Urine Amino Acids

Sample Required: Urine & Plasma | Test Type: Nutrition

Key Advantages

  • Measurement of amino acids and indicative metabolites
  • 24-hour or first-morning void urine collection
  • Personalised supplemental suggestions provided
  • No liquid acid or dry ice required


Urine Amino Acids provides one of the most comprehensive assessments of body protein / amino acid status, along with an extensive array of metabolic and nutritional indications.

The measurement of UPSTREAM substrates as well as their downstream metabolites provides one of the broadest assessments of body structure, function and the sufficiency of resources to facilitate optimum metabolism and health via adequate amino acids, magnesium and methylation vitamins.

Amino acid analyses aid in the diagnosis of:

Dietary protein adequacy and amino acid balance, gastrointestinal dysfunctions, forms of protein intolerance, nutritional deficiencies (vitamins, minerals), renal and hepatic dysfunction, psychiatric abnormalities, susceptibility to inflammatory response and oxidative stress, reduced detoxification capacity, susceptibility to occlusive arterial disease and many inherent disorders in amino acid metabolism.

What can be learned from the test?

Amino acid analysis provides fundamental information about nutrient adequacy: the quality and quantity of dietary protein, digestive disorders, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies (particularly folic acid, B 12 , B 6 metabolism, zinc and magnesium). In addition amino acid analysis provides important diagnostic information about hepatic and renal function, availability of precursors of neurotransmitters, detoxification capacity, susceptibility to occlusive arterial disease (homocysteine), and many inherent disorders in amino acid metabolism.

The patient’s results are presented in a functional format that permits ease of interpretation. A comprehensive summary of  “presumptive needs” (e.g. B6, B12 / folate, Mg) and “implied conditions” (e.g. maldigestion/malabsorption, abnormal gastrointestinal flora, impaired detoxification, oxidative stress) is presented based upon each patient’s results. Patient-specific amino acid supplement schedules and user-friendly commentary paragraphs are provided to simplify nutritional intervention.

Which type of analysis: Urine or plasma?

The 24-hour urine amino acid analysis has the highest probability of detecting abnormalities if renal function is normal. The 24-hour test indicates what is high and low over the course of a day, reflects blood and tissue amino acid pools, and is not affected by circadian rhythm. Healthy kidneys efficiently conserve essential amino acids. Therefore, urine levels of amino acids decrease first and tend to give an earlier indication of inadequacy than do plasma levels.

A first morning void urine amino acid analysis, with results normalised per gram creatinine, provides an alternative when a complete 24-hour collection is not a viable option. The first morning void analysis is excellent for identification of marked abnormalities, particularly with respect to gastrointestinal health, inherited disorders in amino acid metabolism, and renal function, and can be used for protein challenge testing.

Plasma amino acid analysis measures what is being transported at the time of sampling. Abnormalities are deduced by comparison of measured levels with an established reference range. (The specimen should be collected after an overnight fast to reduce the influence of dietary protein). Plasma analysis is an excellent compromise if urine collection is difficult.


A deficiency of even one Amino Acid becomes the “rate limiting Amino Acid” (capable of compromising incalculable cellular functions) i.e. the metabolic consequences can be widespread.

Thus, early and effective detection and rectification are highly desirable for health.

Results are reflective of immediate metabolic function/reserves, however if carried out correctly, (as per instructions), are also reflective of the past few months (depending on how much circumstances have changed in that time) and so the results also provide an insight into the previous ‘medium-to-long term’

About six months should be allowed before re-assessing the results of any comprehensive treatment regime (and even longer for any less than conscientious regime adherence).