SpectraCell Blog

Nutritional Considerations of Insomnia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 @ 05:10 PM

InsomniaBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person with Insomnia.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) - increases REM sleep; improves both quality and quantity of sleep by converting trytophan to serotonin.
  • Folate & Vitamin B6 - both are cofactors for several neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine, many of which regulate sleep patterns.
  • Vitamin B12 - normalizes circadian rythms (sleep-wake cycles); therapeutic benefits of B12 supplementation, both oral and intravenous, seen in studies.
  • Magnesium - improving magnesium status is associated with better quality sleep; mimics the action of melatonin; also alleviates insomnia due to restless leg syndrome.
  • Zinc & Copper - both interact with NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain that regulate sleep; a higher Zn/Cu ratio is linked to longer sleep duration.
  • Oleic Acid - this fatty acid is a precursor of oleamide, which regulates our drive for sleep and tends to accumulate in the spinal fluid of sleep-deprived animals. Oleic acid also facilitates the absorption of vitamin A.
  • Vitamin A - studies suggest vitamin A deficiency alters brain waves in non-REM sleep causing sleep to be less restorative.
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin) - in clinical trials, supplementation of healthy individuals that had marginal B1 deficiency improved their sleep.

Download our 1-page flyer which illustrates the information above, HERE!

 

Topics: Oleic Acid, zinc, folate, Magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Copper, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3

Nutritional Considerations of Fibromyalgia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

Fibromyalgia PatientBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person with Fibromyalgia.
  • Carnitine - deficiency causes muscle pain due to inefficient cellular energy metabolism (mitochondrial myopathy) which presentas as fibromyalgia.
  • Choline & Inositol - altered levels of both nutrients seen in fibromyalgia; choline & inositol are involved in pain perception.
  • Serine - blood levels of this amino acid are much lower in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Vitamin D - low levels impair neuromuscular function and cause muscle pain. Deficiency is common in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Vitamin B1 - Thiamin (B1) deficiency mimics fibromyalgia symptoms including serotonin depletion (decreased paing threshold), a decrease in repair enzymes (muscle soreness) and poor energy production (muscle fatigue).
  • Antioxidants - low antioxidant status increases pain in fibromyalgia, which is often considered an oxidative stress disorder.
  • Zinc - blood levels of zinc are associated with a number of tender points in fibromyalgic patients.
  • Magnesium - involved in pain perception pathways and muscle contraction; treatment with magnesium can improve tenderness and pain.
  • Selenium - deficiency is linked to fibromyalgia; in one trial, symptoms improved in 95% of patients supplemented with selenium for at least 4 weeks.

Download our 1-page flyer which illustrates the information above, HERE!

Topics: serine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Selenium, Antioxidants, Fibromyalgia, inositol, Vitamin B1

The Importance of Nutrition on Weight Loss

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jun 04, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

Micronutrient TestingBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person's ability to gain or lose weight.

  • Zinc - reduces leptin, a beneficial hormone that regulates appetite, which is reversed by zinc repletion.
  • Asparagine - this amino acid increases insulin sensitivity which helps the body store energy in muscle instead of storing it as body fat.
  • Biotin - boosts metabolism by improving glycemic control (stabilizes blood sugar) and lowering insulin, a hormone that promotes fat formation.
  • Carnitine - carries fatty acids into cell so they can be burned for fuel; Helps reduce visceral adiposity (belly fat).
  • Calcium - inhibits the formation of fat cells; Also helps oxidize (burn) fat cells.
  • Lipoic Acid - improves glucose uptake into cells, which helps a person burn carbohydrates more efficiently.
  • Chromium - makes the body more sensitive to insulin, helping to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle.
  • Vitamin B5 - taking B5 lowers body weight by activating lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that burns fat cells. One study linked B5 supplementation to less hunger when dieting.
  • Magnesium - low magnesium in cells impairs a person’s ability to use glucose for fuel, instead storing it as fat; Correcting a magnesium deficiency stimulates metabolism by increasing insulin sensitivity. Magnesium may also inhibit fat absorption.
  • Glutamine - reduces fat mass by improving glucose uptake into muscle.
  • Cysteine - supplementation with this antioxidant reduced body fat in obese patients.
  • Inositol - supplementation may increase adiponectin levels.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) - treatment with B3 increases adiponectin, a weight-loss hormone secreted by fat cells; Niacin-bound chromium supplements helped reduced body weight in clinical trials.
  • Vitamin A - enhances expression of genes that reduce a person’s tendency to store food as fat; Reduces the size of fat cells.
  • Vitamin E - inhibits pre-fat cells from changing into mature fat cells, thus reducing body fat.
  • Vitamin D - deficiency strongly linked to poor metabolism of carbohydrates; Genes that are regulated by vitamin D may alter the way fat cells form in some people.
  • Vitamin K - poor vitamin K status linked to excess fat tissue; Vitamin K helps metabolize sugars.

