SpectraCell Blog

Nutrition Speaks: The Role of Micronutrient Deficiencies in Autism

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

autism.jpgWhen people think of autism and nutrition, the first thing that comes to mind is often food sensitivities, especially given the widespread attention to the impact of certain additives and common triggers (such as wheat or dairy) on that condition. But it is worth considering that micronutrient levels can have a profound impact on autistic symptoms. The list below includes specific micronutrients suggested to have a role in the development and treatment of autism:

Vitamin D: High-dose vitamin D therapy reversed autistic behaviors in severely deficient children; maternal vitamin D deficiency may predispose children to autism.

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

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

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.

Vitamin C: Improves symptom severity and sensory motor scores in autistic patients possibly due to interaction with dopamine synthesis; it also has a strong sparing effect on glutathione.

Glutathione & Cysteine: Both are commonly deficient in autistic patients. Low antioxidant status impairs detoxification and methylation processes, and has been linked to neurological symptoms in autism, which is often considered an oxidative stress disorder.

Vitamin B1: Deficiency linked to delayed language development; supplementation may benefit autistic patients.

Vitamin B12: Low B12 impairs methylation (detoxification), which can cause the neurological damage responsible for many autistic symptoms. B12 deficiency can cause optic neuropathy and vision loss in autistics; B12 raises cysteine and glutathione levels.

Vitamin B6: Cofactor for 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, improved speech, and fewer self-stimulatory behavior in autistics. Some consider B6 in combination with magnesium to be a breakthrough treatment for autism.

Magnesium: Cofactor for the neurotransmitters that affect social reactions and emotion; autistics have low levels. Magnesium improves the effectiveness of B6 therapy.

Zinc: Eliminates mercury from brain tissue. The zinc/ copper ratio is particularly low in autistic kids, and low zinc impairs metallothionein, a protein that removes heavy metals from the body.

Carnitine: Transports fatty acids into cells. Low carnitine status, a common feature of autism, impairs the ability to use fatty acids for learning and social development.

For a copy of SpectraCell's Nutrition Correlation chart on autism, click here. 

To evaluate your micronutrient status, order your micronutrient test today!

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Topics: Cysteine, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, autism, Glutamine, Glutathione, Vitamin B1, nutrition and autism, nutrition speaks, autistic symptoms, micronutrient deficiencies, autism speaks

The Need for Glutathione

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 @ 11:28 AM

glutathioneGlutathione is implicated in many cellular function including antioxidant protection and detoxification. It is also essential for the maintenance of cell membrane integrity in red blood cells. Intracellular glutathione concentrations are principally derived by intracellular synthesis, as few cells directly uptake glutathione from the surrounding extracellular fluid.  The high concentration of glutathione in virtually all cells clearly indicates its importance in metabolic and oxidative detoxification processes.  Glutathione may be considered the preeminent antioxidant. 

Deficiency Symptoms

A wide range of human conditions such as aging, cancer, atherosclerosis, arthritis, viral infections, AIDS, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases and pulmonary diseases may be produced or made worse by "free radicals." Their treatment or prevention often includes antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids and selenium.  Glutathione is an essential component of the antioxidant defense system: producing a "sparing effect" for both tocopherol and ascorbate by reducing the oxidized forms, and by eliminating hydrogen peroxide by reacting with glutathione peroxidase.  Cellular glutathione functions to decrease the formation of oxidized LDL, implicated in the development of atherosclerosis. T-lymphocytes become deficient in glutathione in the progression of AIDS which impairs immune function.  Glutathione is also required for the synthesis of some prostaglandins from n-3 and n-6 polyunstaturated fatty acids which are important in the inflammatory response.  Patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome are favorably affected by treatments that increase cellular glutathione.

Download our Nutrient Function and Deficiency symptoms handout here.

GET TESTED TODAY!

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Glutathione, Stress, Aging, Muscle recovery, Energy

Sleep Apnea and the Correlation with Nutrients and Minerals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SpectraCell's Nutritional Correlation Chart on Diabetes

Posted by Char Perez on Mon, Dec 03, 2012 @ 10:23 AM

Micronutrients such as niacin, magnesium, calcium, zinc, carnitine, inositol, alpha-lipoic acid, as well as vitamins E, B6 and D all play an important role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Though diabetes is a serious disease - with the right treatment - living a longer, healthier life can be made easier.

