SpectraCell Blog

Are YOU Biotin deficient?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Dec 04, 2013 @ 03:34 PM

Biotin is a coenzyme and is also known as vitamin H. As a supplement, biotin deficiency symptomsbiotin is sometimes used for diabetes, brittle nails, and other conditions. Biotin is a coenzyme and a B vitamin and is also known as vitamin H. As a supplement, biotin is sometimes used for diabetes, brittle nails, and other conditions.

Function:

Biotin is required for proper metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. 
Biotin-dependent enzymes catalyze the addition of carboxyl groups (COO-) from bicarbonate, for use in fatty acid biosynthesis, gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, propionate metabolism and leucine catabolism.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Symptoms of biotin deficiency include erythematous exfoliative dermatitis, thinning hair, fatigue, irritability, mild depression, somnolence, muscle pains, anorexia, nausea, mild anemia. Dietary symptoms include fatigue, dry skin, body hair loss, nausea, loss of appetite and mild depression. People at risk for biotin deficiency are those who consume excessive amounts of raw egg whites, inherited disorders of biotin metabolism, extended total parenteral nutrition (biotin-free), loss of enteric gut micro flora from antibiotic therapy or altered gut motility, pregnant and lactating women, anti epileptic drug therapy, alcoholics, trauma (burns and surgery), elderly, malabsorption (especially achlorhydria).

Want to check your micronutrient levels click here to be contacted by one of our SpectraCell representatives.

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, B Vitamins, Vitamins, biotin

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

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

SpectraCell's Nutritional Correlation Chart on Diabetes

Posted by Char Perez on Mon, Dec 03, 2012 @ 10:23 AM

Micronutrients such as niacin, magnesium, calcium, zinc, carnitine, inositol, alpha-lipoic acid, as well as vitamins E, B6 and D all play an important role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Though diabetes is a serious disease - with the right treatment - living a longer, healthier life can be made easier.

THE ROLE OF MICRONUTRIENTS IN DIABETIC HEALTH

Vitamin E - Confers protection against diabetes by protecting pancreatic B-cells from nutrition reference chart for diabetesoxidativestress induced damage; May prevent progression of type I diabetes.

Vitamin D - Lowers risk of type I and 2 diabetes; Suppresses inflammation of pancreatic B-cells. Vitamin D receptor gene linked to diabetes.

Vitamin B3 - Preserves B-cell function in type I diabetics; Part of GTF (glucose tolerance factor) which facilitates insulin binding.

Vitamin B12 - Deficiency common in diabetics because metformin depletes B12.

Chromium - Helps insulin attach to cell's receptors increasing glucose uptake into cell; Deficiency can cause insulin resistance; Supplementation trials show dose-dependent benefits for type II diabetics.

Biotin - Stimulates glucose-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic B-cells; High dose biotin can improve glycemic control in diabetics.

Magnesium - Deficiency reduces insulin sensitivity; Low magnesium exacerbates foot ulcers in diabetics.

Zinc - Needed in the synthesis, storage and secretion of insulin; Protects pancreatic B-cells from damage; Affects the expression of genes linked to diabetes.

Lipoic Acid - Enhances glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissue; Improves glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetics; very effective treatment for diabetic neuropathy.

Glutathione & Cysteine - Glutathione-containing enzymes protect B-cells which are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress; Type 2 diabetics have abnormal antioxidant status; Supplementation with the glutathione precursor cysteine restores antioxidant status.

Coenzyme Q10 - Protects kidney from diabetes related damage; Improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetics.

Glutamine - Stimulates a hormone called GLP-I (glucagon-like peptide I) that regulates insulin secretion after meals; Improves insulin signaling and sensitivity.

Carnitine - Reduces and even prevents pain from diabetic neuropathy; Improves insulin sensitivity by increasing glucose uptake and storage.

Inositol - Evidence suggests that inositol may be effective in treating diabetic neuropathy.

