SpectraCell Blog

Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 01:20 PM

Is carnitine the answer for male infertility?male, infertility
A group of men (n=96) who had been diagnosed as infertile for at least 18 months were given the following nutritional formulation daily for four months: L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, fructose, citric acid, selenium, coenzyme Q10, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and folic acid (see abstract for exact dosages).  At the end of the study, sperm motility improved and 16 of the patients had achieved pregnancy.  The authors concluded that carnitine may be the key component of the supplement cocktail for improving sperm quality. (Italian Archives of Urology and Andrology, September 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Prospective open-label study on the efficacy and tolerability of a combination of nutritional supplements in primary infertile patients with idiopathic astenoteratozoospermia.

 

Vitamin D helps leg ulcers heal
In this double-blind, placebo controlled trial, 26 patients Vitamins, Vitamin Dwith leg ulcers were given either placebo or 50,000 IU vitamin D weekly for two months.  Leg ulcer size, blood levels of vitamin D and pain was measured before and after the two month trial.  In the vitamin D group, leg ulcers were reduced in size by 28% while the placebo group had only a 9% reduction in ulcer size. The authors stated “there was a trend toward better healing in those with vitamin D reposition.” (Journal of Brazilian College of Surgeons, October 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin D and skin repair: a prospective, double-blind and placebo controlled study in the healing of leg ulcers.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

 

Complexity of methylation reactions gains insightmethyl donor, nutrients
This review emphasizes how methyl donor nutrients such as choline, folic acid and methionine interact and how consumption (via supplement or food) of one can have sparing effect s on another – such as choline’s  sparing effect on methionine, for example. (Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, January 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT The nutritional burden of methylation reactions.
LINK to FLYER on NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS in METHYLATION

For more journal articles by disease or nutrient please click here

 

Topics: SpectraCell, serine, micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Cysteine, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, Vitamin B6, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Antioxidants, lipoprotein particle profile, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, diagnostic tools, vitamin, wellness, pregnancy, Serum, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, supplements, Multivitamins, Nutrition, diabetes, immune system, E-zinc, N-acetylcysteine, DNA, Calcium, Fertility, Lipoic Acid, deficiencies, health, Case Study, Omega 3s, Depression, Glutamine, Minerals, Neurotransmitters, Stress, Vitamin B1, micronutrient test, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B2, Nutritional Deficiency, Vitamin B3, cardiovascular disease, Hormones, Reproductive Health, Chromium, Manganese, Muscle recovery, Erectile Dysfunction, infertility, Niacin, Prostate, Energy, Methylation, Carbohydrate Metabolism

Can Nutrition Cure Depression?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 @ 11:09 AM

Presented by: Mary Ann Block, D.O.Depression, sad, nutrition

Topics of Discussion:

    • How Depression is Often a Symptom of Underlying Medical Problems
    • Nutrients Depleted by Antidepressants
    • Role of Zinc in the Development and Treatment of Mood Disorders
    • Case Study Review

 

Download our archived webinar presentation, "Can Nutrition Cure Depression?"

 

Also, check our webinar library for a complete list of previous webinars on a wide range of topics.

 

Topics: micronutrient testing, Antidepressants, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, B Vitamins, Antioxidants, Fatigue, Cholesterol, diagnostic tools, wellness, Vitamin B12, Multivitamins, Chronic Disease, E-zinc, deficiencies, chronic fatigue and nutrition, inositol, health, Case Study, website, Depression, Diet, Digestion, micronutrient test, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Energy, Bipolar, webinar, Blood Pressure, Amino Acid, caffeine, Women's Health

Are Nutrient Deficiencies Stunting your Health?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 @ 10:27 AM

Written by Dr. David J. Blyweiss, Sanctuary Medical Center

 

Micronutrient Testing Can Help.                                                                                  David J. Blyweiss, MD               

Are you struggling with the challenges of a chronic degenerative illness like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory arthritis or some other chronic health issue? With overwhelming evidence that nutrient deficiencies suppress normal biochemical/biological reactions in humans including immune system function, it is important for you to understand the scope of what this means to you personally and to your family. We have become nutritionally incomplete at a time of increasing change in our environment. And it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stay healthy in the face of fighting off the stressors, toxins, allergens, infections and the chronic inflammatory/immune system failures I see everyday; in patients from 9 years old to 90.

Dr. Charles Northren MD's work; "The Criticial Significance of Colloidal Minerals" was used as evidence (and was in fact U.S. Senate Document 264), in trying to force Big Agribusiness to put back into the ground that which their plants were taking out, leaving us undermineralised and under nourished. Nothing happened - that was 1936.

