Personalized medicine has changed the healthcare paradigm. It is now possible to determine your personal micronutrient needs based on your own cells’ metabolic requirements.
SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test measures over 30 vitamins and minerals at the cellular level. But the SpectraCell test goes even further – it measures functional, long-term status within the cell – which evaluates how well your body actually utilizes each nutrient. Several factors affect nutrient status – age, lifestyle, genetics, medications, absorption rates, gut health, hormones and more. SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Test embraces this biochemical individuality.
Mineral deficiencies profoundly affect prostate health. Selenium deficiency has been linked to higher levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), a common biomarker for prostate problems. Interestingly, the epithelial cells in the prostate gland accumulate the highest levels of zinc in any soft tissue of the body and low zinc is linked to prostate inflammation. In the case of prostate cancer, strong evidence suggests higher intake of zinc may improve prognosis. Vitamin K show anti-carcinogenic properties in various cancer cell lines, including prostate cancer cells. Vitamin D also exhibits anti-cancer activity in prostate cells via its role in regulating male hormones. Vitamin C downregulates an enzyme that causes abnormal tissue growth in the prostate gland, thus protecting against a condition known as BPH – benign prostate hyperplasia – which manifests with urination problems in men. Animal studies have shown that Vitamin E may suppress prostate tumor formation. But results on vitamin E supplementation trials and prostate health has been equivocal, suggests that blind supplementation when not deficient, may be harmful. Targeted repletion of actual – not assumed – deficiencies is key.
Chemotherapeutic drugs used in the treatment of testicular cancer can wreak havoc on healthy testicular tissue. Evidence suggests antioxidants can protect against this damage. For example, the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine has been shown to reverse the damage done by bleomycin, a common drug to treat testicular cancer. Evidence suggests combinations of specific antioxidants (vitamin E, C, zinc, selenium) may lower the risk of testicular cancer from spreading (mestastasizing). Since oxidative stress plays a big role in testicular toxicity, nutrients that acts free radical scavengers are particularly beneficial in the testes. Vitamin C protects the surface of testicular cells. Glutathione protects sensitive testicular tissue from oxidative stress. Mineral cofactors (Zinc, Copper, Manganese) are need to activate powerful protective enzymes active in testes. A single micronutrient deficiency can profoundly compromise man’s ability for healthy cellular detoxification.
Contrary to popular thought, erectile dysfunction is less commonly a problem in hormone levels, and more commonly a problem with vascular health. Several nutrients affect how well a man’s blood vessels respond to chemical cues. Vitamin D’s role in calcium transport affects a man’s vasculature and thus erectile function. Folate and inositol may improve erectile dysfunction by activating nitric oxide, a chemical in the blood that tells vessel to properly dilate. Vitamin E and lipoic acid are necessary cofactors in nitric oxide production, and thus vascular and erectile health. Depending on the presence of certain genes, repletion of folate and vitamin B6 has been shown to benefit men who were non-responsive to sildenafil, a common medication used for treatment of ED. Another study shows carnitine and vitamin B3 improved sexual performance in men with ED. Glutathione depletion will compromise a man’s ability to achieve vasodilation. Any nutrient that benefits vascular health will also benefit erectile health.
The male equivalent of female menopause is andropause, which is a gradual decline in testosterone levels as men age. However, micronutrients profoundly affect testosterone levels. For example, vitamin B6 stimulates the brain to increase testosterone production. Conversely, deficiency in folate reduces circulating testosterone. The rate-limiting enzyme for testosterone synthesis is vitamin K dependent, so a deficiency will lower its production. Magnesium is needed to make testosterone biologically active, freeing it up in the bloodstream so it can act on muscles throughout the body. Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone, is the precursor molecule to testosterone and can significantly increase total and free levels of testosterone throughout the body. Carnitine is directly related to testosterone levels and may prevent testosterone decline after intense physical stress. Depending on baseline levels, zinc and selenium can increase testosterone as well.
STRESS, STRESS and more STRESS
In today’s highly competitive world, men encounter inordinate amounts of stress, particularly in the workplace. Although the physiological effects of chronic stress are often dismissed, the effect of stress on cellular health is indisputable. Micronutrient deficiencies can exacerbate the physiological effects of stress. Conversely, micronutrient repletion can repair stress-induced cellular damage. Serine has been used in the treatment of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as it buffers the negative effects of stress in the body. Folate, choline and inositol directly affect brain chemicals that calm the mind and body. B vitamins serve as cofactors in the production of anti-anxiety neurotransmitters. Micronutrients help stave off the fatigue associated with long term stress. Nutrients such as coenzyme Q10 and magnesium may improve energy in chronically stressed out men. Correcting micronutrient deficiencies can enable men to face daily challenges while minimizing the physiological repercussions.
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