SpectraCell Blog

The Role of Micronutrient Deficiencies in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, May 05, 2017 @ 11:27 AM

ADHD.jpgAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become an increasingly prevalent condition, afflicting children, adolescents, and adults. Some hallmarks of this brain disorder include an inability to focus and/ or a failure to see projects/ activities to completion. Unbeknownst to most, ADHD can be exacerbated by micronutrient deficiencies. Evidence of the relationship between micronutrient status and ADHD-associated behaviors is compelling; the list below represents some examples of the micronutrient status-ADHD connection: 

Vitamin B6: Evidence suggests that high-dose supplementation of B6 is as effective as Ritalin for ADHD, probably due to its role in raising serotonin levels.

Folate (AKA Vitamin B9): Low maternal folate status during pregnancy has been linked to hyperactivity in children. Persons with the MTHFR (methyl tetrahydrafolate reductase) polymorphism are predisposed to folate deficiency, and are more likely to have ADHD.

Magnesium: A deficiency in this micronutrient is linked to poor functioning of the neurotransmitters that control emotion, social reactions, hyperactivity, and attention. Magnesium has a synergistic effect with vitamin B6.

Zinc: This nutrient is a cofactor required for the synthesis of dopamine, which impacts mood and concentration. Low zinc depresses both melatonin and serotonin production; this affects behavior and one’s ability to process information.

Carnitine: Reduces hyperactivity and improves social behavior in people with ADHD via its role in fatty acid metabolism. Some consider carnitine a safe alternative to stimulant drugs.

Serine: Administration of phosphatidylserine in conjunction with omega-3 fatty acids improved ADHD symptoms (attention scores) significantly more than omega-3 fatty acids alone, suggesting a synergistic effect. Phosphatidylserine increases dopamine levels.

Glutamine: A precursor to GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), the calming neurotransmitter that affects mood, focus, and hyperactivity. Disruption of glutamine-containing neurotransmission systems may cause ADHD. 

Choline: A precursor to acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that regulates memory, focus, and muscle control (hyperactivity). 

Antioxidant status: Oxidative imbalance is prevalent in ADHD patients and likely plays a causative role. Glutathione, a very potent antioxidant, is commonly deficient in ADHD.

To evaluate your micronutrient status, order your micronutrient test today!

For a copy of SpectraCell's nutrient correlation wheel on ADHD, click here.

 

Topics: micronutrients, Nutrition, ADHD, micronutrient deficiencies in ADHD, mental health in children, micronutrient status

CoQ10

Posted by Elissa Rodriguez on Wed, Oct 05, 2016 @ 03:58 PM

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Why you should know about CoQ10 if you are taking a statin.

Most Americans have heard of statins, a group of drugs commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels.  But many people are not familiar with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), the micronutrient that is known to be depleted by most people who take statins. In fact, the original patent for statins (AKA “HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors”) acknowledged this as early as 1990; however, this is still not widely known today. CoQ10 (AKA ubiquinone because it is so ubiquitous in the body) is a substance that creates energy, the most fundamental of all cell functions. Tissues with a high energy requirement – heart, liver and muscles – require CoQ10 to work.  If these cells don’t have sufficient CoQ10, a person may eventually experience fatigue, muscular pains, or both. 

Do you know your CoQ10 status? Get your SpectraCell Micronutrient Test today!

GET TESTED 

Topics: micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Cardiovascular Health, Heart Disease, Nutrition, Heart Health, cardiovascular disease, statin, chronic, CoQ10, disease

What is Triage Theory, and why is it important to our health?

