SpectraCell Blog

The Medical Insider Interviews SpectraCell Laboratories

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 @ 04:05 PM

Dr. CrawfordThe Medical Insider - Don't Be Fooled Be Informed

Dr. Crawford, SpectraCell's Senior Vice President of Operations, was recently interviewed on the Medical Insider. On this radio program, he discussed micronutrient testing and current medical trends with Dr. Richard Powell and Dani Walker.

About Medical Insider:

Have you ever wondered if the information your doctor is sharing with you is the whole truth and nothing but the truth?  Has your doctor told you everything and given you every option available regarding your healthcare?  The Medical Insider takes an inside look at various modalities, therapies, medications, supplements and much more to bring you the up to date cutting edge information so you are empowered to make your own healthcare decisions.  A no-holds-barred discussion of what works, and what doesn't, from an allopathic, pharmaceutical as well as alternative healthcare perspective.  Don’t be fooled be informed with your hosts Dani Walker and Dr. Richard Powell.

Listen to the recorded interview HERE.

Also, feel free to visit The Medical Insider's website to listen to additional interviews and podcasts.

The Medical Insider

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, diagnostic tools, Dr. Fred Crawford

Reducing Homocysteine Risk with Comprehensive Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 @ 10:07 AM

Follow-up Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

The metabolic marker homocysteine has gained attention as an area of treatment for various conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to general skin health.  Homocysteine as a marker for disease risk modification has been seen as a factor not ideally suited for pharmacological intervention, but more so for nutrient supplementation.  This makes sense as the methylation pathways, of which homocysteine is a marker for, are dependent on the nutrients folate, B12, B6 and SAMe.  Moreover, being able to realize the interplay between these nutrients is critical when it comes to repletion so as to make sure that nutrient deficiencies are not obscured or induced by therapeutic repletion dosages.  This states the necessity of having a valid nutrient testing method.

Micronutrient TestingSpectraCell’s micronutrient assessment allows for targeted intervention with regards to homocysteine, a marker identifiable on the Lipoprotein particle profile.  By being able to see the individual micronutrients, various pieces of the metabolic pathway picture can be put together.  This allows the clinician to know exactly which treatment options to reach for to have the greatest impact on homocysteine.  Of course, all of this is based on the notion that homocysteine is an inflammatory marker than responds mostly to nutrients.  While nutrients are indeed a very critical part of homocysteine lowering therapy, they are hardly the entire story.

More recent studies have shown that while homocysteine will respond to those nutrients that can act as methyl donors, it will also respond to more classical anti-inflammatories such as omega 3 fatty acids and plant based extracts.  This underscores the point that in some ways homocysteine acts similar to other inflammatory markers in responding to more classical non-pharmacologic anti-inflammatories.  But how do you know if either of these are an option for homocysteine lowering?  For this information, we transition back to those tests offered by SpectraCell.  The micronutrient test offers a novel marker known Spectroxas Spectrox which allows for the assessment of total antioxidant function.  As plant based phytonutrients are known for their potent anti-inflammatory properties, a lower Spectrox marker, indicating lower antioxidant / anti-inflammatory capacity, would confirm that usng plant based antioxidants would be a viable treatment option.  One such example of this in when homocysteine is showing increased clotting potential.  Introduction of resveratrol would have multiple effects in this scenario including elevation of total antioxidant function and the Spectrox marker, lower clotting potential and reduction of homocysteine.  Similar effects can be seen with omega 3 fatty acids which collective studies have shown will lower homocysteine.  A useful tool to determine omega 3 status is the Omega 3 Index, a test which can guide treatment intervention.

Then there are the tough cases where homocysteine levels are excessively high compared to the normal ranges.  At this point, consideration should be given to the potential for genetic variants for folate metabolism, specifically with regards to MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase).  Those patients that are showing excessively high levels of homocysteine are likely to be carriers of the gene variants, thus warranting MTHFR genotyping.

