SpectraCell Blog

Vitamins Can Help with Weight Management!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 02, 2013 @ 10:56 AM

Asparagine - The amino acid increases insulin sensitivity which helps the body store energy Weight management in muscle instead of storing it as body fat.

Biotin - Boosts metabolism by improving glycemic control (stabilizes blood sugar) and lowering insulin, a hormone that promotes fat formation.

Carnitine - Carries fatty acids into the cell so they can be burned for fuel; Helps reduce visceral adiposity (belly fat).

Calcium - Inhibits the formation of fat cells; Also helps oxidize (burn) fat cells.

Lipoic Acid - Improves glucose uptake into cells, which helps a person burn carbohydrates more efficiently.

Chromium - Makes the body more sensitive to insulin, helping to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle.

Vitamin B5 - Taking B5 lowers body weight by activating lipoprotein lipases, an enzyme that burns fat cells.  One study linked B5 supplementation to less hunger when dieting.

Magnesium - Low magnesium in cells impairs a person's ability to use glucose for fuel, instead of storing it as fat; Correcting a magnesium deficiency stimulates metabolism by increasing insulin sensitivity.  Magnesium may also inhibit fat absorption.

Glutamine - Reduces fat mass by improving glucose uptake into muscle.

Cysteine - Supplementation with this antioxidant reduced body fat in obese patients.

Inositol - Supplementation may increase adiponectin levels.

Vitamin B3(Niacin) - Treatment with B3 increases adiponectin, a weight-loss hormone secreted by fat cells; Niacin-bound chromium supplements helped reduced body weight in clinical trials.

Vitamin A - Enhances expression of genes that reduce a person's tendency to store food as fat; Reduces the size of fat cells.

Vitamin E - Inhibits pre-fat cells from changing into mature fat cells, thus reducing body fat.

Vitamin D - Deficiency strongly linked to poor metabolism of carbohydrates; Genes that are regulated by vitamin D may alter the way fat cells form in some people.

Vitamin K - Poor vitamin K status linked to excess fat tissue; Vitamin K helps metabolize sugars.

Zinc - Deficiency of zinc reduces leptin, a beneficial hormone that regulates appetite, which is reversed by zinc repletion.

Download your own copy of the Nutrient Correlation Wheel on Weight Management

 

Topics: Asparagine, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, biotin, inositol, Glutamine, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B3, Chromium

Micronutrients Can Help!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, May 22, 2013 @ 02:19 PM

Topics discussed in this issue...                                            

  • Research suggests nutrient depletions from commonly prescribed drugs are actually the cause of many side effects
  • Study sheds light on how oleic acid improves immunity
  • Serine for arthritis?
  • CoQ10 shows potential as an anti-depressant
  • When it comes to colorectal cancer risk, cysteine = good, homocysteine = bad

Research suggests nutrient depletions fromprescribed drugs commonly prescribed drugs are actually the cause of many side effects - A recently published review details the enzymatic pathways that various drugs interrupt and how certain drugs deplete very specific nutrients. Nutrient depletions are implicated as a cause of common side effects and even non-compliance. 

 

oleic acidStudy sheds light on how oleic acid improves immunity - By affecting compounds released during an immune response, oleic acid quells inflammation and improves overall immunity. Specifically, oleic acid, abundant in olive oil, inhibits the production of several pro-inflammatory substances, such as Interleukin 2 (IL-2), natural killer cells (NK), interferon-gamma (INF-γ) and vascular cell adhesion molecules (VCAM). Oleic acid also reduces the amount of arachidonic acid (AA) present in cells, which in turn minimizes pro-inflammatory cytokine production.


arthritisSerine for arthritis? - Human cells from rheumatoid arthritis patients were exposed to phosphatidylserine and then evaluated for levels of inflammation.  The phosphatidylserine significantly lowered inflammation levels in vitro.  The same researchers tested phosphatidylserine’s effect on arthritic pain in an animal model and found that phosphatidylserine, which has well-established roles in neurotransmitter function, also decreased arthritic and pain symptoms.

 

CoQ10

CoQ10 shows potential as an anti-depressant - Four different doses of CoQ10 were administered for three weeks in an animal study on depression caused by chronic stress.  Depressive behaviors evaluated as were physiological markers of oxidative stress in the brain. Depressive symptoms were decreased and there was a dose-dependent reduction in damaging chemicals in the brain that are linked with depression. The authors concluded “CoQ10 may have a potential therapeutic value for the management of depressive disorders.”


cysteineWhen it comes to colorectal cancer risk, cysteine = good, homocysteine = bad. - In this clinical trial, levels of the toxic amino acid homocysteine and levels of the beneficial antioxidant cysteine were measured in over 900 women with colorectal cancer and compared to a similar group of over 900 women without cancer.   Those with the highest homocysteine (over 9.85 μmol/L) were 1.5 times more likely to have colorectal cancer than those with the lowest levels (>6.74 μmol/L).  Conversely, women with the highest levels of cysteine in the blood had a much lower risk of colorectal cancer than those with the lowest levels of cysteine.

