SpectraCell Blog

Autoimmune Update: CoQ10, A New Biomarker for Parkinson's Disease?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jun 06, 2012 @ 05:37 PM

Parkinson's DiseaseGuest Blog by: Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson (D.C.)

As I have explained in another post, my father, grandfather and grandmother all had Parkinson's disease. This study shows promise for current sufferers and adds credence to the concept of why cell membranes need adequate antioxidant protection.You can be sure I take several different antioxidants in addition to eating a large variety of vegetables and fruits known to be rich in antioxidants. It's easy to obtain antioxidants if you eat a lot of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables.

Sir William Richard Gowers Parkinson Disease sketch 1886 2Autoimmune diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Hashimoto's and Celiac disease are all on the rise in the United States and throughout much of the world.

"Studies show that the incidence of multiple sclerosis in Padova, Italy, has risen from less than 100,000 cases in 1979 to over 400,000 in 1999. In Finland, incidence of type 1 diabetes has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years. Additionally, in the United States, celiac disease is more than four times more common today than it was 50 years go. Be sure to read my blog post entitled:
Ten Things You Didn't Know About Gluten and Autoimmune Illness

"These studies show an alarming trend that we believe is occurring throughout the United States and the world. Researchers think that this increase is due to a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. It is imperative that more research projects are developed to explore what in our environment is causing this increased prevalence. Additionally, there is a need to identify more biomarkers in women to determine predisposition to autoimmune diseases so that prevention might be a possibility." (An excerpt from Virginia Ladd's testimony, March 4, 2009)

Autoimmunity is a result of a misdirected immune system that causes one's own immune system to attack the self. There are over 80 known autoimmune diseases. Some of the over 80 autoimmune diseases are lupus, type I diabetes, scleroderma, celiac, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, autoimmune hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves' disease, myasthenia gravis, myositis, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), and Sjogren's syndrome.

The headline for this blog post refers to a study in which 22 patients with Parkinson's Disease were compared to 88 age-matched controls that did not have Parkinson's. Functional levels of several antioxidants - coenzyme Q10, glutathione, selenium, vitamin E and lipoic acid - were measured using SpectraCell's micronutrient testing. A deficiency of CoQ10 occurred in 32% of Parkinson's patients while only 8% of controls were deficient in CoQ10. Interestingly, this was not true for any other antioxidants, leaving authors to conclude that measuring CoQ10 status could determine which Parkinson's patients would benefit from CoQ10 supplements, which has proven to slow the progression of Parkinson's in various clinical trials. (Journal of Neurological Science, April 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in patients with Parkinson's Disease.
LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Karl Johnson

Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, D.C. - Help My Chronic Condition & Pain

For more information about our client Dr. Johnson, please visit his website or his blog. Or contact him at (586) 731-8840.

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Autoimmunity, Parkinsons disease

SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - Volume 6, Issue 5

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, May 31, 2012 @ 03:57 PM

Parkinson's DiseaseCLINICAL UPDATE - COQ10 A NEW BIOMARKER FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE?
In this study, 22 patients with Parkinson’s Disease were compared to 88 age-matched controls that did not have Parkinson’s.  Functional levels of several antioxidants – coenzyme Q10, glutathione, selenium, vitamin E and lipoic acid – were measured using SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing.  A deficiency of CoQ10 occurred in 32% of Parkinson’s patients while only 8% of controls were deficient in coQ10.  Interestingly, this was not true for any other antioxidants, leaving authors to conclude that measuring coQ10 status could determine which Parkinson’s patients would benefit from coQ10 supplements, which has proven to slow the progression of Parkinson’s in various clinical trials. (Journal of Neurological Science, April 2012; Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, December 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in patients with Parkinson's disease.
LINK to ABSTRACT Coenzyme Q10 for Parkinson's disease.

Vitamin D and TestosteroneCLINICAL UPDATE - LOW VITAMIN D AND TESTOSTERONE IS A DEADLY COMBINATION
Testosterone and vitamin D was measured in over 2000 men. Those with a deficiency in both vitamin D and testosterone were more than twice as likely to have a fatal cardiovascular event and over 1 ½ times as likely to have a fatal event that was non- cardiovascular related. (Clinical Endocrinology, February 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Combination of low free testosterone and low vitamin D predicts mortality in older men referred for coronary angiography.

DepressionCLINICAL UPDATE - SMALL CHANGES IN OMEGA 3 INDEX = BIG CHANGES IN DEPRESSION RATES
Omega 3 index and fatty acids were measured in 150 adolescents that had been hospitalized for depression and compared to 161 controls.  For a 1% increase in the omega 3 index, teenagers were 28% less likely to have severe depression.   The omega 3 index is a measure of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoeic acid (DHA) in red blood cells, which is correlates to fatty acid content in other tissues as well. (Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Red blood cell fatty acids are associated with depression in a case-control study of adolescents.

