Chromium is a trace metal that plays a role in metabolizing carbohydrates. It is the central molecule of glucose tolerance factor (GTF), a compound that helps insulin attach to a cell’s receptors. This allows glucose to be taken up by a cell and used for fuel, rather than continue circulating in the bloodstream and eventually wreaking havoc on blood vessels and organs.
When chromium is deficient in the body, glucose cannot be metabolized properly. This sets the stage for insulin resistance. The good news is that when a chromium deficiency is corrected, blood sugar regulation improves. Unfortunately, supplemental chromium, such as chromium picolinate, may not be absorbed efficiently. Chromium competes for the binding site of a protein that transports iron, which may also inhibit absorption. The solution? Increase your dietary intake of chromium-containing foods. Among the best sources of this mineral are broccoli, barley, oats, and green beans. You’ll want to limit your intake of foods high in simple sugars, on the other hand, as these actually increase the rate of excretion, thus promoting chromium deficiency.
Did you know that November is National Diabetes Month? This is extremely appropriate after Halloween and the sugar binging that usually accompanies it. While feasting on leftover candy, you might want to keep the following information in mind. After ingestion, sugar is not simply “burned off.” Even if you are fit and lean, sugar is harmful because it accelerates cellular aging. Sugar in the bloodstream attaches to proteins, creating something called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These end products render those proteins inactive, and are commonly used as a marker for aging. In fact, one of the hallmark diagnostic tests for chronically elevated blood sugar/ diabetes is HbA1C, which is an AGE of a hemoglobin molecule. Sugar profoundly alters hormone balance, especially over time, which can set off a cascade of metabolic dysfunction that further accelerates aging systemically, from the arteries to the liver and skin. The dangers of sugar extend beyond a few extra pounds – this ubiquitous substance (found in everything from salad dressings to condiments to your favorite desserts) – actually ages the body from the inside out.
advanced glycation end products,
high blood sugar,
Also known as pantothenate or pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 is sometimes referred to as the “anti-stress” vitamin because it can reverse some biological damage caused by stress. Physical, emotional, and psychological stresses trigger the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol (a long-term stress hormone) and adrenaline (a short-term stress hormone). Chronic stress drives the production of too much of any of these hormones, which causes damage in the body long after the stress signal has ended. When vitamin B5 is present in adequate amounts, it is able to down-regulate the secretion of cortisol, and the body is able to recover. However, in a deficiency state, the adrenal glands are unable to cope. Under these circumstances, they cannot launch a healthy response against the multiple daily stressors that assail us, and the chronic (often unavoidable) stress eventually takes a physiological toll.
Find out what whether you're vitamin B5 deficient today with our Micronutrient test!
Breast cancer is often caused by a compromised ability to detoxify estrogen. Although this hormone is essential– it contributes to skin, bone, psychological, and reproductive health – excess estrogen and the conversion of estrogen into dangerous metabolites can drive cancers in hormone-sensitive tissues (breasts, cervix, uterus, and ovaries).
Estrogens are a group of structurally similar hormones that are metabolized continuously in the body. Sometimes these forms are protective, and sometimes they are metabolized into harmful forms that can stimulate tumor formation or initiate breast cancer. Whether estrogen becomes protective or damaging depends on micronutrient availability in bodily tissues that drive these metabolic pathways. One example is vitamin B6. This nutrient helps detoxify excess estrogen so that it does not cause tumors. Similarly, magnesium drives the enzyme that removes toxic forms of estrogen from the body. Cysteine – a powerful antioxidant - prevents estrogen from being oxidized into a dangerous form that promotes breast cancer. In short – when the appropriate micronutrients are biologically available, toxic forms of estrogen can be minimized, thus diminishing the potential for breast tumor development.
Download our Estrogen - Nutrient Correlations Wheel.
estrogen and breast cancer,
breast cancer awareness
The short answer is - both. Ask most women, and many will tell you that a mammogram is the most powerful tool when it comes to breast cancer prevention. Unfortunately, getting a mammogram is not truly preventive, although it is a very powerful tool for early diagnosis. In other words: mammograms do not prevent breast cancer from developing, even though these procedures facilitate early diagnosis that in turn allows providers to target the cancer in its earlier, more treatable stage. Prevention is dependent on healthy breast tissue, and to be healthy, the body’s detoxification pathways, which are dependent on several micronutrients, must perform optimally. Micronutrient deficiencies compromise this process, leaving the potential for rogue cells to flourish and become tumors. This is also true for other hormone-sensitive tissues (cervical, uterine, and ovarian). Prevention begins by providing the body with the necessary materials (micronutrients) in appropriate amounts to detoxify and repair cellular damage, daily.
breast cancer preventnion
Why you should know about CoQ10 if you are taking a statin.
