The Great Plains Laboratory
The Great Plains Laboratory in the US is a research-based clinical laboratory and world leader in providing diagnostics for metabolic, nutritional, toxic, mitochondrial, and environmental factors in chronic conditions such as autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorders, fibromyalgia, mould illness, chemical exposure and related illnesses, and gastrointestinal and neuropsychiatric disorders.
The flagship tests we use with Great Plains are:
Great Plains Organic Acids Test (OAT)
The Organic Acids Test (OAT) offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of a patient’s overall health with over 70 markers. It provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria, oxalates, mitochondrial activity and includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress and neurotransmitter levels.
Organic acids are chemical compounds excreted in urine and are the products of metabolism. Over 1,000 different organic acids have been detected in urine.
Many genetic disorders are caused by the production of an inefficient enzyme that reacts at a slower than usual rate, resulting in an accumulation of a metabolic intermediates. Organic acidaemias are disorders of intermediary metabolism that lead to the accumulation of toxic compounds that disturb multiple intracellular biochemical pathways including glucose catabolism (glycolysis), glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis), amino acid and ammonia metabolism, purine and pyrimidine metabolism, and fat metabolism.
Clinical presentations of organic acidaemias vary widely and may include failure to thrive, intellectual development disorders, hypo- or hyperglycaemia, encephalopathy, lethargy, hyperactivity, seizures, dermatitis and other skin issues, dysmorphic facial features, microcephaly, macrocephaly, anaemia, oxalate issues, immune deficiency with frequent infections, ketosis and/or lactic acidosis, hearing, speech, or visual impairment, peripheral neuropathy, sudden cardiorespiratory arrest, and more.
Many other non-genetic factors can also alter human metabolism. For example, toxic amounts of medications and other toxic chemicals can use up a key molecule, glutathione, that helps the body detoxify, leading to the overproduction of the organic acid pyroglutamic acid. Others may impact mitochondrial function. Many organic acids can directly or indirectly indicate deficiencies of critical vitamins and minerals. One of the most important uses of the organic acids test is as an indicator of dysbiosis, an abnormal overgrowth of yeast and bacteria in the intestinal tract. Some of these bacterial byproducts from the intestine enter the blood stream and may alter the metabolism of neurotransmitters such as dopamine
The Organic Acids Test (OAT) offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of overall health with 76 markers and provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can trigger or drive behavioural issues, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function, and pinpoint issues with weight loss, mood disorders, pain and more.
The Organic Acids Test also includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels, and is the only organic acids test to include markers for oxalates, which are highly correlated with many chronic illnesses.
Great Plains Mould Exposure Profile (Mycotox)
Mycotoxins and microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) are some of the most prevalent toxins in the environment. Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by fungi such as mould, which can overgrow in buildings, vehicles, and foodstuffs. Many mycotoxin exposures occur through food ingestion (via improper storage or via animals eaten) or airborne exposure. Mycotoxins have toxic properties and are responsible for the musty odours associated with damp indoor spaces. Moulds do not make mycotoxins specifically to make people sick, but as a protective mechanism to keep competitive moulds out of the environment.
Many mycotoxins have carcinogenic, mutagenic, hepatotoxic, nephrotoxic and neurotoxic effects and can impact hormone balance, cause neurological symptoms, breathing issues, recurrent sinus issues, rashes, depression, affect memory, vision, drive fatigue, anxiety, insomnia and more.
- Aflatoxin M1 (produced by Aspergillus)
- Ochratoxin A (produced by Penicillium, Aspergillus)
- Sterigmatocystin (produced by Aspergillus, Penicillium and Bipolaris)
- Roridin E (produced by Stachybotrys)
- Verrucarin A (produced by Stachybotrys)
- Enniatin B1 (produced by Fusarium)
- Zearalenone (produced by Fusarium)
- Fumosnisin (produced by Fusarium)
- Gliotoxin (produced by Aspergillus)
- Mycophenolic Acid (produced by Penicillium)
- Dihydrocitrinone (produced by Aspergillus, Penicillum, Monascus)
- Chaetoglobosin A (produced by Chaetomium)
Great Plains Toxic Non-Metal Chemicals (GPL-TOX)
The toxic non-metal chemical profile screens for the presence of 172 different toxic chemicals including organophosphate pesticides, phthalates, benzene, xylene, vinyl chloride, pyrethroid insecticides, acrylamide, perchlorate, diphenyl phosphate, ethylene oxide, acrylonitrile, and more. This profile also includes Tiglylglycine (TG), a marker for mitochondrial disorders resulting from mutations of mitochondrial DNA.