THE ROLE OF MICRONUTRIENTS IN DIABETIC HEALTH

Vitamin E - Confers protection against diabetes by protecting pancreatic B-cells from nutrition reference chart for diabetesoxidativestress induced damage; May prevent progression of type I diabetes.

Vitamin D - Lowers risk of type I and 2 diabetes; Suppresses inflammation of pancreatic B-cells. Vitamin D receptor gene linked to diabetes.

Vitamin B3 - Preserves B-cell function in type I diabetics; Part of GTF (glucose tolerance factor) which facilitates insulin binding.

Vitamin B12 - Deficiency common in diabetics because metformin depletes B12.

Chromium - Helps insulin attach to cell's receptors increasing glucose uptake into cell; Deficiency can cause insulin resistance; Supplementation trials show dose-dependent benefits for type II diabetics.

Biotin - Stimulates glucose-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic B-cells; High dose biotin can improve glycemic control in diabetics.

Magnesium - Deficiency reduces insulin sensitivity; Low magnesium exacerbates foot ulcers in diabetics.

Zinc - Needed in the synthesis, storage and secretion of insulin; Protects pancreatic B-cells from damage; Affects the expression of genes linked to diabetes.

Lipoic Acid - Enhances glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissue; Improves glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetics; very effective treatment for diabetic neuropathy.

Glutathione & Cysteine - Glutathione-containing enzymes protect B-cells which are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress; Type 2 diabetics have abnormal antioxidant status; Supplementation with the glutathione precursor cysteine restores antioxidant status.

Coenzyme Q10 - Protects kidney from diabetes related damage; Improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetics.

Glutamine - Stimulates a hormone called GLP-I (glucagon-like peptide I) that regulates insulin secretion after meals; Improves insulin signaling and sensitivity.

Carnitine - Reduces and even prevents pain from diabetic neuropathy; Improves insulin sensitivity by increasing glucose uptake and storage.

Inositol - Evidence suggests that inositol may be effective in treating diabetic neuropathy.

Vitamin C - Lowers glycolysated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and fasting and post-meal glucose levels and in type 2 diabetics.  

To assess a copy of the flyer which illustrates the interaction of micronutrients and their effect on patients' diabetes click here:  http://www.spectracell.com/media/disease-wheel-diabetes.pdf

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Vitamin B12, diabetes, immune system, Lipoic Acid, biotin, inositol, deficiency, Glutamine, Glutathione, micronutrient test, Wound Healing, Vitamin B3, reference chart, Chromium, Insulin

Nutritional Relationships of Hypothyroidism

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Feb 01, 2012 @ 10:16 AM

Nutritional RelationshipsBelow is a list of nutrients which significantly affect Hypothyroidism:

  • Glutathione - Hypothyroidism decreases efficacy of some antioxidants, such as glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase
  • B Vitamins - A deficiency in B6, B12 or B9 (folate) can cause elevated homocysteine, which is linked with hypothyroidism. Folic acid levels have been linked to levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
  • Vitamin C and E - Partially restores thyroid function when liver detoxification ability is compromised.
  • Vitamin A - Activates gene that regulates TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)
  • Zinc - Increases thyroid hormone T3 in deficient subjects.
  • Copper - Low levels seen in experimentally induced hypothyroidism; Indirectly affects thyroid status by its antioxidant role via superoxide dismutase.
  • Selenium - Converts thyroid hormone T4 (thyroxine) into T3 (triiodothyronine); Deficiency reduces T3 levels causing classic hypothyroidism symptoms such as fatigue, depression or weight gain.
  • Asparagine - This amino acid is part of the structure of thyroid stimulating hormone which regulates communication with other hormones.
  • Carnitine - Decreased tissue levels of carnitine in both hypo- and hyperthyroidism contribute to muscle fatigue.
  • Lipoic Acid - Improves endothelial function in people with subclinical hypothyroidism; Protects thyroid cells from oxidative stress; May interfere with T4 therapy
  • Choline - Hypothyroidism negatively affects choline function in the brain, which can affect mood and cognition.


