Detecting candida in your gut: the Organic Acids Test vs. a stool test

The Organic Acids Test is one way to test for evidence of candida in your gut, but it’s still a far from the perfect method. How does it hold up against a stool test?

The organic acids test—popularly known as the ‘OAT’— includes markers of yeast and bacterial overgrowth. But the problem is that we can’t be completely sure how reliable these markers are as a reflection of what’s going on in your gut.

A stool test that uses PCR technology, like Healthpath’s Gut Health Tests, uses DNA amplification to identify microorganisms in your gut, including candida. This test is looking for hard evidence of candida in the same place you are: in your gut.

How the OAT test indicates candida overgrowth

The OAT, on the other hand, is looking for evidence of candida anywhere in your body. So if your OAT test comes back with high readings for any of the following markers, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have candida in your gut. You could have it anywhere.

  • Arabinose
  • D-Arabinitol
  • Carboxycitric
  • Citramalic
  • Furan carbonyl glycine
  • Furan-2,5-dicarboxylic
  • 5-Hydroxymethyl-2-furoic
  • 3-Oxoglutaric
  • Tartaric
  • Tricarballylic

While a certain amount of evidence, (like this research paper), backs the use of these markers by health professionals, we really need larger and better studies before we can know for sure that they reflect yeast and fungal overgrowth in ‘normal’ adults: for instance the study above was carried out on newborn babies.

How a stool test detects candida

In contrast, stool testing determines the number of Candida cells in stool by the fluorescent signals detected in its DNA. This accurately reflects the level of candida present in your gut, which is why stool testing appears to be used more widely in research to detect candida.

Our Gut Health Tests also look at your levels of beneficial bacteria, like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as potentially pathogenic bacteria like Klebsiella. You’ll also be able to see the presence of a range of parasites.

Perhaps most useful of all, our Gut Health Tests identify the most effective supplements you can take to eradicate the specific strain of yeast or bacteria you’re harbouring.