These mutations can be caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, infections, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies.
Environmental Pollutants Tested
Perhaps the most widespread group of toxic chemicals found in our environment. Phthalates are commonly found in aftershave lotions, medications, personal care products, home cleaning products, plastics, food microwaved in plastics, the skin of meat and fish (this is where phthalates accumulate), insecticides and insect repellents, hair products, paper coating, adhesives, explosives, printing inks, safety glass, varnishes, and more.
Phthalates have been implicated in reproductive damage and hormonal disruption, depressed white blood cell function, and cancer. Phthalates have also been found to affect blood coagulation, lower testosterone, and alter sexual development in children.
Vinyl chloride is an intermediate in the synthesis of several commercial chemicals, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Exposure to vinyl chloride may cause central nervous system dysfunction, nausea, headache, dizziness, liver damage, degenerative bone changes, thrombocytopenia (low platelets), spleen enlargement and more.
Benzene is an organic solvent that is widespread in the environment. Benzene is a by-product of all sources of combustion, including cigarette smoke, off gassing of synthetic materials is a pollutant released by numerous industrial processes.
Benzene is an extremely toxic chemical that is mutagenic and carcinogenic. High exposures to benzene cause symptoms of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, and death. It can also cause haematological (blood) abnormalities.
Pyrethrins are widely used as insecticides. Exposure during pregnancy can increase changes of autism. Pyrethrins may affect neurological development, disrupt hormones, induce cancer, and suppress the immune system.
Xylenes (dimethylbenzenes) are solvents found in both common products such as paints, lacquers, pesticides, cleaning fluids, fuel and exhaust fumes, but also in perfumes and insect repellents. It is also used for tissue processing in laboratories.
Xylenes are oxidised in the liver and bound to glycine before they are eliminated in urine. High exposures to xylene causes a great deal of oxidative stress and may cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, central nervous system depression, and death.
Styrene is used in the manufacturing of plastics, in building materials, and is found in car exhaust fumes. Polystyrene and its copolymers are widely used as food-packaging materials and can leach into food.
Occupational exposure due to inhalation of large amounts of styrene negatively impacts the central nervous system, and can affect concentration, cause muscle weakness, tiredness and nausea, and can irritate the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and throat.
Organophosphates are one of the most toxic groups of substances used throughout the world. They are often used as biochemical weapons and terrorist agents, but are most commonly used in pesticide formulations.
Organophospates are inhibitors of cholinesterase enzymes, which leads to nerve still overstimulation. This can cause symptoms such as depression, sweating, salivation and diarrhoea, and aggressive behaviour.
Children exposed to organophosphates have more than twice the risk of developing pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), an autism spectrum disorder. Maternal organophosphate exposure has been associated with various adverse outcomes including shorter pregnancies and children with impaired reflexes.
MTBE and ETBE
MTBE and ETBE are gasoline additives. Exposure to these compounds is most likely due to groundwater contamination, and inhalation or skin exposure to gasoline or its vapours and exhaust fumes.
MTBE has been demonstrated to cause hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, central and peripheral neurotoxicity, and cancer in animals. Since the metabolites of these compounds are the same, ETBE may be similarly toxic.
2, 4-Dicholorophenoxyacetic (2,4-D)
This is a very common herbicide that was a part of Agent Orange, used by the United States during the Vietnam War to increase visibility for war planes, by destroying plant undergrowth and crops. It is most commonly used in agriculture on genetically modified foods, and as a weed killer for lawns. It is a known endocrine disruptor and can block hormone distribution and cause glandular breakdown.
Exposure to 2, 4-D via skin or oral ingestion is associated with neuritis, weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, peripheral neuropathy, stupor, seizures, brain damage, and impaired reflexes.
This is a metabolite of the organophosphate flame retardant triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) which can cause endocrine disruption, reproductive and developmental issues. It is used in plastics, electronicd nail polish, and resins.
Acrylamide can polymerize to form polyacrylamide. Polyacrylamide is used in many industrial processes such as plastics, food packaging, cosmetics, nail polish, dyes, and treatment of drinking water. Food and cigarette smoke are also two major sources of exposure. Acrylamide has been found in foods which are processed such as like crisps, fries, and others such as asparagus, potatoes, legumes, nuts, seeds, beef, eggs, and fish.
