SpectraCell Blog

Folic Acid’s Link to Neural Tube Defects Gains Attention

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Mar 03, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

pregnant-woman-outside.jpgFolic acid has long been known for drastically reducing the risk of neural tube defects in babies, but new research sheds light on possible consequences of the “if some is good, more is better” approach to supplementation. In a recent study, scientists investigated the effects of moderate folic acid supplementation on reproductive outcomes in mice. 

Female mice were fed either folic acid-supplemented or control diets before and during pregnancy. Researchers found that in female mice with a certain genetic deficiency involved in methylation (called MTHFD1 R653Q), the incidence of embryonic defects and developmental delays actually increased when given supplemental folic acid, compared to mice on a control diet. These findings suggest gene-nutrient interactions (in this case, folic acid with MTHFD1 R653Q), thereby complicating recommendations for supplemental nutrients during pregnancy. Assessing your micronutrient levels before and during pregnancy with a SpectraCell Micronutrient Test is a convenient way to discover and replete micronutrient deficiencies before they become a problem, which can benefit both mother and child.

For additional reading refer to the abstract, Moderate folic acid supplementation and MTHFD1-synthetase deficiency in mice, a model for the R653Q variant, result in embryonic defects and abnormal placental development, published in the November 2016 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.



 

Topics: Folic Acid, Folic Acid and Pregnancy, Folic Acid and Neural Tube Defects

Folic Acid Deficiency Exacerbates Damage From Stroke

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

stroke.jpgPrevious studies have linked low folic acid with an increased risk of ischemic stroke (stroke caused by oxygen deprivation) but new research sheds light on how damage occurs. In this animal study, scientists demonstrated that after a stroke, brain tissue is damaged both from lack of oxygen and through the prolonged activation of autophagy, a process whose function is to degrade dysfunctional parts of a cell. When folic acid is deficient, autophagy is accelerated to the point where nerve cells die, thus exacerbating damage to the brain after an initial stroke.

For more details, download the abstract entitled Folic acid deficiency increases brain cell injury via autophagy enhancement after focal cerebral ischemia.



 

Topics: micronutrients, Folic Acid, Oxidative Stress, Folic Acid and Strokes, Folic Acid Deficiency, micronutrient deficiency, Reducing Inflammation, Stroke Prevention

Folate, how vital is it to YOU?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 @ 09:32 AM

Folate also known as folic acid is needed to folate produce blood cells and other new tissue cells. 

Folate is a generic term for a group of pteridine compounds essential for one-carbon unit metabolism.  Folates are involved in the synthesis of DNA, RNA and tRNA necessary for cell growth.  Folates are required for metabolism of methionine, histidine, tryptophan, glycine, serine and formate.  Interactions with vitamin B6 and B12 also occur from common metabolic pathways.  Folate function is necessary to prevent accumulation of homocysteine.  Deficient folate status of pregnant females is also directly linked to incidence of birth defects, especially neural tube defects such as spina bifida. 

Deficiency symptoms:

Symptoms of folate deficiency include birth defects (neural tube defects, spina bifida), fatigue, anorexia, constipation, glossitis, headaches, insomnia, restless legs, paranoia, memory impairment, megaloblastic anemia (identical in appearance to vitamin B12 deficiency), hypersegmentation of neutrophils and with severe deficiency, intestinal lesions.  However, the neurological complications of vitamin B12 deficiency do not occur with folate deficiency. Thus, a regulatory limit on folate levels in dietary supplements of 400 mcg per unit is in effect, to prevent a potential missed diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Those at risk for folate deficiency include: Vitamin B12 deficiency, malnourished, malabsorption, pregnant and lactating women, increased rate of cellular division (burns, trauma, malignancies, hemolytic anemias), alcoholics, anti-convulsant therapy (phenytoin, barbiturates, primidone), folate antagonist therapy (nethotrezate, 5-fluoroacul, pyrimethamine), tuberculosis therapy (isoniazid plus cycloserine), oral contraceptive users, sulfasalzine therapy, elderly, infants and inherited folate disorders.