Download our 1-page flyer which illustrates the information above, HERE!

Weight Loss Document

Also, learn more about micronutrient testing and the importance of correcting vitamin deficiencies in our Clinical Education Center.

Topics: Asparagine, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin K, Weight Loss, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, biotin, inositol, Glutamine, Chromium, Weight Gain

Nutritional Considerations of Diabetes

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Feb 06, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

DiabetesUNDERSTANDING DIABETES

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. With this type of diabetes, cells do not receive enough insulin. As a result, cells starve for energy, and, over time, a glucose buildup in the blood stream causes negative effects on a person’s eyes, kidneys, nerves and/or heart.

Today’s fast-paced society has led to quicker, higher carbohydrate alternatives as food sources. As a result, there is a greater threat of developing diabetes due to cells becoming insulin-resistant.

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

NIACIN
Niacin (nicotinamide) may help to preserve residual B-cell function in individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This B-vitamin is believed to be one of the components of the glucose tolerance factor (GTF).

MAGNESIUM
This mineral is involved in more than 300 enzymatic functions in the body. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia and hypertension, which have all been associated with diabetes mellitus. Magnesium has been found to be one of the more common micronutrient deficiencies in diabetes.

VITAMIN E
Low levels of vitamin E are associated with increased incidences of diabetes. Research suggests that individuals with diabetes mellitus have decreased levels of antioxidants. Increased antioxidant requirements may be a result of increased free radical production during periods of hyperglycemia.

ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID (THIOCTIC ACID)
This antioxidant has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin E and vitamin C. Alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to enhance glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissue, thus improving glucose regulation in diabetic mellitus individuals. In addition, this antioxidant can be beneficial in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy.

VITAMIN D
Obesity is often associated with vitamin D deficiency and also with type 2 diabetes. Research indicates that diabetic individuals (both type 1 and type 2) have a higher risk for bone fracture. This vitamin deficiency has clearly been associated with lower bone density. Subjects with hypovitaminosis D are at higher risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

CHROMIUM
This trace mineral is fundamental in proper insulin function and is believed to facilitate the attachment of insulin to the cell’s insulin receptors. A lack of chromium can lead to insulin resistance, which leads to elevated blood levels of insulin and glucose. Elevated levels of glucose in the blood can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular complications. Food processing
removes most of naturally occurring chromium. However, chromium can be supplemented or found in brewer’s yeast, nuts, meat, whole grains, green beans and broccoli.

HOMOCYSTEINE
Homocysteine elevation is a risk factor for overall mortality in type 2 diabetic individuals independent of other risk factors. Adequate levels of pyroxidine (vitamin B6), folate and vitamin B12 are required for normal homocysteine metabolism.

MicronutrientsINOSITOL
This nutrient is found in high concentrations in peripheral nerves. There is some evidence that inositol may be effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

VITAMIN B6
Research shows that a deficiency of vitamin B6 may result in abnormal glucose tolerance, degeneration of the pancreatic beta cells, reduced insulin response to glucose and reduced serum and pancreatic insulin levels. In addition, vitamin B6 deficiency has been associated with polyneuropathies.

