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Why Test YOUR Micronutrient Levels & MTHFR?


New Grid 2013

Why is an MTHFR test important?

Determining your MTHFR genotype gives you valuable information about your body's ability to methylate.  Methylation is a crucial part of cell processes and reduced function has been linked to numerous medical conditions including neurological and cardiovascular disorders, mental dysfunctions and diabetes.  The old paradigm that we are simply at the mercy of our genes is now challenged by a new age of truly individualized healthcare.  Get vital knowledge for your personalized healthcare solutions today.

What role does nutrition play in this function?

Nutrition plays a substantial role in methylation pathways, and SpectraCell's Micronutrient testing can give you an accurate stats of 33 vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  You may be able to compensate for your body's inability to methylate efficiently through targeted repletion, and micronutrient testing will provide assessment of nutritional deficiencies.  The test also allows you to identify deficiencies in other micronutrients that can be contributing toward the development and/or progression of chronic disease and keep you from feeling your best.

SpectraCell Laboratories is combining the Micronutrient Testing and MTHFR Genotyping as a special package promotion.  To find out more CLICK HERE!
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Studies Show How Micronutrients can Help


Vitamin D protects telomeres: a randomized, controlled trialTelomeres

Telomerase activity was measured before and after 37 people were given either placebo or about 2000IU of oral vitamin D supplements per day for 16 weeks.  Serum vitamin D levels for those taking the supplement increased almost 200%.  The telomerase activity increased over 19% as well, while the telomerase activity of those on placebo did not change. (International Journal of Obesity, June 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Increased telomerase activity and vitamin D supplementation in overweight African Americans.

Vitamin C helps antidepressant drug work better
Vitamin C In this randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial, a group of patients with major depressive disorder (n=12) were given fluoxetine plus 1000mg of vitamin C daily and compared to a group (n=12) that were given fluoxetine plus placebo.  After six months, those receiving vitamin C in conjunction with fluoxetine showed a significant decrease in symptoms when evaluated using three different standardized depression rating systems compared to the placebo group. (Nutrition Journal, March 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT Efficacy of vitamin C as an adjunct to fluoxetine therapy in pediatric major depressive disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study.

Serine improves ADHD symptoms
serine resized 600In this randomized, double-blind trial, 36 children diagnosed with ADHD received either 200mg of phosphatidylserine or placebo daily for two months.  Those receiving phosphatidylserine showed improved memory, attention and control of impulses compared to placebo.  Serine’s key role in psychiatric and neurological health has been gaining attention from studies such as this.  The authors concluded that phosphatidylserine “may be a safe and natural nutritional strategy for improving mental performance.”
(Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, March 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Are micronutrients underrated when it comes to pregnancy chances in assisted reproduction?
pregnancy resized 600Several recent studies are suggesting that micronutrient status prior to and during pregnancy should get more attention.  One study showed that low blood values of B vitamins and high homocysteine in mid pregnancy reduced fetal growth rates.  Another study showed that low homocysteine, determined by B vitamin status, was linked to a better chance of pregnancy in women undergoing assisted reproduction.  Yet another study showed that subfertile women undergoing ovulation induction who were taking a multi-micronutrient vitamin were more likely to get pregnant than women who took only a folic acid supplement.  Finally, a recently published review demonstrates how increasing a woman’s ability to fight oxidative stress increases her chances of successful pregnancy via assisted reproduction.
(Maternal of Child Nutrition, April 2013)
(Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, April 2012)
(Reproductive Biomedicine Online, January 2012)
(Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, June 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 and homocysteine: impact on pregnancy outcome.
The association between homocysteine in the follicular fluid with embryo quality and pregnancy rate in assisted reproductive techniques.
LINK to ABSTRACT Prospective randomized trial of multiple micronutrients in subfertile women undergoing ovulation induction: a pilot study.
LINK to ABSTRACT The effects of oxidative stress on female reproduction: a review.

Study sheds light on CoQ10’s role in healthy spermsperm resized 600
Sixty infertile men were given 200mg of CoQ10 or placebo for 3 months.  CoQ10 lowered oxidative stress in semen (measured by isoprostanes and superoxide dismutase activity) and improved sperm function significantly. (Andrologia, January 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT Effect of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation on antioxidant enzymes activity and oxidative stress of seminal plasma: a double-blind randomised clinical trial.


