SpectraCell Blog

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