Stool

Deoxycholic acid (DCA)

Optimal Result: 0.67 - 6.76 mg/g.

Deoxycholic acid (DCA) is a secondary bile acid and part of the metabolic category of the Genova test panel.

What are Bile Acids?

Bile acids are end products of hepatic cholesterol metabolism that play an important role in fat emulsion and detoxification. 

How do bile acids reflect the relationship between diet and colorectal cancer risk?

The primary bile acids chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) and cholic acid (CA) are the end products of hepatic cholesterol metabolism. 

CDCA is derived from dietary cholesterol, whereas CA is produced from endogenous cholesterol production. 

Once they enter the colon, they are acted upon by anaerobic bacteria to produce secondary bile acids.

CDCA is modified into lithocholic acid (LCA), and CA is modified into deoxycholic acid (DCA). 

The specific anaerobic bacteria involved in primary bile acid deconjugation include Clostridium, Enterococcus, Bacteroides and Lactobacillus.

The correlation between diet and colorectal cancer appears to be related, at least in part, to bile acid metabolism. Consuming a diet rich in fat and animal protein and low in fiber results in a 2- to 5-fold increase in the excretion of secondary or unconjugated bile acids.

References:

- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9365065/
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11277309/
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8595714/
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8944569/
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10686036/

What does it mean if your Deoxycholic acid (DCA) result is too high?

High levels of secondary bile acids can result from an excess of dietary fat and animal protein, and may be associated with increased risk of gallstones and certain cancers.

The correlation between diet and colorectal cancer appears to be related, at least in part, to bile acid metabolism. Consuming a diet rich in fat and animal protein and low in fiber results in a 2- to 5-fold increase in the excretion of secondary or unconjugated bile acids.

Possible treatment options (Please consult your doctor before starting any type of treatment):

- Decrease consumption of diet rich in fat and animal protein.

- Increase fiber intake. Resistant starch, the insoluble fiber contained in wheat bran, legumes, and certain vegetables, decreases the level of secondary bile acids. Resistant starch enhances short-chain fatty acid production in the proximal colon, which lowers intestinal pH. A reduction in the colonic pH inhibits bacterial 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity, reducing the concentrations of LCA, DCA, and the LCA:DCA ratio.

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