Asparagine, which is found in these foods can produce acrylamide when cooked at high temperature in the presence of sugars. High levels of acrylamide is linked with neurological damage and can elevate cancer risk.
This chemical is used in the production of rocket fuel, missiles, fireworks, flares, explosives, fertilisers, and bleach. It is also found in airbag initiators for vehicles, matches, chlorine cleaners and pool chlorination chemicals.
Studies show that perchlorate is often found in water supplies and food sources can be contaminated with perchlorate.
Perchlorate can disrupt the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones. And it is a known human carcinogen.
This is a chemical made from the processing of petroleum and is found in car tyres. This is significant if children are playing in tyres on playgrounds or athletes and children are coming into contact with crumb rubber surfaces. It is often used in the production of synthetic rubber. It is a known carcinogen and increases risk of cardiovascular disease.
Propylene oxide is a known human carcinogen and used to make polyester resins for textile and construction industries. It is also used in the preparation of lubricants, surfactants, and oil demulsifiers. This chemical is used in the production of plastics and is used as a fumigant. It has been used as a food additive, and as a herbicide, insecticide and fungicide.
1-Bromopropane is an organic solvent used for metal cleaning, foam gluing, and dry cleaning.
Studies have shown that 1-BP is a neurotoxin as well as a reproductive toxin and it can cause sensory and motor deficits, decrease cognitive function and impair central nervous system. The most common symptom from exposure is headaches.
Ethylene oxide is used for agrochemicals detergents, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products as a sterilising agent on rubber, plastics, and electronics. It has carcinogenic activity and may increase risk of breast cancer and leukaemia.
Acrylonitrile is a colourless liquid with a pungent odor and is a known carcinogen. Which is used in the production of acrylic fibres, resins, and rubber. And is present in tobacco and cigarettes. Common symptoms of exposure include headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and chest pain.
Acrolein is used as an herbicide primarily for weeds and algae in irrigation canals. Humans are exposed to acrolein via oral (fried foods, alcoholic beverages, and water), respiratory (cigarette smoke and automobile exhaust), and dermal routes. Acrolein may play a role in several disease states including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and is neurotoxic, hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic. IT can cause DNA and cell membrane damage, disrupt mitochondrial and immune function and drive up oxidative stress.
- 2-Methylhippuric Acid (2MHA)
- 3-Methylhippuric Acid (3MHA)
- 4-Methylhippuric Acid (4MHA)
- N-Acetyl Phenyl Cysteine (NAP)
- Phenylglyoxylic Acid (PGO)
- 2-Hydroxyisobutyric Acid (2HIB)
- Monoethyl Phthalate (MEP)
- Dimethylphosphate (DMP)
- Diethylphosphate (DEP)
- 3-Phenoxybenzoic Acid (3PBA)
- 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2,4-D)
- Tiglylglycine (TG)
- N-Acetyl (Carbomethyl) Cysteine (NAE)
- Diphenyl Phosphate
- N-Acetyl (3,4-Dihydroxybutyl) Cysteine (NABD)
- N-Acetyl (2,Hydroxypropl) Cysteine (NAHP)
- N-Acetyl (Propyl) Cysteine (NAPR)
- 2-Hydroxyethyl Mercapturic Acid (HEMA)
- N-Acetyl (2-Cyanoethyl) Cysteine (NACE)
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely produced herbicide and is the primary toxic chemical in Roundup and other common pesticides. It is also a broad-spectrum herbicide that is used in more than 700 different products from agriculture and forestry to home garden use. Glyphosate was originally patented as an antibiotic, then introduced in the 1970s to kill weeds by targeting the enzymes that produce the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine. The enzymes of many bacteria are also susceptible to inhibition by this chemical, thus altering the microbiome of many animals and also humans. Use of glyphosate has increased especially after the introduction of genetically modified (GMO) glyphosate-resistant crops that can grow well in the presence of this chemical in soil. In addition, toxicity of the surfactant commonly mixed with glyphosate, polyoxyethyleneamine (POEA), is greater than the toxicity of glyphosate alone.
Glyphosate is linked with a number of health issues, and is recognised as an endocrine disruptor. When tested, high levels are often found even in patients who eat almost 100% organic.