Vitamin C - Lowers glycolysated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and fasting and post-meal glucose levels and in type 2 diabetics.  

To assess a copy of the flyer which illustrates the interaction of micronutrients and their effect on patients' diabetes click here:  http://www.spectracell.com/media/disease-wheel-diabetes.pdf

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Vitamin B12, diabetes, immune system, Lipoic Acid, biotin, inositol, deficiency, Glutamine, Glutathione, micronutrient test, Wound Healing, Vitamin B3, reference chart, Chromium, Insulin

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

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

SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - Volume 6, Issue 4

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, May 07, 2012 @ 11:59 AM

VitaminsCLINICAL UPDATE - SELENIUM: KNOW IF YOU HAVE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING
An exhaustive review of the benefits selenium has on human health emphasizes that there is a definite “U-shaped link with status.”  The paper epitomizes the philosophy that more-is-not-always-better for vitamins and minerals.  Although low selenium status has been linked to several diseases – heart disease, infertility, low immunity, poor cognitive function, thyroid disease and cancer – the authors state that although “additional selenium intake may benefit individuals with low status, those with adequate status might be affected adversely and should not take selenium supplements.”  (Lancet, March 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Selenium and human health.

Heavy Metal ToxicityCLINICAL UPDATE - NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY CAUSING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY?
A case study on a 37 year old man suggests that multiple micronutrient deficiencies played a role in the cause of his multiple sclerosis.  The authors state he had several key nutrient deficiencies, which they think impaired his ability to excrete harmful metals.  They sate that “nutritional treatment may be an effective approach to this disease” due to the role of nutrients in various detoxification pathways. (Current Aging Science, Epub ahead of print in August 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Influence of Essential Trace Minerals and Micronutrient Insufficiencies on Harmful Metal Overload in a Mongolian Patient with Multiple Sclerosis.
 
Blood PressureCLINICAL UPDATE - META-ANALYSIS FINDS VITAMIN C SUPPLEMENTS LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
In a review of 29 randomized controlled trials of oral vitamin C, authors found that vitamin C supplements reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.  The reduction in blood pressure was more pronounced in people with existing hypertension.  In another meta-analysis, magnesium supplementation also lowered blood pressure. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2012; European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
LINK to ABSTRACT Effect of magnesium supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis.

Oxidative Stress and HypothyroidismCLINICAL UPDATE - FOLIC ACID LOWERS OXIDATIVE STRESS IN HYPOTHYROIDISM
In two separate studies, antioxidant function was evaluated after hypothyroidism was induced.  Since basal metabolic rate is lower in hypothyroism and most oxidative stress in the body stems from basic metabolic functions, some researchers hypothesize that hypothyroidism should result in lower levels of oxidative stress.  But in this recent animal study, the authors found higher levels of oxidative stress in the hypothyroid (vs normal thyroid) state, as well as higher levels of homocysteine.  Treatment with folic acid ameliorated these effects.  In another study, authors found that hypothyroidism reduced antioxidant function, although the serum levels of several antioxidants. (vitamins A, C & E) remained constant. (Toxicology and Industrial Health, April 2012; Endokrynologia Polska, 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT
The effect of folic acid as an antioxidant on the hypothalamic monoamines in experimentally induced hypothyroid rat.
LINK to ABSTRACT Elements of oxidation/reduction balance in experimental hypothyroidism.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to NUTRIENT INTERACTION CHART FOR HYPOTHYROIDISM

ToxicityCLINICAL UPDATE - COQ10 PROTECTS LIVER FROM ACETAMINOPHEN TOXICITY
A single toxic dose of acetaminophen was administered in an animal study and liver damage was monitored.  After 1 hour and after 12 hours, an injection of coenzyme Q10 was given. The results showed that the coQ10 injections protected the liver from acetaminophen-induced damage.  The coQ10 also attenuated the loss of zinc and selenium that occurred after acetaminophen administration. (Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, March 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Hepatoprotective effect of coenzyme Q10 in rats with acetaminophen toxicity.