Repletion Information:

Dietary sources richest in folate (per serving) include:

  • Nutritional Supplements
  • vitamin-fortified cereals
  • wheat germ
  • nuts
  • legumes
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Liver

Download the nutrient correlation chart on Autism, and anxiety, as well as a case study highlighting 50 year old female with chronic fatigue all include a deficiency in folate.

To find out your micronutrients levels, click here!

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, folate, Folic Acid, Vitamins, micronutrient

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

Theories, Research and Treatment with Vitamins and Antioxidants

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Mar 07, 2013 @ 09:31 AM

New theory on how vitamins work gains attention

A group of researchers in Europe proposed a new theory on how vitamins work in the body,vitamins displacing the former accepted view that vitamin molecules work directly on cells in the body. Their research, which used radiation and electron pulse technology, led them to conclude that antioxidant vitamins emit dissolved electrons that quench free radicals. They concluded that the well-known vitamin effects are attributed to “vitamin free radicals rather than the vitamin molecules per se, as generally accepted.”(Nutrition, January 2013)

Link to Abstract Vitamin-induced intracellular electrons are the mechanism for their well-known beneficial effects: A review.

Treatment resistant depression responds to folate therapy

Two randomized, double-blind trials were conducted in which depression, treatmentdepression patients who had a partial or no response to a SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) were given l-methylfolate for 60 days. In the first trial, the dosage of folate was 7.5mg/day for 30 days, then 15mg/day for 30 days. In the second trial, the dosage of folate was 15mg/day for 60 days. Patients in the second trial showed significantly greater efficacy of SSRI drugs (lower depression scores and significantly decreased symptom severity) compared to the first trial (where the dosage of folate was lower) and compared to placebo. (American Journal of Psychiatry, December 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT  (L)-methylfolate as adjunctive therapy for SSRI-resistant major depression: results of two randomized, double-blind, parallel-sequential trial.
LINK to FLYER on NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN DEPRESSION

Antioxidant therapy benefits both anxiety and depression

Blood levels of the antioxidant (specifically, vitamins A, C and E) were measured in eighty patients ofantioxidant a psychiatric hospital that were diagnosed with stress-induced generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Supplements of each vitamin were given for six weeks and blood levels of each vitamin were measured again. After six weeks, blood levels of vitamin A and C had increased and there was a “significant reduction in anxiety and depression scores of patients.”(Indian Journal of Psychiatry, July2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Role of antioxidants in generalised anxiety disorder and depression. 
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to FLYER on NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN ANXIETY
LINK to FLYER on NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN DEPRESSION

Is B12 the magic bullet for hepatitis?

This paper concludes that B12 is particularly beneficial for hepatitis C viral therapy. Specifically, adding Vitamin B12vitamin B12 (5mg given intramuscularly every 4 weeks) to the conventional therapy of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin improved treatment response after 3 months. This confirms earlier research that shows vitamin B12 ca inhibit the hepatitis C virus in vitro.(Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy, November 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamins? The magic bullet against hepatitis C.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

Vitamin D amplifies progesterone's neuroprotective effect after traumatic brain injury

Both progesterone and vitamin D have demonstrated neuroprotective effects on the brain after abrain injury traumatic injury in past studies, so a group of researchers sought to evaluate the effect of combining them. This randomized clinical trial compared progesterone treatment alone and combined with vitamin D to a placebo group and found that the “recovery rate of patients with severe brain trauma in the group receiving progesterone and vitamin D together was significantly higher than that of progesterone [only] group, which was in turn higher than that of placebo group.”(Advanced Biomedical Research, 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Comparison of the administration of progesterone versus progesterone and vitamin D in improvement of outcomes in patients with traumatic brain injury: A randomized clinical trial with placebo group.

Vitamin C help patients recover from hearing loss

72 patients with sudden hearing loss of unknown cause participated in this study. 36 patients served hearing lossas a control group that received steroid treatment for 15 days and 36 patients received the same steroid treatment plus high dose vitamin C intravenously daily for 10 days. Auditory evaluations were administered and the recovery rate of the group receiving vitamin C was more than twice that of the control group. (European Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology, December 2012) 

LINK to ABSTRACT Effect of high dose intravenous vitamin C on idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss: a prospective single-blind randomized controlled trial.