 
For the complete article with journal abstracts,
full text and flyers click here

Topics: SpectraCell, serine, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Homocysteine, Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Arthritis, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Asparagine, Cysteine, Antidepressants, Cancer, Autoimmunity, cancer cells, autoimmune diseases

Nutritional Considerations of Weight Management

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 @ 10:27 AM

Presented by Dr. Ron Grabowski
Dr. Grabowski lectures on an international level. He has over 25 years of clinical nutrition experience that encompasses topics such as diabetes, heart disease, sports nutrition, renal disease, immunology and gastrointestinal disorders. He received his clinical nutrition training at the New York hospital, an affiliate of the Cornell Medical Center located in New York City, and has worked in various prestigious hospitals in the Houston, Texas area. He was a professor at Texas Chiropractic College, Director of the PFIT Applied Nutrition Specialist School and ANS Certification and maintains a private practice in the Houston area. He is known to provide his audiences with valuable information that you can implement immediately.

Topics of Discussion:

weight management

  • 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

Nutritional Considerations of Weight Management Webinar

 

Topics: micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Asparagine, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, wellness, Vitamin K, Multivitamins, Weight Loss, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, biotin, inositol, Case Study, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Glutamine, micronutrient test, Inflammation, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B3, Chromium, Weight Gain, Protein

The Importance of Nutrition on Weight Loss

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jun 04, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

Micronutrient TestingBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person's ability to gain or lose weight.

  • Zinc - reduces leptin, a beneficial hormone that regulates appetite, which is reversed by zinc repletion.
  • Asparagine - this amino acid increases insulin sensitivity which helps the body store energy in muscle instead of storing it as body fat.
  • Biotin - boosts metabolism by improving glycemic control (stabilizes blood sugar) and lowering insulin, a hormone that promotes fat formation.
  • Carnitine - carries fatty acids into cell so they can be burned for fuel; Helps reduce visceral adiposity (belly fat).
  • Calcium - inhibits the formation of fat cells; Also helps oxidize (burn) fat cells.
  • Lipoic Acid - improves glucose uptake into cells, which helps a person burn carbohydrates more efficiently.
  • Chromium - makes the body more sensitive to insulin, helping to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle.
  • Vitamin B5 - taking B5 lowers body weight by activating lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that burns fat cells. One study linked B5 supplementation to less hunger when dieting.
  • Magnesium - low magnesium in cells impairs a person’s ability to use glucose for fuel, instead storing it as fat; Correcting a magnesium deficiency stimulates metabolism by increasing insulin sensitivity. Magnesium may also inhibit fat absorption.
  • Glutamine - reduces fat mass by improving glucose uptake into muscle.
  • Cysteine - supplementation with this antioxidant reduced body fat in obese patients.
  • Inositol - supplementation may increase adiponectin levels.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) - treatment with B3 increases adiponectin, a weight-loss hormone secreted by fat cells; Niacin-bound chromium supplements helped reduced body weight in clinical trials.
  • Vitamin A - enhances expression of genes that reduce a person’s tendency to store food as fat; Reduces the size of fat cells.
  • Vitamin E - inhibits pre-fat cells from changing into mature fat cells, thus reducing body fat.
  • Vitamin D - deficiency strongly linked to poor metabolism of carbohydrates; Genes that are regulated by vitamin D may alter the way fat cells form in some people.
  • Vitamin K - poor vitamin K status linked to excess fat tissue; Vitamin K helps metabolize sugars.

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

Weight Loss Document

Also, learn more about micronutrient testing and the importance of correcting vitamin deficiencies in our Clinical Education Center.

Topics: Asparagine, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin K, Weight Loss, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, biotin, inositol, Glutamine, Chromium, Weight Gain

Nutritional Relationships of Hypothyroidism

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Feb 01, 2012 @ 10:16 AM

Nutritional RelationshipsBelow is a list of nutrients which significantly affect Hypothyroidism:

  • Glutathione - Hypothyroidism decreases efficacy of some antioxidants, such as glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase
  • B Vitamins - A deficiency in B6, B12 or B9 (folate) can cause elevated homocysteine, which is linked with hypothyroidism. Folic acid levels have been linked to levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
  • Vitamin C and E - Partially restores thyroid function when liver detoxification ability is compromised.
  • Vitamin A - Activates gene that regulates TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)
  • Zinc - Increases thyroid hormone T3 in deficient subjects.
  • Copper - Low levels seen in experimentally induced hypothyroidism; Indirectly affects thyroid status by its antioxidant role via superoxide dismutase.
  • Selenium - Converts thyroid hormone T4 (thyroxine) into T3 (triiodothyronine); Deficiency reduces T3 levels causing classic hypothyroidism symptoms such as fatigue, depression or weight gain.
  • Asparagine - This amino acid is part of the structure of thyroid stimulating hormone which regulates communication with other hormones.
  • Carnitine - Decreased tissue levels of carnitine in both hypo- and hyperthyroidism contribute to muscle fatigue.
  • Lipoic Acid - Improves endothelial function in people with subclinical hypothyroidism; Protects thyroid cells from oxidative stress; May interfere with T4 therapy
  • Choline - Hypothyroidism negatively affects choline function in the brain, which can affect mood and cognition.