CALCIUM
Studies have shown that individuals with a low intake of calcium have an increased risk of non-insulin dependant diabetes mellitus. Numerous studies have also revealed that diabetes may be associated with abnormal regulation of intracellular calcium.

ZINC
This mineral has been associated with over 200 enzymatic functions in the body. Increased fasting blood glucose levels have been associated with low zinc. Zinc has been shown to be important in the synthesis, storage and secretion of insulin. Increased urinary zinc excretion has also been associated with diabetic individuals.

CARNITINE
This amino acid in the form of acetyl-L-carnitine has been shown to benefit those individuals with diabetic polyneuropathy. One of the proposed mechanisms is that this amino acid may restore the depleted nerve myoinositol content and decrease free radical production.

Topics: Homocysteine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, diabetes, Calcium, inositol, Chromium, Niacin

Understanding Obesity and Nutrition

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 @ 10:22 AM

Obesity and NutritionIn the past, obesity was understood in fairly simple terms: excess body weight resulting from eating too much and exercising too little. Obesity is now regarded as a chronic medical disease with serious health implications caused by a complex set of factors.

Micronutrients and Obesity:

Obesity is a complex, chronic disease involving multiple components. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in America, second only to cigarette smoking, and increase the risk of illness from over 30 medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension, cancer, infertility, arthritis and heart disease. Prescription medications and procedures used to treat many of
these conditions often induce micronutrient deficiencies as well.

Availability of NutrientsAvailability of Nutrients:

Obesity often reduces the availability of certain nutrients. In a recent study, over 50% of obese patients were evaluated for Vitamin D status and found to be deficient. Since fat cells have
their own nutritional requirements, fat cells will draw from nutritional reserves in much the same way other organs do in order to perform normal cellular functions. The combination of reduced availability and increased demand for nutrients caused by excess fat cells ultimately causes multiple deficiencies that need to be corrected.

Regulation of Hormones Linked to Obesity:

Niacin (Vitamin B3) treatment has been shown to increase hormone levels that regulate metabolism of glucose and fatty acids. Decreased levels are associated with obesity and heart disease. Vitamin B5 helps breaks down fat cells so they can be used up by the body.

Low Zinc status is also associated with obesity. This may be due, in part, to the relationship between Zinc and leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite. Zinc depletion reduces leptin levels, while Zinc repletion reverses this effect.

Obesity and NutritionFat Cell Formation:

Studies suggest that a form of Vitamin E (tocotrienol) inhibits pre-fat cells from changing into mature fat cells, resulting in a decrease in body fat. Calcium intake has also been associated with weight loss through its ability to inhibit the formation of fat cells. It also promotes the oxidation, or burning of fat cells, therefore reducing the risk of obesity.

The Effect of Amino Acids on Body Composition:

Carnitine is an important nutrient that helps muscle cells utilize energy and burn calories. Evidence shows that supplementation with carnitine when combined with an exercise program may induce positive changes in body composition by reducing (belly fat) more efficiently than without supplementation. Glutamine has been shown to reduce fat mass and improve glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and the relatively unknown amino acid Asparagine can improve insulin sensitivity by increasing the amount of sugar taken into muscle tissue to be burned for fuel.

Obesity and Insulin Resistance - Partners in Crime:

Obesity severely impairs the body’s ability to efficiently burn dietary carbohydrates. This is caused primarily by the body’s inability to use insulin, which is the hormone that helps the transport of sugars into muscles where they can be used for fuel instead of being stored as fat. Optimal micronutrient and mineral status are necessary for proper insulin function.

Vascular Health and ObesityVascular Health in Obesity:

Blood vessels in overweight individuals are typically not as pliable and healthy as normal weight people. Vitamin C supplementation has been demonstrated to improve vascular function in overweight people. Similarly, minerals such as Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium and Copper have all shown positive effects on blood pressure and vascular health. Overweight people tend to have high blood pressure, which is intensified by vitamin deficiencies. Since so many nutrients (Folate, Biotin, Carnitine, Vitamins A, C, and E and several minerals) are involved in the maintenance of healthy blood vessels of both normal weight and overweight people, a comprehensive evaluation of how they are performing in the cells of obese patients is crucial.

