SpectraCell Blog

Can Excess Weight Influence Gene Expression?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Feb 03, 2017 @ 02:34 PM

DNA Strand 2.jpgNew research suggests that the answer to this question is YES.  As you might have noticed, a lot of information regarding the impact of environment on genes has been published recently. Take cancer, for example. One may be genetically predisposed to a certain cancer that runs in one’s family.  However, simply possessing this gene does not determine one’s health outcomes or health destiny. It has become clear that in many cases, we can profoundly compensate for the genetic hand that we been dealt by controlling our environment.  Smoking is a clear example: it is common knowledge that abstaining from cigarette smoking dramatically reduces one’s risk for lung cancer. This is a widely understood and powerful example of epigenetics, a concept referring to the idea that environment influences genetic expression. This represents a departure from the traditional view of genetics. Scientists now know that it’s not simply a matter of whether one carries a gene for a disease (cancer, heart disease, dementia, etc), but whether one expresses that gene. And whether we express that gene has much to do with our lifestyle choices (environment) – these lifestyle factors may influence genes in a way that disease does not manifest.  Another way of saying this is that we are not entirely at the mercy of our genes.

So, what does this have to do with overweight? A recent study demonstrated that high BMI (body mass index) due to excess fat can modify a person’s DNA in several places on the DNA strand. These changes resulted from an alteration in methylation patterns (methylation is a process where methyl groups are added at specific sites in DNA molecules and is influenced by the cellular environment). Inflammation and micronutrient availability within cells are examples of these alterations that affect methylation patterns. This study confirms that cellular environment – specifically, excess fat tissue – affects genetic expression. Carrying excess weight can therefore impact genetic expression.  

For more details, download the abstract entitled, Epigenome-wide association study of body mass index, and the adverse outcomes of adiposity, published in the January 2017 issue of Nature.  (Abstract 2581)


 

Topics: MTHFR Genotyping, Epigenetics, Environmental Influence on Gene Expression

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

Clinical Applications of MTHFR Genomic Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 @ 03:50 PM

Clinical Applications of MTHFR Genomic Testing webinar presented by Dr. Bridget Briggs
 
What you learned:  Dr. Briggs, MTHFR
  • Methylation processes in the body. 
  • The function of MTHFR and the common polymorphisms found in 40% of Americans
  • The links between the common polymorphisms in MTHFR and risks involving cardiovascular disease, thromboembolic disease, irritable bowel, depression, memory agility, autoimmunity, poor detoxification, infertility, PMS, insomnia and many other disorders. 
  • Treatment for patients with common polymorphisms including L-5 MTHF, Methylcobalamin, B6, Trimethylglycine, inositol, and other key nutrients.

  • Case Study Review

Clinical Applications of MTHFR Genomic Testing Webinar

 

Topics: SpectraCell, Autoimmunity, cancer cells, autoimmune diseases, Telomere testing, B Vitamins, Fibromyalgia, ApoE Genotyping, Cardiovascular Health, diagnostic tools, MTHFR Genotyping, Genotyping, Multivitamins, Chronic Disease, immune system, breast cancer, deficiencies, Elderly, chronic fatigue and nutrition, health, Case Study, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, degenerative illness, Cancer Prevention, Heart Health, Gastrointestinal Tract, cardiovascular disease, Energy, Methylation, Immunidex, Immunity, eczema and nutrition, Genetics, Bowel Disease, Controversy, Dr. Bridget Briggs, Women's Health

Reducing Homocysteine Risk with Comprehensive Testing

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jun 15, 2011 @ 10:07 AM

Follow-up Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

The metabolic marker homocysteine has gained attention as an area of treatment for various conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to general skin health.  Homocysteine as a marker for disease risk modification has been seen as a factor not ideally suited for pharmacological intervention, but more so for nutrient supplementation.  This makes sense as the methylation pathways, of which homocysteine is a marker for, are dependent on the nutrients folate, B12, B6 and SAMe.  Moreover, being able to realize the interplay between these nutrients is critical when it comes to repletion so as to make sure that nutrient deficiencies are not obscured or induced by therapeutic repletion dosages.  This states the necessity of having a valid nutrient testing method.

