SpectraCell Blog

What YOU didn't know about vitamin D

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 @ 01:52 PM

vitamin D Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. Vitamin D is the principle regulator of calcium homeostasis in the body.  It is essential for skeletal development and bone mineralization.  Inadequate exposure to sunlight contributes to vitamin D deficiency.  Vitamin D deficiency in adults can lead to osteoporosis.  Increasing evidence is accumulating that vitamin D may also contribute to antioxidant function by inhibiting lipid peroxidation.  The mechanism of the antioxidant effect is unknown.  Vitamin D is also needed for adequate blood levels of insulin and it also appears to demonstrate both immune enhancing and immunosuppressive effects.

 

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms:

  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Severe asthma in children
  • Cancer

Repletion Information:

Supplemental vitamin D is available as vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.  Vitamin D3 is considered to be the more biologically active form of the vitamin and at this time is the form most recommended for repletion. 

Download SpectraCell's Nutrition Correlation chart referencing the correlation between vitamin D with Estrogen and Testosterone and view our webinar on Clinical Implications of vitamin D and Calcium Deficiencies.

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

Topics: SpectraCell, Vitamin D, Heart Disease, deficiencies, health, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Heart Attack, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies, Heart Health

Do the Prescriptions YOU take deplete your nutritional status?

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

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

Antacids/Ulcer medications

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

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

  • vitamin D - osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss

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

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

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


Antibiotics

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

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

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

  • Iron - slow wound healing, fatigue, anemia

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

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


Cholesterol drugs

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


Female Hormones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • selenium - lower immunity, reduced antioxidant protection'

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


Anti-Inflammatories

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

  • vitamin D - osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Selenium - lower immunity, reduced antioxidant protection

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

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

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

If you would like to check your nutrient levels click here

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

SpectraCell's Nutritional Correlation Chart on Autism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clinical Applications of MTHFR Genomic Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 @ 03:50 PM

Clinical Applications of MTHFR Genomic Testing webinar presented by Dr. Bridget Briggs
 
What you learned:  Dr. Briggs, MTHFR
  • Methylation processes in the body. 
  • The function of MTHFR and the common polymorphisms found in 40% of Americans
  • The links between the common polymorphisms in MTHFR and risks involving cardiovascular disease, thromboembolic disease, irritable bowel, depression, memory agility, autoimmunity, poor detoxification, infertility, PMS, insomnia and many other disorders. 
  • Treatment for patients with common polymorphisms including L-5 MTHF, Methylcobalamin, B6, Trimethylglycine, inositol, and other key nutrients.

  • Case Study Review

Clinical Applications of MTHFR Genomic Testing Webinar

 

Topics: SpectraCell, Autoimmunity, cancer cells, autoimmune diseases, Telomere testing, B Vitamins, Fibromyalgia, ApoE Genotyping, Cardiovascular Health, diagnostic tools, MTHFR Genotyping, Genotyping, Multivitamins, Chronic Disease, immune system, breast cancer, deficiencies, Elderly, chronic fatigue and nutrition, health, Case Study, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, degenerative illness, Cancer Prevention, Heart Health, Gastrointestinal Tract, cardiovascular disease, Energy, Methylation, Immunidex, Immunity, eczema and nutrition, Genetics, Bowel Disease, Controversy, Dr. Bridget Briggs, Women's Health

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

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 New York Times has Heard the Telomere Buzz

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 05:34 PM

Telomere TestingThe New York Times recently published an article about tests which measure your true biological age - SpectraCell's Telomere Analysis being one of them.  This test has been commercially available to the public and physicians since 2009.

Within the article, it mentions skeptics who doubt the usefulness of this type of genetic test.  Otto Schaefer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at SpectraCell, says the results should be seen , "...as a kind of wake-up call for the patient and the clinician to say, 'You know, you're on a rapidly aging path,' "

SpectraCell believes with these test results, therapies should be directed at slowing the loss of telomere length to slow aging and age-related diseases. Nutritional and lifestyle modifications and the control of all coronary heart disease risk factors should be considered as well as possible pharmacologic treatments.