Oxidative Stress and Inflammation:

Numerous studies link oxidative stress and inflammation with  obesity. Visceral adiposity (belly fat) is particularly high in dangerous enzymes that cause oxidative stress. Weight loss certainly counteracts this phenomenon and studies show that the amount of weight lost directly correlates to decreases in oxidative stress. Belly fat also causes inflammation of the liver, which is particularly common in obese people. One recent study  demonstrated that Coenzyme Q10 decreased obesity-induced inflammation of the liver. Similarly, inflammation in blood vessels of obese patients contributes to heart disease and stroke, which can be alleviated in part through proper antioxidant supplementation. It is imperative that antioxidant status be optimized, especially in obese patients. SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing measures several specific antioxidants and gives an overall picture of how well all the antioxidants are working together.

Malabsorption Issues After Bariatric SurgeryMalabsorption Issues After Bariatric Surgery:

The impaired ability to absorb nutrients after bariatric procedures routinely causes multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies in patients. Due to fat malabsorption after bariatric surgery, deficiencies in fat soluble Vitamins (A, D, E and K) are extremely common. Neurological complications such as confusion, impaired muscle coordination, even seizures may occur after bariatric procedures, due to a lack of B Vitamins, especially Thiamine. These complications can occur acutely or decades later. A comprehensive evaluation of nutritional status in bariatric patients is critical in maintaining post-op health.

Also, share with us your experience with the role micronutrients have played in obesity with your patient population! Do you have a particular success?

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Asparagine, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Copper, Calcium, biotin, Glutamine, Vitamin B5, Hormones, Oxidative Stress, Insulin Resistance, Niacin, Obesity

Nutritional Considerations of ADHD & Autism

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 @ 01:58 PM

ADHD & AutismADHD and AUTISM ON THE RISE
Recent years has seen an unprecedented rise in autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Although researchers speculate on the reason for this rise, many factors likely contribute, including more accurate diagnosis. However, overwhelming evidence suggests that nutritional deficiencies may be a contributing factor.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS ARE KEY
Our brain and nerves are composed mostly of fat. The most important of these are called omega-3 fatty acids and are found primarily in fish or fish oil supplements. Also called EPA and DHA, they are absolutely necessary for human health, and their concentration in the brain makes them key players in neurological disorders such as autism and ADHD. Brain and nerve growth throughout childhood is extraordinarily rapid, and the need for omega-3 fatty acids remains critical all the way through adolescence and into adulthood. Overwhelming evidence implicates deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids for the rise in autism and ADHD. Research shows that children with low scores on behavioral assessment tests consistently have lower omega-3 fatty acids levels, and when supplemented with fish oils, the symptoms of ADHD in these children such as hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inability to pay attention - dramatically improve.

Omega 3 & 6WHY MEASURE THE OMEGA-6 TO OMEGA-3 RATIO?
We are familiar with the expression that a child’s brain is like a sponge, ready to absorb information at an astounding rate. A truly appropriate analogy, it stems from the fact that our brains can actually create nerve pathways in response to new experiences and learning environments. Called “neuronal plasticity,” this phenomena is crucial for long-term memory and learning. Proper levels of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), is important for membrane fluidity. The ratio of omega-6 fatty acids, which differ in structure and function, to omega-3 fatty acids affect neuronal plasticity as well. Scientists now agree that the ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats is as important as the actual levels, especially in autism and ADHD. A lower ratio is better and when this ratio is improved, symptoms of autism and ADHD can improve as well.

