SpectraCell Blog

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

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.

Share with us your experience with the role micronutrients have played in neurology disorders with your patient population! Do you have a particular success?

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

Nutritional Considerations of Pain Management

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 @ 04:01 PM

Chronic PainVitamin D & Musculoskeletal Pain

Vitamin D deficiency often presents clinically as musculoskeletal pain. Correcting this deficiency can improve bone and muscle pain dramatically in patients with fibromyalgia and the painful bone disease osteomalacia.

Coenzyme Q10 & Migraines, Myopathy

Supplementation with CoQ10 helps prevent migraine headaches, according to recent clinical trials. In addition, CoQ10 has been shown to relieve statin-induced myopathy by improving energy metabolism in muscle.

Carnitine & Myalgia, Neuropathy

This important amino acid facilitates the transport of fatty acids into cell mitochondria so they can be effectively used for energy. Studies suggest that a deficiency of carnitine manifests clinically as myalgia, muscle weakness or neuropathy. In fact, supplementation with carnitine has been shown to improve pain associated with chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, HIV-induced neuropathy, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

Oleic Acid & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A recent study showed significant correlations between the severity of chronic fatigue syndrome and levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid used by the body in energy storage.

Magnesium & Post Operative Pain

Magnesium alters pain processing by blocking NMDA receptors in the spinal cord. In several recent studies, administration of magnesium reduced consumption of pain killers post-operatively. The analgesic effect has been seen in cardiac, orthopedic, thoracic and gynecological surgery. Low magnesium levels also contribute to headaches and correlate strongly with the frequency of chest pain. Its antinociceptive effect is promising.

Choline & Acute Pain

The activation of specific receptors by choline reduces acute inflammatory pain in mice, suggesting that administration of choline may help reduce the use of medication for inflammatory pain.

Alpha Lipoic Acid & Diabetic Neuropathy

Several clinical trials have documented the beneficial use of alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of pain from diabetic polyneuropathy.

B Vitamins & Neuropathic Pain

A recent study suggests clinical usefulness of vitamins B1, B6 and B12 in the treatment of neuropathic painful conditions following injury or inflammation. Vitamin B1 deficiency has been implicated in myopathy as well. Thiamin (vitamin B1) supplementation can also ease pain from shingles, migraine headaches and arthritis. Similarly, clinical indicators of pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis are inversely correlated with B6 levels. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) has also shown promise in reducing pain associated with inflammatory conditions and acts as a powerful agent in preventing migraine headaches. Since the B-complex vitamins work together, it is crucial to assess the functional status of each one.

Folic Acid & Migraines

A recent study showed that migraine headaches in children were significantly reduced when supplemented with folic acid. Magnesium supplementation has similar beneficial effects on the pain of pediatric migraine attacks.

Copper & Arthritis

Copper is necessary for the production of super oxide dismutase, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme. When administered to patients with rheumatoid arthritis, copper is effective in reducing inflammatory pain. Copper supplementation has also relieved patients of leg pain associated with sciatic neuritis.

Antioxidants & Inflammatory Pain

The link between oxidative stress and inflammation has been well established. A patient in an inflammatory state will likely experience more pain. Studies have shown that reactive oxygen species are produced during persistent pain, indicating an increased need for antioxidants. Specifically, cysteine may have an inhibitory role in inflammatory pain due to its potent antioxidant effects on tissues. Similar results have been demonstrated with other antioxidants such as selenium, vitamin e, vitamin c, glutathione and coenzyme Q10. Recent studies show that intracellular inflammatory response in white blood cells play an important role in the pathophysiology of chronic fatigue syndrome. Combined antioxidant therapy also reduces pain in patients with chronic pancreatitis and fibromyalgia. Since many antioxidants work synergistically, measure a single antioxidant may not provide an accurate picture of total antioxidant function in patients experiencing either chronic or acute pain.


Topics: micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Arthritis, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Copper, Antioxidants, Pain, Migraines, Fatigue, Myopathy, Fibromyalgia

How SpectraCell's Micronutrient Testing Cured My Eczema and Migraines

Posted by Nichole Herms on Mon, Sep 20, 2010 @ 04:38 PM

Mother of ThreeI am a 37 year old, happily married mother of three.  After the birth of my second son in 2007, I started having excruciating migraines every month. At the same time I developed horrible eczema around my eyes.  Wanting to give traditional medicine a try, I went to a dermatologist who, after barely making eye contact, gave me a prescription for a cortisone cream to use around my eyes.  But I knew this was merely treating the symptom and that the real problem was that somehow my body was "out-of-balance."

Before the birth of my 2nd son, I had no nutritional deficiencies per SpectraCell's micronutrient test (which I've had prior to each of my pregancies), but upon retesting after he was born, I learned I was deficient in zinc, which is very commonly seen in patients with skin problems.   Within a couple of  weeks of targeted supplementation, my eczema began to quickly disappear.  Within a month, it was gone. I had one migraine a couple weeks after begining to replete my zinc levels and that was the last one I've had -ever. 

It's been over 2 years now.  The eczmea has never re-remerged.  I've not had a single migraine for almost 2 years now.  I followed up with SpectraCell's micronutrient testing to verify that my zinc deficiency had been corrected.  Once repleted, my zinc levels have remained normal.  I still have the testing done twice per year on myself as well as my husband. 

This makes me wonder: how many people start having new health issues after a major physical event such as pregnancy, illness, surgery, etc?

Topics: Migraines, pregnancy, skin disorder, eczema, Women's Health