For more information on micronutrients and telomeres CLICK HERE


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Telomeres: De-Stress vs. Distress


The Fatigue SolutionExcerpt from Eva Cwynar, M.D.'s new book, "The Fatigue Solution"

A 2004 study conducted in San Francisco looked deep into the DNA of stressed-out mothers of chronically ill children. They were looking at the mothers' telomeres, the "tip" of a strand of DNA, which protects the DNA from damage. Telomeres naturally get shorter as we age, until eventually the cell dies. That's one reason we lose eyesight, hearing, and muscle strength as we age. The 2004 study showed that stress has a similar effect, shortening the telomeres of the stressed-out moms, and aging them before their time. Women with the highest levels of perceived stress had telomeres shorter on average by the equivalent of at least one decade of additional aging compared to low stress women. The good news is that those mothers who were better able to deal with stress - who had found ways of coping and maintaining a positive attitude - didn't suffer the same damage to their telomeres.

Telomeres get shorter as we age, but that can be accelerated by the way we live our lives (stress, drugs, lack of exercise, etc. accelerate the demise of the telomere). There is a genetic predisposition as to how quickly your telomeres shorten, but we're now finding that things such as growth hormone, estrogen, testosterone, and antioxidants can slow the rate of shortening.

To learn more, read the free full paper or abstract of "Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress" (2004 Proc Natl Acad Sci)

To learn more about Dr. Eva Cwynar, visit her website:


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Telomeres, Hormones and Aging


Guest blog by: Dr. Mike Carragher

Telomere TestingTelomere length gives us a unique view of how your cells are aging.  Knowing this can help you decide how aggressive your anti-aging program should be.

Telomeres are sections of genetic material at the end of each chromosome whose primary function is to prevent chromosomal “fraying” when a cell replicates. Think of the plastic tip of shoelaces, protecting the shoelace.  Telomeres protect chromosomes in the same way.  As a cell ages, its telomeres become shorter. Eventually, the telomeres become too short to allow cell replication, the cell stops dividing and will ultimately die – a normal biological process.

Telomere testing measures the ‘biological age’ of your cells.  It is one of the newest advancements in age management and anti-aging. It’s a simple blood test. Telomere testing determines the length of a person’s telomeres in relation to their age.

Evaluation of telomere length is an indicator of how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Therapies directed at slowing the loss of telomere length may slow aging and age-related diseases.  Therefore it has a role in any anti-aging/age management program.

Hormones & TelomeresHormones and Telomere Length
Scientists have found that telomerase, the enzyme that repairs and regulates telomeres, is controlled and activated by hormones.  Therefore, in order to keep ourselves healthy and with a high quality of life, I believe we must maintain all our hormones at optimal levels. Letting those hormones drop is to let the telomeres get short. When telomeres get short, cells age. Aging causes disease, and death follows.  Studies show that optimal levels of the hormones testosterone and estrogen levels help preserve telomere length.

Optimal Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels are also associated with telomere length.  A 2009 study published by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism looked at 2744 men and found that telomere length was positively associated with serum IGF-1 levels.  IGF-1 is the indirect measurement of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) in the body. This positive association is reassuring to me when it comes to optimizing HGH levels.

Nutrition & TelomereNutrition and Telomere Length
An inflammatory diet, or one that increases oxidative stress, will shorten telomeres faster. This includes refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and saturated fats. A diet with a large amount and variety of antioxidants that improves oxidative defense and reduces oxidative stress will slow telomere shortening. Consumption of 10 servings of fresh and relatively uncooked fruits and vegetables, mixed fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, cold water fish, and high quality vegetable proteins will help preserve telomere length.

Lifestyle and Telomere Length
One should achieve ideal body weight and body composition with low body fat (less than 22 % for women and less than 16 % for men). Decreasing visceral fat is very important. Regular targeted aerobic and resistance exercise, using burst training to optimize human growth hormone release, sleeping for at least 8 hours per night to optimize hormones, stress reduction to optimize cortisol, and discontinuation of all tobacco products are strongly recommended.