ZINC – THE MOOD MINERAL
Zinc deficiency is often implicated in ADHD because it is an important co-factor to several neurotransmitters, which directly affect mood and learning ability. Specifically, zinc affects the production of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in our brains that is needed for learning and certain emotions like motivation and pleasure. In fact, studies show that zinc levels correlate with anxiety and behavioral problems, as well as have a significant effect on information processing in boys with ADHD. Since zinc levels are much lower in autistic and ADHD individuals, children with ADHD show positive behavioral and cognitive results after zinc supplementation.In addition, zinc is essential for proper elimination of the toxic metal mercury from our brain tissue, which has also been linked to autism and ADHD.

Vitamins & AutismVITAMINS AND AUTISM
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked with autism and in some cases of severe deficiency, high-dose vitamin D therapy actually reversed some of the autistic behaviors. Some research even suggests that the nutritional status of the mother during gestation can affect behavior in children. One study confirmed that low folate status in pregnancy was associated with hyperactivity in children. Other studies show that persons who carried a common gene that predisposes them to folate and vitamin B12 deficiency (called the MTHFR gene) were more likely to suffer from ADHD. Supplementation with thiamine (vitamin B1) has shown clinical benefit to some autistic children. Specifically, a deficiency in vitamin B1 has been associated with delayed language development in childhood.When deficient, biotin (vitamin B7) can potentially cause neurological problems associated with autism since the brain is quite vulnerable to biotin deficiency.

MAGNESIUM AND VITAMIN B6 – A WINNING COMBINATION
Like most nutrients, magnesium and vitamin B6 work together in improving clinical symptoms of autism and ADHD.

When a group of autistic children were supplemented with magnesium and vitamin B6, 70% of the children showed improvement in social interaction and communication. Interestingly, when the supplements were stopped, the clinical symptoms reappeared. In another study, physical aggression and inattention improved after supplementation with magnesium and vitamin B6 for a few months.

NeurotransmittersTHE ROLE OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS
Neurotransmitters are tiny chemicals that transmit information from the outside world to various parts of our brains and from our brains to the rest of our bodies. Although neurotransmitters, such as choline, glutamine, asparagine and inositol may not be recognized as household names, they profoundly affect emotions, thinking and social behavior. For example, levels of glutamine and asparagine are lower in autistic children and some adults with ADHD.

AN AMINO ACID THAT IMPROVES CARNITINE – BEHAVIOR
Carnitine is an amino acid whose primary function is to transport fatty acids, including the ever-so-important omega-3 fatty acids into cells so they can be used for energy. In autistic individuals, carnitine levels are significantly reduced, which then affects the patient’s ability to use the fatty acids that are so critical to their learning and social development.
A recent study demonstrated that carnitine can reduce hyperactivity and improve social behavior in boys diagnosed with ADHD, and may actually represent a safe alternative to the use of stimulant drugs for the treatment of ADHD in children.

ADHD AND AUTISM – AN OXIDATIVE STRESS DISORDER?
Oxidative stress is a term used to describe damage to our cells that occurs on a daily basis throughout our bodies. Fortunately, our bodies have built-in defenses against the onslaught of internal and external toxins causing oxidative stress in our tissues. Interestingly, several studies show an increase in oxidative stress in both autism and ADHD, resulting in an impaired ability to eliminate toxins. Specifically, adults with ADHD have extremely low levels of some of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. One study linked damage in fatty tissue surrounding our cells to symptoms of autism and ADHD. Minerals such as selenium and copper, antioxidants such as cysteine and vitamin E and several other nutrients ensure the body’s powerful defense systems work optimally.

ADHD & AutismA MULTI-FACETED APPROACH
Since so many nutrients are needed to keep our amazingly complex brain and nervous system functioning properly, a comprehensive assessment of your nutritional status is key. In disorders like autism and ADHD, the potential improvement of symptoms when even a single deficiency is corrected can often be quite dramatic.

For more information, contact us at spec1@spectracell.com or call 800-227-5227.

Topics: zinc, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, vitamin, autism, Omega 3s, Neurotransmitters, ADHD, Nutritional Deficiency, Oxidative Stress, Omega 6

Can Nutrient Deficiencies Provide Insight into the Health of a Neuron and Your Brain?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jan 09, 2012 @ 10:55 AM

Nutritional Brain HealthGuest Blog by: Dr. Arland Hill (D.C.)

