SpectraCell Blog

CASE STUDY: Female with Fibromyalgia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Aug 09, 2011 @ 03:37 PM

FibromyalgiaPatient was initially seen in January of 2006. She had been diagnosed five years prior with fibromyalgia by her rheumatologist after ruling out other rheumatologic and autoimmune diagnoses. At that time, she was prescribed dulaxetine and gabapentin. Her pain was described as “constant” and “often intense”, limiting her daily activities. She has a history of poor sleep habits and constantly feeling unrefreshed in the morning. Otherwise, osteoporosis and depression were her only other comorbidities. Her daily intake of nutritional supplements included: 1000mg of strontium carbonate, 1200mg of calcium citrate, 400IU of vitamin D in divided doses. Upon physical examination, fifteen of the eighteen FMS points were positive upon 5kg of digital pressure. Sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia (SEA) occurred at 140 mm Hg of pressure. Only mild hypertonicity was found throughout her upper trapezii and paraspinal musculature. SpectraCell testing revealed functional intracellular deficiencies of vitamin B6, vitamin D, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10. Her total antioxidant function measured 51.2%. Based upon these deficiencies, she was administered the following daily nutritional supplement protocol:

  • B-Complex weighted with extra B6 (250mg)
  • 500mg of magnesium glycinate
  • 1000IU of vitamin D3
  • 200mg of Coenzyme Q10

She was also instructed to consume one cup of pomegranate juice per day. Foods containing the deficient nutrients were advised to be consumed.

SpectroxFollow up SpectraCell testing was performed six months later.

All deficiencies were resolved except for CoQ10. Her SPECTROX™ results increased to 68.1%. Sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia (SEA) occurred at 170 mm Hg of pressure. Overall, her fibromyalgia symptoms were greatly improved. She was able to perform more of her activities without “suffering the consequences”. She still had some pain from the fibromyalgia, but this was only a “shadow” of the previous pain. In addition, she is waking up in the morning with more energy. Her rheumatologist has taken her off gabapentin and duloxetine. It was recommended to increase CoQ10 to 300mg per day and continue at a lower dose of the daily protocol until following up with another SpectraCell test in one year.

describe the imageB6 and magnesium synergistically assist the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin (which, in turn, is converted into melatonin). As a result, improvements in sleep and mood resulted. Magnesium has been used as a treatment for FMS for many years. However, SpectraCell can differentiate those patients who will better respond, thereby saving everyone time, money, and pain. Magnesium is the body’s ‘calcium channel blocker’ in the NMDA receptor, preventing the release of Substance P and various inflammatory cytokines. CoQ10 is the electron transporter than facilitates ATP production. Although in previous studies serum levels of CoQ10 (not intracellular levels) were found to be normal in FMS patients, one study demonstrated that many patients did improve when administered Coq10. Perhaps, intracellular studies would have clarified which patients were truly deficient and, therefore, would benefit for CoQ10 therapy. Vitamin D has entered as a potential key substance in evaluating fibromyalgic patients. Studies have shown that serum levels of 25-OH vitamin D correlate inversely with depression and pain of FMS. One of the symptoms of moderate Vitamin D deficiency is wide spread muscle pain. It is now commonly used in various autoimmune disorders. Being that Vitamin D is a potent antioxidant, this might have been responsible for part of the improvement in this patient’s SPECTROX™ test.

For more information on our micronutrient test, click here.

For additional case studies, click here.

 

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Fibromyalgia, Spectrox

The Role of Micronutrients in Cognitive Function

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Aug 05, 2011 @ 09:55 AM

Cognitive FunctionALPHA LIPOIC ACID – This nutrient protects against the neuronal injury that occurs in the presence of toxic proteins found in brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients. Research clearly indicates that lipoic acid is a potent neuroprotective antioxidant which strengthens memory and stimulates nerve growth.

B VITAMINS – Folate, Vitamin B6 and B12 are important in methylation processes. Deficiencies in one of these vitamins can raise homocysteine levels which is linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk. Vitamin B1 protects against mitochondrial dysfunction that causes dementia. B12 improves frontal lobe functions such as language, especially in the elderly.

CARNITINE – The amino acid carnitine has potent antioxidant properties. Its role in the transport of fatty acids to the mitochondria explains its beneficial effects on fatigue, which include both physical and mental fatigue. Several trials have demonstrated a consistent improvement in memory, focus and cognition with carnitine supplementation.

CHOLINE – Another member of the B-complex, choline is the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is intimately involved in memory. Choline deficiency can induce mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain that clinically presents as cognitive impairment.

CHROMIUM – In a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, chromium supplementation for twelve weeks enhanced cerebral function in older adults, possibly as a downstream effect of improved glucose disposal in patients with insulin resistance.

COPPER – Intracellular copper deficiency increases the formation of amyloid deposits in the brain. Specifically, copper accumulates in amyloid plaques while remaining deficient in neighboring brain cells indicating that copper deficiency is a plausible cause of Alzheimer’s.

GLUTATHIONE – This antioxidant is used up faster in brain tissue in the presence of choline deficiency.

GLUTAMINE and ASPARAGINE – Both act as neurotransmitters in the brain.

INOSITOL – A member of the B-complex of vitamins, inositol regulates cell membrane transport, thus explaining its key interaction with several hormone and regulatory functions. Research suggests it can protect against the formation of abnormally folded toxic proteins seen in Alzhiemer’s patients. Inositol treatment also has beneficial effects on depression and anxiety.

OLEIC ACID – This fatty acid found primarily in olive oil and is the precursor to oleamide, which interacts with several neurotransmitters and has demonstrated anti-depressant like properties. Oleic acid also facilitates absorption of vitamin A into cells.

SERINE – This amino acid is the major component of phosphatidylserine, an integral part of cell membranes in the brain. Phosphatidylserine increases the release of several neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and epinephrine, thus improving the rate at which mental processes occur, without the hyperactivity or compulsive behavior that often occurs with drugs that stimulate a single neurotransmitter.

VITAMIN A – In the Physician’s Health Study II, vitamin A supplementation (50mg) improved cognition and verbal memory in men. Short term (1 year) effects of cognitive function were not seen, but significant benefit occurred in those on long-term treatment (18 years.)

VITAMIN C – Next to adrenal glands, nerve endings contain the highest levels of vitamin C in the body. High intakes of vitamin C are associated with lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

VITAMIN E – In addition to antioxidative properties, vitamin E reduces death to cells in the hippocampus and protects brain from glutamate toxicity. High dietary intake of vitamin E may lower Alzheimer’s risk.

ZINC – Low functional status of zinc is linked to negative alterations of the immune-inflammatory system, which can cause depression, impair learning and memory and a reduce neurogenesis. Zinc also regulates synaptic plasticity.

Additional nutrients tested by SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test – BIOTIN, CALCIUM, COENZYME Q10, CYSTEINE, MAGNESIUM, SELENIUM, VITAMINS B2, B3, B5, D, K and SPECTROX™ (a measure of total antioxidant function)

 

 

Topics: serine, micronutrient testing, Oleic Acid, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Asparagine, zinc, Carnitine, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Copper, inositol, Glutamine, Glutathione, Chromium