Biomarkers

What is Phenylpyruvic acid?

Phenylpyruvic acid is a keto-acid that is an intermediate or catabolic byproduct of phenylalanine metabolism. It has a slight honey-like odor. 

Levels of phenylpyruvate are normally very low in blood or urine.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF YOUR PHENYLPYRUVIC RESULT IS TOO HIGH?

– Moderate elevations may result from intake of phenylalanine, from genetic carrier status for PKU, or from a deficiency in production of biopterin, a cofactor required for phenylalanine metabolism. 

– Very high values are associated with the genetic disease, PKU.

PKU is due to lack of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH), so that phenylalanine is converted not to tyrosine but to phenylpyruvic acid. In particular, excessive phenylalanine can be metabolized into phenylketones through, a transaminase pathway route involving glutamate. Metabolites of this transamination reaction include phenylacetate, phenylpyruvate and phenethylamine. In persons with PKU, dietary phenylalanine either accumulates in the body or some of it is converted to phenylpyruvic acid. Individuals with PKU tend to excrete large quantities of phenylpyruvate, phenylacetate and phenyllactate, along with phenylalanine, in their urine.

– Biopterin deficient people may benefit from supplementation with the folate derivative folinic acid.

Disclaimer:

Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you. 

The information on healthmatters.io is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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