Posted by Elissa Rodriguez on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 @ 01:31 PM

cells2.jpgTriage Theory states that the body uses whatever nutrients are available to ensure that the most basic and pressing metabolic functions are fueled first; if a needed nutrient is not available, the body compromises long-term health to ensure short-term critical function. This is analogous to a triage situation in any emergency room: prioritizing a patient’s needs based on the severity of his or her situation/ condition. In the same way, our bodies naturally “triage” on a daily basis. Cells will sacrifice nutrients from non-survival functions for immediate physiological needs. For example, nutrients will be diverted from tissue repair to meet a more critical need such as fighting off an infection or secreting cortisol to deal with an imminent stressor. When an adequate supply of necessary nutrients is available to all cells, short-term and long-term health is preserved.  However, when not enough of these nutrients are available  – and this is often the case given the prevalence of a nutrient-poor diet, stress, and other lifestyle habits that impact nutrient intake and absorption - the stage for the development of chronic disease is set, negatively impacting long-term health.

  • LINK TO ABSTRACT Plasma folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 and breast cancer risk in BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutation carriers: a prospective study.

 

Topics: micronutrients, Cancer, Nutrition, chronic, DNA breakage, Triage Theory, disease

The Vitamin You May NOT Know About!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 @ 12:40 PM

Vitamin b5 resized 600

Pantothenate also called Pantothenic acid,  or vitamin B5(a B vitamin), is a water-soluble vitamin. Pantothenic acid plays vital roles in energy production from foodstuffs.

Pantothenate is a component of coenzyme A, which is indispensable for two-carbon unit metabolism (acetyl groups).  Acetyl groups are involved in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and other compounds, as well as synthesis of fats, cholesterol, steroid hormones, porphyrin and phospholipids.

Deficiency symptoms:

Pantothenate deficiency symptoms are thought to be uncommon because of widespread distribution in all foodstuffs. However, human deficiency symptoms may include fatigue, depression, burning feet, dermatitis, burning or pain of arms and legs, anorexia, nausea, indigestion, irritability, mental depression, fainting, hair loss, increased heart rate, and susceptibility to infection.

Repletion Information:

Dietary sources richest in Pantothenate (per serving) include:

  • Nutritional supplements
  • Meats
  • Whole Grain Products
  • Vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Nutritional Yeasts
  • Legumes
  • Wheat Germ
  • Nuts

Download your very own copy of the Nutrient Correlation Chart on Fatigue and a case study on 54 year old with primary symptom of depression

To find out your micronutrients levels, click here!

Topics: SpectraCell, autoimmune diseases, B Vitamins, Nutrition, Dr. Ron Grabowski, deficiency, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies, Vitamin B5, pantothenate

Nutrition Correlation Chart on ADHD

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 @ 04:54 PM

 

Antioxidant StatusADHD Disease wheel resized 600
Oxidative imbalance is prevalent in ADHD patients and likely plays a causative role; Deficiency of glutathione common in ADHD.3,4,5,6

Folate
Low folate status in pregnancy linked to hyperactivity in children; People with the MTHFR (methyl tetrahydrafolate reductase) gene are predisposed to folate deficiency and more likely to have ADHD.1,2

Vitamin B6
Evidence suggests high dose supplementation of B6 is as effective as Ritalin for ADHD, probably due to its role in raising serotonin levels.7,8,9

Magnesium
Deficiency linked to poor function of the neurotransmitters that control emotion, social reactions, hyperactivity and attention; Synergistic effect with vitamin B6.8,9,10

Zinc
Cofactor for dopamine synthesis which affects mood and concentration in ADHD; Low zinc depresses both melatonin and serotonin production which affect information processing and behavior in ADHD.11,12,13,14

Carnitine
Reduces hyperactivity and improves social behavior in people with ADHD due to its role in fatty acid metabolism; Some consider it a safe alternative to stimulant drugs.15,16,17

Serine
Administration of phosphatidylserine with omega 3 fatty acids improved ADHD symptoms (attention scores) significantly better than omega 3 fatty acids alone, suggesting a synergistic effect; Phosphatidylserine increases dopamine levels.18,19,20

Glutamine
Precursor for the calming neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) that affects mood, focus and hyperactivity; Disruption of the glutamine-containing neurotransmission systems may cause ADHD.21,22,23

Choline
Precursor to neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which regulates memory, focus and muscle control (hyperactivity).24,25,26

Antioxidant Status
Oxidative imbalance is prevalent in ADHD patients and likely plays a causative role; Deficiency of glutathione common in ADHD.3,4,5,6

To download a copy of the ADHD Nutrition Correlation Chart, click here.

