SpectraCell Blog

Lipoprotein(a) and L-carnitine

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 @ 02:24 PM

Lipoprotein(a) and L-carnitine

heart-health.gifMost people assume that standard cholesterol testing offers an adequate assessment of heart disease risk. If you, like many, have never heard of a lipoprotein profile test, you may be surprised to learn that this test assesses an important risk factor called Lipoprotein(a) or Lp(a) (“lipoprotein little a”). Influenced by genetics and strongly linked to heart disease and blood clotting problems, this risk factor unfortunately is not part of routine cholesterol tests or standard lipid panels. In fact, lipoprotein(a) is so strongly linked to heart disease, that it is one of the four lipid-related risk factors cited by the National Institutes of Health National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) as worthy of monitoring. Unfortunately, Lp(a) has been notoriously difficult to treat pharmacologically, as statins have shown little efficacy in lowering Lp(a) levels*.

In a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, patients with elevated cholesterol and elevated Lp(a) were divided into two groups, each with 29 people: Group 1 received a statin only and Group 2 received the same statin plus 2 grams/day of L-carnitine, a supplement that plays a key role in fatty acid transport within cells. After 12 weeks, the group receiving only a statin showed about a 7% reduction in Lp(a), but the group receiving the L-carnitine in conjunction with the statin demonstrated over 19% reduction in Lp(a) levels. Authors suggest that co-administration of L-carnitine (whose primary function is fatty acid metabolism), may enhance efforts to lower Lp(a) compared to using a statin alone.

* See our blog post, “Shedding some light on cholesterol,” from January 19, 2017. 

For additional reading refer to the abstract L-Carnitine/Simvastatin Reduces Lipoprotein (a) Levels Compared with Simvastatin Monotherapy: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study published in the January 2017 issue of Lipids

 



 

Topics: Heart Disease, Heart Health, Lipoprotein(a), L-carnitine, Lower Lipoprotein(a), Standard Cholesterol Testing

Shedding Some Light on Cholesterol

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 @ 12:54 PM

improve-heart-health-naturally_cropped.jpgDid you know that everything you’ve learned about cholesterol and its association with heart attacks is only partly correct? Consider this startling statistic: 50% of people who have suffered a heart attack, have "normal" cholesterol. Another way of saying this is that among heart attack victims, standard cholesterol testing would have detected “normal” ranges in half of this population had it been performed on the day of their event. This begs the question: why do so many practitioners use a diagnostic test that only identifies 50% of those at risk? The reason is simple: it is the test with which they are familiar and has been in use for decades. But did you know that HDL and LDL (the “good” and “bad” cholesterol), are only some of the pieces of the puzzle? Knowing your HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol is only the beginning; SpectraCell’s LPP (Lipoprotein Particle Profile) test identifies these and other components, shedding light on a spectrum of factors that provide detailed information about one’s cardiovascular health.

Here is one way to look at heart disease: when blood vessels are injured or inflamed, lipoproteins containing cholesterol and other lipids penetrate the arterial lining and build plaque. This is akin to a scab on the inside of a blood vessel, causing a reduction in blood flow. Since plaque buildup is the physiological response to injured and inflamed vessels, reducing these factors is critical.

This is where cholesterol comes in. Plaque is actually a response to vascular injury - not the cause of it. Cholesterol, a component of plaque, is rarely the culprit, but lipoproteins are. Lipoproteins are particles that penetrate the arterial lining and build plaque as a result of the injury. These tiny particles carry cholesterol (the vascular scapegoat) through the bloodstream, and cause damage (cholesterol is really just one component of lipoproteins). In other words, lipoproteins are often the real villain (some are extraordinarily dangerous, others are completely benign).

Lipoproteins are classified by size. In general, the bigger, the better, and here’s why: larger, fluffier low density lipoprotein (LDL) particles cannot penetrate the arterial lining as easily as smaller LDL particles can. Less injury to the artery over time results in less plaque formation along with clearer, more pliable blood vessels (this is a good thing). Remnant lipoproteins (RLPs) are cited as having a very strong relationship with heart disease. Statins, which are often prescribed to lower LDLs, will do little to lower RLPs – these are best lowered by high-dose omega-3 fatty acids. Understanding one’s own lipoprotein profile (number and type of LDLs) floating in the bloodstream, is key to promoting improved vascular health outcomes through lifestyle change.

Without any objective information regarding one’s lipoprotein profile, many people are simply shooting in the dark in terms of treatment for these types of cardiovascular issues. The message is clear: simply measuring cholesterol without taking into account lipoprotein particle numbers and density is certainly not enough, as suggested by the 50% statistic cited above. Talk to your health care provider about pursuing a lipoprotein profile test to get a comprehensive assessment of your cardiac risk factors. We saved the best part for last: SpectraCell's LPP test costs about the same as an outdated cholesterol test, and is often covered by insurance!

 


 

Topics: Cholesterol, Heart Disease, Lipoproteins, Heart Attack, Lipoprotein Particles, LDL and HDL, Standard Cholesterol Testing

CoQ10

Posted by Elissa Rodriguez on Wed, Oct 05, 2016 @ 03:58 PM

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Why you should know about CoQ10 if you are taking a statin.

