SpectraCell Blog

Autoimmune Update: CoQ10, A New Biomarker for Parkinson's Disease?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jun 06, 2012 @ 05:37 PM

Parkinson's DiseaseGuest Blog by: Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson (D.C.)

As I have explained in another post, my father, grandfather and grandmother all had Parkinson's disease. This study shows promise for current sufferers and adds credence to the concept of why cell membranes need adequate antioxidant protection.You can be sure I take several different antioxidants in addition to eating a large variety of vegetables and fruits known to be rich in antioxidants. It's easy to obtain antioxidants if you eat a lot of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sir William Richard Gowers Parkinson Disease sketch 1886 2Autoimmune diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Hashimoto's and Celiac disease are all on the rise in the United States and throughout much of the world.

"Studies show that the incidence of multiple sclerosis in Padova, Italy, has risen from less than 100,000 cases in 1979 to over 400,000 in 1999. In Finland, incidence of type 1 diabetes has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years. Additionally, in the United States, celiac disease is more than four times more common today than it was 50 years go. Be sure to read my blog post entitled:
Ten Things You Didn't Know About Gluten and Autoimmune Illness

"These studies show an alarming trend that we believe is occurring throughout the United States and the world. Researchers think that this increase is due to a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. It is imperative that more research projects are developed to explore what in our environment is causing this increased prevalence. Additionally, there is a need to identify more biomarkers in women to determine predisposition to autoimmune diseases so that prevention might be a possibility." (An excerpt from Virginia Ladd's testimony, March 4, 2009)

Autoimmunity is a result of a misdirected immune system that causes one's own immune system to attack the self. There are over 80 known autoimmune diseases. Some of the over 80 autoimmune diseases are lupus, type I diabetes, scleroderma, celiac, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, autoimmune hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves' disease, myasthenia gravis, myositis, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), and Sjogren's syndrome.

The headline for this blog post refers to a study in which 22 patients with Parkinson's Disease were compared to 88 age-matched controls that did not have Parkinson's. Functional levels of several antioxidants - coenzyme Q10, glutathione, selenium, vitamin E and lipoic acid - were measured using SpectraCell's micronutrient testing. A deficiency of CoQ10 occurred in 32% of Parkinson's patients while only 8% of controls were deficient in CoQ10. Interestingly, this was not true for any other antioxidants, leaving authors to conclude that measuring CoQ10 status could determine which Parkinson's patients would benefit from CoQ10 supplements, which has proven to slow the progression of Parkinson's in various clinical trials. (Journal of Neurological Science, April 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in patients with Parkinson's Disease.
LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Karl Johnson

Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, D.C. - Help My Chronic Condition & Pain

For more information about our client Dr. Johnson, please visit his website or his blog. Or contact him at (586) 731-8840.

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Autoimmunity, Parkinsons disease

SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - Volume 6, Issue 5

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, May 31, 2012 @ 03:57 PM

Parkinson's DiseaseCLINICAL UPDATE - COQ10 A NEW BIOMARKER FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
In this study, 22 patients with Parkinson’s Disease were compared to 88 age-matched controls that did not have Parkinson’s.  Functional levels of several antioxidants – coenzyme Q10, glutathione, selenium, vitamin E and lipoic acid – were measured using SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing.  A deficiency of CoQ10 occurred in 32% of Parkinson’s patients while only 8% of controls were deficient in coQ10.  Interestingly, this was not true for any other antioxidants, leaving authors to conclude that measuring coQ10 status could determine which Parkinson’s patients would benefit from coQ10 supplements, which has proven to slow the progression of Parkinson’s in various clinical trials. (Journal of Neurological Science, April 2012; Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, December 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in patients with Parkinson's disease.
LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson's disease.

Vitamin D and TestosteroneCLINICAL UPDATE - LOW VITAMIN D AND TESTOSTERONE IS A DEADLY COMBINATION
Testosterone and vitamin D was measured in over 2000 men. Those with a deficiency in both vitamin D and testosterone were more than twice as likely to have a fatal cardiovascular event and over 1 ½ times as likely to have a fatal event that was non- cardiovascular related. (Clinical Endocrinology, February 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Combination of low free testosterone and low vitamin D predicts mortality in older men referred for coronary angiography.