Topics: SpectraCell, serine, micronutrients, zinc, folate, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin B6, Antioxidants, nutrition testing, Nutrition, Glutamine, micronutrient test, ADHD, Children

Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 01:20 PM

Is carnitine the answer for male infertility?male, infertility
A group of men (n=96) who had been diagnosed as infertile for at least 18 months were given the following nutritional formulation daily for four months: L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, fructose, citric acid, selenium, coenzyme Q10, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and folic acid (see abstract for exact dosages).  At the end of the study, sperm motility improved and 16 of the patients had achieved pregnancy.  The authors concluded that carnitine may be the key component of the supplement cocktail for improving sperm quality. (Italian Archives of Urology and Andrology, September 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Prospective open-label study on the efficacy and tolerability of a combination of nutritional supplements in primary infertile patients with idiopathic astenoteratozoospermia.

 

Vitamin D helps leg ulcers heal
In this double-blind, placebo controlled trial, 26 patients Vitamins, Vitamin Dwith leg ulcers were given either placebo or 50,000 IU vitamin D weekly for two months.  Leg ulcer size, blood levels of vitamin D and pain was measured before and after the two month trial.  In the vitamin D group, leg ulcers were reduced in size by 28% while the placebo group had only a 9% reduction in ulcer size. The authors stated “there was a trend toward better healing in those with vitamin D reposition.” (Journal of Brazilian College of Surgeons, October 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin D and skin repair: a prospective, double-blind and placebo controlled study in the healing of leg ulcers.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

 

Complexity of methylation reactions gains insightmethyl donor, nutrients
This review emphasizes how methyl donor nutrients such as choline, folic acid and methionine interact and how consumption (via supplement or food) of one can have sparing effect s on another – such as choline’s  sparing effect on methionine, for example. (Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, January 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT The nutritional burden of methylation reactions.
LINK to FLYER on NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS in METHYLATION

For more journal articles by disease or nutrient please click here

 

Topics: SpectraCell, serine, micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Cysteine, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, Vitamin B6, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Antioxidants, lipoprotein particle profile, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, diagnostic tools, vitamin, wellness, pregnancy, Serum, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, supplements, Multivitamins, Nutrition, diabetes, immune system, E-zinc, N-acetylcysteine, DNA, Calcium, Fertility, Lipoic Acid, deficiencies, health, Case Study, Omega 3s, Depression, Glutamine, Minerals, Neurotransmitters, Stress, Vitamin B1, micronutrient test, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B2, Nutritional Deficiency, Vitamin B3, cardiovascular disease, Hormones, Reproductive Health, Chromium, Manganese, Muscle recovery, Erectile Dysfunction, infertility, Niacin, Prostate, Energy, Methylation, Carbohydrate Metabolism

SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - volume 6 Issue 11

Posted by Char Perez on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

CLINICAL UPDATE – Nutritional status of mom has major implications foNutrition, Vitamins, vitamin B12r baby 

Three recent studies emphasize the fallacy of the paradigm “baby gets what he needs at the expense of the mother.” In one study done in the Netherlands, researchers evaluated over 3200 mothers for blood folate levels and their children at three years of age for behavioural and emotional problems. Although the implications of low folate status of the mother on neurological development is well established, this study reported that low folate status of the mother is linked with a “higher risk of emotional problems in the offspring.”  An unrelated study in India found a similar result with vitamin B12 and heart function. Cord blood of mothers was compared to the cardiac function of their babies. “Children born to mothers with a lower vitamin B12 status have a reduced cardiac sympathetic activity.”  Finally, a review of studies done between 1999 and 2011 concluded that vitamin D deficiency of mom is linked to gestational diabetes. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2012),(Maternal and Child Nutrition, May 2012),(Journal of Obstetric,  Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, May 2012)

Link to Abstract Maternal folate status in early pregnancy and child emotional and behavioral problems: the Generation R Study.

Link to Abstract Low maternal vitamin B12 status during pregnancy is associated with reduced heart rate variability indices in young children.

