SpectraCell Blog

How important IS vitamin B1(Thiamin)?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Aug 07, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

Vitamin B1(thiamin) is a water-soluble vitamin of the 8 B complex vitamin B1(thiamin)vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. The B vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly, and are needed for good brain function.

Vitamin B1(Thiamin) is used by cells to help make energy from foodstuffs. Thiamin pyrophosphate is a cofactor for dehydrogenase enzymes with key roles in cellular energy production.  Thiamin pyrophosphate is required for transketolase activity, which is a component of the pentose phosphate pathway, the sole source for the synthesis of ribose used in synthesis of the nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).  These reactions also produce the major source of cellular NADPH (used in fatty acid biosynthesis and other pathways). Thiamin triphosphate is localized in nerve cell membranes, and plays a role in transmission of nervous impulses and acetylcholine synthesis.

Deficiency symptoms:

Early vitamin B1(thiamin) deficiency leads to clinical signs of:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Mental depression
  • Nausea
  • Peripheral Neuropathy 

Clinical signs of more severe thiamin deficiency (Wernicke-Korsafoff Syndrome):

  • Mental confusion
  • Loss of eye coordination
  • Loss of fine motor control
  • Weakness

Those at risk for vitamin B1(Thiamin) deficiency include:

  • Patients suffering from malnutrition, starvation or malabsorptin syndromes
  • Alcoholics
  • Patients on restricted diets
  • Gastric partitioning surgery
  • Thiamin-Responsive
  • Prolonged hemodialysis (pregnancy, lactation, fever, infection, trauma)
  • Elderly
  • Patients with an increased metabolic rate
  • Inherited
  • Metabolic Disorders

Repletion Information:

Dietary sources richest in B1 (per serving) include:

  • Nutritional supplements
  • Rice Bran
  • Pork enriched grain & grain products (cereals)
  • Nutritional Yeasts
  • Wheat Germ
  • Legumes (beans, peas, soybeans, lentils
Download SpectraCell's nutrition correlation reference chart referencing Vitamin B1(Thiamin)'s role in Fibromyalgia, Insomnia and Pain.
View our webinar on "Nutritional Considerations of Fibromyalgia" which discusses vitamin B1 as well as many other nutrients that play a vital role in fibromyalgia.

For more information on how to check your vitamin levels click here.

Topics: SpectraCell, B Vitamins, Fatigue, DNA, Case Study, Diet, Nervous System, Vitamin B1, skin disorder, reference chart, loss of appetite, constipation, nausea, irritability, weakness, mental confusion, thiamin

Do the Prescriptions YOU take deplete your nutritional status?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 @ 03:34 PM

When a person takes prescription drugs or over the counter medication chances are that they can prescription depletions Page 1 resized 600 be affecting their nutrient levels. Below are some of the possible deficiencies that are correlated with each corresponding drug.

Antacids/Ulcer medications

  • vitamin B12 - Anemia, depression, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular risk

  • Folic Acid - Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk

  • vitamin D - osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss

  • Calcium - Osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay

  • Iron - Anemia, weakness, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails

  • Zinc - weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction


Antibiotics

  • B vitamins, Vitamin K - short term depletion affects are minimal, but failure to re-inoculate the GI tract with beneficial bacteria (probiotics) often results in dysbiosis which causes gas, bloating, decreases digestion & absorption of nutrients, and also may lead to a variety of other health problems.

  • Calcium - osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay

  • magnesium - cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS

  • Iron - slow wound healing, fatigue, anemia

  • vitamin B6 - depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk

  • zinc - weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction


Cholesterol drugs

  • Coenzyme Q10 - Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy


Female Hormones

  • Vitamin B6 - depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk

  • Folic acid - birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease

  • vitamin B1 - depression, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness, edema

  • vitamin B2 - problems with skin, eyes, mucous membranes and nerves

  • vitamin B6 - depression, sleep disturbances, increased cardiovascular disease risk

  • vitamin B12 - anemia, depression, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular risk

  • vitamin C - lowered immune system, easy bruising, poor wound healing

  • magnesium - cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS

  • selenium - lower immunity, reduced antioxidant protection'

  • zinc - weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction


Anti-Inflammatories

  • calcium - osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay

  • vitamin D - osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss

  • magnesium - cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS

  • zinc - weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction

  • vitamin C - lowered immunity, easy bruising, poor wound healing

  • vitamin B6 - depression, sleep disturbances,increased cardiovascular disease risk

