Alpha-Hydroxybutyrate

Optimal Result: 0 - 0.9 mcg/mg creatinine.

What is α-Hydroxybutyrate?

α-Hydroxybutyrate is a by-product of glutathione production. Levels of alpha-hydroxybutyrate in the urine may reflect levels of glutathione production.

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is an important antioxidant that can prevent damage to cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals, peroxides, lipid peroxides, and heavy metals.

Glutathione is constantly being used up in the removal of toxic molecules and prevention of oxidative damage.

α-Hydroxybutyrate is a by-product from the process in which the body forms more glutathione. When that process is running at high rates, α-hydroxybutyrate excretion is increased.

What does it mean if your Alpha-Hydroxybutyrate result is too high?

All of the conditions associated with increased Alpha-Hydroxybutyrate excretion may be related to increased rates of hepatic glutathione synthesis from methionine. Elevated Alpha-Hydroxybutyrate thus shows increased flow through the hepatic glutathione synthesis pathway as required during times of increased oxidative stress or for detoxification functions.

- Smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise significantly inhibit the activity of AHBD (=Alpha-Hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase catalyzes oxidation of AHB to acetate), suggesting that urinary elevation of Alpha-Hydroxybutyrate may be related to these factors via increased glutathione demand.

- High Alpha-Hydroxybutyrate is also found during phases of increased lymphocyte destruction in infectious diseases such as measles.

- Elevated Alpha-Hydroxybutyrate is found in birth asphyxia and in inherited metabolic diseases such as “cerebral” lactic acidosis, glutaric aciduria type II, dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase deficiency, and propionic acidemia.

- Alpha-Hydroxybutyrate is also an early marker for both insulin resistance and impaired glucose regulation that appears to arise due to increased lipid oxidation and oxidative stress.

- Elevated levels of alpha-hydroxybutyrate in the plasma is a good marker for early-stage type II diabetes.

10 000+ happy customers
100% satisfaction
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ customer support

Trust us to examine your lab results, guiding you towards improved health.

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.