NutritionNutritional Supplements and Telomere Length
Oxidative stress will shorten telomere length and cause aging in cellular tissue. Antioxidant supplements can potentially reduce oxidative stress very effectively, which will ultimately improve oxidative defenses, mitochondrial function, reduce inflammation and slow vascular aging. Targeted supplementation is key, as antioxidants work synergistically and must be balanced to work most effectively and avoid inducing a pro-oxidant effect. My favorite antioxidants are Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Melatonin, and Marine Krill Oil.

When Should Testing Be Considered?
I recommend testing once per year to evaluate the rate of aging and make adjustments in hormonal optimization, nutrition, nutritional supplements, weight management, exercise and other lifestyle modifications known to influence telomere length.

To learn more about telomere and micronutrient testing, please visit our website at

Dr. Mike Carragher


Dr. Mike Carragher, M.D.- The Body Well

For more information about our client Dr. Carragher, please visit his blog or contact him at (323) 874-9355.

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Watch SpectraCell's 2011 Webinar Presentations


Webinar Library 2011

Access and download SpectraCell's 2011 webinar presentations, including MP3 files and presentation slides below:

If you have any suggestions on future topics you would like to learn about, please email us at  We would love to hear from you!
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SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - Volume 5, Issue 11


PregnancyCLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin Status During Pregnancy Affects Language Skills of Children, Even at Age Three

Mothers were given questionnaires on their use of folic acid and other supplements during pregnancy in a large study in Norway.  Almost 39,000 children were evaluated for language competency and it was found that those children whose mothers took folic acid during pregnancy had about half the risk of severe language delay at three years old as those whose mothers took no supplements. (Journal of the American Medical Association, October 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Folic acid supplements in pregnancy and severe language delay in children.

CarnitineCLINICAL UPDATE - Carnitine to Combat Oxidative Stress?

A single dose of 2.0 grams of L-carnitine was given orally to 12 healthy volunteers and plasma levels of antioxidants were subsequently measured.   After carnitine was ingested, levels of the potent antioxidants increased (superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidise, and catalase) as well as total antioxidant capacity.  Antioxidant levels returned to baseline within 24 hours, but researchers concluded that L-carnitine may be a useful therapy for illnesses involving excessing oxidative stress. (The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, October 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Single dose administration of L-carnitine improves antioxidant activities in healthy subjects.


AthletesCLINICAL UPDATE - CoQ10 Protects Muscles in Endurance Athletes

A group of athletes were given oral coenzyme Q10 prior to running 50 kilometers and compared to athletes who also ran but received placebo.  Runners who took coQ10 had lower levels of common inflammatory markers such as isoprostanes, cell membrane hydroperoxides and TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-α), thus exhibiting less muscle damage that occurs with intense physical training. (European Journal of Nutrition, October 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q(10) supplementation ameliorates inflammatory signaling and oxidative stress associated with strenuous exercise.

Niacin and HeartCLINICAL UPDATE - Adding Niacin to Statin Therapy Shows No Benefit Says Study, but Critics Don't Agree

In the large AIM-HIGH clinical trial, a total of 3414 patients with established heart disease were randomized to receive simvastatin plus either placebo or extended release niacin (Niaspan).  Although the group receiving niacin (also known as vitamin B3) showed significant improvement in HDL and triglyceride levels, researchers concluded that there was no reduction in cardiovascular events after 3 years, when the study was halted.  Critics contend that one of the biggest flaws of the study was that the placebo group was given immediate release niacin so that both the placebo and extended-release niacin would experience flushing, a common side effect of niacin treatment and therefore not know to which group they were assigned.  With both groups receiving niacin treatment, critics argue the results are not definitive and await results of the larger HPS2-THRIVE trial data (also evaluating the potential benefit of adding niacin to statin therapy) that is expected in about a year. (New England Journal of Medicine, November 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Niacin in Patients with Low HDL Cholesterol Levels Receiving Intensive Statin Therapy.


Concussion TreatmentCLINICAL UPDATE - A New Paradigm for the Treatment of Concussion

In what may be “one of the first [papers] to suggest what may become a paradigm shift in the treatment of post concussion syndrome,” this comprehensive review presents clinical evidence on the efficacy of natural compounds such as omega 3 fatty acids, curcumin and vitamins C, D and E to treat concussion. Additional commentary(page 19) explicitly outlines the common flaws and study design errors in clinical trials of antioxidants.  Similar research shows coenzyme Q10 decreases ischemia and the harmful post-traumatic brain injury inflammatory cascade in rats. (Surgical Neurology International, October 2011; BioMed Central Neuroscience, July 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Stuck at the bench: Potential natural neuroprotective compounds for concussion.


