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.
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.
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Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is needed to form blood and immune cells, and support a healthy nervous system. A series of closely-related compounds known collectively as cobalamins or vitamin B12 are converted into active forms methylcobalamin or 5’-deoxyadenosylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin interacts with folate metabolism, preventing folate derivatives from being trapped in unusable states. Adenosylcobalamin is involved in the metabolism of odd-chain fatty acids and branchedchain amino acids.
Deficiency symptoms of vitamin B12 are both hematological (pernicious anemia) and neurological. A megaloblastic anemia may occur because the effects of the vitamin B12 deficiency on folate metabolism. Shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, irritability, sore tongue, decrease in blood cell counts (red, white and platelets) are all clinical signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Neurological symptoms are manifested as a progressive neuropathy, with loss of position sense and ataxia. If vitamin B12 repletion is not initiated, permanent neurological damage, including degeneration of nerves and spinal cord can result. Recent evidence suggests that mental symptoms of depression and fatigue are detectable before anemia develops. Vitamin B12 is necessary to prevent accumulation of homocysteine, a toxic metabolic byproduct linked to cardiovascular disease and connective tissue abnormalities. Hypochlorhydria and gastrointestinal disturbances are frequently associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.
Dietary sources for cobalamins are strictly from animal foodstuffs. Vitamin B12 is not found in plant foodstuffs. Dietary supplements can also contain vitamin B12 The 1989 RDA for vitamin B12 is 2.0 μg for adults. No toxic effects of oral vitamin B12 intake have been demonstrated, even in doses over 1000 μg daily. Since the absorption and intracellular activation of oral vitamin B12 are frequently difficult, consideration should be given to injectable forms of vitamin B12. Some patients may require more frequent or larger doses than usual before repletion occurs.
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