Link to Abstract Maternal vitamin d status as a critical determinant in gestational diabetes.

CLINICAL UPDATE - E Zinc deficiency common in diabetics                                                        

Diabetes, E-zinc, serumSerum and intracellular levels were measured in 75 type I and II diabetics and compared to 75 age matched controls.  Zinc levels were significantly lower in diabetic patients.  Authors of the study reported that in vivo and in vitro studies indicate that zinc promotes insulin signalling and supplementation may be a potential treatment in zinc-deficient diabetics. (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, November 2012)   

Link to Abstract Disturbed zinc homeostasis in diabetic patients by in vitro and in vivo analysis of insulinomimetic activity of zinc.

CLINICAL UPDATE – N-acetylcysteine lowers irritability in autistic kids

In this randomized clinical trial on 33 autistic children ages three to ten years old, a dose of 900mg N-acetylcysteine was given twice daily for 12 weeks.   At each 4 week interval, a standardized test was given to measure irritability and behaviour on each child.  After three months, those receiving the high-dose N-acetylcysteine had significant improvements on their irritability compared to the placebo group. (Biological Psychiatry, June 2012)      

Link to Abstract  A randomized controlled pilot trial of oral N-acetylcysteine in children with autism.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin D trial shows it can reduce body fat


vitamin D
In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 77 people were given either 25mμg of vitamin D or placebo for 12 weeks. Researchers concluded that “supplementation with vitamin D3 caused a statistically significant decrease in body fat mass.”  Specifically, the vitamin D group lost six pounds while the placebo group lost an average of only one pound. (Nutrition Journal, May 2012)             

Link to Abstract A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D3 supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women.

Link to Full Text 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin K reduces diabetes risk

diabetes, vitaminsDietary intake of phylloquinone (a form of vitamin K) was assessed in over a thousand men and women.  Those with increased intake of vitamin K hahave lower rates of diabetes.  As a follow up to the study, the people who increased their dietary vitamin K during the follow-up had 51% reduced risk of diabetes. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2012)                                           

Link to Abstract Dietary phylloquinone intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in elderly subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin E kills cancer cells

Cancer Cells Immune SystemThe alpha, delta and gamma tocotrienol forms of vitamin E were evaluated on leukemic cancer cells.  The delta tocotrienol form of vitamin E, which was the most potent in killing cancer cells, changed the DNA of the cancerous cells in such a way that it induced the cancerous cells to undergo apoptosis (cell death). (Microscopy and Microanalysis, June 2012)      

 

Link to Abstract Delta- and gamma-tocotrienols induce classical ultrastructural apoptotic changes in human T lymphoblastic leukemic cells.                               

To further enhance your knowledge of nutritional considerations for improved clinical patient care, click here for our webinar series library.       

Topics: cancer cells, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin, nutrition testing, wellness, pregnancy, Serum, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, supplements, Multivitamins, Chronic Disease, Weight Loss, Nutrition, diabetes, immune system, expecting mothers, cord blood, cardiac, early pregnancy, E-zinc, N-acetylcysteine, autism, body fat, Vitamins, DNA, overweight, breast cancer, leukemia, Women's Health

Nutritional Considerations of Weight Management

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 01:13 PM

Weight ManagementPresented by: Ron Grabowski, R.D., D.C.

Topics of Discussion:

  • How does inflammation play a role with weight loss?
  • Learn why a high protein diet may be detrimental in a long-term weight loss program.
  • Why should we focus on the micronutrients during weight loss?
  • Case Study Review

Listen to the archived webinar presentation as well as download the presentation slides!

 

Topics: Weight Loss, Nutrition, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Weight Gain, Protein

Recorded Webinar: Nutritional Considerations of Allergies and Asthma

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 @ 10:55 AM

Allergies & AsthmaPresented by: Ron Grabowski, R.D., D.C.

Topics of Discussion:
  • How does the gastrointestinal tract affect allergies?
  • What nutrients act as antihistamines?
  • How do certain medications for asthma affect an individual's nutritional status?
  • Why is magnesium so important to the COPD patient?
Click HERE to listen to our recorded webinar as well as download the corresponding presentation slides.