Mechanism behind serine's role for proper brain function is uncovered

Serine is a crucial amino acid needed to form proper synapses in the brain. It acts as abrain neurotransmitter and regulates NMDA(N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain, which regulate mood and sleep, explaining its role in psychiatric and neurological disease. A recent study showed that serine supplementation could reverse oxidative stress-induced deficits in cognitive function.(Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metbolic Care, January 2013), (Aging Cell, April 2012), (Journal of Biological Chemistry, June 2012), (Biochemical Journal, 2003)

LINK to ABSTRACT D-Serine: physiology and pathology.
LINK to ABSTRACT Reversal of age-related oxidative stress prevents hippocampal synaptic plasticity deficits by protecting D-serine-dependent NMDA receptor activation.
LINK to ABSTRACT Resurgence of serine: an often neglected but indispensable amino acid.
LINK to ABSTRACT L-serine in disease and development. 
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

For more educational resources visit our Clinical Education Center  

 

Topics: SpectraCell, Antidepressants, Autoimmunity, autoimmune diseases, folate, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Antioxidants, Vitamin B12, immune system, Vitamins, Fertility, Case Study, Hearing, Depression, Brain, Hepatitis, anxiety

Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 01:20 PM

Is carnitine the answer for male infertility?male, infertility
A group of men (n=96) who had been diagnosed as infertile for at least 18 months were given the following nutritional formulation daily for four months: L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, fructose, citric acid, selenium, coenzyme Q10, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and folic acid (see abstract for exact dosages).  At the end of the study, sperm motility improved and 16 of the patients had achieved pregnancy.  The authors concluded that carnitine may be the key component of the supplement cocktail for improving sperm quality. (Italian Archives of Urology and Andrology, September 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Prospective open-label study on the efficacy and tolerability of a combination of nutritional supplements in primary infertile patients with idiopathic astenoteratozoospermia.

 

Vitamin D helps leg ulcers heal
In this double-blind, placebo controlled trial, 26 patients Vitamins, Vitamin Dwith leg ulcers were given either placebo or 50,000 IU vitamin D weekly for two months.  Leg ulcer size, blood levels of vitamin D and pain was measured before and after the two month trial.  In the vitamin D group, leg ulcers were reduced in size by 28% while the placebo group had only a 9% reduction in ulcer size. The authors stated “there was a trend toward better healing in those with vitamin D reposition.” (Journal of Brazilian College of Surgeons, October 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin D and skin repair: a prospective, double-blind and placebo controlled study in the healing of leg ulcers.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

 

Complexity of methylation reactions gains insightmethyl donor, nutrients
This review emphasizes how methyl donor nutrients such as choline, folic acid and methionine interact and how consumption (via supplement or food) of one can have sparing effect s on another – such as choline’s  sparing effect on methionine, for example. (Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, January 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT The nutritional burden of methylation reactions.
LINK to FLYER on NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS in METHYLATION

For more journal articles by disease or nutrient please click here

 

Topics: SpectraCell, serine, micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Cysteine, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, Vitamin B6, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Antioxidants, lipoprotein particle profile, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, diagnostic tools, vitamin, wellness, pregnancy, Serum, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, supplements, Multivitamins, Nutrition, diabetes, immune system, E-zinc, N-acetylcysteine, DNA, Calcium, Fertility, Lipoic Acid, deficiencies, health, Case Study, Omega 3s, Depression, Glutamine, Minerals, Neurotransmitters, Stress, Vitamin B1, micronutrient test, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B2, Nutritional Deficiency, Vitamin B3, cardiovascular disease, Hormones, Reproductive Health, Chromium, Manganese, Muscle recovery, Erectile Dysfunction, infertility, Niacin, Prostate, Energy, Methylation, Carbohydrate Metabolism

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

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

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

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