Choline and OffspringCLINICAL UPDATE - CHOLINE STATUS OF MOM AFFECTS HORMONE LEVELS IN OFFSPRING
Pregnant women were given either 930 or 480 mg/day of choline in their third trimester.  After twelve weeks, the group with higher choline intake had babies with less cortisol in their blood, possibly to due improved methylation of DNA in the placenta, which was also measured.  The authors concluded that maternal choline intake affects genes in the offspring that regulate cortisol production. (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, May 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Maternal choline intake alters the epigenetic state of fetal cortisol-regulating genes in humans.

Pain and ShinglesCLINICAL UPDATE - INTRAVENOUS VITAMIN C REDUCES SHINGLES PAIN
In this study, 16 practioners gave vitamin C intravenously to 67 patients with symptomatic herpes zoster pain.  The dosage was 7.5 grams per 50 mL administered for two weeks.  Pain and skin eruptions associated with the shingles (herpes zoster) virus were significantly reduced for up to 12 weeks following injections. (Medical Science Monitor, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Intravenous Vitamin C in the treatment of shingles: Results of a multicenter prospective cohort study.
 
Trans FatsCLINICAL UPDATE - TRANS FATS LINKED TO AGGRESSION
Dietary intake of trans fat was estimated (via dietary survey) on 945 men and women and each rated their irritability and aggressive behaviours with a standardized test.  The authors of the study concluded that ‘this study provides the first evidence linking dietary trans fatty acids with behavioural irritability and aggression.” (PLoS One, 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Trans fat consumption and aggression.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

Browse our archive of all past clinical updates from the past 6 years!



Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Choline, Vitamin C, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, Depression, Aggression, Hormones, Testosterone, Shingles, Trans Fats, Parkinsons disease

Homocysteine is About More than Just Cardiovascular Risk

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jun 14, 2011 @ 11:48 AM

Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

 Homocysteine LevelsHomocysteine came to light in the research on the back of cardiovascular disease. Well respected clinician and researcher Kilmer McCully, MD noted the correlation between cardiovascular disease initiation and development and elevated homocysteine levels. Since this discovery, homocysteine research has uncovered additional areas whereby elevations in homocysteine may be a risk factor for damage.

Homocysteine, an amino acid with several health implications, is a measure of a process known as methylation. Methylation, which is the donation of a methyl or single carbon group, has multiple roles in the body. Some of these include hepatic detoxification, DNA and RNA replication and neurological function. The idea that homocysteine as a measure of cardiovascular is its most useful role short-changes the multitude of other areas where homocysteine has clinical significance.

NeurologyHomocysteine has received recent attention in the area of neurology. Various forms of dementia and neurodegeneration have been linked to homocysteine. Moreover, none of the elucidated pathways have to do with cardiovascular disease or inhibited blood supply to the brain. The two most classical neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease both have links to homocysteine. Alzheimer’s, which is characterized by amyloid and tau protein formation, results in degeneration of the hippocampal region of the brain, where short term memory is formulated and processed into long term memory. Though not completely related to homocysteine accumulation, it does appear that formation of these proteins is in part related to homocysteine. Likewise, elevations in homocysteine are also associated with Parkinson’s and degeneration of the dopamine producing areas and pathways. Worst yet though is that the common treatment for Parkinson’s, levadopa, increases homocysteine levels, making the need for homocysteine lowering therapy even more critical. It can be stated that excess levels of homocysteine increase the risk of whole brain atrophy. However, the impact of homocysteine hardly stops here.

Homocysteine is known to damage soft tissues, but what about the hard tissues of the body such as bone. Elevations alter the structural aspect of the bone making it less dense and ultimately weaker setting the stage for osteoporosis.

Blood CellsThe red and white blood cells are not protected from the effects of homocysteine either. Homocysteine has been shown to directly promote blood clotting through induction of thrombin, a promoter of platelet aggregation. Neutrophils, the first line defense against bacteria and foreign substances, when active present receptors that are sensitive to homocysteine. This promotes additional stimulation of other immune system cells resulting in a heightened response that can be overactive.

Homocysteine can also directly impact how you feel and look. Insulin resistance, a state commonly assessed by higher insulin levels, is tied to homocysteine. Homocysteine elevations impair the ability of the liver to store excess glucose, thus forcing it to stay in the blood stream. This ultimately makes the insulin resistance presentation worse, and since the cells do not get the energy they need, fatigue sets in. To add insult to injury, homocysteine damages both your external skin that the world sees, and also your internal organs. In a nutshell, this can be viewed as universal aging.

If you want to look your best, feel your best, and have an overall state of general wellness, homocysteine levels should be viewed routinely.

Dr. Arland Hill

Arland 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.

Topics: Homocysteine, Cardiovascular Health, wellness, Neurology, Aging, Osteoporosis, Insulin Resistance, Methylation, Alzheimers, Amino Acid, Parkinsons disease

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