Most Americans have heard of statins, a group of drugs commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels.  But many people are not familiar with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), the micronutrient that is known to be depleted by most people who take statins. In fact, the original patent for statins (AKA “HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors”) acknowledged this as early as 1990; however, this is still not widely known today. CoQ10 (AKA ubiquinone because it is so ubiquitous in the body) is a substance that creates energy, the most fundamental of all cell functions. Tissues with a high energy requirement – heart, liver and muscles – require CoQ10 to work.  If these cells don’t have sufficient CoQ10, a person may eventually experience fatigue, muscular pains, or both. 

Do you know your CoQ10 status? Get your SpectraCell Micronutrient Test today!

GET TESTED 

Topics: micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Cardiovascular Health, Heart Disease, Nutrition, Heart Health, cardiovascular disease, statin, chronic, CoQ10, disease

Chromium an Essential Mineral YOU Need to Know About!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 @ 10:24 AM

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that plays an chromium resized 600important role in optimizing insulin function and the regulation of blood glucose levels. Chromium may also be anti-atherogenic and assist in lowering cholesterol. 

Following food intake, blood glucose levels rise causing insulin to be secreted by the pancreas. Insulin lowers blood glucose levels by increasing the rate at which glucose enters a person's cells.  Chromium is believed to facilitate the attachment of insulin to the cell's insulin receptors.  Studies also indicate that chromium participates in cholesterol metabolism, suggesting a role for this mineral in maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels and preventing atherosclerosis.  Chromium also plays a role in nucleic acid synthesis.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Due to the processing methods that remove most of the naturally occurring chromium from commonly consumed foods, dietary deficiency of chromium is believed to be widespread in the United States.  Chromium deficiency may increase the likelihood of insulin resistance, a condition in which the cells of the body do not respond to the presence of insulin.  Insulin resistance can lead to elevated blood levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia) and elevated blood levels of glucose, which can ultimately cause heart disease and/or diabetes.  Deficiency of chromium is associated with metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome represents a constellation of symptoms, including hyperinsulinemia, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, high blood sugar levels and low HDL cholesterol levels.  These symptoms increase one's risk for heart disease.  Low levels of chromium are also associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease incidence and mortality. 

Chromium deficiency correlates with depressed nucleic acid synthesis.  Chromium is essential for maintaining the structural stability of proteins and nucleic acids.  Animal studies have also found that this element is also vital for healthy fetal growth and development.  Studies on humans have established that premature infants born full-term. Others have found that multiparous women (women who've given birth two or more times) have far lower body chromium levels compared to nulliparae (women who've never given birth).  These findings suggest that chromium is an essential trace element during fetal growth and development.

Download our Nutrient Chart and the Nutrient Correlation Chart on Diabetes, both handouts provide information as to how important is Chromium.

Check your chromium levels and all other essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and how your immune system is performing.

GET TESTED!

 

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Heart Disease, diabetes, expecting mothers, deficiency, Minerals, Gastrointestinal Tract, Chromium

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

Vitamin A - How does it AFFECT YOU!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Aug 01, 2013 @ 11:47 AM

Vitamin A is a group of nutritionally unsaturated hydrocarbons. Different forms of the vitamin vitamin A include retinol, retinoic acid, and carotenoids. Retinol is the most biologically active form of vitamin A and is synthesized by pro-vitamin A(beta-carotene). Vitamin A regulates cell proliferation, differentiation, immune function and apoptosis (cell death).  This vitamin plays a vital role in night or low-light vision and color vision among many other common functions.

Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency - Impaired immune function; eye or skin problems; compromised cell growth and development; fat malabsorption; night blindness; zinc deficiency; insomnia.

Common conditions associated with vitamin A deficiency - Hormone balance, Immunidex, Insomnia, night blindness.

CASE STUDY highlights a common problem with a vitamin A deficiency. A 45 year old female with multiple conditions such as hypertension, insomnia and GERD, click here.

View our webinars Nutritional Considerations of Hormone Balance and Nutritional Considerations of Skin disorders, which references vitamin A deficiency among others in these conditions. 

To check your micronutrient levels or to get started click here

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Cancer, cancer cells, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin A, Migraines, Heart Disease, pregnancy, Multivitamins, immune system, E-zinc, breast cancer, Fertility, PMS, deficiencies, Case Study, Headache, Dr. Ron Grabowski, deficiency, Depression, degenerative illness, micronutrient test, Cancer Prevention, Hypothyroidism, Hormones, Menopause, HSVI, GERD, mitral valve prolapse, infertility, Immunidex, eczema and nutrition, Women's 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

Why Test YOUR Micronutrient Levels & MTHFR?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 @ 01:49 PM

New Grid 2013


Why is an MTHFR test important?