Topics: Asparagine, zinc, Carnitine, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, B Vitamins, Copper, Lipoic Acid, Glutathione, Hypothyroidism

The Role of Micronutrients in Cognitive Function

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Aug 05, 2011 @ 09:55 AM

Cognitive FunctionALPHA LIPOIC ACID – This nutrient protects against the neuronal injury that occurs in the presence of toxic proteins found in brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients. Research clearly indicates that lipoic acid is a potent neuroprotective antioxidant which strengthens memory and stimulates nerve growth.

B VITAMINS – Folate, Vitamin B6 and B12 are important in methylation processes. Deficiencies in one of these vitamins can raise homocysteine levels which is linked to increased Alzheimer’s risk. Vitamin B1 protects against mitochondrial dysfunction that causes dementia. B12 improves frontal lobe functions such as language, especially in the elderly.

CARNITINE – The amino acid carnitine has potent antioxidant properties. Its role in the transport of fatty acids to the mitochondria explains its beneficial effects on fatigue, which include both physical and mental fatigue. Several trials have demonstrated a consistent improvement in memory, focus and cognition with carnitine supplementation.

CHOLINE – Another member of the B-complex, choline is the precursor molecule for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is intimately involved in memory. Choline deficiency can induce mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain that clinically presents as cognitive impairment.

CHROMIUM – In a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, chromium supplementation for twelve weeks enhanced cerebral function in older adults, possibly as a downstream effect of improved glucose disposal in patients with insulin resistance.

COPPER – Intracellular copper deficiency increases the formation of amyloid deposits in the brain. Specifically, copper accumulates in amyloid plaques while remaining deficient in neighboring brain cells indicating that copper deficiency is a plausible cause of Alzheimer’s.

GLUTATHIONE – This antioxidant is used up faster in brain tissue in the presence of choline deficiency.

GLUTAMINE and ASPARAGINE – Both act as neurotransmitters in the brain.

INOSITOL – A member of the B-complex of vitamins, inositol regulates cell membrane transport, thus explaining its key interaction with several hormone and regulatory functions. Research suggests it can protect against the formation of abnormally folded toxic proteins seen in Alzhiemer’s patients. Inositol treatment also has beneficial effects on depression and anxiety.

OLEIC ACID – This fatty acid found primarily in olive oil and is the precursor to oleamide, which interacts with several neurotransmitters and has demonstrated anti-depressant like properties. Oleic acid also facilitates absorption of vitamin A into cells.

SERINE – This amino acid is the major component of phosphatidylserine, an integral part of cell membranes in the brain. Phosphatidylserine increases the release of several neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and epinephrine, thus improving the rate at which mental processes occur, without the hyperactivity or compulsive behavior that often occurs with drugs that stimulate a single neurotransmitter.

VITAMIN A – In the Physician’s Health Study II, vitamin A supplementation (50mg) improved cognition and verbal memory in men. Short term (1 year) effects of cognitive function were not seen, but significant benefit occurred in those on long-term treatment (18 years.)

VITAMIN C – Next to adrenal glands, nerve endings contain the highest levels of vitamin C in the body. High intakes of vitamin C are associated with lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

VITAMIN E – In addition to antioxidative properties, vitamin E reduces death to cells in the hippocampus and protects brain from glutamate toxicity. High dietary intake of vitamin E may lower Alzheimer’s risk.

ZINC – Low functional status of zinc is linked to negative alterations of the immune-inflammatory system, which can cause depression, impair learning and memory and a reduce neurogenesis. Zinc also regulates synaptic plasticity.

Additional nutrients tested by SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test – BIOTIN, CALCIUM, COENZYME Q10, CYSTEINE, MAGNESIUM, SELENIUM, VITAMINS B2, B3, B5, D, K and SPECTROX™ (a measure of total antioxidant function)

 

 

Topics: serine, micronutrient testing, Oleic Acid, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Asparagine, zinc, Carnitine, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Copper, inositol, Glutamine, Glutathione, Chromium

Using Micronutrient Testing to Improve the Management of Autoimmune Conditions

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jul 25, 2011 @ 10:09 AM

Autoimmune Disorders and MNTAutoimmune conditions are a rapidly growing segment of the medical population. They go by such names as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease just to name a few. The noted growth of these conditions appears to be related to many factors, including increased stressors, poor diet, and degradation of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract allowing formation of a hyperpermeable gut.