It's very easy to blame caffeine containing food and drink for the generations' old osteoporotic epidemic; after all, you lose calcium with every coke or cup of coffee you drink, right? Well we lost it too forty or fifty years before, but we had silicon and strontium and magnesium and calcium amongst other nutrients our very bones needed, in the top soil. These were being absorbed by the plants we were eating and incorporating them into our bodies. Now with unbridled erosion and empty hollow ground we are bereft of these freely given gifts of health.

How do you know which vitamins, minerals or antioxidants you are missing that your grandparents or great grandparents took for granted was in their food? One of the ways is to functionally test your blood to see which micronutrients your cells are actively needing to grow.

The test I prefer is the MNT (Micronutrient Test) from Spectracell, Inc. It doesn't just take a snapshot of what's circulating in your blood at the time of the blood draw, and it doesn't infer results from metabolic waste products. It reflects what your cells need right now to function optimally. I've done the test myself and on the ones I love. It's made a difference.

After your results come in we develop a personalized program that helps supplement your deficiencies.

Dr. David J. Blyweiss is a pioneer in functional medicine, which uses the systems biology approach to manage and alleviate symptoms related to difficult-to-treat diseases by focusing on the underlying causes of the malady, and allowing the body to heal itself. He has been practicing medicine for nearly 30 years. To learn more about the Sanctuary Medical Center, please click here. For more information on about all that SpectraCell has to offer, click here.

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Arthritis, Antioxidants, wellness, diabetes, immune system, Vitamins, Calcium, deficiencies, Minerals, degenerative illness, cardiovascular disease, caffeine, David J. Blyweiss, MD, Dr. Charles Northren, Sanctuary Medical Center

SpectraCell's Nutritional Correlation Chart on DEPRESSION

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 @ 05:52 PM

Depression WheelBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person affected with depression.
  • Chromium - Elevates serotonin (feel-good neurotransmitter) levels in the brain; May be particularly effective on eating symptoms of depression such as carbohydrate craving and increased appetite, due to its effect on blood sugar regulation.
  • Magnesium - Deficiency damages NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain, which regulate mood; Well-documented anti-depressant effects.
  • Vitamin B12 - Depression may be a manifestation of B12 deficiency; Repletion of B12 to adequate levels can improve treatment response; B12 deficiency common in psychiatric disorders.
  • Vitamin B6 - Cofactor for serotonin and dopamine production (feel good chemicals); Studies indicate that low levels may predispose people to depression.
  • Vitamin B2 - Low B2 has been implicated in depression due to its role in methylation reactions in the brain.
  • Vitamin D - Clinical trials suggest increasing blood levels of vitamin D, which is actually a hormone precursor, may improve symptoms of depression.
  • Carnitine - Increases serotonin and noradrenaline which lift mood; In trials, carnitine alleviates depression with few, if any, side effects.
  • Inositol - Influences signaling pathways in the brain; Particularly effective in SSRI  (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) sensitive disorders.
  • Biotin - Part of the B-vitamin complex, biotin deficiency has induced depression in animal and human studies.
  • Antioxidants - Oxidative stress in the brain alters neurotransmitter function; Antioxidants protect our brain, which is very sensitive to oxidation; Several antioxidants – Vitamins A, C and E, Lipoic Acid, CoQ10, Glutathione and Cysteine – play a key role in prevention and treatment of depression.
  • Serine - Regulates brain chemistry; Involved in NMDA receptor function; Acts as a neurotransmitter; Low levels correlate with severity of depression.
  • Zinc - Improves efficacy of antidepressant drugs; Particularly useful for treatment resistant patients; Regulates neurotransmitters.
  • Selenium - Integral part of regulatory proteins (selenoproteins) in the brain; Supplementation trials are promising; May alleviate postpartum depression.

To learn more, visit our Clinical Education Center's handouts section!

 

 

Topics: serine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Antioxidants, Vitamin B12, biotin, inositol, Depression, Vitamin B2, Chromium

Nutritional Considerations of Pain

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 @ 09:20 AM

PainBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person affected with body pain.

