SpectraCell Blog

The Thyroid: What, Where and How

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 @ 10:49 AM

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

The simplest way to describe your thyroid and its function is to compare it to a furnace that is run by a thermostat (the pituitary gland). Together, they regulate how much energy and stamina you have on a daily basis. The amount of thyroid hormone you have affects how well you have slept, how you feel when you get up in the morning, and how effectively you will make it through your day.

Thyroid function affects every cell in the body. It is the main regulator of basal metabolism, which is the amount of energy needed to maintain essential physiologic functions when you are at complete rest, both physically and mentally. If your thyroid gland is not producing optimally, your cells cannot properly take in the nutrients they need, receive the right amount of oxygen, or get rid of waste materials efficiently. Thyroid hormones also affect your heart, muscles, bones, and cholesterol, to name just several of its jobs.

Introducing the 3s and 4s:

There are two main hormones produced by the thyroid:

  • Triiodothyronine, known as T3
  • Tetraiodothyronine, known as T4

You many have noticed a portion of the word "iodine" in each of the hormones above. That's because the function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones. Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body that can absorb iodine.

These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. The normal thyroid gland manufactures both T3 and T4; it produces about 80 percent T4 and about 20% T3. However, T3 is about four times as potent as T4. T4 is actually a precursor to T3. While traveling through the liver, T4 loses one of its iodine molecules, which converts the T4 to T3.

There is one more factor we have to mention to complete this process, and that is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain and gives that gland its thermostat-like function. So the thyroid is the furnace that provides the "heat" in the form of the T3 and T4 hormones and the pituitary gland is the thermostat that goes on and off according to the amount of heat in the body. TSH tells the thyroid to raise or lower the heat. The process goes like this:

T3 and T4 travel through the bloodstream, producing heat

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The pituitary gland senses the heat; the thermostat shuts off; TSH production slows down

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The body cools as the level of thyroid hormones decrease

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The pituitary senses the decrease in temperature; the thermostat pops on; TSH production increases

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The furnace produces more heat.

When  your body temperature drops, your metabolic rate drops, too. You produce less energy, and you store more calories as fat - in other words, you gain weight. You also suffer from fatigue, irritability, and the inability to concentrate.

Learn more about this topic below:

Also, to learn more about Dr. Eva Cwynar, visit her website: www.dreva.com

 

Topics: Fatigue, Thyroid, Hormones, Dr. Eva Cwynar

Nutritional Considerations of Weight Management

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 01:13 PM

Weight ManagementPresented by: Ron Grabowski, R.D., D.C.

Topics of Discussion:

  • How does inflammation play a role with weight loss?
  • Learn why a high protein diet may be detrimental in a long-term weight loss program.
  • Why should we focus on the micronutrients during weight loss?
  • Case Study Review

Listen to the archived webinar presentation as well as download the presentation slides!

 

Topics: Weight Loss, Nutrition, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Weight Gain, Protein

SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - Volume 6, Issue 7

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Aug 09, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

Omega 3sCLINICAL UPDATE - Omega 3s Can Replace Ibuprofen for PMS Pain
In this trial, a group of women were given either placebo or omega3 fatty acids for three months, followed by three months of the opposite regimen.  Symptoms of PMS, especially pain, were monitored. After 3 months of treatment, women who took the omega 3 capsules every day decreased their ibuprofen usage by 19% (first group) and by 53% (second group). (International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT  Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea

AsthmaticsCLINICAL UPDATE - Carnitine Supplements Improve Lung Function in Asthmatics
A recent placebo-controlled study compared 50 children with asthma to 50 healthy controls and found that not only were levels of the amino acid carnitine lower in those with asthma, but supplementation with 350mg of L-carnitine daily for six months significantly improved lung function is those with asthma.   Researchers noted that carnitine’s primary role in transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria may explain its benefit to those with asthma – carnitine also transports fatty acids to lung membrane surfaces ensuring they are lubricated, explaining a mechanism by which carnitine improves pulmonary function. (Journal of Allergy, 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT L-carnitine improves the asthma control in children with moderate persistent asthma.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to FLYER on NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS OF ASTHMA

DiabetesCLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin C Benefits Diabetics on Metformin
Seventy patients with type II diabetes were given either placebo or 500mg vitamin C twice a day.  All patients were taking metformin as well. After twelve weeks, measures of blood sugar control (fasting blood sugar, post-meal blood glucose and HbA1c levels) were all improved in the vitamin C group only. (Advances in Pharmalogical Sciences, 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Supplementation of vitamin C reduces blood glucose and improves glycosylated hemoglobin in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, double-blind study.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

Brain InjuryCLINICAL UPDATE - Zinc: A New Role for Traumatic Brain Injury
In this review, the protective role of zinc against traumatic brain injury is elucidated.  The authors stat that human clinical data “suggest that zinc may increase resilience” and can be used “to improve cognitive and behavioural deficits associated with brain injury.” (Nutrition Reviews, July 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Improving treatments and outcomes: an emerging role for zinc in traumatic brain injury.

FertilityCLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin E Increases Sperm Count
106 infertile men were included in this trial  – 64 were infertile due to low sperm count and 42 were infertile due to poor sperm motility.  They were divided into two groups – both groups received pharmaceutical therapy for fertility but only one group was simultaneously treated with a natural form of vitamin E.  Sperm count and motility improved more dramatically in the vitamin E treated group.  In fact, only five natural pregnancies occurred in the non-vitamin E group, while 15 natural pregnancies occurred in the vitamin E treated group.  In an unrelated trial, vitamin E was co-administered with fertility drugs to a group of women and compared to fertility drug treated women without vitamin E.  Although those treated with vitamin E did not have statistically higher rates of pregnancy, the women given vitamin E did show significantly improved endometrial thickness, which would facilitate future pregnancy. (Natural Journal of Andrology, May 2012; Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Efficacy of natural vitamin E on oligospermia and athenospermia: a prospective multi-centered randomized controlled study of 106 cases.
LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin E effect on controlled ovarian stimulation of unexplained infertile women.

Muscle MassCLINICAL UPDATE - A New Role for Omega 3s in Building Muscle Mass
A group of women (average age = 64 years old) were put on a strength training program for 90 days.  Some of the women were given fish oil supplements while others received no supplement. Measures of muscle strength were taken and those taking fish oil showed significantly higher muscle development.  Researchers hypothesized that this increase in muscle development during strength training is due to the role omega 3 fatty acids play in plasma membranes and muscle cell function. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Fish-oil supplementation enhances the effects of strength training in elderly women.

SerineCLINICAL UPDATE - High Dose Serine Improves Neuropathy: Case Report
One of the most common inherited neurological disorders, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease affects approximately 1 in every 2500 people and is characterized by muscle wasting and peripheral neuropathy. In this case report, a male patient with polyneuropathy had a serine synthesis defect.  Deficiency in the amino acid serine often manifests neurologically and in this case, high-dose supplementation of serine improved his neuropathy symptoms. (Archives of Neurology, March 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT A Serine Synthesis Defect Presenting With a Charcot-Marie-Tooth-Like Polyneuropathy.

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Topics: serine, zinc, Carnitine, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, diabetes, Fertility, PMS, Omega 3s, Asthma