Management of these conditions is not always a straightforward process and most therapies have traditionally centered on reducing inflammation. However, long term management of autoimmune conditions requires not only reducing the total inflammatory burden, but also working to add balance to the immune system. This is dependent on the function of the cells of the immune system. Therefore, having an assessment method that directly targets the cells of the immune system would serve as an invaluable tool in the management of autoimmune conditions.

One of the hallmarks of autoimmune conditions is that they promote the destruction of a large amount of tissue secondary to inflammation. Typically when this occurs, the ability of the cells to resist further destruction is reduced, leaving them even more susceptible. Micronutrient testing offers insight into the ability of the cells to resist tissue destruction. When levels of SpectraCell’s novel Spectrox marker start to drop, it is an indication that the tissues are no longer able to resist the inflammation. This is generally accompanied by lower levels of selenium and vitamin E since these nutrients serve to protect the lipid bilayer cell wall.

Blood CellsThe nutrient test goes beyond simply relaying the degree of destruction associated with autoimmune conditions. It also provides insight into where the destruction may be coming from. Autoimmune diseases are noted for a lack of regulation of the immune system. During states of autoimmunity, the T lymphocytes known specifically as T regulatory cells lose their ability to guide the appropriate type of immune response. The misguidance of the ideal immune response is what eventually manifests as the fulminant inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases. Proper function of the T regulatory cells is dependent on vitamin D, glutathione and omega 3’s. A deficiency in any of these nutrients opens the door to immune system dysfunction and increased autoimmunity. Lower levels of glutathione and vitamin D appear to be most representative of the state of the T regulatory cells and the likelihood of dysfunction. When these levels are low, especially glutathione, it can be noted that the inflammatory burden has become overwhelming. Ironically, the micronutrient test is probably one of the better suited tests to pick up the needed repletion of these nutrients since it is looking directly at the T lymphocytes.

An area that appears to open the door to autoimmunity is a breakdown in the integrity of the gastrointestinal lining, also referred to as a hyperpermeable gut. Nutrients such as glutamine, vitamin A and zinc are needed to maintain the integrity of these cells. As these nutrients trend lower, the suspicion of the gastrointestinal tract as a player in the autoimmunity milieu grows.

While not the only test warranted in managing autoimmunity, micronutrient testing should be one of the first considerations as it provides a window into not only areas that contribute to the autoimmune process, but also details the specific nutrients needed to manage it.

Dr. Arland HillArland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN - Complete Care Chiropractic and Wellness

For more information about our client Dr. Hill, please visit his website or his blog. Or contact him at 281-557-7200.

 

 

 

Topics: micronutrient testing, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, immune system, Omega 3s, Glutamine, Glutathione, Inflammation, Spectrox, Dr. Arland Hill

Athletes at Risk for Multiple Nutrient Deficiencies

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

Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Arland HillArland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN - Complete Care Chiropractic and Wellness   

For more information about Dr. Hill, please visit his website or his blog. Or, contact him at 281-557-7200.

 

 

 

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

The Role of Micronutrients in Heart Disease

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 @ 01:56 PM

Is Your Heart at Risk?

 

 

There is compelling evidence that deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and its symptoms. Similarly, the use of many drugs in treating heart disease often lead to various nutrient deficiencies.

Micronutrients and High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure can result in physical damage to thMicronutrients and High Blood Pressuree walls of our blood vessels. Although the causes of hypertension often overlap, micronutrient deficiencies can cause or worsen this condition. Several mineral deficiencies such as zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium have been linked to high blood pressure.