Call 800-227-5227 or email spec1@spectracell.com to find out more about Telomere Analysis testing.

 

Topics: telomere length, Telomere testing, telomerase, wellness, telomere, Longevity, health, telomere and cancer

Determine How Fast You Are Aging

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 11:41 AM

True Cellular Age

What are telomeres? Telomeres are sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome that serve as a cap to your genetic material. Every time a cell replicates, its telomere will become shorter. Shorter telomeres imply a shorter life span for a cell.

What effect does telomere length have on my health and wellness?

Age adjusted telomere length is the best method to date to assess biological age using structural analysis of chromosomal change in the telomere. Serial evaluation of telomere length is an indicator of how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Therapies directed at slowing the loss of telomere length may slow aging and age-related diseases.

Does diet have any effect on telomere length and repair?

An inflammatory diet, or one that increases oxidative stress, will shorten telomeres faster. This would include refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and saturated fats. A diet with a large amount and variety of antioxidants that improves oxidative defense and reduces oxidative stress will slow telomere shortening. Consumption of 10 servings of fresh and relatively uncooked fruits and vegetables, mixed fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, cold water fish and high quality vegetable proteins can prevent premature shortening. In addition, caloric restriction is advised combined with an exercise program. Fasting for 12 hours each night at least 4 days per week may also be protective.

Aging CoupleWhat lifestyle modifications are likely to be helpful?

One should achieve ideal body weight and body composition with low body fat (less than 22 % for women and less than 16 % for men). Decreasing visceral fat is very important. Regular aerobic and resistance exercise for at least one hour per day, sleeping for at least 8 hours per night, stress reduction, discontinuation of all tobacco products and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may decrease the rate of telomere loss.

Telomere AnalysisHow do you measure telomere length?

The Patient Telomere Score is calculated based on the patient’s telomere length on white blood cells (T-lymphocytes). This is the average compared to telomere length on lymphocytes from a sample of the American population in the same age range. The higher the telomere score, the “younger” the cells. A Telomere Score that is above the average line is desirable.

What can I do to reduce my rate of telomere loss?

Shorter telomeres have been associated with metabolic abnormalities, obesity and several degenerative diseases including cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease. In vitro studies have shown that telomeres are highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which will shorten telomere length and enhance cellular aging. Minimizing associated risk factors that are linked to shortened telomere activity is recommended and include:

  • Reduce oxidative stress
  • Correct micronutrient deficiencies, especially vitamin D
  • Change sedentary lifestyle/ increase physical activity
  • Avoid weight gain or obesity
  • Correct insulin resistance

Studies have shown that telomere length is strongly associated with CVD risk, nutritional deficiencies (particularly antioxidants) and cancer and testing may be a useful biomarker for risk assessment.



Topics: SpectraCell, telomere length, Telomere testing, telomerase, diagnostic tools, telomere, health, telomere test, Aging, telomere and cancer

The Telomere Buzz is STILL Buzzing...

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 11:58 AM

SpectraCell Laboratories, the nation’s leading nutritional testing laboratory, offers a commercially available telomere analysis. Telomere testing is an innovative cellular aging test that measures a person’s biological age in comparison to their chronological age.

Telomere and ChromosomeTelomeres are sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome that cap genetic material and serve as protective buffers that keep the ends of chromosomes from becoming attached to each other or rearranging. They are often compared to the caps at the ends of shoelaces. Every time a cell replicates, its telomere gets shorter, eventually causing cell death once the telomere attrition has reach its maximum. Measuring telomere length in human lymphocytes is an indicator of cellular aging, and research demonstrates that shortened telomeres are responsible for many of the normal processes of aging.

“Telomeres have been a hot topic for several years now because their link with aging is so strong. Doctors have shown such a persistent interest in telomere testing, especially those whose practices are oriented to anti-aging, that we knew we should invest in it. It’s really cutting edge.” says SpectraCell CEO, William “Chip” Stanberry. “We strive to offer the most informative and innovative diagnostic tests, and our new Telomere Testing is exactly that.”