Topics: Asparagine, zinc, Carnitine, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, B Vitamins, Copper, Lipoic Acid, Glutathione, Hypothyroidism

Understanding Obesity and Nutrition

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 @ 10:22 AM

Obesity and NutritionIn the past, obesity was understood in fairly simple terms: excess body weight resulting from eating too much and exercising too little. Obesity is now regarded as a chronic medical disease with serious health implications caused by a complex set of factors.

Micronutrients and Obesity:

Obesity is a complex, chronic disease involving multiple components. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in America, second only to cigarette smoking, and increase the risk of illness from over 30 medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension, cancer, infertility, arthritis and heart disease. Prescription medications and procedures used to treat many of
these conditions often induce micronutrient deficiencies as well.

Availability of NutrientsAvailability of Nutrients:

Obesity often reduces the availability of certain nutrients. In a recent study, over 50% of obese patients were evaluated for Vitamin D status and found to be deficient. Since fat cells have
their own nutritional requirements, fat cells will draw from nutritional reserves in much the same way other organs do in order to perform normal cellular functions. The combination of reduced availability and increased demand for nutrients caused by excess fat cells ultimately causes multiple deficiencies that need to be corrected.

Regulation of Hormones Linked to Obesity:

Niacin (Vitamin B3) treatment has been shown to increase hormone levels that regulate metabolism of glucose and fatty acids. Decreased levels are associated with obesity and heart disease. Vitamin B5 helps breaks down fat cells so they can be used up by the body.

Low Zinc status is also associated with obesity. This may be due, in part, to the relationship between Zinc and leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite. Zinc depletion reduces leptin levels, while Zinc repletion reverses this effect.

Obesity and NutritionFat Cell Formation:

Studies suggest that a form of Vitamin E (tocotrienol) inhibits pre-fat cells from changing into mature fat cells, resulting in a decrease in body fat. Calcium intake has also been associated with weight loss through its ability to inhibit the formation of fat cells. It also promotes the oxidation, or burning of fat cells, therefore reducing the risk of obesity.

The Effect of Amino Acids on Body Composition:

Carnitine is an important nutrient that helps muscle cells utilize energy and burn calories. Evidence shows that supplementation with carnitine when combined with an exercise program may induce positive changes in body composition by reducing (belly fat) more efficiently than without supplementation. Glutamine has been shown to reduce fat mass and improve glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and the relatively unknown amino acid Asparagine can improve insulin sensitivity by increasing the amount of sugar taken into muscle tissue to be burned for fuel.

Obesity and Insulin Resistance - Partners in Crime:

Obesity severely impairs the body’s ability to efficiently burn dietary carbohydrates. This is caused primarily by the body’s inability to use insulin, which is the hormone that helps the transport of sugars into muscles where they can be used for fuel instead of being stored as fat. Optimal micronutrient and mineral status are necessary for proper insulin function.

Vascular Health and ObesityVascular Health in Obesity:

Blood vessels in overweight individuals are typically not as pliable and healthy as normal weight people. Vitamin C supplementation has been demonstrated to improve vascular function in overweight people. Similarly, minerals such as Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium and Copper have all shown positive effects on blood pressure and vascular health. Overweight people tend to have high blood pressure, which is intensified by vitamin deficiencies. Since so many nutrients (Folate, Biotin, Carnitine, Vitamins A, C, and E and several minerals) are involved in the maintenance of healthy blood vessels of both normal weight and overweight people, a comprehensive evaluation of how they are performing in the cells of obese patients is crucial.

Oxidative Stress and Inflammation:

Numerous studies link oxidative stress and inflammation with  obesity. Visceral adiposity (belly fat) is particularly high in dangerous enzymes that cause oxidative stress. Weight loss certainly counteracts this phenomenon and studies show that the amount of weight lost directly correlates to decreases in oxidative stress. Belly fat also causes inflammation of the liver, which is particularly common in obese people. One recent study  demonstrated that Coenzyme Q10 decreased obesity-induced inflammation of the liver. Similarly, inflammation in blood vessels of obese patients contributes to heart disease and stroke, which can be alleviated in part through proper antioxidant supplementation. It is imperative that antioxidant status be optimized, especially in obese patients. SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing measures several specific antioxidants and gives an overall picture of how well all the antioxidants are working together.

Malabsorption Issues After Bariatric SurgeryMalabsorption Issues After Bariatric Surgery:

The impaired ability to absorb nutrients after bariatric procedures routinely causes multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies in patients. Due to fat malabsorption after bariatric surgery, deficiencies in fat soluble Vitamins (A, D, E and K) are extremely common. Neurological complications such as confusion, impaired muscle coordination, even seizures may occur after bariatric procedures, due to a lack of B Vitamins, especially Thiamine. These complications can occur acutely or decades later. A comprehensive evaluation of nutritional status in bariatric patients is critical in maintaining post-op health.

Also, share with us your experience with the role micronutrients have played in obesity with your patient population! Do you have a particular success?

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Asparagine, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Copper, Calcium, biotin, Glutamine, Vitamin B5, Hormones, Oxidative Stress, Insulin Resistance, Niacin, Obesity

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