Urinary Beta-Alanine Excretion Is a Marker of Abnormal as well as Normal Gut Fermentation

Eaton K, Howard M, Hunnisett A J. Nutr. Med. 1994;4:157-163 Normal gut fermentation is the process whereby non-starch-soluble polysaccharides are metabolised in the large bowel to provide nutrients. It is well represented in the literature. Abnormal fermentation however can also be present. A test for this demonstrates the production of trace amounts of ethanol, measurable in blood. Beta-alanine production, measured by urinary excretion, is associated with normal fermentation, but this study demonstrates that beta-alanine production may be a consequence of abnormal fermentation as well as normal. We consider that it may be an independent marker of the disease process.