SpectraCell Blog

A SUCCESSFUL Case Study Involving Infertility and Nutritional Status

Posted by Heather Vorce on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 @ 12:36 PM

woman, health infertilityA 25 year old white female was dealing with prolonged infertility issues. She was also previously treated for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

Case Summary:
In September 2003, this patient was very interested in becoming pregnant. She utilized Basal Body Temperature charting with adjunctive use of the LH ovulation kit. She and her husband were counseled on focused sex for five days before and three days after ovulation. After more than a year and a half of unsuccessful attempts at pregnancy, her physician recommended SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing. Almost two years later, her results returned gross deficiencies of:

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
  • Zinc
  • Serine
  • Glutamine
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Glucose-Insulin interaction (consistent with insulin resistence frequently found in PCOS).
Her Antioxidant Function was remarkably low at 38.1% demonstrating increased potential for oxidative damage. All of the abnormalities were present despite her taking excellent prenatal vitamins, fish oil, chromium and NAC.

Based upon her deficiencies found with SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing, she was recommended adequate replacement for each of the deficiencies.

child, health, infertilityClinical Outcome:
She and her husband subsequently became pregnant very quickly (within a month) and attended her first obstetrics appointment. She delivered a 8lb. 7oz. viable baby boy at 38 and a half weeks by vaginal delivery.

As a result of performing SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing, the physician was able to identify key nutritional deficiencies in their patient which occurred despite the patient following a good diet and taking good prenatal vitamins and other nutritional supplements.

The physician was also able to safely supplement her during her pregnancy which helped facilitate optimal growth and development of an extremely healthy and happy baby.

Infertility, fertility, children, women's healthApproximatley 85% of women will become pregnant within one year of trying. This young lady had been unsuccessful for 21 months. If she had not become pregnant, she probably would have used fertility treatments, as do many women with PCOS. This patient is forever grateful for the existence and utilization of SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing.


If you or someone you know has had trouble conceiving, what have they tried?  Have the been successful?

Topics: SpectraCell, Nutrition, Fertility, infertility, Women's Health

Medicare Policy Disallows Assays for Micronutrient Testing

Posted by Heather Vorce on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 @ 11:00 AM

0389l0010 tubes of blood resized 600The medicare contractor for Region IV, Trailblazer Health Enterprises, recently proposed an unduly restrictive Local Coverage Determination (LCD) for laboratory tests to detect deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional components (4L-116AB “Assays for Vitamins and Metabolic Function”).  This would be the most restrictive policy in the nation regarding tests for vitamins and minerals, and is based upon premises which appear to be scientifically unsound. Unless this LCD is delayed or revised, the policy is scheduled to become effective August 16, 2010 and will limit physician's patient’s coverage to one vitamin, mineral or antioxidant test. In summary, this proposed policy states:

"Medicare considers vitamin assay panels (more than one vitamin assay) a screening procedure and therefore, non-covered. Similarly, assays for micronutrient testing for nutritional deficiencies that include multiple tests for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various metabolic functions are never necessary...Many vitamin deficiency problems can be determined from a comprehensive history and physical examination..."

SpectraCell has formally advised Trailblazer that this policy appears to be unreasonable, and is in conflict with current scientific and medical evidence.

It is well known that physicians often find it reasonable and necessary to order multiple tests to detect deficiencies of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (and such a position is fully supported by the scientific literature).  On a routine basis, for example, physicians commonly order tests for vitamins B-12 and folate simultaneously, as is the case for vitamin D and calcium, or similarly for calcium, magnesium, and zinc.  On a less routine basis, physicians such as you who are particularly well-versed in the clinical relationships between nutritional deficiencies and disease processes may frequently find it reasonable and necessary to order a broader range of nutritional tests, including, for example (in addition to those mentioned above), varying combinations of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-6, copper, selenium, chromium, glutathione or coenzyme Q-10.  Each of these physician’s orders – based on the physician’s determination of medical necessity – would be denied coverage under the proposed Trailblazer policy solely because more than one test is requested.

If you agree with our position that this policy is unreasonable, we encourage you to express your opinion to Trailblazer.

Trailblazer Health Enterprises, LLC
Attention: Medical Directors
Executive Center III
8330 LBJ Highway
Dallas, TX 75243

Topics: SpectraCell, vitamin, nutrition testing, medicare

46 year old female with ECZEMA and Nutritional Deficiencies

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jul 09, 2010 @ 11:29 AM

Background:Eczema Case Study

This patient was also diagnosed with fatigue, hormonal imbalance with irregular menstrual cycles, an ovarian cyst and GERD. She also took Prilosec (20mg/day).

SpectraCell's micronutrient testing revealed decreased levels of zinc, coenzyme Q10 and significantly decreased total antioxidant function. Based upon these deficiencies, she was administered the following treatment protocol:

  1. 25mg/day of Zinc
  2. Coenzyme Q10
  3. Various antioxidants

In addition to the above supplements, she was also recommended to follow a diet modification and exercise program.

What was his clinical outcome?

After only 1 week of treatment with zinc, coenzyme Q10 and other antioxidants, the symptoms of dermatitis significantly subsided. In about 2 weeks the symptoms completely disappeared. The patient stopped using any of her creams prescribed by her dermatologist. The patient's fatigue significantly subsided and her energly level increased.


It is a known fact that zinc deficiency may cause symptoms of eczema, fatigue, apathy, brittle nails and other symptoms. In this case, the physician observed the tremendous benefit of using micronutrient analysis which detected a zinc deficiency. This deficiency was the cause of the patient's long standing eczema which has not been helped by any conventional medical treatment. Zinc supplementation helped this patient to get rid of longstanding eczema.