LINK to ABSTRACT Effect of coenzyme Q10 on ischemia and neuronal damage in an experimental traumatic brain-injury model in rats.


Micronutrient and TelomereCLINICAL UPDATE - The Micronutrient-Telomere Interaction Gains Acceptance

The emerging field of nutrigenomics – the study of how individual genes interact with diet and nutrition – is gaining acceptance as science uncovers the ways in which genes are influences by specific nutrients.  In particular, research on telomeres and micronutrients such as folate shows how various nutrients are vital in protecting DNA and therefore preserving telomere length. (Journal of Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics, May 2011; Genome Integrity, August 2010; Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, July 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics: viewpoints on the current status and applications in nutrition research and practice.


LINK to ABSTRACT Nutriomes and nutrient arrays - the key to personalised nutrition for DNA damage prevention and cancer growth control.


LINK to ABSTRACT Telomere dynamics: the influence of folate and DNA methylation.

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SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - Volume 5, Issue 9


Nutrition and AgingCLINICAL UPDATE - Triage Theory of Aging Gains Momentum
The triage theory of aging proposes that a single nutrient deficiency will increase age-related diseases because vitamin-dependent proteins needed for short term survival processes (breathing, eating, etc) are protected at the expense of proteins needed for long-term survival processes (immunity, cellular repair, heart function, etc).  Researchers tested this theory with selenium dependent proteins and the results confirm previous evidence – that even modest selenium deficiency compromises long-term health.  In other words, deficiencies that are not severe enough to show obvious clinical symptoms will still significantly compromise cellular function if not corrected. (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, June 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Adaptive dysfunction of selenoproteins from the perspective of the triage theory: why modest selenium deficiency may increase risk of diseases of aging.

Blood vs. serumCLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin B12 Screening Guidelines Needed, Suggests Scientists
Since vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common, often occurring from prolonged use of diabetes drugs or heartburn medications.  Researchers recommend a functional assessment of B12 status since serum B12 may not reliably detect B12 deficiency. (American Family Physician, June 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Update on vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin E Conflicting ResultsCLINICAL UPDATE - Possible Explanation for Conflicting Results of Vitamin E Supplementation Studies
In an in vitro study on the various forms of vitamin E, scientists found that the antioxidant properties of α- and γ-tocopherol vary depending on whether the lipoprotein in which they exist is LDL, VLDL or HDL. Specifically, when incorporated into HDL, vitamin E showed pro-oxidant properties but demonstrated anti-oxidant properties in LDL and VLDL.  Researchers concluded that this may explain why some supplementation studies on vitamin E have not been unequivocal. (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, June 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT The two faces of α- and γ-tocopherols: an in vitro and ex vivo investigation into VLDL, LDL and HDL oxidation

TelomeresCLINICAL UPDATE - Link Between Telomeres and Exercise Explained
Evidence is clear that physical activity improves telomere dynamics although the optimum amount of exercise and specific mechanisms have yet to be elucidated.  This review addresses these issues, explaining how exercise induces beneficial changes in inflammatory markers as well as healthy hormonal cascades (reduced cortisol, for example) that positively impact telomere biology.  Moderate physical activity has the most positive effect on telomere biology while extremely high levels such as that seen with endurance athletes may have a negative effect. It may be noted, however, that long-term resistance training in powerlifters show a protective effect on telomeres, indicating that the definition of “moderate” exercise may be more intense exercise than commonly accepted. (Journal of Aging Research, February 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Physical activity and telomere biology: exploring the link with aging-related disease prevention.