  • Cysteine - reduces pain caused by systemic inflammation due to its potent antioxidant properties.
  • Inositol - in animal studies, treatment with inositol induces antinociception (pain reduction).
  • Oleic Acid - this fatty acid is a precursor of oleamide, an analgesic that affects neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), all of which play a role in pain signaling.
  • Carnitine - deficiency of this amino acid may manifest as muscle weakness, pain (myalgia) or neuropathy. Supplementation reduces several types of chronic pain.
  • Magnesium - lowers pain by blocking NMDA receptors in spinal cord; effective in reducing post-operative pain.
  • Minerals:
    • Manganese - a cofactor for the potent antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which fights free radicals, a known source of pain.
    • Copper - supplementation can relieve arthritic pain.
    • Selenium - treatment with this mineral improves muscle pain in deficient patients.
    • Zinc & Calcium - research suggests both play a role in the transmission of pain signals through nerves.
  • Choline - activates specific receptors in brain and spine that lower acute pain.
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12 - these produce a dose dependent decrease in various kinds of pain (heat, pressure, chemical); increases sensitivity to pain meds; their effect is likely mediated through serotonergic neurotransmitters.
  • Vitamin D - deficiency often presents clinically as muscle or bone pain.
  • Lipoic Acid - very effective treatment for neuropathic pain.
  • Antioxidants - clinical trials show antioxidant therapy is an effective treatment for chronic pain
    • Vitamin E - reduces neuropathic pain
    • Vitamin C - can lower morphine consumption after surgery
    • Coenzyme Q10 - relieves statin-induced myopathy.

Download our 1-page flyer which illustrates the information above, HERE!

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Copper, Antioxidants, Pain, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, inositol, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Manganese

Nutritional Considerations of Fibromyalgia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

Fibromyalgia PatientBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person with Fibromyalgia.
  • Carnitine - deficiency causes muscle pain due to inefficient cellular energy metabolism (mitochondrial myopathy) which presentas as fibromyalgia.
  • Choline & Inositol - altered levels of both nutrients seen in fibromyalgia; choline & inositol are involved in pain perception.
  • Serine - blood levels of this amino acid are much lower in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Vitamin D - low levels impair neuromuscular function and cause muscle pain. Deficiency is common in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Vitamin B1 - Thiamin (B1) deficiency mimics fibromyalgia symptoms including serotonin depletion (decreased paing threshold), a decrease in repair enzymes (muscle soreness) and poor energy production (muscle fatigue).
  • Antioxidants - low antioxidant status increases pain in fibromyalgia, which is often considered an oxidative stress disorder.
  • Zinc - blood levels of zinc are associated with a number of tender points in fibromyalgic patients.
  • Magnesium - involved in pain perception pathways and muscle contraction; treatment with magnesium can improve tenderness and pain.
  • Selenium - deficiency is linked to fibromyalgia; in one trial, symptoms improved in 95% of patients supplemented with selenium for at least 4 weeks.

Download our 1-page flyer which illustrates the information above, HERE!

Topics: serine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Selenium, Antioxidants, Fibromyalgia, inositol, Vitamin B1

COMING SOON to a Lab Near You! Immunidex...

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 05:21 PM

SpectraCell ImmunidexWhat Does the Immunidex Measure?
A patient’s Immunidex score is one measurement to evaluate a person’s cell-mediated immune system performance. Specifically, it measures T-cell lymphocyte proliferation. Since immune function is a systemic measure of general health, a higher Immunidex score is generally desired since it means a person can respond efficiently not only to exogenous threats such as pathogens or allergens, but also to endogenous threats like tumors. The immune system, comprised of both cell-mediated (Th1) and humoral (Th2) components, when balanced and performing optimally, affords us critical protection and promotes health and wellness.

How is the Immunidex Performed?
A patient’s lymphocytes are isolated from whole blood and introduced to a protein that stimulates growth. The protein mitogen used to trigger mitosis, or cell division, is PHA (phytohemagglutinin), which stimulates T-lymphocytes to proliferate. The proliferative response is measured by the incorporation of radioactive thymidine into newly synthesized DNA. Your patient’s response is compared to responses of a reference population and results are reported to you as an Immunidex score.

Calcium DeficiencyWhat Affects the Immunidex Result?
Micronutrient deficiencies will undermine a person’s immune function, and thus lower the Immunidex. Since the highly complex immune system is dependent on the intracellular availability of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, correcting specific micronutrient deficiencies typically raises the Immunidex and contributes to tangible clinical benefits, such as reduced infections and may assist in achieving Th1/Th2 balance.

How does the Immunidex correlate with antioxidant function?
In general, the higher the antioxidant score (Spectrox™), the higher the Immunidex score. Antioxidant function plays an important role in promoting optimal T-cell (lymphocyte) function. It is important to find out if a patient has deficiencies in specific antioxidant nutrients so they can supplement wisely. But it is also important to measure a total antioxidant function because the metabolic pathways in which antioxidants are involved are Spectroxhighly complex, sometimes redundant and often overlapping. Research confirms that taking excess antioxidants that are not needed (i.e. where no deficiency exists) can actually cause them to become pro-oxidants and decrease antioxidant function.