Micronutrient TestingSpectraCell’s micronutrient assessment allows for targeted intervention with regards to homocysteine, a marker identifiable on the Lipoprotein particle profile.  By being able to see the individual micronutrients, various pieces of the metabolic pathway picture can be put together.  This allows the clinician to know exactly which treatment options to reach for to have the greatest impact on homocysteine.  Of course, all of this is based on the notion that homocysteine is an inflammatory marker than responds mostly to nutrients.  While nutrients are indeed a very critical part of homocysteine lowering therapy, they are hardly the entire story.

More recent studies have shown that while homocysteine will respond to those nutrients that can act as methyl donors, it will also respond to more classical anti-inflammatories such as omega 3 fatty acids and plant based extracts.  This underscores the point that in some ways homocysteine acts similar to other inflammatory markers in responding to more classical non-pharmacologic anti-inflammatories.  But how do you know if either of these are an option for homocysteine lowering?  For this information, we transition back to those tests offered by SpectraCell.  The micronutrient test offers a novel marker known Spectroxas Spectrox which allows for the assessment of total antioxidant function.  As plant based phytonutrients are known for their potent anti-inflammatory properties, a lower Spectrox marker, indicating lower antioxidant / anti-inflammatory capacity, would confirm that usng plant based antioxidants would be a viable treatment option.  One such example of this in when homocysteine is showing increased clotting potential.  Introduction of resveratrol would have multiple effects in this scenario including elevation of total antioxidant function and the Spectrox marker, lower clotting potential and reduction of homocysteine.  Similar effects can be seen with omega 3 fatty acids which collective studies have shown will lower homocysteine.  A useful tool to determine omega 3 status is the Omega 3 Index, a test which can guide treatment intervention.

Then there are the tough cases where homocysteine levels are excessively high compared to the normal ranges.  At this point, consideration should be given to the potential for genetic variants for folate metabolism, specifically with regards to MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase).  Those patients that are showing excessively high levels of homocysteine are likely to be carriers of the gene variants, thus warranting MTHFR genotyping.

The more we have come to know about homocysteine, the more we understand that looking at the past day status quo of treatment, while valid, is not comprehensive.  Moreover, it is insufficient to fully determine the appropriate intervention to recommend as homocysteine lowering therapy.

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.

Contact our bloggers at spec1@spectracell.com.

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Homocysteine, Antioxidants, lipoprotein particle profile, LPP, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, MTHFR Genotyping, Spectrox

Why is MTHFR Genotyping Important?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Nov 05, 2010 @ 01:46 PM

MTHFR is an enzyme responsible for converting 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to the product 5-methyltetrahydrofolate - it is involved in the metabolism of folate and homocysteine. The product of the reaction catalyzed by MTHFR converts homocysteine (a potentially toxic amino acid) to methionine (a useful and necessary amino acid).
 
MTHFR Genotyping is Important because:
  • Certain mutations in the gene coding for MTHFR produce an enzyme that has reduced activity.
  • Reduced activity can lead to elevated levels of homocysteine (a.k.a. hyperhomocysteinemia), especially when folate levels are low.
  • High homocysteine (>13umol/L) may double the risk of developing illness or complications.
  • MTHFR genotyping can provide information about potential causes of elevated homocysteine and approaches for addressing it.
  • Based on MTHFR and homocysteine results, physicians can develop dietary and medical recomendations - increased intake of folate alone or in combination with vitamins B6 and B12 are recommended.
    • Based on results, recommendations for methotrexate dosage can be adjusted.
Risks Associated with MTHFR Variants/High Homocysteine:
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cerebral Vascular Disease (Stroke)
  • Venous and Arterial Thrombosis
  • Methotrexate Toxicity for Cancer Therapy
Who Should be Tested?
  • Those with high homocysteine levels.
  • Those who have a familial history of cardiovascular disease, stroke or thrombosis.
  • Those who are candidates for long-term methotrexate therapy.
What Are the Variants resized 600

 

 

 

 

 

What Are the Possible Genotypes resized 600

Do you currently use MTHFR Genotyping in your practice? Which patients do you target for this assessment?

Topics: Homocysteine, MTHFR Genotyping, Genotyping