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

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

The Insulin & Cortisol Factors

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 @ 10:38 AM

The Fatigue Solution resized 600Excerpt from Eva Cwynar, M.D.'s new book, "The Fatigue Solution"

Two hormones in particular affect our energy levels: insulin and cortisol.

The Insulin Factor: Insulin is one of the body's key hormones. It works with a partner, glucagon, ro regulate how the body utilizes food for fuel and therefore energy. Insulin is a storage hormone designed to take excess glucose (sugar) from dietary carbohydrates, excess amino acids from proteins, and other nutrients, and store them as fat. Not only does it store the fat, but it also locks fat up so it can't be released. Glucagon, insulin's biological opposite, mobilizes stored energy (primarily carbohydrates), to be circulated in the bloodstream as a source of energy. Its primary job is to release stored carbohydrate, in the form of glucose, from the liver so that it can be used for energy. So...

Insulin = Stored Energy

Glucagon = Released Energy

An imbalance between these two hormones is usually seen as elevated insulin levels. Excess blood sugar usually responds to elevated insulin by dropping down dramatically, which will decimate your energy level and give you that well-known "sugar crash". Or it can respond by stayin elevated, in which case the body's cells can't handle the excess and simply don't allow any more sugar or insulin to come in. This is known as insulin resistance, which is the body's inability to respond to and use the insulin it produces. This can eventually lead to a variety of conditions, including the accumulation of body fat, diabetes, heart disease, and a decrease in energy levels. So...

Excess blood sugar = insulin resistance

The Corisol Factor: Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands that is critical to your body's ability to mediate stress. This came in very handy in the age of the caveman; cortisol is part of the "fight or flight" process that prepares you to either face and hopefully vanquish your enemy or run away as fast as your feet can take you. Today's stressors may not be as dramatic as facing a hungry saber-toothed tiger, but they are quite a bit more varied. Stressors can be physical, biological, environmental, or even social, from a weekend warrior's overexertion to a sudden viral infection to a chronically abusive screaming boss. Cortisol helps you cope and allows you to respond to different stressors in different ways. However, long-term exposure to unremitting stress (taking care of a parent or child with a chronic illness; a chaotic lifestyle that never slows down) will have dire consequences for your health, as too much cortisol can produce extensive biological damage, and is a leading cause of premature aging and fatigue.

Cortisol has many actions in the body, and one ultimate goal of cortisol secretion is the provision of energy for the body. Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, and stimulates insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar levels. The end result o f these actions is an increase in appetite. That's why chronic or poorlly managed stress may lead you to eat too much, which can show up as weight gain or difficulty losing unwanted pounds. So...

Excess cortisol = premature aging and fatigue

See how SpectraCell's micronutrient testing can assist you with your weight loss and fatigue issues:

To learn more about Dr. Eva Cwynar, visit her website: www.dreva.com

Topics: Fatigue, Weight Loss, Dr. Eva Cwynar, Cortisol, Insulin

The Thyroid: What, Where and How

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Aug 31, 2012 @ 10:49 AM

The Fatigue SolutionExcerpt from Eva Cwynar, M.D.'s new book, "The Fatigue Solution"

The simplest way to describe your thyroid and its function is to compare it to a furnace that is run by a thermostat (the pituitary gland). Together, they regulate how much energy and stamina you have on a daily basis. The amount of thyroid hormone you have affects how well you have slept, how you feel when you get up in the morning, and how effectively you will make it through your day.

Thyroid function affects every cell in the body. It is the main regulator of basal metabolism, which is the amount of energy needed to maintain essential physiologic functions when you are at complete rest, both physically and mentally. If your thyroid gland is not producing optimally, your cells cannot properly take in the nutrients they need, receive the right amount of oxygen, or get rid of waste materials efficiently. Thyroid hormones also affect your heart, muscles, bones, and cholesterol, to name just several of its jobs.

Introducing the 3s and 4s:

There are two main hormones produced by the thyroid:

  • Triiodothyronine, known as T3
  • Tetraiodothyronine, known as T4

You many have noticed a portion of the word "iodine" in each of the hormones above. That's because the function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones. Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body that can absorb iodine.

These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. The normal thyroid gland manufactures both T3 and T4; it produces about 80 percent T4 and about 20% T3. However, T3 is about four times as potent as T4. T4 is actually a precursor to T3. While traveling through the liver, T4 loses one of its iodine molecules, which converts the T4 to T3.

There is one more factor we have to mention to complete this process, and that is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), which is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain and gives that gland its thermostat-like function. So the thyroid is the furnace that provides the "heat" in the form of the T3 and T4 hormones and the pituitary gland is the thermostat that goes on and off according to the amount of heat in the body. TSH tells the thyroid to raise or lower the heat. The process goes like this:

T3 and T4 travel through the bloodstream, producing heat

Arrow

The pituitary gland senses the heat; the thermostat shuts off; TSH production slows down

Arrow

The body cools as the level of thyroid hormones decrease

Arrow

The pituitary senses the decrease in temperature; the thermostat pops on; TSH production increases

Arrow

The furnace produces more heat.