DepressionCLINICAL UPDATE - SMALL CHANGES IN OMEGA 3 INDEX = BIG CHANGES IN DEPRESSION RATES
Omega 3 index and fatty acids were measured in 150 adolescents that had been hospitalized for depression and compared to 161 controls.  For a 1% increase in the omega 3 index, teenagers were 28% less likely to have severe depression.   The omega 3 index is a measure of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoeic acid (DHA) in red blood cells, which is correlates to fatty acid content in other tissues as well. (Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Red blood cell fatty acids are associated with depression in a case-control study of adolescents.

Choline and OffspringCLINICAL UPDATE - CHOLINE STATUS OF MOM AFFECTS HORMONE LEVELS IN OFFSPRING
Pregnant women were given either 930 or 480 mg/day of choline in their third trimester.  After twelve weeks, the group with higher choline intake had babies with less cortisol in their blood, possibly to due improved methylation of DNA in the placenta, which was also measured.  The authors concluded that maternal choline intake affects genes in the offspring that regulate cortisol production. (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, May 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Maternal choline intake alters the epigenetic state of fetal cortisol-regulating genes in humans.

Pain and ShinglesCLINICAL UPDATE - INTRAVENOUS VITAMIN C REDUCES SHINGLES PAIN
In this study, 16 practioners gave vitamin C intravenously to 67 patients with symptomatic herpes zoster pain.  The dosage was 7.5 grams per 50 mL administered for two weeks.  Pain and skin eruptions associated with the shingles (herpes zoster) virus were significantly reduced for up to 12 weeks following injections. (Medical Science Monitor, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Intravenous Vitamin C in the treatment of shingles: Results of a multicenter prospective cohort study.
 
Trans FatsCLINICAL UPDATE - TRANS FATS LINKED TO AGGRESSION
Dietary intake of trans fat was estimated (via dietary survey) on 945 men and women and each rated their irritability and aggressive behaviours with a standardized test.  The authors of the study concluded that ‘this study provides the first evidence linking dietary trans fatty acids with behavioural irritability and aggression.” (PLoS One, 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Trans fat consumption and aggression.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

Browse our archive of all past clinical updates from the past 6 years!



Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Choline, Vitamin C, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, Depression, Aggression, Hormones, Testosterone, Shingles, Trans Fats, Parkinsons disease

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

CASE STUDY: Female with Fibromyalgia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Aug 09, 2011 @ 03:37 PM

FibromyalgiaPatient was initially seen in January of 2006. She had been diagnosed five years prior with fibromyalgia by her rheumatologist after ruling out other rheumatologic and autoimmune diagnoses. At that time, she was prescribed dulaxetine and gabapentin. Her pain was described as “constant” and “often intense”, limiting her daily activities. She has a history of poor sleep habits and constantly feeling unrefreshed in the morning. Otherwise, osteoporosis and depression were her only other comorbidities. Her daily intake of nutritional supplements included: 1000mg of strontium carbonate, 1200mg of calcium citrate, 400IU of vitamin D in divided doses. Upon physical examination, fifteen of the eighteen FMS points were positive upon 5kg of digital pressure. Sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia (SEA) occurred at 140 mm Hg of pressure. Only mild hypertonicity was found throughout her upper trapezii and paraspinal musculature. SpectraCell testing revealed functional intracellular deficiencies of vitamin B6, vitamin D, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10. Her total antioxidant function measured 51.2%. Based upon these deficiencies, she was administered the following daily nutritional supplement protocol:

  • B-Complex weighted with extra B6 (250mg)
  • 500mg of magnesium glycinate
  • 1000IU of vitamin D3
  • 200mg of Coenzyme Q10

She was also instructed to consume one cup of pomegranate juice per day. Foods containing the deficient nutrients were advised to be consumed.

SpectroxFollow up SpectraCell testing was performed six months later.