Determining your MTHFR genotype gives you valuable information about your body's ability to methylate.  Methylation is a crucial part of cell processes and reduced function has been linked to numerous medical conditions including neurological and cardiovascular disorders, mental dysfunctions and diabetes.  The old paradigm that we are simply at the mercy of our genes is now challenged by a new age of truly individualized healthcare.  Get vital knowledge for your personalized healthcare solutions today.

What role does nutrition play in this function?

Nutrition plays a substantial role in methylation pathways, and SpectraCell's Micronutrient testing can give you an accurate stats of 33 vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  You may be able to compensate for your body's inability to methylate efficiently through targeted repletion, and micronutrient testing will provide assessment of nutritional deficiencies.  The test also allows you to identify deficiencies in other micronutrients that can be contributing toward the development and/or progression of chronic disease and keep you from feeling your best.

SpectraCell Laboratories is combining the Micronutrient Testing and MTHFR Genotyping as a special package promotion.  To find out more CLICK HERE!

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Autoimmunity, cancer cells, autoimmune diseases, telomere length, Telomere testing, telomerase, B Vitamins, Antioxidants, Cardiovascular Health, MTHFR Genotyping, Genotyping, Heart Disease, vitamin, nutrition testing, supplements, Chronic Disease, diabetes, immune system, expecting mothers, early pregnancy, E-zinc, breast cancer, telomere, Elderly, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Minerals, micronutrient test, Nutritional Deficiency, Cancer Prevention, Heart Health, Gastrointestinal Tract, Hormones, telomere and cancer, Spectrox, Energy, Methylation, Estrogen, Immunidex, eczema and nutrition, Alzheimers, Free Radicals, Genetics, Dr. Eva Cwynar, Women's Health

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 Now Offers LPP™ Cardiovascular Testing in New York

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, May 17, 2011 @ 12:56 PM

Lipoprotein Particle Profile TestingSpectraCell Laboratories has officially been granted a license to provide its Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ (LPP™) test, which assesses cardiovascular risk, to New York state physicians and patients. The recently patented LPP™ test has been commercially available to the other 49 states since 2006.

SpectraCell began the process of acquiring a licensure in 2008 with an application submission the state of New York. The laboratory underwent an initial inspection by the New York State Department of Health in late 2009 followed by extensive documentation validating the LPP™ procedure, which is standard protocol required of all diagnostic laboratories. A final inspection in December 2010 concluded the evidentiary process, proving the LPP™ technology is valid, accurate and reproducible.

“Acquiring our New York license allows us to serve the largest metropolitan area in the country,” states Dr. Fred Crawford, PhD, VP of Operations and Laboratory Director at SpectraCell Labs. “In fact, many physicians in the state of New York have wanted to implement the LPP™ test in their practice but were unable to do so until now. Plus, we recently streamlined our LPP™ report using feedback from existing LPP™ clients, making it easier than ever for physicians to translate LPP™ results into clinical decisions.”

New York represents a large market for laboratory testing. According to a CNN report, approximately 40,000 physicians practice within a 30 mile radius of New York City, in contrast to a national average of about 8000 physicians for other American cities.

LPP TestingAfter visiting the laboratory and reviewing the testing protocol, Dr. Robert Rej, Director of Chemistry for the State of New York Department of Health recommended the permit be approved for SpectraCell’s LPP™ testing. The license also allows SpectraCell to add FDA approved chemistry procedures to New York clients. Their first addition will be LpPLA2 testing (lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2) which measures a specific enzyme linked to thrombosis (blood clots), indicating a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

Just a few months ago, SpectraCell Laboratories was awarded a patent on their Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ (LPP™) test, which measures both the size and number of lipoproteins rather than the cholesterol contained within them. In recent years, more doctors have seen standard cholesterol tests label a patient “normal” when in reality their risk for heart disease is quite high.

Measuring Cholesterol is Not EnoughIn fact, The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) acknowledges that 50% of people that have heart attacks have “normal” cholesterol – that is, cholesterol below 200 mg/dL. The LPP™ test allows physicians to stratify risk more accurately, thus prescribing therapies that will be the most effective, depending on their patients’specific lipid profile.

NCEP recognizes four risk factors that are not measured with routine cholesterol testing but are all measured by the LPP™ test:

  1. RLP – (remnant lipoprotein) more easily converted into arterial plaque than other lipoproteins
  2. Lp(a) – a dangerous lipoprotein that contributes to clot formation
  3. HDL2b – a type of HDL that indicates how well cholesterol is being cleared from your system
  4. Small, dense LDL – easily penetrates vascular wall, causing damage and plaque

The LPP™ is part of the trend toward more individualized medicine. The LPP™ test, which is done on a fasting blood sample, is usually covered by insurance. Results typically take 3-5 days.

Stop by our booths in New York City!

We will be at Booth #28 at the National Lipid Association (NLA) Scientific Session (May 19-22, 2011) and Booth #435 at Pri-Med (June 16-18, 2011)!



 

Topics: SpectraCell, lipoprotein particle profile, LPP, Cardiovascular Health, Heart Disease, Lipoproteins, Lp(a), Heart Attack, Lipoprotein Particles, NCEP, RLP, New York State License