Omega 3 and DiabetesCLINICAL UPDATE - Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Diabetes - What's the Story?
Conflicting conclusions on the relationship of omega 3 fatty acids and incidence of diabetes have appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition but closer examination of the studies explains the apparent discrepancies.  In one prospective study on over 36,000 women, researchers used a food frequency questionnaire to determine the level of omega 3s and concluded that there was a higher risk of type II diabetes for women who ate more omega 3 fatty acids.   However, estimates of omega 3 fats were made from self-reported fish intake, regardless of the type of fish or the manner in which it was prepared.   In later studies that used objective markers of omega 3 levels or more specific information on the source of omega 3s – one on 3088 men and another on over 43,000 people – found that as levels of omega 3 fatty acids increased, diabetes risk decreased.  This evidence points to further applications for use of the Omega-3 Index as an objective biomarker. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January and August 2011; Prostaglandins and Other Lipid Mediators, June 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Dietary omega-3 fatty acids and fish consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes.
LINK to ABSTRACT Plasma omega-3 fatty acids and incident diabetes in older adults.
LINK to ABSTRACT Omega-3 fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: the Singapore Chinese Health Study.
LINK to ABSTRACT The Omega-3 Index as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Coenzyme Q10 and AlzheimersCLINICAL UPDATE - Coenzyme Q10 Shows Promise for Alzheimer Treatment
When coenzyme Q10 was administered in an animal study, results showed decreased levels of oxidative stress in the brain, decreased amyloid plaques (typically seen in Alzheimer patients) in the brain and improved cognitive performance, showing promise for CoQ10 as a potent neuroprotective agent. (Journal of Alzheimer Disease, July 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q10 Decreases Amyloid Pathology and Improves Behavior in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

Mother and ChildCLINICAL UPDATE - Zinc Supplementation of Pregnant Women Shows Long Term Benefit to Offspring

In a trial of 165 pregnant women, researchers found that the heart function of their offspring was stronger  compared to children of women who were not supplemented with zinc.  Interestingly, these results were evident on children at 4 ½ years of age, suggesting that supplementing zinc-deficient women has very long term benefits for neural development that controls automatic physiological processes such as heart function. (Journal of Nutrition, February 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Maternal Zinc Supplementation during Pregnancy Affects Autonomic Function of Peruvian Children Assessed at 54 Months of Age.

To read more clinical updates, visit our archives...


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SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - Volume 5, Issue 8


Micronutrients and VitaminsCLINICAL UPDATE - Government Implements Large Study on Functional Micronutrient Status

The National Institutes of Health, which is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, has assembled an expert team of scientists to evaluate the “use of biomarkers that reflect nutrient exposure, status and functional effect” with the ultimate goal of “global health promotion and disease prevention.” The program is called the BOND program – Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development – and a conference held in June 2011 was held that outlined goals of the program, such as the inclusion of five nutrients specifically chosen for review of available biomarkers: vitamin A, vitamin B12, folate, iron and zinc. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Executive summary--Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development: Building a Consensus.

TelomereCLINICAL UPDATE - Antioxidant Treatment Elongates Telomeres

In two separate animal studies, treatment of cells with antioxidants reduced the attrition rate of telomeres. Specifically, one study showed that N-acetyl cysteine partially corrected the accumulation of telomere-related DNA damage in cells. In another study, a deficiency in the powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase negatively affected telomeres. (Aging Cell, April 2011) (Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, April 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Accelerated hematopoietic stem cell aging in a mouse model of dyskeratosis congenita responds to antioxidant treatment.

LINK to ABSTRACT Antioxidant therapy attenuates myocardial telomerase activity reduction in superoxide dismutase-deficient mice.

Breast Cancer and womenCLINICAL UPDATE - Breast Cancer: Not All B Vitamins Created Equal

B vitamin levels (folate, B3, B6 and B12) were estimated in over 72,000 women between the ages of 40 and 70 in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study in China. Women with the highest dietary folate intake had a 40% lower chance of developing breast cancer, but only for premenopausal women. Interestingly, researchers found that higher vitamin B3 (niacin) intake was associated with an increased risk of hormone-sensitive breast cancer, which is the most common type in the United States. (American Journal of Epidemiology, May 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Dietary B vitamin and methionine intakes and breast cancer risk among Chinese women.

Human BrainCLINICAL UPDATE - New Role Discovered for Vitamin C in Eyes and Brain

Researchers discovered that vitamin C is a key nutrient needed to keep retinal cells functioning properly, and they speculate these benefits extend throughout the nervous system. Specifically, special receptors (called GABA-type receptors) in the eye and brain stop working properly when vitamin C is not present. These receptors facilitate communication between brain cells by keeping neurons in the brain from getting overly excited, which may explain the depressive symptoms seen in people with gross vitamin C deficiency known as scurvy. (Journal of Neuroscience, June 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Allosteric Modulation of Retinal GABA Receptors by Ascorbic Acid.

