Bile Acids (108)-BioHealth Kit

Note: This is a home collection test kit that will be mailed to you.



Fasting Required: No

Specimen: Urine

Results: 14-21 Business Days
Note: Result turnaround times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

Specimen Collection: The day before collection: It is important that you have a protein-rich meal the evening before collection. At dinner time (after 4 pm), eat at least 6 ounces of meat. Vegetarians can substitute with at least 8 ounces of legumes, nuts, or seed-based products, including tofu and tempeh. Unless instructed otherwise by your health care professional, do not consume: Alcohol, protein powders or drinks, Iodine supplements or amino acid supplements, probiotics, digestive enzymes or Hydrochloric acid.

Sample Collection: 2 samples from first morning's urine

Description At the center of detoxification within the digestive system complex is the liver, and damage to liver cells will compromise health. A healthy diet is central to a healthy lifestyle, but a sick and under-functioning digestive system, including poor liver function, will unfortunately compromise a quality diet and maintain a stimulus for chronic stress. Therefore, performing bile acid testing is important in any functional medicine practice.

Large amounts of bile are secreted into the intestines on an ongoing basis, but only small amounts are expelled from the body. The main reason for this is that the vast majority of bile that is distributed in the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine) is then reabsorbed from the last part of the small intestine, called the ileum. The blood supply from this region of the small intestine is taken back through the liver where liver cells (hepatocytes) reabsorb the bile to resupply the bile acid pool.

If damage has occurred to the liver cells by infection, inflammation, and so on, much of this bile acid is leached into the general circulation. The bile acids can then be detected through urine testing as excess bile acid filters through the kidneys. Therefore, assays on bile acid in urine can be used clinically as a sensitive indicator of liver dysfunction.

Common symptoms of elevated bile acids include: Unstable blood sugar levels, inability to lose weight, sluggish metabolism, elevated LDL, reduced HDL, elevated triglycerides, indigestion, intolerance to alcohol and fats, recurrent headaches, depression, irritability, putrid body odor, and hormonal imbalance.

Sophisticated ELISA testing on urine using fluorimetric wavelengths is a means to measure total bile acids in biological samples. In the assay, 3a-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase reacts with all twelve bile acids, converting NAD to NADH, which reduces a probe to a highly fluorescent product.

Elevated bile acid readings prompt further lab testing as well as lifestyle modifications and nutritional supplementation. Common nutrients for assisting with liver repair and reduction of toxic load include: milk thistle seed extract, l-methionine, taurine, reduced l-glutathione, n-acetyl-l-cysteine, and bioflavonoids.

Long-standing intestinal disease (such as IBD), malabsorption, persistent diarrhea, and starvation can all lower bile acid readings.

The reference range for BioHealth’s urinary bile acids is 11.0 – 84.0 umol/g measured in units of creatinine concentration.