SpectraCell Blog

Calcium the MOST abundant mineral in the body!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 @ 12:54 PM

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, withcalcium 99% residing in bones and teeth. As a component of hard tissues, calcium fulfills a structural role to maintain body size and act as attachments for musculoskeletal tissues. The remaining 1% of calcium is present in blood and soft tissues.

Functions of non-skeletal calcium include: enzyme activation, second messenger roles (transmitting hormonal information), blood clotting, cell and cell organelle membrane function (stabilization and transport), nerve impulse transmission and muscular contraction, tone, and irritability. Calcium levels in the blood are maintained within very strict limits by dietary intake, hormonal regulation and a rapidly exchangeable pool in bone tissue.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Calcium deficiencies are both acute and chronic. Acute calcium deficiency relates to lack of ionized calcium, causing increased muscular and nervous irritability, muscle spasms, muscle cramps and tetany. Chronic calcium deficiency manifests as bone loss disorders (osteoporosis, osteomalacia in adults, rickets in children), tooth decay, periodontal disease, depression and possibly hypertension. Those at risk for calcium deficiency include: malnourished, malabsorption and bone loss disorders. Conditions which are known to decrease calcium uptake or distribution are: decreased gastric acidity, vitamin D deficiency, high fat diets, high oxalate intake from rhubarb, spinach, chard and beet greens, high phytic acid intake from whole grains, high fiber intake, immobilization, faster gastrointestinal motility, psychological stress, thiazide diuretic therapy, aluminum compounds (aluminum-containing antacids, drugs, some parenteral feeding solutions).

View our webinar on Clinical Implications of vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, as well as download a copy of this case study highlighting 52 year old female with muscle aches all include a deficiency in calcium.

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Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Vitamin D, Calcium, micronutrient test, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies

Folate, how vital is it to YOU?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 @ 09:32 AM

Folate also known as folic acid is needed to folate produce blood cells and other new tissue cells. 

Folate is a generic term for a group of pteridine compounds essential for one-carbon unit metabolism.  Folates are involved in the synthesis of DNA, RNA and tRNA necessary for cell growth.  Folates are required for metabolism of methionine, histidine, tryptophan, glycine, serine and formate.  Interactions with vitamin B6 and B12 also occur from common metabolic pathways.  Folate function is necessary to prevent accumulation of homocysteine.  Deficient folate status of pregnant females is also directly linked to incidence of birth defects, especially neural tube defects such as spina bifida. 

Deficiency symptoms:

Symptoms of folate deficiency include birth defects (neural tube defects, spina bifida), fatigue, anorexia, constipation, glossitis, headaches, insomnia, restless legs, paranoia, memory impairment, megaloblastic anemia (identical in appearance to vitamin B12 deficiency), hypersegmentation of neutrophils and with severe deficiency, intestinal lesions.  However, the neurological complications of vitamin B12 deficiency do not occur with folate deficiency. Thus, a regulatory limit on folate levels in dietary supplements of 400 mcg per unit is in effect, to prevent a potential missed diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Those at risk for folate deficiency include: Vitamin B12 deficiency, malnourished, malabsorption, pregnant and lactating women, increased rate of cellular division (burns, trauma, malignancies, hemolytic anemias), alcoholics, anti-convulsant therapy (phenytoin, barbiturates, primidone), folate antagonist therapy (nethotrezate, 5-fluoroacul, pyrimethamine), tuberculosis therapy (isoniazid plus cycloserine), oral contraceptive users, sulfasalzine therapy, elderly, infants and inherited folate disorders.

Repletion Information:

Dietary sources richest in folate (per serving) include:

  • Nutritional Supplements
  • vitamin-fortified cereals
  • wheat germ
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Liver

Download the nutrient correlation chart on Autism, and anxiety, as well as a case study highlighting 50 year old female with chronic fatigue all include a deficiency in folate.

To find out your micronutrients levels, click here!

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, folate, Folic Acid, Vitamins, micronutrient