Labs + Consultation with Dr. Grace
Do you want to investigate a little further why it is you feel the way you do? Curious why your digestion is a little irregular….or a little too regular? Maybe you’d like to know why you always feel tired. Or, curious why you can’t lose weight despite trying everything out there. Well, you are in the right place.
With this purchase you get a 30 minute appointment with Dr. Grace (valued at over $300) to discuss and interpret your OATS lab, GI Map and IgG lab results (labs are included with purchase). Her expertise and insight can be invaluable in helping get to the root cause of what is ailing you. More information on each lab can be found below.
After your order is complete, you will be emailed, information sent to you, and you will be directed to a booking page that will enable you to schedule your appointment.
Why Should You Listen To What Dr. Grace Has To Say?
She is a Doctor of Pharmacy and has been featured in Women’s Health magazine, The Paleo Solution, Endurance Planet. Dave Asprey’s blog and podcast just to name a few. Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof, has said, “Dr. Grace Liu is renowned for the information she publishes on the blog, Animal Pharm, under the name “Dr. BG”. She is one of the most knowledgeable people on the hot button topics of resistant starch (RS) and its effects on the health of the gut microbiome. She uses her expertise in the pharmaceutical world to explore the various scientific, nutritional, and pharmacological ins and outs of optimal health.”
She has been invited to speak internationally and as Keynote Speaker at AAEM MICROBIOME Congress: The Environment, Genetics and Disease, Colorado 2018 “Powerful Role of the Gut Microbiome in Protecting and Detoxifying”, LowCarbUSA Jan 2019 “Biome and the Keto Diet”, NMSA: Roots-to-Shoots, “Microbiome Medicine — New Frontier of Medicine”, IHH-UCSF Functional Medicine Symposium (March 2018), Ancestral Health Symposium (2017, 2016, 2014, 2011), Paleo Convention Berlin, PaleoFx (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). She shared the stage with Dr David Perlmutter (author “Grain Brain”) on the Expert Microbiome Panel at Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas (2016, 2017).
Please note: during the lab review Dr Grace PharmD will not be providing customized gut protocols. She will review and educate you on how to interpret, what is the relevance of your labs as it relates to your health and microbiome and what you need to consider for improvements for health.
THE NUTRITIONAL AND BOTANICAL SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS IF DISCUSSED ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY CONSUMERS AS A MEANS TO CURE, TREAT, PREVENT, DIAGNOSE, OR MITIGATE ANY DISEASE OR OTHER MEDICAL CONDITION.
OATS Lab Description:
Clinical usefulness of the Organic Acid Test
- Evaluate energy production
- Assess central nervous system function
- Reveal high levels of GI yeast/fungal and bacteria overgrowths
- Detect nutritional and antioxidant deficiencies
- Determine problems in fatty acid metabolism
- Identify excess oxalate
Organic Acids Test (OAT) - Nutritional & Metabolic Profile
The Organic Acids Test (OAT) provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function. Many people with chronic illnesses and neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids. The cause of these high levels could include: oral antibiotic use, high sugar diets, immune deficiencies, and genetic factors.
If abnormalities are detected using the OAT, treatments can include supplements, such as vitamins and antioxidants, or dietary modification. Upon treatment, patients and practitioners have reported significant improvement such as decreased fatigue, regular bowel function, increased energy and alertness, increased concentration, improved verbal skills, less hyperactivity, and decreased abdominal pain. The OAT is strongly recommended as the initial screening test.
The Microbial Organic Acids Test (MOAT) is ideal for follow-up to the OAT and is often recommended by practitioners looking for a specific abnormality, to monitor certain microbial imbalances, or to assess treatment efficacy.
"After identifying a low serotonin level on an Organic Acid Test (a hallmark functional medicine test), A severely depressed and suicidal man began taking 100mg of 5htp twice a day (5htp is the direct precursor to serotonin). After 2 days, he said his depression virtually disappeared and he was no longer suicidal. I love when I can identify a biochemical glitch and someone can have such a profound emotional turn around."
–Dr. Josh Friedman of Integrative Psychotherapy of Omaha
"The Organic Acids Test has brought new meaning to my specialized practice in women's health. This test has allowed me to investigate more deeply the chronic issues that contribute to female related conditions like PMS, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, chronic UTIs and vulvodynia. I have had a great deal of success in treating complicated PMS cases that didn't respond to typical female hormone balancing therapies. Since utilizing the OAT, it has provided me with a variety of information to determine the underlying cause of female related issues. Some of the markers that I find valuable for women's health issues are the bacterial and yeast metabolites, oxalates, B vitamins, vitamin C, and pyroglutamic acid. I have been so impressed by this test that I can't help but want to spread the word about its uses for various women's health conditions!"
