SpectraCell Blog

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

Why Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Affect So Many Functions In Our Body?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, May 06, 2011 @ 03:16 PM

Omega 3 Fatty AcidsThe answer is simple: cell membrane flexibility.  Every cell has a cell membrane.  When this cell membrane is rigid, it does not work well.  When it is flexible, the chemicals that run our bodies - hormones, proteins, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fats, etc - can move in and out of cells efficiently as needed, thus making the cells healthier, since the materials they need to function well are available.  When the cells work well, the tissues that are made of cells work well.  When tissues work well, the whole system works well and ultimately leads to overall improved health of the entire person.

For example, when there are enough omega-3 fatty acids available through either diet or supplementation, they will be absorbed into cells in the heart, making their cell membranes flexible, but strong.  Consequently, the heart and arteries are stronger and therefore the entire cardiovascular system benefits.  In fact, in the same way that omega-3 fats make cell membranes more flexible, the dangerous trans fats do the exact opposite - they are absorbed into the cell membranes making them stiff and unable to do their job.  Just as stiff joints or stiff arteries are unhealthy, so are inflexible cell membranes.  And since cell membranes are an integral part of every tissue in the body, the level of omega-3 fatty acids a person has can affect just about everything (see below).

Omega 3 Benefits Here

SpectraCell's HS-Omega-3 Index® measures the amount of two very important omega-3 fatty acids - EPA and DHA - in a person's red blood cells.

Topics: SpectraCell, HS-Omega-3 Index, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, Cardiovascular Health, Heart Disease, health, DHA, Omega 3s, EPA, Women's Health

UPDATE: 2011 Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ (LPP™) Report Enhancements

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 @ 01:32 PM

Cardiovascular healthWe are excited to introduce our new report for the Lipoprotein Particle Profile™. We believe the changes that have been made will make the report easier to read and will facilitate your assessment of risk and the selection of patient specific treatment programs.

Addition of the Traditional Lipid Panel (Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, LDL)

Many physicians continue to utilize the traditional cholesterol or lipid panel for guidance in the selection of an appropriate treatment strategy. Although we believe that the treatment is better determined by the application of the results from HDL and LDL subgroups and their particle numbers, the traditional lipid panel continues to be used for risk assessment and we are therefore including it in our report.

Elimination of CEQ

Many physicians and their patients found the practice of reporting lipoprotein test results in terms of cholesterol equivalents confusing. Therefore, we are eliminating this concept from our report.

Addition of ApoB, non-HDL cholesterol and non-HDL particle numbers

A value for non-HDL cholesterol has been included since it is likely to be the new NCEP ATP IV target of therapy when the guidelines are released later this year. Additionally we have added Apolipoprotein B and non-HDL particle numbers which were the focus of the Consensus Statement of the American College of Cardiology and the American Diabetes Association for better risk assessment. Individual variability in the triglyceride and cholesterol composition of the lipoprotein subgroups can make particle numbers more meaningful in risk assessment.

LPP Sample Test ReportOther report changes include:

• Lp(a) results have been moved to the Risk Modification section.

• The reporting units for hs-CRP have been changed from mg/dL to mg/L which changes the reference range to 0.00 – 3.00 mg/L.

• The LDL mean size/phenotype result has been deleted as this result can often be misleading as a result of variances in the total LDL result.

• The Apo B reference range has been changed to 40 – 100 mg/dL.

• The Apo A1 reference range has been changed to 115 – 224 mg/dL. This test is not a part of the LPP™ Basic or Plus panels, it must be ordered separately.

Are you using a cardiovascular risk assessment in your practice?

Topics: lipoprotein particle profile, LPP, Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Health, Heart Disease, Lp(a), Triglycerides, LDL and HDL, Apo A, Apo B

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

SpectraCell Receives Patent on its LPP™ Cardiovascular Test

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 @ 01:59 PM

Lipoprotein Particle Profile TestingHouston, TX- January 28, 2011. SpectraCell Laboratories has recently been awarded a patent on their Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ (LPP™) test which is used to measure cardiovascular risk. The LPP™ has been commercially available since 2006, and is a type of advanced cholesterol test that measures lipoprotein subgroups. The LPP™ gives more accurate estimation of cardiovascular risk compared to a routine cholesterol test.

The patent was awarded for use of a “Method for Analyzing Blood for Lipoprotein Components.” Specifically, the LPP™ test utilizes a patented analytical ultracentrifugation method for separating lipoprotein subclasses. This separation method for LPP™ originated at Texas A & M University and was further developed by Dr. Jan Troup, the inventor of LPP™ technology, who is also a member of SpectraCell's scientific staff.