Supplementation with antioxidants and coenzyme Q10 have helped to correct her low antioxidant function and helped to manage her chronic fatigue state.

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, zinc, Antioxidants, deficiencies, eczema and nutrition, dermatitis

The Telomere Buzz

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 06, 2010 @ 10:33 AM

JAMA Telomere Article resized 600

Last year, the Nobel Prize Peace Prize for Medicine was awarded for the research surrounding telomeres and telomerase. Numerous new studies are being published demonstrating the important relationship between telomeres and one's health.To summarize these studies; when telomeres are short, people have a greater risk for age-related problems. People with longer telomeres should age well and live longer. Even though the importance of measuring telomere length is being debated, the evidence is mounting, and arguments supporting telomeres as a marker of health are becoming stronger. Scientists and doctors are acknowledging the importance of measuring telomeres in order to determine biological and cellular age.

For those who are still concerned about the possibility that telomerase activation might promote cancer, the link below features the abstract of the article published this week in JAMA:

"Telomere Length and Risk of Incident Cancer and Cancer Mortality"

Based on the clinical information surrounding telomeres, have you or are you considering adding Telomere Testing to your patient protocol. If so, what treatment strategies are you utilizing?

Topics: telomere length, telomere, telomere test, telomere and cancer

50 year old female with CHRONIC FATIGUE and nutritional deficiencies

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jul 02, 2010 @ 11:28 AM

Background:Chronic Fatigue

In 2005, this patient initially compained of fatigue, stating she would often feel tired upon rising and would have to push herself throughout the day and often take naps in the afternoon. She also complained of tinnitus, abdominal bloating and gas, mild constipation, yeast infections, weight gain, aching in her hips and fibrocystic breast disease. Her primary care physician had done minimal testing and attributed her symptoms to depression, recommending antidepressant medications which gave her no benefit. After undergoing standard labs and an ION panel, the patient noted that most of her symptoms still persisted.

The patient underwent SpectraCell's micronutrient testing to determine i fany improvements could be observed relative to the initial laboratory tests two years earlier. The results revealed considerable deficiencies in vitamin B12, pantothenate, vitamin D, CoQ10 and Spectrox. Borderline deficiencies were found in vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, folate, biotin, serine, choline, inositol, carnitine, chromium, zinc, copper, magnesium, glutathione, selenium and vitamin E. These findings were surprising given the consistency of oral supplementation over the previous two years. Many of the new deficiencies were not considered to be low on the ION panel in 2005. Based upon these deficiencies, and a concern that digestive tissues were part of the problem, she was administered the following IV infusions (once a week for 6-8 weeks):

  1. Vitamin C (25 grams)
  2. B-complex
  3. B12
  4. Pantothenate
  5. CoQ10
  6. Folic Acid
  7. Chromium
  8. Zinc
  9. Copper
  10. Selenium
  11. Magnesium
  12. Calcium
  13. Glutathione

During this time, oral supplementation was scaled back and directed only towards elimination of GI infection and gut repair.

What was his clinical outcome?

After 8 weeks of treatment, the patient reported dramatic improvement in energy, noting that she had not experienced anything like this prior to doing the IV replacement infusions. All digestive symptoms were resolved, her mood was better, she had less tinnitus, she had lost weight, body aches were diminished and her breasts were even better than before. Oral supplementation was modified to focus on those nutritional deficiencies identified in the test results.


At her last office visit in 2008, she reported to be in good health, feeling that many of her chronic problems from the past were no longer an issue. She reported good energy with minimal fatigue, except for mid afternoon, and no more problems with her breasts. The patient was on a simple maintenance regimen of nutritional supplements that included some of the deficient nutrients identified in 2007.

Topics: serine, folate, Carnitine, Choline, B Vitamins, deficiencies, chronic fatigue and nutrition, biotin, inositol

Why SpectraCell?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jul 01, 2010 @ 10:59 AM

Why SpectraCell photo resized 600As medicine progresses in the pursuit of health and wellness, patient care is taking on a broader and deeper perspective. Our understanding of the importance of biochemical individuality and the role of subclinical deficiencies in chronic disease conditions continues to grow rapidly. It is the mission of SpectraCell Laboratories to provide the medical community with the information it needs to understand these developments and provide the diagnostic tools it requires to take full advantage of them.

About SpectraCell

SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc., is a specialized clinical testing laboratory company. We were established in 1993 to commercialize a patented, groundbreaking technology for micronutrient testing. 


The technology was developed at the University of Texas, by the Clayton Foundation for Research, as a diagnostic blood test for helping clinicians assess the intracellular function of essential micronutrients.


Since acquiring the rights to the technology, SpectraCell has become the premier provider of tests for identifying subclinical nutritional deficiencies. Our corporate headquarters recently expanded its state-of-the-art facilities in Houston, TX to encompass 30,000 square feet of laboratory and administrative space. This expansion was undertaken in response to the growth in demand for nutritional and cardiovascular testing that you, our clients, have generated, for which we are sincerely appreciative.


Our expanded laboratory enables us to handle increasing volumes while also providing the framework in which we can continue to develop additional tests while continuously maintaining our standards of high scientific quality. In short, we expect to serve you even better in the future. We serve the entire United States and several foreign countries.


A Window on Intracellular Function

We are passionate about our business - and committed to our client practitioners and their patients. We believe that optimal individual nutritional status is vital for promoting general health and preventing many specific diseases.



Topics: SpectraCell, diagnostic tools, wellness, Chronic Disease, health