10 Reasons Every Individual with a Special Needs Diagnosis (Autism, Aspergers, Attention Deficit, etc.) Should Do a Urine Organic Acid Test from The Great Plains Laboratory By Kurt Woeller, D.O.
Evaluates for various fungal toxins, including specific markers for Candida. Many people rely on stool testing for candida diagnosis and miss the presence of candida toxins through the Organic Acid Test. Candida can create problems with brain function including goofiness, giddiness, and inappropriate laughter, as well as sensory problems and self-stimulatory behavior.
Evaluates for two specific toxins related to clostridia bacteria – HPHPA and 4-cresol. Both of these toxins can inhibit a dopamine converting enzyme leading to excess dopamine and toxic reactions in the brain and nervous system. Behavior problems such as moodiness, irritability, aggression, self-injurious behavior, sleep problems and more is associated with clostridia bacteria overgrowth.
The information from the Organic Acid Test helps to prioritize treatment intervention instead of just assuming everything is a candida problem. Treating for candida when clostridia bacteria are present can lead to problems, i.e. worsening behavior.
Evaluates for high oxalates (oxalic acid). Oxalates are compounds found in many foods, and can be worsened from candida overgrowth. High oxalates are associated with pain in the joints, muscles, and connective tissues. They can also trap heavy metals (such as mercury, lead, and arsenic) in the body, and lead to mineral imbalances as well. Behavior and self-injurious tendencies have been associated with high oxalates.
Evaluates for mitochondrial imbalances. The mitochondria are the energy factories of our cells. Often they are stressed because of toxins from yeast, bacteria, metals, and even oxalates. Mitochondrial dysfunction is seen in autism and can be a contributing factor to poor attention and cognitive skills, as well as poor physical growth and development.
Evaluates for imbalances in Dopamine (HVA) and Norepinephrine (VMA). The balance between these two important brain chemicals is critical for attention, focusing, mood, calmness and other functions of the nervous system. Attention deficit problems are commonly associated with norepinephrine imbalances.
Evaluates for imbalances in serotonin (an important brain chemical for mood, fine and gross motor skills, and calmness), as well additional markers that can indicate toxic stress in the brain and nervous system such as Quinolinic Acid. High Quinolinic Acid is suggestive of toxic stress in the brain and is important to evaluate before implementing certain supplements particularly L-Tryptophan which is commonly used to help with sleep.
Evaluates for two specific chemicals related to folate metabolism. Folate is part of the methylation cycle that supports the inner workings of the cells related to DNA function.
Evaluates for various nutritional markers such as vitamin B6, B5, vitamin C, CoQ10, as well as N-Acetyl-Cysteine which is necessary for the production of glutathione.
- Evaluates for glutathione production problems. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in our cells and is often deficient in autism. The Organic Acid Test evaluates for cellular markers related to this important antioxidant.
GI Map Lab Description:
The GI-MAP can be used in the detection and identification of gastrointestinal microbial nucleic acids and has been clinically validated for the detection of gastrointestinal pathogens that cause infectious colitis or gastroenteritis. This technology has been used to identify and control pathogen outbreaks because of its rapid turn-around-time.
It measures a substantial list of opportunistic pathogens as well as a list of FDA-cleared pathogens, including novel targets such as viruses, Microsporidia, and pathogenic virulence factors. Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, intestinal permeability, hormonal imbalance, and food sensitivities may trace their origins to imbalanced gut microbes as a root cause.
Further, chronic inflammatory arthritis could have a microbial component that may warrant investigation by stool studies. This stool test offers integrative and functional medicine practitioners superior sensitivity and specificity to help resolve persistent and complex illnesses. Since the immune system, the intestinal barrier, and microbial diversity are intimately interwoven, thorough understanding of our gut microbiome holds promise for new approaches to treat and prevent disease.
Complete List of Target Analytes Measured on the GI-MAP
- diff Toxin A & B**
- coli o157**
Enterotoxigenic E. coli LT & ST (ETEC)**
Shiga-like Toxin producing E. coli stx1 & stx2 (STEC)**
Adenovirus 40 & 41**
Norovirus GI & GII**
Helicobacter pylori and virulence factors, cagA and vacA**
Bacteroides fragilis grp
- coli (total)
IgG Lab Description:
IgG Food Allergy Test w/ Candida
IgG (immunoglobulin G) testing is a useful guide for structuring elimination diets in many chronic conditions. Individuals with neurological, gastrointestinal, and movement disorders often suffer from IgG food allergies. These people may continue to eat offending foods unaware of their potential effects. As immunological reactions, IgE food allergy causes the release of histamine, producing an immediate hypersensitivity reaction, in which symptoms appear within minutes or hours. In contrast, food sensitivity is a non-IgE allergy characterized by the measurement of IgG antibodies specific to antigenic food proteins. This IgG food allergy is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction in which symptoms appear anywhere from hours to days after eating the offending food. The 93 foods tested in the IgG Food Allergy Test w/ Candida can identify problem food so it can be eliminated from the patient’s diet. Elimination of IgG positive foods can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, autism, AD(H)D, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy according to numerous clinical studies.
