SpectraCell Blog

The role Copper plays in YOUR body

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

copperLike most trace minerals, copper acts as an enzyme cofactor in several key metabolic processes in the body.  Among its many functions, copper aids in the formation of bone, hemoglobin and red blood cells, therefore enabling the efficient transport of oxygen throughout the body. 

In addition, copper works in balance with vitamin C and zinc to manufacture elastin (skin protein) as well as collagen and other structural proteins in cartilage and tendons.  It is also involved in the healing process, energy production, hair and skin coloring (production of melanin) and taste sensitivity. 

Copper stimulates the absorption of iron through the copper transport protein ceruloplasmin.  Copper also aids in the metabolism of several fatty acids and helps prevent oxidative damage by serving as a cofactor to superoxide dismutase.  In addition, copper is needed for proper insulation (mylination) of nerve cells and serves as a cofactor for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Due to copper's role in the formation of collagen, copper deficiency can manifest as osteoporosis.  Other possible signs of deficiency include anemia (due to its role in hemoglobin formation), baldness, diarrhea, general weakness, impaired respiratory function, myelopathy, decreased skin pigment, reduced resistance to infection and increased triglyceride levels.  Evidence also links copper deficiency with increased oxidative damage to cell membranes.

Download SpectraCell's Nutrient Correlation Chart on Inflammation and Hypertension, both handouts provide information as to how important is Copper in maintaining overall health.

Check your Copper levels and all other essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and how your immune system is performing. Stop Guessing, Start Testing!

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Topics: SpectraCell, zinc, Copper, immune system, Vitamins, micronutrient test, Inflammation, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies

Sleep Apnea and the Correlation with Nutrients and Minerals

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 @ 10:52 AM

Cysteine - Oral supplementation with cysteine, the precursor to glutathione, has therapeuticSleep Apnea, Nutrient Correlation Wheel potential for sleep apnea.  Snore time and duration were significantly reduced for patients treated with N-acetyl cysteine compared to untreated sleep apnea patients.

Antioxidant Status - It is well documented that sleep apnea patients have both reduced antioxidant capacity and higher levels of oxidative stress than controls.

Vitamin C - Improves endothelial function (blood vessel health) in sleep apnea patients to levels seen in people without sleep apnea.

Vitamin E - Mitigates the oxidative stress seen in sleep apnea patients; Works synergistically with Vitamin C.

Vitamin A - Sleep apnea patients have low retinol (vitamin A); Retinol suppresses the growth of vascular smooth muscle, a process that causes blood vessels to clog, linking low vitamin A levels to the cardiovascular complications seen in sleep apnea patients.

Vitamin D - People with sleep apnea have a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency; The worse the apnea, the more severe the deficiency; Evidence suggests low vitamin D worsens sleep apnea's negative effect on heart disease risk.

Selenium - In one case report, selenium supplementation completely stopped snoring caused by non-obesity sleep apnea; Selenium's role as a potent antioxidant may reduce the oxidative stress seen in sleep apnea patients.

Copper - Considered a strong predictor of oxidative stress in sleep apnea patients; Copper's role as a key cofactor in the powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD) explains this; SOD is very low in apnea patients.

Minerals - The trace minerals zinc, copper; magnesium, manganese and selenium are critical cofactors for the major antioxidant enzymes, which are important in repairing cellular damage caused by hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in sleep apnea.

Glutathione - Low levels linked to sleep apnea; This powerful antioxidant helps repair liver damage caused by sleep apnea.

Click to download your own copy of the Sleep Apnea Nutrient Correlation Wheel

Topics: micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Cysteine, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, B Vitamins, Copper, Antioxidants, diagnostic tools, deficiencies, Glutathione, Minerals, micronutrient test, Dr. Fred Crawford, Sleep Apnea

The Importance of Vitamins

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jan 04, 2013 @ 01:12 PM

New study says multivitamins just don’t cut it when it comes to preventing heart diseaseVitamins, multi-vitamins

In the landmark Physician’s Health Study II, authors concluded that taking a multivitamin for over a decade did nothing to prevent cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction or stroke. The study monitored 14,641 male doctors for over eleven years who took either a daily multivitamin or placebo and no differences in cardiovascular events or mortality was found between the two groups.  Since evidence linking deficiencies to heart disease is strong (see vitamin D study below on 45,000 patients), some conclude that a multivitamin is simply not effective in correcting deficiencies and that targeted supplementation for the individual is a better approach. (Journal of the American Medical Association, November 2012)
(American Journal of Cardiology, October 2010)

Link to ABSTRACT Multivitamins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men: the Physicians' Health Study II randomized controlled trial.

Link to ABSTRACT Relation of vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular risk factors, disease status, and incident events in a general healthcare population.

Vitamin C reduces fatigue and perception of effort after exercise

Vitamins, vitamin cIn this interesting study on twenty obese adults, each were given either 500 mg of vitamin C or placebo daily for four weeks.  Their diet was strictly controlled for vitamin C content and their heart rates and fatigue scores as well as subjective perceptions of exertion were measured after exercise.  Those taking vitamin C had lower fatigue scores and those on placebo had higher fatigue scores. Heart rates and “ratings of perceived exertion” were also improved in the vitamin C group. (Nutrition, January 2013)   

Link to ABSTRACT Vitamin C status and perception of effort during exercise in obese adults adhering to a calorie-reduced diet.

For more articles and information, click here for the complete library on clinical updates.

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Copper, diagnostic tools, Heart Disease, vitamin, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, supplements, Multivitamins, E-zinc, Vitamins, deficiencies, Heart Attack, Diet, Minerals, Vitamin B1, micronutrient test, Vitamin B5, High Blood Pressure, Vitamin B2, Heart Health, Vitamin B3, Aging, Stroke

Nutritional Considerations of Pain

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

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

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

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

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

Nutritional Considerations of Insomnia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 @ 05:10 PM

InsomniaBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person with Insomnia.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) - increases REM sleep; improves both quality and quantity of sleep by converting trytophan to serotonin.
  • Folate & Vitamin B6 - both are cofactors for several neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine, many of which regulate sleep patterns.
  • Vitamin B12 - normalizes circadian rythms (sleep-wake cycles); therapeutic benefits of B12 supplementation, both oral and intravenous, seen in studies.
  • Magnesium - improving magnesium status is associated with better quality sleep; mimics the action of melatonin; also alleviates insomnia due to restless leg syndrome.
  • Zinc & Copper - both interact with NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain that regulate sleep; a higher Zn/Cu ratio is linked to longer sleep duration.
  • Oleic Acid - this fatty acid is a precursor of oleamide, which regulates our drive for sleep and tends to accumulate in the spinal fluid of sleep-deprived animals. Oleic acid also facilitates the absorption of vitamin A.
  • Vitamin A - studies suggest vitamin A deficiency alters brain waves in non-REM sleep causing sleep to be less restorative.
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin) - in clinical trials, supplementation of healthy individuals that had marginal B1 deficiency improved their sleep.

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

 

Topics: Oleic Acid, zinc, folate, Magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Copper, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3

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

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

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