Post Natal DepressionCLINICAL UPDATE - Folic Acid Link to Post-Natal Depression May Be Genetic

Folic acid supplements during pregnancy might help protect against worsening depression up to 21 months after giving birth, especially in women with the MTHFR genotype that influences folate metabolism. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2011)


LINK to ABSTRACT Folic acid supplementation during pregnancy may protect against 21 months after pregnancy, an effect modified by MTHFR C677T genotype.

Muscle PainCLINICAL UPDATE - Correcting Vitamin D Deficiency in Statin Users Resolved Muscle Pain

In 150 patients that were unable to tolerate statins because of myalgia (muscle pain), vitamin D was given to correct potential vitamin D deficiency. After 3 weeks on 50,000 IU of vitamin D, statins were restarted. After 8 months of statin usage once vitamin D deficiencies were corrected, 87% of the patients who were unable to initially tolerate statins were free from muscle pain and could tolerate statin usage. (Current Medical Research and Opinion, July 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin D deficiency, myositis-myalgia, and reversible statin intolerance.

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SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - Volume 5, Issue 7


Brain BioenergeticsCLINICAL UPDATE - CoQ10 Improves Brain Bioenergetics
Recent research shows CoQ10 to have clinical benefit in both migraine prevention and protection against injury that occurs from lack of blood flow to the brain (as in stroke).  Specifically, a randomized controlled trial on 120 children with migraines showed that 100mg of CoQ10 reduced the frequency of migraine headaches, but only in the first four weeks of supplementation. In another  study, CoQ10 therapy given after brain ischemia reduced damage from oxidative stress that occurs after such injuries, and it also increased the concentrations of vitamin E in both the brain mitochondria and blood. (Cephalalgia, June 2011; Current Alzheimers Research, May 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover, add-on study of CoEnzyme Q10 in the prevention of pediatric and adolescent migraine.
LINK to ABSTRACT Effects of Coenzyme Q and Creatine Supplementation on Brain Energy Metabolism in Rats Exposed to Chronic Cerebral Hypoperfusion.
TelomeresCLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin E Elongates Telomeres
When human connective tissue cells were treated in vitro with vitamin E, researchers observed a reduction in the amount of damaged DNA with a concurrent increase in telomerase activity and elongated telomeres. This confirms other evidence that nutritional status affects telomere length. (Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, March 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Tocotrienol-rich fraction prevents cell cycle arrest and elongates telomere length in senescent human diploid fibroblasts.
LINK to ABSTRACT Diet, nutrition and telomere length.
LINK to ABSTRACT Healthy aging and disease: role for telomere biology?

AutismCLINICAL UPDATE - Carnitine Reduces Severity of Autism
In a prospective double-blind, randomized clinical trial on thirty autistic patients, 50mg (per kilogram body weight) per day of L-carnitine therapy given for three months improved symptoms of autism such as cognitive function and muscle control. (Medical Science Monitor, June 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT A prospective double-blind, randomized clinical trial of levocarnitine to treat autism spectrum disorders.
DiabetesCLINICAL UPDATE - Inositol Helps Control Gestational Diabetes
Inositol was given (4g daily) for eight weeks to a group of pregnant women with diagnosed gestational diabetes and compared to a control group that was not supplemented with inositol, but that also had gestational diabetes.  Those treated with inositol had significantly lower fasting blood glucose and insulin while levels of the fat-burning hormone adiponectin increased compared to the non-supplemented group. (Diabetic Medicine, August 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT The effect of myoinositol supplementation on insulin resistance in patients with gestational diabetes.

CLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin D and Zinc Lower Prostate Cancer Mortality Risk
In two separate American studies, higher vitamin D levels and a higher intake of dietary zinc significantly reduced the risk of prostate cancer specific mortality. Specifically, there was about a 20% increase in mortality risk for the men with the lowest levels of vitamin D and a 50% increase in mortality risk for men with the lowest intakes of dietary zinc, compared to those with the highest levels. (PLoS One, April 2011; American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Prediagnostic Plasma Vitamin D Metabolites and Mortality among Patients with Prostate Cancer.
LINK to ABSTRACT Dietary zinc and prostate cancer survival in a Swedish cohort.