The more we have come to know about homocysteine, the more we understand that looking at the past day status quo of treatment, while valid, is not comprehensive.  Moreover, it is insufficient to fully determine the appropriate intervention to recommend as homocysteine lowering therapy.

Dr. Arland HillArland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN - Complete Care Chiropractic and Wellness 

 

For more information about Dr. Hill, please visit his website or his blog. Or, contact him at 281-557-7200.

Contact our bloggers at spec1@spectracell.com.

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Homocysteine, Antioxidants, lipoprotein particle profile, LPP, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, MTHFR Genotyping, Spectrox

Homocysteine is About More than Just Cardiovascular Risk

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 @ 11:48 AM

Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

 Homocysteine LevelsHomocysteine came to light in the research on the back of cardiovascular disease. Well respected clinician and researcher Kilmer McCully, MD noted the correlation between cardiovascular disease initiation and development and elevated homocysteine levels. Since this discovery, homocysteine research has uncovered additional areas whereby elevations in homocysteine may be a risk factor for damage.

Homocysteine, an amino acid with several health implications, is a measure of a process known as methylation. Methylation, which is the donation of a methyl or single carbon group, has multiple roles in the body. Some of these include hepatic detoxification, DNA and RNA replication and neurological function. The idea that homocysteine as a measure of cardiovascular is its most useful role short-changes the multitude of other areas where homocysteine has clinical significance.

NeurologyHomocysteine has received recent attention in the area of neurology. Various forms of dementia and neurodegeneration have been linked to homocysteine. Moreover, none of the elucidated pathways have to do with cardiovascular disease or inhibited blood supply to the brain. The two most classical neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease both have links to homocysteine. Alzheimer’s, which is characterized by amyloid and tau protein formation, results in degeneration of the hippocampal region of the brain, where short term memory is formulated and processed into long term memory. Though not completely related to homocysteine accumulation, it does appear that formation of these proteins is in part related to homocysteine. Likewise, elevations in homocysteine are also associated with Parkinson’s and degeneration of the dopamine producing areas and pathways. Worst yet though is that the common treatment for Parkinson’s, levadopa, increases homocysteine levels, making the need for homocysteine lowering therapy even more critical. It can be stated that excess levels of homocysteine increase the risk of whole brain atrophy. However, the impact of homocysteine hardly stops here.

Homocysteine is known to damage soft tissues, but what about the hard tissues of the body such as bone. Elevations alter the structural aspect of the bone making it less dense and ultimately weaker setting the stage for osteoporosis.

Blood CellsThe red and white blood cells are not protected from the effects of homocysteine either. Homocysteine has been shown to directly promote blood clotting through induction of thrombin, a promoter of platelet aggregation. Neutrophils, the first line defense against bacteria and foreign substances, when active present receptors that are sensitive to homocysteine. This promotes additional stimulation of other immune system cells resulting in a heightened response that can be overactive.

Homocysteine can also directly impact how you feel and look. Insulin resistance, a state commonly assessed by higher insulin levels, is tied to homocysteine. Homocysteine elevations impair the ability of the liver to store excess glucose, thus forcing it to stay in the blood stream. This ultimately makes the insulin resistance presentation worse, and since the cells do not get the energy they need, fatigue sets in. To add insult to injury, homocysteine damages both your external skin that the world sees, and also your internal organs. In a nutshell, this can be viewed as universal aging.

If you want to look your best, feel your best, and have an overall state of general wellness, homocysteine levels should be viewed routinely.

Dr. Arland Hill

Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN - Complete Care Chiropractic and Wellness 

For more information about Dr. Hill, please visit his website or his blog. Or, contact him at 281-557-7200.

Topics: Homocysteine, Cardiovascular Health, wellness, Neurology, Aging, Osteoporosis, Insulin Resistance, Methylation, Alzheimers, Amino Acid, Parkinsons disease

The Relevance of LDL Phenotype

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jun 03, 2011 @ 10:16 AM

LPP LogoThe LDL phenotype and size result has been removed from our most recent LPP™ report due to misinterpretation and lack of therapeutic guidance.