All deficiencies were resolved except for CoQ10. Her SPECTROX™ results increased to 68.1%. Sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia (SEA) occurred at 170 mm Hg of pressure. Overall, her fibromyalgia symptoms were greatly improved. She was able to perform more of her activities without “suffering the consequences”. She still had some pain from the fibromyalgia, but this was only a “shadow” of the previous pain. In addition, she is waking up in the morning with more energy. Her rheumatologist has taken her off gabapentin and duloxetine. It was recommended to increase CoQ10 to 300mg per day and continue at a lower dose of the daily protocol until following up with another SpectraCell test in one year.

describe the imageB6 and magnesium synergistically assist the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin (which, in turn, is converted into melatonin). As a result, improvements in sleep and mood resulted. Magnesium has been used as a treatment for FMS for many years. However, SpectraCell can differentiate those patients who will better respond, thereby saving everyone time, money, and pain. Magnesium is the body’s ‘calcium channel blocker’ in the NMDA receptor, preventing the release of Substance P and various inflammatory cytokines. CoQ10 is the electron transporter than facilitates ATP production. Although in previous studies serum levels of CoQ10 (not intracellular levels) were found to be normal in FMS patients, one study demonstrated that many patients did improve when administered Coq10. Perhaps, intracellular studies would have clarified which patients were truly deficient and, therefore, would benefit for CoQ10 therapy. Vitamin D has entered as a potential key substance in evaluating fibromyalgic patients. Studies have shown that serum levels of 25-OH vitamin D correlate inversely with depression and pain of FMS. One of the symptoms of moderate Vitamin D deficiency is wide spread muscle pain. It is now commonly used in various autoimmune disorders. Being that Vitamin D is a potent antioxidant, this might have been responsible for part of the improvement in this patient’s SPECTROX™ test.

For more information on our micronutrient test, click here.

For additional case studies, click here.

 

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Fibromyalgia, Spectrox

Athletes at Risk for Multiple Nutrient Deficiencies

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jul 07, 2011 @ 04:20 PM

Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

Athlete RunningMost athletes become very driven to excel in the sport in which they compete.  These aspirations require great dedication to not only a regimented training schedule, but also to higher intensity levels and training volume.  Regardless of the sport, great demands are placed on the bodies of athletes.  Most of these are secondary to higher levels of oxygen uptake, constant flirting with catabolism and the need to generate energy more frequently.  Most of these are related to nutrient status in some way and underscore the importance of an athlete maximizing their training routine, but also their diet and supplement regimen to stay at peak performance.

The final stages of energy production are dependent on adequate supplies of oxygen.  Without oxygen, fatigue and lethargy quickly set in and the ability to produce ATP, the primary energy molecule, is quickly curtailed.  While this is an issue for some athletes, the opposite is true for the majority of the athletic population.  Most athletes are constantly pushing themselves, thus the need for greater levels of oxygen.  With more oxygen come higher levels of oxidative stress, also termed free radical production.  This is characteristically noted as low or marginally low vitamin E, selenium, glutathione and Spectrox.  This pattern presents as a result of the damage brought forth by oxidative stress.  The lower nutrient profiles are the efforts of the body to offset this damage.  Ironically, this is a pattern similar to that seen in some chronic disease states.

RunningIt is almost impossible to train at a higher level and not undergo some degree of catabolism.  The key however is to minimize this breakdown process and compliment it with an anabolic, or building response.  Maintenance of an anabolic state is imperative to continued progression.  Many areas are sacrificed when the balance between anabolism and catabolism is lost.  One area that appears to be most affected is protein balance.  Protein balance can be monitored through glutamine stores.  Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue, is rapidly processed during higher intensity activity.  The affects don’t just end at muscle tissue however, but cross over into gastrointestinal health and immune function.  This in part explains why athletes become more susceptible to changes in immune health when they are really pushing themselves.

BikingThe ability to perform at the highest level requires the immediate need to produce energy.  Energy production is not one step, but multiple.  Moreover it is a factor of being able to derive energy from all the major macronutrients; carbohydrates, fats and protein.  These macronutrients require many of the B vitamins as well as some of the minerals to help produce energy.  Apart from those nutrients, the last step in energy production, also known as the electron transport chain, requires reliable amounts of CoQ10.  Conversely, energy production cannot be limited to just the energy production pathways, but must also be linked to the delivery of oxygen as the aerobic energy cycles are far more efficient.  This requires healthy red blood cells, for which the nutrients B12, folate, iron and copper are required.