Most of us are familiar with the saying use it or lose it.  Many times when individuals say this, they are likely referring to muscle tissue.  However, this saying is equally valid regarding the health of the brain and nervous tissue.  Since the brain has impact on every system in the body, keeping it healthy is of the utmost importance.  Doing so takes 3 key ingredients; energy, fats, and stimulation.

While most probably don’t think about the energy demands of the nervous system, they are in fact quite high.  The production of energy for a neuron, or nerve cell, goes beyond just good function.  The ability to produce energy is the difference between life and death.  As with all cells, an energy substrate must be available, preferably glucose.  Uptake of glucose by neurons depends on healthy insulin receptors.  Healthy insulin receptors that are sensitive optimize neuron function by efficiently controlling synapse density, promoting neuronal growth, or neuroplasticity, and refining the function of the involved neurocircuitry.  In short, neurons function better and extend their network when insulin receptors are sensitive.  But as attractive as this sounds, it fails to happen when nutrient deficiencies such as chromium and B3 exist.  Chromium and niacin help make up the glucose tolerance factor which has significant bearing on the glucose-insulin interaction.

Neuron Once glucose is taken in by the neuron, it must enter the mitochondria to produce ATP, the energy molecule.  However, to get ATP, several key nutrients must be available.  These nutrients fuel each step of the energy cycle and include B1, B2, B3, B5, glutamine, and magnesium just to name a few.  For the neuron, the importance of this cannot be understated.

When the neuron is able to receive adequate oxygen, it can combine the metabolites formed from the energy production cycle and generate ATP.  In the absence of adequate nutrient stores, ATP is not produced efficiently leading to the demise of the neuron.  This can be the early onset of neurodegeneration.  Moreover, since neurons depend on stimulation from each other to maintain functional neurocircuitry, losing a neuron will in turn have effects on adjacent neurons.  The potential “snowball-like” effect of neurodegeneration emphasizes the consequence of allowing seemingly harmless nutrient deficiencies to persist.

Lastly, a protective coating is needed.  Think about this as insulation for the wiring of your neurocircuity.  With it, neurological impulses are transmitted at a faster rate.  Our insulation is fat.  Micronutrient assessment provides a window into how we might be producing insulation Neuronsaround our neurological tissue.  Not only does such testing show how fats are being utilized by living cells, it also illustrates the status of nutrients such as B12 that are equally needed for production of our insulation, otherwise known as myelin.

The health of the nervous system is a commonly overlooked.  When it is functioning appropriately, it is given little attention.  In contrast, by the time a neurological condition manifests, it is difficult to make up lost ground to neurodegeneration.  However, altering its effects can take place, but only in the presence of adequate nutrient status.  Given proper precursors and stimulation, the ability of the neuron to produce energy is regained, promoting an environment of neuroplasticity.

Dr. Arland Hill

 

Arland 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, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Glutamine, Brain, Nervous System, Chromium, Dr. Arland Hill, Glucose

CASE STUDY: Female with Fibromyalgia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Aug 09, 2011 @ 03:37 PM

FibromyalgiaPatient was initially seen in January of 2006. She had been diagnosed five years prior with fibromyalgia by her rheumatologist after ruling out other rheumatologic and autoimmune diagnoses. At that time, she was prescribed dulaxetine and gabapentin. Her pain was described as “constant” and “often intense”, limiting her daily activities. She has a history of poor sleep habits and constantly feeling unrefreshed in the morning. Otherwise, osteoporosis and depression were her only other comorbidities. Her daily intake of nutritional supplements included: 1000mg of strontium carbonate, 1200mg of calcium citrate, 400IU of vitamin D in divided doses. Upon physical examination, fifteen of the eighteen FMS points were positive upon 5kg of digital pressure. Sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia (SEA) occurred at 140 mm Hg of pressure. Only mild hypertonicity was found throughout her upper trapezii and paraspinal musculature. SpectraCell testing revealed functional intracellular deficiencies of vitamin B6, vitamin D, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10. Her total antioxidant function measured 51.2%. Based upon these deficiencies, she was administered the following daily nutritional supplement protocol:

  • B-Complex weighted with extra B6 (250mg)
  • 500mg of magnesium glycinate
  • 1000IU of vitamin D3
  • 200mg of Coenzyme Q10

She was also instructed to consume one cup of pomegranate juice per day. Foods containing the deficient nutrients were advised to be consumed.

