Phenylpropionate is a intestinal microbial balance marker. Phenylpropionate is formed from bacterial action on phenylalanine and it should only be present at very low levels.
Phenylpropionate normally appears in urine only at low levels, since it is not normally produced in the cells of your body. However, unfriendly intestinal microorganisms can manufacture it in relatively high quantities. Phenylpropionate is then absorbed into the blood from the intestines and eventually appears in the urine. Microbial overgrowth can lead to a wide variety of symptoms due to reactions to the toxic products produced by bacteria, parasites, or fungi.
In health, beneficial intestinal bacteria produce some B-vitamins and provide stimulus for proper immune function. However, if your stomach acid is not adequate, if you fail to digest protein, or if your diet does not supply sufficient fiber, the resulting overgrowth of unfavorable bacteria can release toxic products that your body must remove. These toxic products include: Benzoate, Phenylacetate, Phenylpropionate, p-Hydroxybenzoate, p-Hydroxyphenylacetate, Indican, Tricarballylate, Dihydroxyphenylpropionate, and D-Lactate. Your potential to benefit from consuming extra sources of favorable organisms (called probiotics) may go up as the number of toxic compounds and their concentrations increase.
Phenylpropionate when mildly elevated, is a marker that indicates microbial overgrowth.
Very high levels of phenylpropionate can indicate medium-chain AcylCoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency.
Elevations result from too much bacterial growth in the intestines. This can indicate problems with digestion of food or by use of antibiotic medications. It can result in further loss of intestinal health and in symptoms due to toxic effects of the bacterial products.
Potential treatment options:
Effective treatments for the associated microbial overgrowths may be directed at reducing microbial populations, introducing favorable microbes, and restoring intestinal mucosal integrity.
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