The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc. has added Candida to the IgG Food Allergy Test. Candidaproblems are caused when the benign yeast form of Candida albicans mutates to its fungal form.Candida can take over sections of the intestinal wall causing numerous symptoms. As it grows out of balance it produces toxins that create holes in the intestinal lining, leading to leaky gut syndrome. After entering the blood, Candida albicans causes an inflammatory immune system response. A wide range of disorders have been linked to Candida including autism, multiple sclerosis, depression, and chronic fatigue. Use of antibiotics, oral contraceptives, chemotherapy, and anti-inflammatory steroids greatly increase susceptibility to Candida.
Dried Blood Spot (DBS) Collection
The IgG Food Allergy Test w/ Candida is available as a dried blood spot collection for patients and practitioners who can’t perform a blood draw. The specimen can be collected from the convenience of home and shipped to our laboratory for analysis. The dried blood spot test is the same price as the analysis.
Asian Food Allergy Test
The IgG Asian Food Allergy Test offered by The Great Plains Laboratory is designed for individuals who consume foods common to the Asian diet, especially those in China, Japan, and Korea. Analytes include mango, sunflower seeds, miso (soybean paste), and green tea. Some of the vegetables in our general IgG Food Allergy Test have been replaced by more common Asian vegetables, such as the Shiitake mushroom, and a new food category, “spices,” has been included. The new panel also analyzes twice as many seafood items than our general test, ranging from oysters and clams to Pacific saury. The IgG Asian Food Allergy Test is a good health indicator for people who commonly eat Asian cuisine and gives a comprehensive analysis of immunological reactions to foods found in this diet.
Candida albicans Scale in IgG Food Allergy Test
The Candida albicans scale has been updated to account for the observation that Candida-specific immunoglobulins are present in the specimens of virtually all individuals tested. The new scale is intended to provide a clearer indication of clinical significance and was established according to population percentile ranks obtained from a random subset of 1,000 patients. Specifically, the range of insignificant and low IgG values correspond to the first and second quartiles of the distribution, while moderate values denote individuals in the 51st to 97.5th percentiles. Those with an IgG value greater than the 97.5th percentile are considered to have a high concentration of Candida-specific immunoglobulins.
0-25th percentile: insignificant
26th-50th percentile: low
51st-97.5th percentile: moderate
97.5th and higher: high
The Benefits of Testing
- Helps determine if food reactions are contributing to physical or mental symptoms
- Removal of highly reactive foods from the diet is a non-invasive, food-based therapy that often mitigates a patient's symptoms
- Research and clinical studies suggest food allergies identified by IgG testing can be a major contributing factor in many chronic health conditions
- Food rotation and elimination diets can reduce stress on the immune system, lower gut inflammation, resolve food cravings, and reduce the potential for eating disorders
"I believe the Great Plains IgG Food Allergy Test is a phenomenal tool that I have implemented in my practice on a daily basis to help treat patients for a wide variety of symptoms like headaches, IBS, fatigue, abdominal pain, dermatitis, hair loss, joint pain, acne, thyroid disorders, and vitamin deficiencies. I believe I am a better physician due to this testing transforming my ability to properly diagnose and treat patients effectively."
Total IgG versus IgG4 food allergy
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is classified into several subclasses termed 1, 2, 3, and 4. IgGs are composed of two heavy chain–light chain pairs (half-molecules), which are connected via inter–heavy chain disulfide bonds situated in the hinge region (Figure 1). IgG4 antibodies usually represent less than 6% of the total IgG antibodies. IgG4 antibodies differ functionally from other IgG subclasses in their lack of inflammatory activity, which includes a poor ability to induce complement and immune cell activation because of low affinity for C1q (the q fragment of the first component of complement). Consequently, IgG4 has become the preferred subclass for immunotherapy, in which IgG4 antibodies to antigens are increased to reduce severe antigen reactions mediated by IgE. If antigens preferentially react with IgG4 antibodies, the antigens cannot react with IgE antibodies that might cause anaphylaxis or other severe reactions. Thus, IgG4 antibodies are often termed blocking antibodies. Another property of blood-derived IgG4 is its inability to cross-link identical antigens, which is referred to as "functional monovalency". IgG4 antibodies are dynamic molecules that exchange half of the antibody molecule specific for one antigen with a heavy-light chain pair from another molecule specific for a different antigen, resulting in bi-specific antibodies that are unable to form large cross-linked antibodies that bind complement and thus cause subsequent inflammation(16). In specific immunotherapy with allergen in allergic rhinitis, for example, increases in allergen-specific IgG4 levels indeed correlate with improved clinical responses. IgG4 antibodies not only block IgE mediated food allergies but also block the reactions of food antigens with other IgG subclasses, reducing inflammatory reactions caused by the other IgG subclasses of antibodies to food antigens.
