SpectraCell Blog

Vitamin K May Boost Performance in Athletes

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

cyclist-1.jpegVitamin K is often regarded as a nutrient for improving heart health, lowering cancer risk, and increasing bone density, but it also appears to improve fitness even in healthy athletes. Like most nutrients, it seems to have quite versatile roles.

In this small study, 26 trained male and female athletes were administered placebo or vitamin K2 supplements for eight weeks while they maintained their regular exercise routines. At the beginning of the study and after eight weeks, each person completed a fitness test on an exercise machine designed to quantify their physical work load, oxygen consumption, respiratory rate, cardiac output, and heart rate.  

Vitamin K2 supplementation was associated with a 12% increase in cardiac output (volume of blood that the heart is capable of pumping per beat). The authors suggest that vitamin K2, which has previously been shown to play a role in energy metabolism (especially in tissues with high energy requirements such as skeletal muscle and heart) might be considered in healthy athletes to improve performance. 

For more details on the cited paper, click here for a link to the abstract, “Oral Consumption of Vitamin K2 for 8 Weeks Associated With Increased Maximal Cardiac Output During Exercise,” published in the July 2017 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 

Topics: micronutrients, Vitamin K, Nutrition, Nutrition and Sports Performance, Vitamin K and Sports Performance, Vitamin K and Heart Health

One-Third of Americans Have at Least One Micronutrient Deficiency

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 @ 04:03 PM

Using data from the government-sponsored research program National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a group of researchers compiled data on seven vitamins from over 15,000 people in the US. They determined that 31% of the American population is at risk for at least one vitamin deficiency; 23% of Americans are at risk for deficiency in at least two vitamins, and 6% are at risk for three or more vitamin deficiencies.

The data came from a variety of sources: dietary recall, reported supplement use, and lab results – some information less quantifiable than others. Researchers concluded that the most common vitamin deficiency in the United States is vitamin B6, of which a staggering 20% of Americans are deficient. However, scientists concede that biomarkers of nutrient status are affected by inflammation, suggesting that deficiency rates may be even higher. In addition, nutrient status did not correlate with dietary intake (according to their data), which is not surprising given that determining specific deficiencies via dietary intake is notoriously difficult to quantify. Dietary recall is rarely accurate; even if intake is measured with precision (this is difficult to do and therefore unlikely), absorption of said nutrients is an entirely different problem (itself nearly impossible to assess). A review of the available literature supports the view that a one-size-fits-all approach to micronutrient requirements is both outdated and inaccurate.  

The investigators stated that “sub-clinical deficiency symptoms for many vitamins and minerals are non-specific, and may include fatigue, irritability, aches and pains, decreased immune function, and heart palpitations,” all of which further complicate the quantification of micronutrient deficiency. Functional measurement of intracellular micronutrient status may gain attention as studies like this are published.

For details, click HERE for a link to the abstract. Read the full paper HERE.

Topics: Nutrition, micronutrient deficiency, micronutrient status, vitamin B6 deficiency, sub-clinical deficiencies, intracellular micronutrient status

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