CataractCLINICAL UPDATE - Low Vitamin C Linked to Cataract
Levels of vitamin C were measured in the blood of over 5600 people over the age of sixty.  Among antioxidants measured (vitamin C, vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin), all had an inverse association with cataract but vitamin C showed the strongest link and this association was consistently observed by type of cataract as well. (Ophthalmology, June 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Inverse Association of Vitamin C with Cataract in Older People in India.

To read more clinical updates, visit our archives...

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SpectraCell's Telomere Testing Goes Mainstream


Telomere TestingAmerica’s #1 rated morning news program, The Today Show, featured a story highlighting SpectraCell’s Telomere Test, a blood test that measures cellular aging. The segment entitled How to Live to 100 showcased SpectraCell’s Telomere Test as a tool for those interested in monitoring their health with biomarkers specific to longevity and aging. The Telomere Test measures a person’s biological age in comparison to their chronological age, giving a person an overall picture of how well they are aging.

SpectraCell was the first company to commercially offer telomere analysis to patients when it introduced its Telomere Test in June 2009. Before that, telomere testing was only available to researchers and university scientists. SpectraCell’s telomere testing was also recently featured in the New York Times (May 18, 2011). The Today Show, which has over five million viewers, aired the story on July 13, 2011. (

describe the imageTelomeres are sections of DNA at the end of chromosomes that cap genetic material and serve as protective buffers that prevent chromosomes from becoming attached to each other or rearranging. They are often compared to the caps at the ends of shoelaces. Every time a cell replicates, its telomere gets shorter, eventually causing cell death once the telomere attrition has reach its maximum. Measuring telomere length in human lymphocytes is an indicator of cellular aging, and research demonstrates that shortened telomeres are responsible for many of the normal processes of aging.

“SpectraCell Laboratories has always been on the cutting edge of diagnostic testing and Telomere Testing is no exception. We commercialized this test in direct response to interest from our physician clients, who saw it as a natural complement to our micronutrient testing,” says Otto Schaefer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SpectraCell. “The landscape of healthcare is really changing, with people taking charge of their own personal health information.”

The most common question asked by people who get the telomere test is “What do I do if I have a low telomere score?” Basic lifestyle changes are the first step – these include smoking cessation, moderate daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. For those who have already made these choices but still have a low telomere score, a comprehensive nutritional assessment is recommended.

Deficiencies in nutrients such as folate and vitamins C and D can shorten telomeres, so it is imperative to correct such deficiencies. Oxidative stress is another major culprit in telomere shortening so reducing inflammation and shoring up the body’s antioxidant defenses is critical for telomere maintenance. A person’s ability to combat free radicals, which cause oxidative stress, can be improved by correcting deficiencies in specific antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin E, selenium and glutathione.

Telomere length is affected by many factors: age, genetics, lifestyle, disease and pharmaceuticals. Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and dementia have strong associations with shorter telomeres. But telomere attrition can be mitigated significantly with aggressive lifestyle therapies as well as certain medications.

SpectraCell’s test measures a person’s telomere length. A control gene is also measured and compared to the telomere length, and then results are stated as a ratio. A higher ratio means a longer telomere, and younger biological age. The Telomere Score is also compared to other individuals in the same chronological age group.

This automated test is based on Quantitative Real Time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology and only requires 1 mL of whole blood. When a sample is received at SpectraCell’s Houston laboratory, the white blood cells are broken apart, the DNA is extracted and the telomeric DNA is amplified into a measurable signal. This signal is compared to a control gene of known length and a Telomere Score is generated. The price of the Telomere Test is $290. Testing once each year starting around age 25 is suggested to monitor the rate of telomere loss. More information at

About SpectraCell Laboratories – SpectraCell is a CLIA accredited laboratory servicing healthcare providers nationwide by providing advanced clinical tests that measure nutritional status, cardiovascular risk, and cellular aging.

SpectraCell’s micronutrient tests measure the function of over 32 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants in white blood cells, specifically taking into consideration personal differences in metabolism, age, genetics, health, prescription drug usage, absorption rate and other factors.

SpectraCell’s Telomere test measures how well a person’s body is aging internally. Many factors – both genetic and environmental – affect the rate of telomere loss, and this test provides an overall window into aging at the cellular level.

SpectraCell’s Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ is the most advanced lipoprotein particle test available, providing an accurate and in-depth assessment of cardiovascular risk.

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