LDL phenotype is an outdated designation to identify a large LDL type from a small LDL type. LDL phenotype was used in the past because accurate data on individual LDL subgroups was not available or inaccurate. Today the LPP™ test gives accurate information on large-buoyant and small-dense LDL subgroups and this is much more specific for treatment and risk assessment than phenotype.

LPP Sample ReportPhenotype is one result that represents an average density or size for all LDL subgroups and is useful if the value of LDL is high but is very misleading if LDL is low. In fact when LDL is low or reduced in treatment the end result is often a more smalldense LDL profile with a type B phenotype. Therapy such as statin drugs remove mostly large-buoyant LDL leaving the treated patient with a much reduced LDL particle number that is comprised of a higher percentage of small-dense LDL. Since overall particle numbers are reduced this is a positive result for the patient.

A better method for LDL risk assessment and treatment is to use the number of LDL III and IV particles as a guide. These values give the exact number of type B or the most atherogenic LDL particles regardless of the phenotype designation.

The qualitative phenotype result can be determined in an alternate way rather than from the mean LDL density by looking at the dense LDL III and LDL IV subgroups. If both LDL III and LDL IV are “normal” then the phenotype is “Type A”. If one or both LDL III or LDL IV is “borderline” then the phenotype is “Type I” and if one or both LDL III or LDL IV is “high” then the phenotype is “Type B”.

 

Topics: SpectraCell, lipoprotein particle profile, LPP, Cardiovascular Health, LDL, Risk Assessment

Turn on Your Metabolism with Micronutrient Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jun 01, 2011 @ 09:32 AM

Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

Did you know that nutrient testing can help you zero in on some of the possible reasons that your metabolism may not be functioning optimally?  Nutrient deficiencies act as blockades to normal metabolic function.  The systems and pathways dependent on those nutrients which are found to be deficient are not able to function at an ideal rate.  As such the potential for symptoms such as increased weight gain, difficulty gaining muscle and fatigue, just to name a few may develop.

Some of the more common ways in which metabolism can be affected include the inability to properly process our macronutrients, or proteins, fats and carbohydrates, through the energy production pathways, and inability to manage glucose.

Energy is not just a subjective feeling about the way you feel when you wake up in the morning or throughout the day. Energy molecules, specifically known as ATP, are used by all cells of the body to carry out their needs.  This includes the cells of the immune system having the ability to immune challenges and the cells of the liver breaking down toxins to highlight a few.  The energy production cycles depend on multiple nutrients, but most noted are the B vitamins, specifically the lower B vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5.  For fats, carbohydrates, or proteins to go from the food that we eat to the ability to do work, they must be ultimately broken down and guided through pathways that rely on the aforementioned nutrients.  However, these are not the only nutrients that take part in the energy production process.  Lipoic acid, magnesium and coenzyme Q10 are also needed.

Another potential area that may affect metabolic function includes the inability to regulate glucose.  This can be misleading at times as glucose is typically the marker that is focused upon.  The body tries to regulate glucose tightly, often at the expense of other markers increasing such as insulin and triglycerides.  However, nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin D, zinc, chromium and SpectraCell’s novel glucose-insulin interaction marker may be early indicators of the need to take action prior to waiting for glucose levels to go awry.

While nutrient deficiencies may not be the only cause for dysfunction of the above mentioned areas, it often plays a role that should at least be investigated.

Dr. Arland HillArland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN - Complete Care Chiropractic and Wellness

For more information about Dr. Hill, please visit his website or his blog. Or, contact him at 281-557-7200.



Topics: SpectraCell, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, Vitamin D, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Fatigue, nutrition testing, Glucose Intolerance, deficiency, Chromium, Weight Gain, Energy, Metabolism