crucial details like dates, critical results, and lab/panel names. Each report opens up to reveal in-depth descriptions and additional recommendations for each biomarker. The history of previous results is just a click away, and you can download a comprehensive report for deeper insights. Color-coded and user-friendly, it's designed for easy reading, understanding, and navigation.

3. Table View:

For a holistic view of all biomarkers side by side, our table view is your go-to. Results are neatly displayed in a categorized and dated table, ideal for those with an extensive test history. Utilize sorting, filters, and color-coding to enhance your analysis and gain extra insights.

Experience the power of clear, organized data visualization with Healthmatters.io — your key to understanding and taking charge of your health journey!

Yes, you can download information from your account. We can compile your labs into a CSV file. To download all your labs, you can go to Account Settings, and at the bottom of the page, you will find a link to download your information.

Yes, you can print your report. To do so, navigate to "All tests" and open the report you wish to print. You'll find a print button in the right corner of the report. Click on it, and your browser's print window will open. If you prefer to print in a bigger typeface, adjust the scale using the print window settings.

A personal account is all about keeping your own lab test results in check. It's just for you and your personal use.

The professional or business account is designed for health professionals who wish to track and organize their clients' laboratory results.

Use promo code to save 10% off any plan.

We implement proven measures to keep your data safe.

At HealthMatters, we're committed to maintaining the security and confidentiality of your personal information. We've put industry-leading security standards in place to help protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information under our control. We use procedural, physical, and electronic security methods designed to prevent unauthorized people from getting access to this information. Our internal code of conduct adds additional privacy protection. All data is backed up multiple times a day and encrypted using SSL certificates. See our Privacy Policy for more details.