How is Immunidex related to aging?
As we age, our immune function typically decreases as seen in the figure below. Although many factors are involved in this complicated process of decline, the Immunidex is one of many relevant aging biomarkers since age diminishes the ability of a person’s lymphocytes to respond to challenges. The effects of both good and poor antioxidant function on the Immunidex is shown and emphasizes the importance of testing for antioxidant function (Spectrox™) and individual antioxidant deficiencies.

How do you order the Immunidex?
The Immunidex is part of SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Testing panel. There is no additional charge for this calculated test result. Ordering instructions are the same – same kit, same blood draw instructions.

Please contact your local representative for more details or email us at spec1@spectracell.com with any questions or comments!  Thank you.

Topics: Antioxidants, Nutritional Deficiency, Aging, Spectrox, Immunidex, Immunity

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

The Role of Micronutrients in Neurology

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Mar 09, 2011 @ 10:30 AM

Nervous SystemKnow Your Personal Nutritional Needs:

A single deficiency – mineral, vitamin, antioxidant or amino acid – can set off a cascade of events where metabolic processes are disturbed. Conversely, repletion of such deficiencies can and often do resolve clinical neurological symptoms such as migraines and neuropathy.

Migraine Prevention:

Anyone who has experienced migraine headaches knows how debilitating they can be. Fortunately, nutritional intervention can be very successful in migraine prevention. Although the mechanism of action is not totally understood, several nutrients that facilitate energy production at the cellular level may also benefit the treatment of migraine headaches. Supplementation with coenzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant that aids energy Headachemetabolism, may reduce both the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches. Similar results occur with magnesium and vitamin B2, since they also help mitochondria (energy-producing centers in our cells) function properly. “Mitochondrial dysfunction” is one possible trigger to migraine headaches.

The role of oxidative stress in causing migraines is not totally understood, but studies do show that low levels of specific antioxidants, such as glutathione and lipoic acid are associated with migraine occurrence. Correcting specific deficiencies specifically B3, B6, B12 and folic acid can produce dramatic results for reducing the pain and frequency of migraine headaches.

A Healthy Nervous System:

Antioxidant therapy has the potential to contributeHealthy Nervous System to preventing or mitigating many neurologic disorders. SpectraCell Laboratories can measure a person’s total antioxidant function with their SPECTROX test, in addition to measuring the performance of individual antioxidants. Since nutrients play multiple roles, a comprehensive assessment of nutritional status is key.

Minimizing Neuropathic Pain:

Damage to nerves in the limbs but outside the spinal cord causes the painful condition called peripheral neuropathy. Although potentially debilitating, there is overwhelming evidence that neuropathy responds well when specific nutrient deficiencies are corrected. In some studies, vitamin B1 and vitamin B12 significantly reduce neuropathic pain. High levels of oxidative stress increase neuropathic pain, which explains why the powerful antioxidants cysteine, vitamin E and lipoic acid may be successful in treating neuropathy. The pain reducing effects of carnitine and omega-3 fatty acids has been proven in several trials.

Keeping Our Nerves "Insulated":

NerveNerves are covered with a protective coating called myelin, much like the insulation that coats electronic wiring. If the myelin sheath deteriorates, neurological problems arise, which is what happens to people with multiple sclerosis (MS). A key enzyme needed to manufacture this protective coating contains serine, an important amino acid needed for neurological health, which is why serine deficiency may cause neurological problems. Research shows that patients with MS have lowered calcium levels and that symptoms of MS are more severe when blood levels of vitamin D are low. Copper deficiency can cause symptoms seen in MS patients as well.

Reducing the Risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's:

Nutritional deficiencies have been linked to sReducing Riskeveral neurodegenerative diseases. For example, research shows that over half of people with Parkinson’s disease are deficient in vitamin D. Research also shows that the administration of coenzyme Q10 slows the neurological deterioration seen in Parkinson’s disease. Similarly, a higher intake of vitamin C and vitamin E can slow the progression of dementia that is seen in Alzheimer’s patients. Evidence confirms that copper deficiency contributes to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Share with us your experience with the role micronutrients have played in neurology disorders with your patient population! Do you have a particular success?

Topics: micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Copper, Antioxidants, Migraines, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, deficiencies, Neurology, Oxidative Stress, Spectrox, Alzheimers, Nerves, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons disease

The Role of Micronutrients in Heart Disease

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 @ 01:56 PM

Is Your Heart at Risk?

 

 

There is compelling evidence that deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and its symptoms. Similarly, the use of many drugs in treating heart disease often lead to various nutrient deficiencies.

