Metabolic Analysis Markers (Urine)

a-Ketophenylacetic Acid (from Styrene)

Optimal Result: 0 - 0.46 mmol/mol creatinine.

a-Ketophenylacetic Acid is a toxic breakdown product related to Styrene.

What is Styrene?

Styrene is a flammable liquid that is used to make polystyrene plastics, fiberglass, rubber, and latex. It occurs naturally in some fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, and beverages.

Where is Styrene found?

- Consumer products – cigarettes, and many packaging, household, and building products

- Air – emissions from styrene-based products, cigarettes, vehicle exhaust, and copy machines

- Food and water – containing styrene from naturally occurring sources or contamination

What happens when I am exposed to Styrene?

Exposure to styrene can cause:

- Irritation to the eyes, skin, and nose
- Gastrointestinal effects
- Respiratory effects

Long-term exposure to styrene can cause:

- Central nervous system and kidney effects
- Headaches
- Depression
- Fatigue and weakness
- Hearing loss
- Balance and concentration problems

Who is at risk for exposure to Styrene?

- Some food, packaging materials, and consumer and building products contain styrene.

Cigarette smokers
- Cigarette smoke and secondhand smoke contain styrene.


What does it mean if your a-Ketophenylacetic Acid (from Styrene) result is too high?

When high levels of a-Ketophenylacetic Acid (from Styrene) and a-Hydroxyisobutyric Acid (from MTBE) are found, the function of support systems such as the liver and kidneys may be impaired by excess toxin exposure.

Possible treatment options:

- Avoidance of styrene

- Hydration

- Antioxidants

- B12 may play a role in processing these compounds, so use low dose of Vitamin B12.

The detoxification markers, like a-Ketophenylacetic Acid, reflect increased exposure to environmental toxins, or up-regulation of detoxification pathways in response to stress. Collectively, when these markers are elevated:

1. Identify the source of toxin exposure.

2. Minimize or reduce exposure.

3. Consider the use of antioxidants, like glutathione, plus other nutrients and botanicals to support detoxification.

4. Helpful websites:

a. Tox Town

b. Environmental Working Group

c. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

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