SpectroxFollow up SpectraCell testing was performed six months later.

All deficiencies were resolved except for CoQ10. Her SPECTROX™ results increased to 68.1%. Sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia (SEA) occurred at 170 mm Hg of pressure. Overall, her fibromyalgia symptoms were greatly improved. She was able to perform more of her activities without “suffering the consequences”. She still had some pain from the fibromyalgia, but this was only a “shadow” of the previous pain. In addition, she is waking up in the morning with more energy. Her rheumatologist has taken her off gabapentin and duloxetine. It was recommended to increase CoQ10 to 300mg per day and continue at a lower dose of the daily protocol until following up with another SpectraCell test in one year.

describe the imageB6 and magnesium synergistically assist the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin (which, in turn, is converted into melatonin). As a result, improvements in sleep and mood resulted. Magnesium has been used as a treatment for FMS for many years. However, SpectraCell can differentiate those patients who will better respond, thereby saving everyone time, money, and pain. Magnesium is the body’s ‘calcium channel blocker’ in the NMDA receptor, preventing the release of Substance P and various inflammatory cytokines. CoQ10 is the electron transporter than facilitates ATP production. Although in previous studies serum levels of CoQ10 (not intracellular levels) were found to be normal in FMS patients, one study demonstrated that many patients did improve when administered Coq10. Perhaps, intracellular studies would have clarified which patients were truly deficient and, therefore, would benefit for CoQ10 therapy. Vitamin D has entered as a potential key substance in evaluating fibromyalgic patients. Studies have shown that serum levels of 25-OH vitamin D correlate inversely with depression and pain of FMS. One of the symptoms of moderate Vitamin D deficiency is wide spread muscle pain. It is now commonly used in various autoimmune disorders. Being that Vitamin D is a potent antioxidant, this might have been responsible for part of the improvement in this patient’s SPECTROX™ test.

For more information on our micronutrient test, click here.

For additional case studies, click here.

 

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Fibromyalgia, Spectrox

Turn on Your Metabolism with Micronutrient Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jun 01, 2011 @ 09:32 AM

Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

Did you know that nutrient testing can help you zero in on some of the possible reasons that your metabolism may not be functioning optimally?  Nutrient deficiencies act as blockades to normal metabolic function.  The systems and pathways dependent on those nutrients which are found to be deficient are not able to function at an ideal rate.  As such the potential for symptoms such as increased weight gain, difficulty gaining muscle and fatigue, just to name a few may develop.

Some of the more common ways in which metabolism can be affected include the inability to properly process our macronutrients, or proteins, fats and carbohydrates, through the energy production pathways, and inability to manage glucose.

Energy is not just a subjective feeling about the way you feel when you wake up in the morning or throughout the day. Energy molecules, specifically known as ATP, are used by all cells of the body to carry out their needs.  This includes the cells of the immune system having the ability to immune challenges and the cells of the liver breaking down toxins to highlight a few.  The energy production cycles depend on multiple nutrients, but most noted are the B vitamins, specifically the lower B vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5.  For fats, carbohydrates, or proteins to go from the food that we eat to the ability to do work, they must be ultimately broken down and guided through pathways that rely on the aforementioned nutrients.  However, these are not the only nutrients that take part in the energy production process.  Lipoic acid, magnesium and coenzyme Q10 are also needed.