  • vitamin B12 - anemia, depressioon, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular risk

  • Folic Acid - birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease

  • Selenium - lower immunity, reduced antioxidant protection

  • chromium - elevated blood sugar, cholesterol & triglycerides, diabetes risk

  • vitamin B5 - fatigue, listlessness, and possible problems with skin, liver and nerves

For a complete list of drugs and their correlating deficiencies click here

If you would like to check your nutrient levels click here

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Antidepressants, Cancer, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Antioxidants, Fibromyalgia, Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Health, Heart Disease, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, Chronic Disease, diabetes, immune system, E-zinc, Vitamins, Calcium, Fertility, PMS, deficiencies, chronic fatigue and nutrition, health, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Depression, Diet, Digestion, Stress, Vitamin B1, micronutrient test, Inflammation, Vitamin B5, High Blood Pressure, Vitamin B2, Iron, Nutritional Deficiency, Cancer Prevention, Heart Health, Gastrointestinal Tract, Hypothyroidism, Allergies, Wound Healing, Vitamin B3, Antihistamines, cardiovascular disease, Nutrient, hypertension, Women's Health

SpectraCell's Nutritional Correlation Chart on Autism

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Feb 06, 2013 @ 01:54 PM

Autism Nutritional WheelVitamin D - High dose vitamin D therapy reversed autistic behaviors in severely deficient children; Maternal vitamin D deficiency may predispose children to autism.3,4,5

Vitamin A - One cause of autism may be a defect in a retinoid receptor protein (G-alpha protein) which is critical for language processing, attention and sensory perception; Evidence suggests natural vitamin A fixes this protein defect in autistics.1,2

Folate - Oral folate therapy can resolve symptoms of autism in some cases, particularly in autistics with genes that impair folate dependent enzymes.31,32,33

Glutamine - Blood levels of this amino acid which acts as a neurotransmitter are particularly low in autistics. Glutamine also helps prevent leaky gut syndrome, which can exacerbate autistic symptoms.28,29,30

Vitamin C - Improved symptom severity and sensory motor scores in autistic patients possibly due to interaction with dopamine synthesis; Vitamin C also has a strong sparing effect on glutathione.26,27

Glutathione & Cysteine -  Commonly deficient in autistic patients, lack of these antioxidants impair detoxification and methylation processes; Low levels linked to neurological symptoms in autism which is often considered an oxidative stress disorder.21,22,23,24,25

Vitamin B1 - Deficiency linked to delayed language development; Supplementation may benefit autistic patients.19,20

Vitamin B12 - Low B12 impairs methylation (detoxification) which causes the neurological damage responsible for many autistic symptoms; Deficiency of B12 can cause optic neuropathy and vision loss in autistics; B12 raises cysteine and glutathione levels.16,17,18

Vitamin B6 - Cofactor the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine; Conversion of B6 to its active form is compromised in many autistics; Supplementation trials with B6 resulted in better eye contact, speech and fewer self-stimulatory behavior in autistics; Some consider B6 in combination with magnesium to be a breakthrough treatment for autism.14,15

Magnesium - Cofactor for the neurotransmitters that affect social reactions and emotion; Autistics have low levels; Improves effectiveness of B6 therapy.11,12,13

Zinc - Eliminates toxic mercury from brain tissue; Zinc/ copper ratio is particularly low in autistic kids; Low zinc impairs  the protein (called metallothionein) that removes heavy metals from the body.8,9,10

Carnitine - Transports fatty acids into cells; Low carnitine (common in autism) impairs the ability to use fatty acids for learning and social development.6,7

 For a copy of Spectracell's Nutrition Correlation chart on Autism click here

Topics: micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Cysteine, Antidepressants, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, B Vitamins, Antioxidants, diagnostic tools, supplements, autism, Vitamins, DNA, deficiencies, health, deficiency, Depression, Glutamine, Neurology, Glutathione, Diet, Minerals, Digestion, Brain, Nervous System, Neurotransmitters, Aggression, Stress, Vitamin B1, degenerative illness, micronutrient test

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

Can Nutrition Cure Depression?

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

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

Topics of Discussion:

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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.

Gluten Free Works

SpectraCell Laboratories

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