Kynurenic Acid is product of the metabolism of L-Tryptophan and appears in urine in Vitamin B6 deficiencies. Your body needs vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) to utilize amino acids derived from dietary protein. Inadequate vitamin B6 is one factor that leads to increased concentrations of kynurenate and xanthurenate in urine. These products of amino acid breakdown cannot be further metabolized in the absence of vitamin B6.
Research shows that kynurenic acid is low with a low protein diet and in autism spectrum disorder. Low kynurenic acid is implicated in depression, headaches, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- A high reading of this by-product of the breakdown of the amino acid tryptophan is consistent with a vitamin B6 deficiency, possible inflammatory processes, interferon-gamma stimulated macrophages or excessive tryptophan supplementation (not 5-HTP).
- Abnormally high levels can cause and increase in pain sensations and may, in multiple sclerosis patients, be a marker for an exacerbation period.
- Vitamin B6 deficiency may also result in elevated concentrations of homocysteine in blood, which leads to increased risk of heart disease.
- High levels of Kynurenic Acid can have direct effects on brain function in addition to showing a need for vitamin B6.
- High values in individuals with the yeast overgrowth syndrome may be due to yeast interference.
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