Another potential area that may affect metabolic function includes the inability to regulate glucose.  This can be misleading at times as glucose is typically the marker that is focused upon.  The body tries to regulate glucose tightly, often at the expense of other markers increasing such as insulin and triglycerides.  However, nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin D, zinc, chromium and SpectraCell’s novel glucose-insulin interaction marker may be early indicators of the need to take action prior to waiting for glucose levels to go awry.

While nutrient deficiencies may not be the only cause for dysfunction of the above mentioned areas, it often plays a role that should at least be investigated.

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: SpectraCell, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, Vitamin D, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Fatigue, nutrition testing, Glucose Intolerance, deficiency, Chromium, Weight Gain, Energy, Metabolism

The Role of Micronutrients in Neurology

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Mar 09, 2011 @ 10:30 AM

Nervous SystemKnow Your Personal Nutritional Needs:

A single deficiency – mineral, vitamin, antioxidant or amino acid – can set off a cascade of events where metabolic processes are disturbed. Conversely, repletion of such deficiencies can and often do resolve clinical neurological symptoms such as migraines and neuropathy.

Migraine Prevention:

Anyone who has experienced migraine headaches knows how debilitating they can be. Fortunately, nutritional intervention can be very successful in migraine prevention. Although the mechanism of action is not totally understood, several nutrients that facilitate energy production at the cellular level may also benefit the treatment of migraine headaches. Supplementation with coenzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant that aids energy Headachemetabolism, may reduce both the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches. Similar results occur with magnesium and vitamin B2, since they also help mitochondria (energy-producing centers in our cells) function properly. “Mitochondrial dysfunction” is one possible trigger to migraine headaches.

The role of oxidative stress in causing migraines is not totally understood, but studies do show that low levels of specific antioxidants, such as glutathione and lipoic acid are associated with migraine occurrence. Correcting specific deficiencies specifically B3, B6, B12 and folic acid can produce dramatic results for reducing the pain and frequency of migraine headaches.

A Healthy Nervous System:

Antioxidant therapy has the potential to contributeHealthy Nervous System to preventing or mitigating many neurologic disorders. SpectraCell Laboratories can measure a person’s total antioxidant function with their SPECTROX test, in addition to measuring the performance of individual antioxidants. Since nutrients play multiple roles, a comprehensive assessment of nutritional status is key.

Minimizing Neuropathic Pain:

Damage to nerves in the limbs but outside the spinal cord causes the painful condition called peripheral neuropathy. Although potentially debilitating, there is overwhelming evidence that neuropathy responds well when specific nutrient deficiencies are corrected. In some studies, vitamin B1 and vitamin B12 significantly reduce neuropathic pain. High levels of oxidative stress increase neuropathic pain, which explains why the powerful antioxidants cysteine, vitamin E and lipoic acid may be successful in treating neuropathy. The pain reducing effects of carnitine and omega-3 fatty acids has been proven in several trials.

Keeping Our Nerves "Insulated":

NerveNerves are covered with a protective coating called myelin, much like the insulation that coats electronic wiring. If the myelin sheath deteriorates, neurological problems arise, which is what happens to people with multiple sclerosis (MS). A key enzyme needed to manufacture this protective coating contains serine, an important amino acid needed for neurological health, which is why serine deficiency may cause neurological problems. Research shows that patients with MS have lowered calcium levels and that symptoms of MS are more severe when blood levels of vitamin D are low. Copper deficiency can cause symptoms seen in MS patients as well.

Reducing the Risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's:

Nutritional deficiencies have been linked to sReducing Riskeveral neurodegenerative diseases. For example, research shows that over half of people with Parkinson’s disease are deficient in vitamin D. Research also shows that the administration of coenzyme Q10 slows the neurological deterioration seen in Parkinson’s disease. Similarly, a higher intake of vitamin C and vitamin E can slow the progression of dementia that is seen in Alzheimer’s patients. Evidence confirms that copper deficiency contributes to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Topics: micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Copper, Antioxidants, Migraines, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, deficiencies, Neurology, Oxidative Stress, Spectrox, Alzheimers, Nerves, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons disease