Micronutrients and High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure can result in physical damage to thMicronutrients and High Blood Pressuree walls of our blood vessels. Although the causes of hypertension often overlap, micronutrient deficiencies can cause or worsen this condition. Several mineral deficiencies such as zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium have been linked to high blood pressure.

Research also suggests that a high level of oxidative stress eventually takes its toll on our arteries, ultimately causing hypertension. Several studies of coenzyme Q10 lowered blood pressure significantly. The antioxidant vitamins C and E help blood vessels maintain their flexibility, allowing them to easily dilate and contract. The powerful antioxidant lipoic acid reduces blood pressure by inhibiting inflammatory responses in the blood vessels. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to hypertension because it contributes to endothelial dysfunction, a condition where the lining of blood vessels cannot relax properly and secrete substances that promote inflammation of the blood vessel lining.

Prevent Arterial "Scarring":

Vitamin B6, B12, folate, serine and choline are all necessary to properly metabolize homocysteine and reduce the risk of arterial scarring. In fact, B-vitamin therapy has been an effective treatment for reducing heart disease and blood pressure.

Keeping the Heart Muscle StrongKeeping the Heart Muscle Strong:

The heart’s requirement for energy compared to other muscle tissues is incredibly high. Carnitine is an amino acid that facilitates the transport of fatty acids into heart cell mitochondria, thus helping the heart meet its strong demand for chemical energy. It also helps muscles, including the heart, recover from damage, such as from a heart attack. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is another key component in energy metabolism by helping the heart increase its pumping strength. Deficiencies of vitamin B1 have been found in patients with congestive heart failure, as long-term use of diuretic drugs, which are often prescribed to those patients, deplete the body’s storage of thiamine. Coenzyme Q10 is also required by cardiac tissue in large amounts to properly function. Statin drugs deplete the body of CoQ10, so deficiencies of CoQ10 in statin-users are particularly common.

Heart Disease is an Inflammatory Process:

Scientists now emphasize that heart disease is actually an inflammatory condition within the blood vessels. Inflammation and oxidative stress work together damaging arteries and impairing cardiac function. Several antioxidant nutrients minimize this inflammatory process.

Glutathione is the most potent intracellular antioxidant and actually helps to regenerate other antioxidants in the body. Cysteine, glutathione, B2, selenium, Vitamin E and Vitamin C work together to reduce oxidative stress throughout the entire cardiovascular system.

How Well Do Your Arteries Fight Oxidative Stress?:

An optimal antioxidant status is particularly important in the Preventing Atherosclerosisprevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Since many antioxidants work together synergistically, measuring a single antioxidant may not provide an accurate picture of total antioxidant function. SpectraCell’s SPECTROX™ score will provide a complete and accurate picture of the overall antioxidant status of patients.

Preventing Atherosclerosis:

One of the major culprits in heart attacks and stroke is the buildup of plaque within the arteries throughout the body. Lipoproteins become dangerous when they are oxidized, making them “sticky” and causing blockage of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Micronutrient deficiencies accelerate atherosclerosis. One study showed that oleic acid (found primarily in olive oil) reduces oxidative damage to lipoproteins. It also facilitates absorption of vitamin A in the gut, which is important because vitamin A is linked to lower levels of arterial plaque, primarily due to its antioxidant effect in protecting lipids from oxidation.

Vitamin K supplementation to deficient people slowed the progression of plaque formation in major arteries. Vitamin B3 (niacin) lowers blood cholesterol (fats in the blood), inhibits the oxidation of LDL, and is currently the most effective drug available for raising the heart-protective, good HDL cholesterol. One study on chemicals made from vitamin B5 (pantothenic acids) showed a decrease in blood triglycerides and cholesterol, and evidence suggests that vitamin E can even retard existing atherosclerosis. Another study showed that inositol, a member of the B vitamin family, decreases dangerous small, dense lipoproteins that easily penetrate blood vessel walls and cause atherosclerosis.

Preventing StrokePreventing Stroke:

A recent study on more than 20,000 people concluded that adequate vitamin C levels reduced risk of stroke by over 40%. Similar studies on calcium, magnesium, folate and biotin all concluded that adequate levels of these nutrients contribute to a reduction in the incidence of stroke.

Share with us your experience with the role micronutrients have played in heart disease with your patient population! Do you have a particular success?

Topics: serine, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Copper, Antioxidants, Heart Disease, Vitamin K, Calcium, Triglycerides, biotin, inositol, Heart Attack, Glutathione, High Blood Pressure, Oxidative Stress, Spectrox, Stroke, Lipoprotein Particles, LDL and HDL