When  your body temperature drops, your metabolic rate drops, too. You produce less energy, and you store more calories as fat - in other words, you gain weight. You also suffer from fatigue, irritability, and the inability to concentrate.

Learn more about this topic below:

Also, to learn more about Dr. Eva Cwynar, visit her website: www.dreva.com

 

Topics: Fatigue, Thyroid, Hormones, Dr. Eva Cwynar

Why Do We Get PMS?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 @ 11:20 AM

The Fatigue SolutionExcerpt from Eva Cwynar, M.D.'s new book, "The Fatigue Solution"

We've come a long way since the time when doctors used to debate the reality of PMS, but the short answer is that there are many reasons why PMS occurs. There are several different theories:

  • Decline in progesterone levels. PMS symptoms occur during the luteal phase of a woman's cycle, which is when progesterone begins to rise (right after ovulation) and then starts to plummet about 7 days later. When you are about to get your period, your progesterone levels rapidly drop. That's what causes problems. Hormone levels normally fluctuate. If progesterone levels were measured on a scale of 1 to 10, for example, they could drop from a level of 10 to a 9.9 to a 9.8 to a 9.7 and your body would be able to adjust to the changing levels with almost no difficulty. When you're about to get your period, however, levels drop dramatically from a 10 to a 5 and perhaps even to a 1. It's that rapid change that stimulates your symptoms. And some women drop faster and lower than others, which is why their symptoms may be worse than other women's.
  • Decrease in neurotransmitters serotonin and GABA activity. Serotonin is responsible for our positive emotional well-being, while GABA helps keep us calm. Reduced levels of estrogen during the luteal phase may ben linked to a drop in serotonin. Lower serotonin levels are associated with irritability, anger, and carbohydrate cravings, all of which are symptoms of PMS. It also appears that GABA receptors are less sensitive than normal, which would explain the increased sense of anxiety.
  • Changes in levels of norepinephrine and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters are involved in the body's stress response. Estrogen may affect the levels of these neurotransmitters, which can influence blood pressure and heart rate as well as mood.

Other possible causes include:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Mercury toxicity
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Candida overgrowth (a fungus)
  • Food allergies/sensitivities
  • Vitamin B6, Calcium or Magnesium deficiencies
  • Inadequate protein intake - liver enzymes that convert female hormones depend on protein
  • Poor liver function - the liver metabolizes one form of estrogen into other forms of estrogen
  • Poor adrenal gland function

No one knows for sure what causes PMS. Some people attribute particular symptoms to increased levels of estrogen and/or progesterone; other people say the same symptom is due to decreased levels of these hormones. Studies routinely produce conflicting results. I believe that the key to eliminating or greatly reducing PMS symptoms lies in the balance between these two hormones during the menstrual cycle.

Learn more about this topic below:

Also, to learn more about Dr. Eva Cwynar, visit her website: www.dreva.com

 

Topics: Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Fatigue, Calcium, PMS, Hormones, Dr. Eva Cwynar

The Role of Micronutrients in Sports Medicine

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 @ 02:22 PM

AthleteSpectraCell has created an educational guide to discovering the important role micronutrients play in sports medicine.  In this guide, you will find information about:
  • Individualized nutrition for the athlete
  • Demand, synergy and balance of micronutrients
  • Muscle recovery and fatigue
  • Cellular energy production
  • Minimizing oxidative stress
  • Omega-3 fats for concussion protection
  • Immunity and hormone regulation in the athlete
Download a copy of this guide HERE.


Topics: micronutrient testing, Fatigue, Nutrition, immune system, Omega 3s, Hormones, Oxidative Stress, Athlete, Muscle recovery

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.

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

Vitamin B12: Function, Deficiency Symptoms and Repletion

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 @ 04:13 PM

Vitamin B12Function:

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is needed to form blood and immune cells, and support a healthy nervous system. A series of closely-related compounds known collectively as cobalamins or vitamin B12 are converted into active forms methylcobalamin or 5’-deoxyadenosylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin interacts with folate metabolism, preventing folate derivatives from being trapped in unusable states. Adenosylcobalamin is involved in the metabolism of odd-chain fatty acids and branchedchain amino acids.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Deficiency symptoms of vitamin B12 are both hematological (pernicious anemia) and neurological. A megaloblastic anemia may occur because the effects of the vitamin B12 deficiency on folate metabolism. Shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, irritability, sore tongue, decrease in blood cell counts (red, white and platelets) are all clinical signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Neurological symptoms are manifested as a progressive neuropathy, with loss of position sense and ataxia. If vitamin B12 repletion is not initiated, permanent neurological damage, including degeneration of nerves and spinal cord can result. Recent evidence suggests that mental symptoms of depression and fatigue are detectable before anemia develops. Vitamin B12 is necessary to prevent accumulation of homocysteine, a toxic metabolic byproduct linked to cardiovascular disease and connective tissue abnormalities. Hypochlorhydria and gastrointestinal disturbances are frequently associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Repletion Information:

Dietary sources for cobalamins are strictly from animal foodstuffs. Vitamin B12 is not found in plant foodstuffs. Dietary supplements can also contain vitamin B12 The 1989 RDA for vitamin B12 is 2.0 μg for adults. No toxic effects of oral vitamin B12 intake have been demonstrated, even in doses over 1000 μg daily. Since the absorption and intracellular activation of oral vitamin B12 are frequently difficult, consideration should be given to injectable forms of vitamin B12. Some patients may require more frequent or larger doses than usual before repletion occurs.


Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Homocysteine, Fatigue, Vitamin B12, deficiency, Depression, Neurology, Cobalamin, Metabolism

Nutritional Considerations of Pain Management

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 @ 04:01 PM

Chronic PainVitamin D & Musculoskeletal Pain

Vitamin D deficiency often presents clinically as musculoskeletal pain. Correcting this deficiency can improve bone and muscle pain dramatically in patients with fibromyalgia and the painful bone disease osteomalacia.

Coenzyme Q10 & Migraines, Myopathy

Supplementation with CoQ10 helps prevent migraine headaches, according to recent clinical trials. In addition, CoQ10 has been shown to relieve statin-induced myopathy by improving energy metabolism in muscle.

Carnitine & Myalgia, Neuropathy

This important amino acid facilitates the transport of fatty acids into cell mitochondria so they can be effectively used for energy. Studies suggest that a deficiency of carnitine manifests clinically as myalgia, muscle weakness or neuropathy. In fact, supplementation with carnitine has been shown to improve pain associated with chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, HIV-induced neuropathy, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Oleic Acid & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A recent study showed significant correlations between the severity of chronic fatigue syndrome and levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid used by the body in energy storage.

Magnesium & Post Operative Pain

Magnesium alters pain processing by blocking NMDA receptors in the spinal cord. In several recent studies, administration of magnesium reduced consumption of pain killers post-operatively. The analgesic effect has been seen in cardiac, orthopedic, thoracic and gynecological surgery. Low magnesium levels also contribute to headaches and correlate strongly with the frequency of chest pain. Its antinociceptive effect is promising.

Choline & Acute Pain

The activation of specific receptors by choline reduces acute inflammatory pain in mice, suggesting that administration of choline may help reduce the use of medication for inflammatory pain.

Alpha Lipoic Acid & Diabetic Neuropathy

Several clinical trials have documented the beneficial use of alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of pain from diabetic polyneuropathy.

B Vitamins & Neuropathic Pain

A recent study suggests clinical usefulness of vitamins B1, B6 and B12 in the treatment of neuropathic painful conditions following injury or inflammation. Vitamin B1 deficiency has been implicated in myopathy as well. Thiamin (vitamin B1) supplementation can also ease pain from shingles, migraine headaches and arthritis. Similarly, clinical indicators of pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis are inversely correlated with B6 levels. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) has also shown promise in reducing pain associated with inflammatory conditions and acts as a powerful agent in preventing migraine headaches. Since the B-complex vitamins work together, it is crucial to assess the functional status of each one.

Folic Acid & Migraines

A recent study showed that migraine headaches in children were significantly reduced when supplemented with folic acid. Magnesium supplementation has similar beneficial effects on the pain of pediatric migraine attacks.

Copper & Arthritis

Copper is necessary for the production of super oxide dismutase, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme. When administered to patients with rheumatoid arthritis, copper is effective in reducing inflammatory pain. Copper supplementation has also relieved patients of leg pain associated with sciatic neuritis.

Antioxidants & Inflammatory Pain

The link between oxidative stress and inflammation has been well established. A patient in an inflammatory state will likely experience more pain. Studies have shown that reactive oxygen species are produced during persistent pain, indicating an increased need for antioxidants. Specifically, cysteine may have an inhibitory role in inflammatory pain due to its potent antioxidant effects on tissues. Similar results have been demonstrated with other antioxidants such as selenium, vitamin e, vitamin c, glutathione and coenzyme Q10. Recent studies show that intracellular inflammatory response in white blood cells play an important role in the pathophysiology of chronic fatigue syndrome. Combined antioxidant therapy also reduces pain in patients with chronic pancreatitis and fibromyalgia. Since many antioxidants work synergistically, measure a single antioxidant may not provide an accurate picture of total antioxidant function in patients experiencing either chronic or acute pain.


Topics: micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Arthritis, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Copper, Antioxidants, Pain, Migraines, Fatigue, Myopathy, Fibromyalgia