While athletes trying to achieve excellence must put in the necessary hours of training, they must also properly fuel their body and monitor the need to support it nutritionally.  Routine micronutrient testing provides a window into the metabolic needs of the athlete helping them to achieve maximum performance.

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.

 

 

 

Topics: micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, folate, Vitamin E, Selenium, B Vitamins, Copper, Vitamin B12, supplements, immune system, deficiencies, Glutamine, Glutathione, Iron, Oxidative Stress, Spectrox, Energy, Free Radicals, Athletes, Performance

Turn on Your Metabolism with Micronutrient Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jun 01, 2011 @ 09:32 AM

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.

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.



Topics: SpectraCell, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, Vitamin D, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Fatigue, nutrition testing, Glucose Intolerance, deficiency, Chromium, Weight Gain, Energy, Metabolism

SpectraCell Partners with Gluten Free Works

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 @ 03:48 PM

Hand and HealthSpectraCell has recently partnered with Gluten Free Works who is “Helping people get well, look good and stay healthy living gluten free.” ™

Gluten Free Works® helps you understand your food, your diet and your digestion. They show you what causes health problems and how to treat them naturally. One of the tools that they suggest is nutritional testing.  They believe that the key to good health for those with gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease is a gluten-free lifestyle.

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is characterized by the inability to tolerate gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. When gluten is ingested by a person with celiac disease, an allergic reaction follows that causes serious damage to the intestinal wall, ultimately creating malabsorption issues and a host of cascading health problems. Some estimate that celiac disease is prevalent in over 2% of the general population.

I take a Multi-Vitamin and Eat a Gluten Free Diet.  Isn’t that Enough?

Multi-VitaminThe simple answer is no. Just as every person is different, the “normal” amount of each micronutrient varies from person to person, and even in the same person depending on circumstances in his or her life.  We are all biochemically unique, and several factors affect personal micronutrient needs – age, lifestyle, metabolism, prescription drug usage, past and present illnesses, absorption rate, genetics and more.

Especially in the case of celiac disease, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, comprehensive nutritional testing is super important.  Celiac patients are notoriously at higher risk for nutrient deficiencies, largely due to malabsorption issues.  But when it comes to supplements, the “more is better” philosophy is just plain wrong.  Balance is key. SpectraCell’s Micronutrient test is the answer.

SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test measures 33 vitamins and minerals in your body.  But the SpectraCell test goes even further – it measures functional, long-term levels within the cell, which means SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test evaluates how well your body actually utilizes each nutrient.  Your body may need more of a nutrient than someone else, or perhaps your body lacks the coenzymes needed to transport it, or perhaps it is not absorbed properly after ingestion.  That is why an individual assessment of your nutritional status is important.

True healing begins with your body’s foundation – micronutrients – the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs to function optimally every day and over a lifetime.

Predisposition to Nutritional Deficiencies

Researchers followed a group of celiac patients who were on a gluten-free diet for 10 years and they found that half of the adult celiac patients showed signs of poor vitamin status. Since production of digestive enzymes is generally less efficient in celiac patients, absorption of nutrients from food is compromised.  

Antioxidant Status of Celiac Patients

Intestinal inflammation, so commonly seen in celiac patients, creates oxidative stress and as a result, the antioxidant status of celiac patients is significantly reduced, mostly by a depletion of glutathione, considered by many the most potent antioxidant in our bodies. In addition, levels of other antioxidants such as cysteine and vitamin C will affect glutathione status.  You can see how measuring a single nutrient only gives a small piece of the metabolic puzzle.

Fortunately, SpectraCell’s micronutrient test also gives your SpectroxTM score, which is a measurement of your Total Antioxidant Function. In short, it measures how well your cells stand up to oxidative stress.  SpectraCell’s micronutrient test also measures the function of several powerful antioxidants such as lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E.  Even a single deficiency can negatively affect your SpectroxTM score.  Since oxidative stress is an important factor in the pathogenesis of celiac disease, raising your SpectroxTM score is important.