(Figure 1)In IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 antigen binding sites are for the same food antigen. In IgG4 the antigen binding sites are for different antigens so that large immune complexes cannot be formed.
In IgG mediated food allergy testing, the goal is to identify foods that are capable of causing inflammation that can trigger a large number of adverse reactions. IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 all are capable of causing inflammation because these antibodies do not exchange heavy and light chains with other antibodies to form bispecific antibodies. Thus, IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 antibodies to food antigens can and do form large immune complexes or lattices that fix complement and increase inflammation. The presence of IgG4 antibodies to food antigens indicates the presence of antibodies to foods that will not usually cause inflammation even though high amounts of these antibodies do indicate the presence of immune reactions against food antigens. Testing only for IgG4 antibodies in foods limits the ability of the clinician to determine those foods that are causing significant clinical reactions that are affecting their patients. The importance of measuring other subtypes of IgG antibodies is highlighted in an article by Kemeny et al. (17). They found that IgG1 antibodies to gluten were elevated in all 20 patients with celiac disease but none of the patients had elevated IgG4 antibodies to gluten.
The IgG Food Allergy Test is available as both Serum and Dried Blood Spot.
- Serum: 1 mL of in a gold-topped SST or in a royal blue-topped no additive tube.
- Dried Blood Spot (DBS): Five full circles of dried blood on the protein saver card is required.
- IgG Food Allergy Test w/ Candida (94) + IgE Food Essential Test (12): 3 mL of in a gold-topped SST or in a royal blue-topped no additive tube.
Please note that the elimination of a food prior to sampling will reduce the ability for our laboratory to detect antibodies (allergies) to that food.
Clinical usefulness of IgG food allergy testing
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) food allergy testing has made vast advancements since the year 2003 when the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology published a statement that "Measurement of specific IgG antibodies to foods is also unproven as a diagnostic tool"(1). Most of the IgG food allergy testing throughout the world is done using the same immunochemical technique. First, soluble food proteins in solution are reacted to a solid phase that chemically binds to a variety of proteins. The use of plastic microtiter trays with one to several hundred wells has become the most common material used as the solid phase. Then these trays are washed, dried, and stored for later use. A sample of diluted is then added to each of the wells. Antibodies of all types in the diluted bind to the specific food molecules that are attached to the plastic wells of the tray.
Next, the plates are washed to remove any nonspecific antibodies in the diluted . At this time, food antibodies from all of the five major immunoglobulin classes called G, A, M, E, and D may be attached to the food antigens on the plate.
The next step confers specificity on the assay. Antisera from sheep, goats, rabbits, or other animals that specifically binds to IgG is added to microtiter wells and only binds to IgG, not to IgA, IgM, IgE, or IgD. This antibody to IgG has previously been modified by the attachment of an enzyme that can be measured conveniently. The amount of enzyme bound to food antigen-IgG complexes on the plate is directly related to how much IgG antibody is attached to a given food. The overall technique is termed Enzyme Linked Immuno Assay or ELISA. If IgG4 is measured, an anti specific for IgG4 only must be used for the final step.
The clinical usefulness of IgG testing in an array of illnesses is illustrated in an early article published by an otolaryngologist who reported that the majority of his patients had substantial health improvements after an elimination of foods positive by IgG food allergy tests (2). The overall results demonstrated a 71% success rate for all symptoms achieving at least a 75% improvement level. Of particular interest was the group of patients with chronic, disabling symptoms, unresponsive to other intensive treatments. Whereas 70% obtained 75% or more improvement, 20% of these patients obtained 100% relief. Symptoms most commonly improved 75%-100% on the elimination diets included asthma, coughing, ringing in the ears, chronic fatigue, all types of headaches, gas, bloating, diarrhea, skin rash and itching, and nasal congestion. The most common IgG food allergies were cow's milk, garlic, mustard, egg yolk, tea, and chocolate.