“The LPP™ generally doesn’t cost the patient any more than a standard cholesterol test, but it gives the doctor much more relevant and accurate information.” states Dr. Jan Troup, PhD, and Director of Lipid Science for SpectraCell Laboratories. “Different lipoproteins respond differently to therapy, whether it is statins, fish oils or niacin, for example. The LPP™ enables the doctor to treat appropriately.”

In recent years, the medical community has discovered that, beyond “standard” cholesterol tests, an independent factor for heart disease can be determined by measuring the density and number of lipoprotein particles, to which cholesterol is attached. Patients with a normal cholesterol value, but abnormal particle sizes or numbers, can be at serious risk for cardiovascular disease.

In 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. 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 main reason to know NCEP risk factors are that specific lipoproteins respond to specific therapies very differently. 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.

For more information, go to www.spectracell.com

OR

contact Dr. Jan Troup, PhD – Director of Lipid Science  at 800-227-5227

Dr. Jan Troup, Ph.D.

Topics: SpectraCell, lipoprotein particle profile, LPP, Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Health, diagnostic tools, Heart Disease, Lp(a), Lipoprotein Particles, NCEP, RLP, LDL and HDL, Patent, Dr. Jan Troup

Clearing up the Cholesterol Confusion – So Your Patient Can Understand It

Posted by Nichole Herms on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 @ 03:09 PM

Heart HealthThere has been a lot of talk about cholesterol recently in the news.  This is largely due to one startling statistic to which most people are unaware: 50% of people who have heart attacks have "normal" cholesterol.  What??? Stated differently, that means that half of all heart attack victims may have had a routine cholesterol test done on the very day they had the heart attack and felt fine because their cholesterol (by routine testing standards) was "normal."  So, why do so many practitioners use a diagnostic test that is only 50% accurate?
 
The reason is simple:  that's what doctors have been using for years, decades really.  But now there is more accurate testing available.  Basically, it's an evolution of the former, out-dated cholesterol testing.  Knowing your HDL and LDL - the "good" and "bad" cholesterol is only the beginning.  SpectraCell’s LPP (Lipoprotein Particle Profile) test goes much, much further.
 
Here is the basic scenario of heart disease:  When our blood vessels are "scratched," or injured, plaque builds up in our arteries to repair the injury, sort of like a scab on the inside of  the blood vessel, causing reduced blood flow. Since plaque buildup is our bodies' response to injury of the blood vessels, reducing the injury to our arteries is key.  
 
Human HeartThat's where cholesterol comes in.  Actually, cholesterol is good.  Everyone needs it.  In fact, it protects us in many ways.  Cholesterol is actually a response to vascular injury - not the cause of it.  Cholesterol is really not the culprit.  Lipoproteins are.  Lipoproteins are what "scratch" or "burrow" into our arteries causing injury.  They are actually tiny balls in our blood that carry the cholesterol, our vascular scapegoat.  Lipoproteins are what do the damage, not the cholesterol inside them.  In fact, a lipoprotein can be almost empty of cholesterol and it can still wreak havoc on our arteries, depending on its size and characteristics.  Cholesterol is really just along for the ride.  Lipoproteins, at least the dangerous ones, are the real villain.
 
There are different sizes of lipoproteins.  In general, bigger is better.  Here's why: Larger, fluffier LDL particles cannot lodge into your arteries (which is an injury to the artery) as easily as the smaller LDL particles can.  Less injury to the artery means less plaque formation and clearer, more pliable blood vessels - a good thing.  So it is imperative to understand what kind of LDL (low density lipoproteins) you have floating around in your blood.  There are some that are extraordinarily dangerous and some that are completely benign.
 
MedicationsFor example, RLP (also called remnant lipoprotein) has been cited by the government as a very high risk factor for heart disease.  But statins, which lower LDL, will do nothing to help your RLP.  Omega 3 fatty acids effectively lower RLP.  So, if you don't know what kind of lipoproteins you have, you're shooting in the dark in terms of what treatments you should take.  
 
Here's another example:  Lp(a) - so dangerous that it is sometimes called the widowmaker - is lowered by the simple vitamin B3 (also called niacin).  Again, you may be taking statins or fish oil pills, but they won't affect Lp(a).  You can see why measuring just plain old LDL is certainly not enough.  That is why 50% of the people who have fatal heart attacks have "normal" cholesterol - they are not getting the right cholesterol/ lipoprotein test done.
 
Here's the best part:  SpectraCell's LPP test costs about the same as an outdated cholesterol test and it is also usually covered by insurance.  Why wouldn't you want an LPP done?

Topics: SpectraCell, lipoprotein particle profile, LPP, Cholesterol, Heart Disease, Lipoproteins, Heart Attack, LDL and HDL