Infertility and Vitamin ECLINICAL UPDATE - VITAMIN E MAY HELP INFERTILE WOMEN
103 women with unexplained infertility were divided into two groups – 50 women were given a drug to induce ovulation (clomiphene citrate) combined with 400IU per day of vitamin E and 53 women were induced to ovulate without the administration of vitamin E.  The supplemented group had a significantly thicker endometrium and authors suggest that vitamin E may be beneficial to women with unexplained infertility by improving the “endometrial response” and that it may “modulate the antiestrogenic effect of clomiphene citrate.” (Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, February 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin E effect on controlled ovarian stimulation of unexplained infertile women.

Carbohydrate MetabolismCLINICAL UPDATE - BIOTIN DEFICIENCY IMPAIRS CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM
Researchers found that biotin deficiency negatively alters carbohydrate metabolism.  Specifically, biotin deficiency resulted in an impaired glucose and insulin tolerance test, suggesting “defects in insulin sensitivity,” according to the authors. (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Effects of biotin deficiency on pancreatic islet morphology, insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis.

Read more of our clinical updates in our archive!

 

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Folic Acid, biotin, Hypothyroidism, Oxidative Stress, infertility, Carbohydrate Metabolism, Blood Pressure, Heavy Metal Toxicity

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 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

50 year old female with CHRONIC FATIGUE and nutritional deficiencies

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jul 02, 2010 @ 11:28 AM

Background:Chronic Fatigue

In 2005, this patient initially compained of fatigue, stating she would often feel tired upon rising and would have to push herself throughout the day and often take naps in the afternoon. She also complained of tinnitus, abdominal bloating and gas, mild constipation, yeast infections, weight gain, aching in her hips and fibrocystic breast disease. Her primary care physician had done minimal testing and attributed her symptoms to depression, recommending antidepressant medications which gave her no benefit. After undergoing standard labs and an ION panel, the patient noted that most of her symptoms still persisted.

The patient underwent SpectraCell's micronutrient testing to determine i fany improvements could be observed relative to the initial laboratory tests two years earlier. The results revealed considerable deficiencies in vitamin B12, pantothenate, vitamin D, CoQ10 and Spectrox. Borderline deficiencies were found in vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, folate, biotin, serine, choline, inositol, carnitine, chromium, zinc, copper, magnesium, glutathione, selenium and vitamin E. These findings were surprising given the consistency of oral supplementation over the previous two years. Many of the new deficiencies were not considered to be low on the ION panel in 2005. Based upon these deficiencies, and a concern that digestive tissues were part of the problem, she was administered the following IV infusions (once a week for 6-8 weeks):

  1. Vitamin C (25 grams)
  2. B-complex
  3. B12
  4. Pantothenate
  5. CoQ10
  6. Folic Acid
  7. Chromium
  8. Zinc
  9. Copper
  10. Selenium
  11. Magnesium
  12. Calcium
  13. Glutathione

During this time, oral supplementation was scaled back and directed only towards elimination of GI infection and gut repair.

What was his clinical outcome?

After 8 weeks of treatment, the patient reported dramatic improvement in energy, noting that she had not experienced anything like this prior to doing the IV replacement infusions. All digestive symptoms were resolved, her mood was better, she had less tinnitus, she had lost weight, body aches were diminished and her breasts were even better than before. Oral supplementation was modified to focus on those nutritional deficiencies identified in the test results.

Conclusion:

At her last office visit in 2008, she reported to be in good health, feeling that many of her chronic problems from the past were no longer an issue. She reported good energy with minimal fatigue, except for mid afternoon, and no more problems with her breasts. The patient was on a simple maintenance regimen of nutritional supplements that included some of the deficient nutrients identified in 2007.

Topics: serine, folate, Carnitine, Choline, B Vitamins, deficiencies, chronic fatigue and nutrition, biotin, inositol