Most Americans have heard of statins, a group of drugs commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. But many people are not familiar with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), the micronutrient that is known to be depleted by most people who take statins. In fact, the original patent for statins (AKA “HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors”) acknowledged this as early as 1990; however, this is still not widely known today. CoQ10 (AKA ubiquinone because it is so ubiquitous in the body) is a substance that creates energy, the most fundamental of all cell functions. Tissues with a high energy requirement – heart, liver and muscles – require CoQ10 to work. If these cells don’t have sufficient CoQ10, a person may eventually experience fatigue, muscular pains, or both.
Do you know your CoQ10 status? Get your SpectraCell Micronutrient Test today!
Triage Theory states that the body uses whatever nutrients are available to ensure that the most basic and pressing metabolic functions are fueled first; if a needed nutrient is not available, the body compromises long-term health to ensure short-term critical function. This is analogous to a triage situation in any emergency room: prioritizing a patient’s needs based on the severity of his or her situation/ condition. In the same way, our bodies naturally “triage” on a daily basis. Cells will sacrifice nutrients from non-survival functions for immediate physiological needs. For example, nutrients will be diverted from tissue repair to meet a more critical need such as fighting off an infection or secreting cortisol to deal with an imminent stressor. When an adequate supply of necessary nutrients is available to all cells, short-term and long-term health is preserved. However, when not enough of these nutrients are available – and this is often the case given the prevalence of a nutrient-poor diet, stress, and other lifestyle habits that impact nutrient intake and absorption - the stage for the development of chronic disease is set, negatively impacting long-term health.
- LINK TO ABSTRACT Plasma folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 and breast cancer risk in BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutation carriers: a prospective study.
SpectraCell's Educational webinar series hosted every month addresses how various diagnostic tools can aide in improving patient outcomes. To view our complete webinar library, please be sure to visit by clicking here.
One of our most recent webinar presentations is highlighted below. The presentation gives the viewer a detailed look into understanding methylation processes and key components that may or may not affect estrogen metabolism presented by Dr. Karan Y. Baucom an expert in the field.
Estrogen Metabolism and its Clinical Applications
Presented by Karan Y. Baucom, MD
- Overview of the methylation process and its effects on clinical conditions
- Understand key components of the biochemical pathways affecting methylation and estrogen metabolism
- The role of nutrition in the methylation process and estrogen metabolism
- Case Study Review
Click on the image below to view SpectraCell's webinar on "Estrogen Metabolism and its Clinical Applications."
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SpectraCell is at the forefront of providing a variety of resources to further expand our followers' knowledge in the area of integrative health. To learn more about the tests SpectraCell offers, please visit www.spectracell.com and to register for future webinars please check www.spectracell.com/webinars.
Recent finding suggests testosterone therapy in men not harmful to prostate
In a recently published study, 1023 hypogonadal men who received testosterone therapy were monitored for an average of 5 years for prostate cancer. The authors concluded that “testosterone therapy in hypogonadal men does not increase the risk of prostate cancer” although the authors did explicitly note that there was not control group in this study of men not taking testosterone.
Similar conclusions were reported in a different review of a testosterone replacement therapy in men, although the effect of testosterone on cardiovascular disease and events was much less clear. Whether or not to treat men with testosterone remains equivocal, as highlighted in the clinical decisions case study listed below.
(Journal of Urology, January 2015)
(Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety, October 2014)
(New England Journal of Medicine, November 2014)
LINK to ABSTRACT Incidence of prostate cancer in hypogonadal men receiving testosterone therapy: observations from 5-year median followup of 3 registries.
LINK to ABSTRACT Adverse effects of testosterone replacement therapy: an update on the evidence and controversy. LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to CASE STUDY Clinical decisions. Testosterone-replacement therapy.
For more information or to get tested, please visit www.spectracell.com
SpectraCell is expanding their hormone and thyroid test menu.
Like nutrients, hormones influence all aspects of health and disease - mood, sleep, metabolism, immunity, heart health and appearance. An imbalance of one hormone can initiate a cascade of events that alters other hormones, so a comprehensive look at hormone status is key. Thyroid hormones directly regulate every cell in our body as most basic functions like metabolism, emotions and thinking. The below components have been added to our already established hormone and thyroid test.
Estrone sulfate (E1) – Included in our male and female hormone profiles
This estrogen has very strong tissue proliferative effects and may be linked to estrogen dominant conditions like fibrocystic breasts, endometriosis and uterine fibroids. It will create either dangerous or beneficial metabolites, depending on a person's nutritional status.
Estriol, unconjugated (E3) – Included in our female hormone profile
Estriol is a weak estrogen that is very high during pregnancy, but also plays an important role in non-pregnant women by opposing the growth of cancer cells promoted by the stronger estrogens E1 and E2. Estriol is also known to alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes or urinary incontinence.
Reverse Triiodothyronine (Reverse T3) – Must be ordered individually
As the name implies, Reverse T3 opposes the biological action of T3. It slows metabolism and renders T3 in the body biologically inactive. The rate of rT3 production relative to T3 will increase in times of stress (high cortisol) and in the presence of nutrient deficiencies, inflammation or certain medications.
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