Research also suggests that a high level of oxidative stress eventually takes its toll on our arteries, ultimately causing hypertension. Several studies of coenzyme Q10 lowered blood pressure significantly. The antioxidant vitamins C and E help blood vessels maintain their flexibility, allowing them to easily dilate and contract. The powerful antioxidant lipoic acid reduces blood pressure by inhibiting inflammatory responses in the blood vessels. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to hypertension because it contributes to endothelial dysfunction, a condition where the lining of blood vessels cannot relax properly and secrete substances that promote inflammation of the blood vessel lining.

Prevent Arterial "Scarring":

Vitamin B6, B12, folate, serine and choline are all necessary to properly metabolize homocysteine and reduce the risk of arterial scarring. In fact, B-vitamin therapy has been an effective treatment for reducing heart disease and blood pressure.

Keeping the Heart Muscle StrongKeeping the Heart Muscle Strong:

The heart’s requirement for energy compared to other muscle tissues is incredibly high. Carnitine is an amino acid that facilitates the transport of fatty acids into heart cell mitochondria, thus helping the heart meet its strong demand for chemical energy. It also helps muscles, including the heart, recover from damage, such as from a heart attack. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is another key component in energy metabolism by helping the heart increase its pumping strength. Deficiencies of vitamin B1 have been found in patients with congestive heart failure, as long-term use of diuretic drugs, which are often prescribed to those patients, deplete the body’s storage of thiamine. Coenzyme Q10 is also required by cardiac tissue in large amounts to properly function. Statin drugs deplete the body of CoQ10, so deficiencies of CoQ10 in statin-users are particularly common.

Heart Disease is an Inflammatory Process:

Scientists now emphasize that heart disease is actually an inflammatory condition within the blood vessels. Inflammation and oxidative stress work together damaging arteries and impairing cardiac function. Several antioxidant nutrients minimize this inflammatory process.

Glutathione is the most potent intracellular antioxidant and actually helps to regenerate other antioxidants in the body. Cysteine, glutathione, B2, selenium, Vitamin E and Vitamin C work together to reduce oxidative stress throughout the entire cardiovascular system.

How Well Do Your Arteries Fight Oxidative Stress?:

An optimal antioxidant status is particularly important in the Preventing Atherosclerosisprevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Since many antioxidants work together synergistically, measuring a single antioxidant may not provide an accurate picture of total antioxidant function. SpectraCell’s SPECTROX™ score will provide a complete and accurate picture of the overall antioxidant status of patients.

Preventing Atherosclerosis:

One of the major culprits in heart attacks and stroke is the buildup of plaque within the arteries throughout the body. Lipoproteins become dangerous when they are oxidized, making them “sticky” and causing blockage of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Micronutrient deficiencies accelerate atherosclerosis. One study showed that oleic acid (found primarily in olive oil) reduces oxidative damage to lipoproteins. It also facilitates absorption of vitamin A in the gut, which is important because vitamin A is linked to lower levels of arterial plaque, primarily due to its antioxidant effect in protecting lipids from oxidation.

Vitamin K supplementation to deficient people slowed the progression of plaque formation in major arteries. Vitamin B3 (niacin) lowers blood cholesterol (fats in the blood), inhibits the oxidation of LDL, and is currently the most effective drug available for raising the heart-protective, good HDL cholesterol. One study on chemicals made from vitamin B5 (pantothenic acids) showed a decrease in blood triglycerides and cholesterol, and evidence suggests that vitamin E can even retard existing atherosclerosis. Another study showed that inositol, a member of the B vitamin family, decreases dangerous small, dense lipoproteins that easily penetrate blood vessel walls and cause atherosclerosis.

Preventing StrokePreventing Stroke:

A recent study on more than 20,000 people concluded that adequate vitamin C levels reduced risk of stroke by over 40%. Similar studies on calcium, magnesium, folate and biotin all concluded that adequate levels of these nutrients contribute to a reduction in the incidence of stroke.

Share with us your experience with the role micronutrients have played in heart disease with your patient population! Do you have a particular success?

Topics: serine, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Copper, Antioxidants, Heart Disease, Vitamin K, Calcium, Triglycerides, biotin, inositol, Heart Attack, Glutathione, High Blood Pressure, Oxidative Stress, Spectrox, Stroke, Lipoprotein Particles, LDL and HDL