A Special Role for Glutamine

One hallmark of celiac patients is that they tend to have damage in the lining of their small intestine.  This damage increases the permeability of the walls of their digestive tract, allowing normally benign substances into the bloodstream, where they are no longer treated as harmless.  An allergenic, or autoimmune, response follows wreaking havoc throughout the body. Glutamine is an amino acid that is particularly effective in mitigating this dangerous cascade of events starting in the gut. Deprivation of glutamine results in increased intestinal permeability since glutamine helps to form tight junctions between cells of the delicate intestinal wall.

NeurologyNeurological Problems Stem from Nutrient Deficiencies

Researchers estimate that 11-41% of celiac patients have vitamin B12 defiency, which impairs function of the nervous systems.  In fact, resolution of vitamin B12 deficiency will in many cases resolve neurological problems associated with celiac disease. Similarly, a deficiency in copper will often manifest as neurological problems or anemia in celiac patients.  In fact, some researchers suggest that celiac disease should be considered  in patients with copper deficiency, even if there are no gastrointestinal problems.

Folate Deficiency

Celiac patients are at higher risk of B vitamin deficiencies, specifically folate. There are several reasons for this. First, the primary transporter of folate into our bloodstream is found on the tips of the finger-like projections in the intestinal wall called villi. Since intestingal damage (called atrophy) is so common in celiac patients, the process of absorption of nutrients, and especially folate, is severely impaired. Second, the pH of the stomach affects folic acid absorption. The higher the pH, the lower the absorption of folic acid, which is the case in celiac patients. Third, many medications used in inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract are known to be folate depleting.

Bone Building Nutrients for Celiac Patients

Compromised bone health is often an unfortunate consequence of celiac disease largely because a much higher percentage of children with celiac are deficient in magnesium, calcium and vitamin D compared to children without celiac.  These nutrients work together in many ways.  For example, when there is sufficient vitamin D, 30-40% of intestinal calcium can be absorbed but in the presence of vitamin D deficiency, only 15% of calcium is absorbed, leading to poor bone health among other things. It is easy to see how correcting even a single nutrient deficiency can indirectly help the status of another.  

Depletion of Minerals

The impact of mineral deficiencies is extremely broad.  For example, zinc deficiency compromises the immune system and is implicated in many skin disorders, which often accompany celiac disease.  In a recent study on children with celiac disease, it was found that zinc  levels were up to 30% lower in children with untreated celiac, and that over 50% of patients with celiac have low zinc levels. Selenium deficiency is also common in celiac patients.  Since thyroid is particularly sensitive to selenium, a deficiency in this mineral, which also serves as a powerful antioxidant, can contribute thyroid dysfunction.

Fatigue in Celiac – Corrected with Supplementation

Fatigue is a very common symptom of celiac disease.  Although several nutrients contribute to energy production (such as B vitamins and chromium, for example), the relatively unknown amino acid carntine is intimately involved in energy production and particularly effective in reducing fatigue.  Interestingly, levels of carnitine are lower in celiac patients.  In fact, one study showed that fatigue was significantly reduced in a group of celiac patients when they were supplemented for six months with carnitine.

A Multi-Faceted Approach

Since so many nutrients are needed to keep our amazingly complex digestive, immune and other systems functioning properly, a comprehensive assessment of your nutritional status is key, especially indisorders like celiac disease where the risk of deficiency is particularly high.  The potential improvement of symptoms when even a single deficiency is corrected can often be quite dramatic.  

SpectraCell's micronutrient test evaluates how well your body absorbs and utilizes each of these nutrients.

Talk to your doctor about SpectraCell’s micronutrient test or order online from Gluten Free Works.

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Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Cysteine, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Fatigue, Nutrition, immune system, Calcium, deficiency, Glutamine, Neurology, Diet, Minerals, Digestion, Inflammation, Gluten Sensitivity, Gluten-Free, Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Works

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