Topics: Magnesium, Nutrition, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Gastrointestinal Tract, Allergies, Antihistamines, Asthma

Telomeres, Hormones and Aging

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 @ 10:51 AM

Guest blog by: Dr. Mike Carragher

Telomere TestingTelomere length gives us a unique view of how your cells are aging.  Knowing this can help you decide how aggressive your anti-aging program should be.

Telomeres are sections of genetic material at the end of each chromosome whose primary function is to prevent chromosomal “fraying” when a cell replicates. Think of the plastic tip of shoelaces, protecting the shoelace.  Telomeres protect chromosomes in the same way.  As a cell ages, its telomeres become shorter. Eventually, the telomeres become too short to allow cell replication, the cell stops dividing and will ultimately die – a normal biological process.

Telomere testing measures the ‘biological age’ of your cells.  It is one of the newest advancements in age management and anti-aging. It’s a simple blood test. Telomere testing determines the length of a person’s telomeres in relation to their age.

Evaluation of telomere length is an indicator of how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Therapies directed at slowing the loss of telomere length may slow aging and age-related diseases.  Therefore it has a role in any anti-aging/age management program.

Hormones & TelomeresHormones and Telomere Length
Scientists have found that telomerase, the enzyme that repairs and regulates telomeres, is controlled and activated by hormones.  Therefore, in order to keep ourselves healthy and with a high quality of life, I believe we must maintain all our hormones at optimal levels. Letting those hormones drop is to let the telomeres get short. When telomeres get short, cells age. Aging causes disease, and death follows.  Studies show that optimal levels of the hormones testosterone and estrogen levels help preserve telomere length.

Optimal Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels are also associated with telomere length.  A 2009 study published by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism looked at 2744 men and found that telomere length was positively associated with serum IGF-1 levels.  IGF-1 is the indirect measurement of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) in the body. This positive association is reassuring to me when it comes to optimizing HGH levels.

Nutrition & TelomereNutrition and Telomere Length
An inflammatory diet, or one that increases oxidative stress, will shorten telomeres faster. This includes refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and saturated fats. A diet with a large amount and variety of antioxidants that improves oxidative defense and reduces oxidative stress will slow telomere shortening. Consumption of 10 servings of fresh and relatively uncooked fruits and vegetables, mixed fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, cold water fish, and high quality vegetable proteins will help preserve telomere length.

Lifestyle and Telomere Length
One should achieve ideal body weight and body composition with low body fat (less than 22 % for women and less than 16 % for men). Decreasing visceral fat is very important. Regular targeted aerobic and resistance exercise, using burst training to optimize human growth hormone release, sleeping for at least 8 hours per night to optimize hormones, stress reduction to optimize cortisol, and discontinuation of all tobacco products are strongly recommended.

NutritionNutritional Supplements and Telomere Length
Oxidative stress will shorten telomere length and cause aging in cellular tissue. Antioxidant supplements can potentially reduce oxidative stress very effectively, which will ultimately improve oxidative defenses, mitochondrial function, reduce inflammation and slow vascular aging. Targeted supplementation is key, as antioxidants work synergistically and must be balanced to work most effectively and avoid inducing a pro-oxidant effect. My favorite antioxidants are Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Melatonin, and Marine Krill Oil.

When Should Testing Be Considered?
I recommend testing once per year to evaluate the rate of aging and make adjustments in hormonal optimization, nutrition, nutritional supplements, weight management, exercise and other lifestyle modifications known to influence telomere length.

To learn more about telomere and micronutrient testing, please visit our website at www.spectracell.com.

Dr. Mike Carragher

 

Dr. Mike Carragher, M.D.- The Body Well

For more information about our client Dr. Carragher, please visit his blog or contact him at (323) 874-9355.

Topics: micronutrient testing, telomere length, Nutrition, telomere, telomere test, Hormones, Oxidative Stress, Aging, Dr. Mike Carragher