Telomere CapThe phenomenon of cellular aging was first noted by Professor Lenhard Hayflick in 1961. He discovered that cells cannot divide beyond a specific number of times, a phenomenon called the Hayflick Limit, which we now know is triggered by the cell’s telomeres shortening below a specific threshold. When cells can no longer divide, conditions associated with advanced aging appear.

Telomere length is affected by many factors: age, genetics, lifestyle, disease and pharmaceuticals. Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and dementia have strong associations with shorter telomeres. But telomere attrition can be mitigated significantly with aggressive lifestyle therapies as well as certain medications. Since deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamins C, D and E can shorten telomeres, it is important to correct such deficiencies. Oxidative stress is another major culprit in telomere shortening so reducing inflammation and shoring up the body’s antioxidant defenses is critical for telomere maintenance. A sedentary lifestyle and excess weight also negatively affects telomere length.

Telomere ReportSpectraCell’s test measures a person’s telomere length. A control gene is also measured and compared to the telomere length, and then results are stated as a ratio. A higher ratio means a longer telomere, and younger biological age. The Telomere Score is also compared to other individuals in the same chronological age group.

This automated test is based on Quantitative Real Time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology and only requires 1 mL of whole blood. When a sample is received at SpectraCell’s Houston laboratory, the white blood cells are broken apart, the DNA is extracted and the telomeric DNA is amplified into a measurable signal. This signal is compared to a control gene of known length and a Telomere Score is generated.

The price of the Telomere Test is affordable and is also covered by insurance. Testing once each year or every other year is suggested to monitor the rate of telomere loss.

Are You a Physician? Become a client and offer Telomere Testing to your patients

Are You a Patient?  Use our 'Find a Clinician' search to find a doctor in your area today

Topics: SpectraCell, telomere length, Telomere testing, telomerase, diagnostic tools, telomere, health, Mortality, telomere test, telomere and cancer, Insurance

'Nutrient Deficiencies Say More than Just the Absence of a Nutrient' by Dr. Arland Hill

Posted by Tara Stepan on Thu, May 12, 2011 @ 10:35 AM

 

Dr. Arland HillMicronutrient testing can be a real asset to the practicing clinician trying to help restore basic metabolic needs of their patients.  After all, nutrients power the various metabolic processes.  Without their availability, metabolic function is slowed or in some cases even brought to a stand still depending on the level of the nutrient deficiency.  Research has shown that over time, lack of nutrients can be lead to dysfunction and ultimately disease states.  Sometimes just restoring a single nutrient deficiency can have profound impact on the health of the patient and really help turn a corner, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

The true utility of SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing lies not in the analysis of individual nutrient deficiencies, but rather in the concept of observing patterns of nutrient deficiencies.  This is not to say that looking at individual nutrient deficiencies is not valid, but rather is an emphasis on the idea that with pattern identification, one can better have an idea of where to focus attention.

To better understand this concept, it is ideal to take a clinical scenario that may present.  Let us look at dysglycemia, or blood glucose dysregulation.  Those dealing with this condition are a fast growing segment of the population.  Yet these individuals don’t just manifest dyslglycemia overnight.  Rather they transition through a continuum that often begins with symptomatic reactive hypoglycemia, leading on to insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes if left untreated.  What if you had a method to tell your patients that they were in this pattern and that by addressing some of their nutrient deficiencies, you could help delay or even prevent the onset of dysglycemia.  A micronutrient test showing a nutrient pattern of nutrient deficiencies including B3, zinc, chromium, alpha lipoic acid and of course glucose-insulin interaction would suggest this very thing.

This is just one example, but it illustrates the breadth of information contained in the reports of the micronutrient test.  The reports provided by SpectraCell are not just a window into the intracellular health of the patient, but a tool with predictive abilities when appropriately assessed.  Noting the patterns within the test moves beyond the notion of just nutrient restoration, but allows one to see systems that must be supported to regain complete health and wellness.

Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN                                                                 Complete Care Chiropractic and Wellness

 

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, B Vitamins, wellness, Nutrition, diabetes, Glucose Intolerance, health, Chromium, metabolic processes, Dysglycemia, Blood Glucose Dysregulation