SpectraCell Blog

Why This Mineral (or Lack of It) May Be The Key to Thyroid Problems

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 @ 11:10 AM

thyroid.jpgThe thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces a variety of thyroid hormones. These regulate virtually every aspect of metabolism: body temperature, mood, sex hormones, energy levels, and even impact one’s appearance, from hair and nails to skin and waistline.  Less understood about thyroid hormones is that there are two basic types – T3 and T4 (so named for the number of iodine molecules each has) –  and they serve different biological functions.  T4, which is made in the thyroid gland, serves as the precursor hormone to T3. It is entirely possible, even common, for the thyroid gland to produce plenty of thyroid hormone in the form of T4, but not be converted into T3. Because T3 is the more biologically potent thyroid hormone and acts directly on bodily tissues, one may exhibit signs of hypothyroidism (fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, thinning hair, mood swings, etc) even when T4 is in the normal range. 

It is worth noting that the conversion of precursor thyroid hormone T4 into active thyroid hormone T3 occurs outside the thyroid gland, mostly in the liver and kidneys. This conversion into active thyroid hormone occurs through the action of enzymes that are dependent on the mineral selenium (these enzymes are called deiodinases because they remove aniodine in T4 to convert it to T3).  Therefore, a selenium deficiency can cause a person to be low in active thyroid hormone, even if their thyroid gland is producing plenty of precursor thyroid hormone.  To complicate things, TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is often found to be “normal” despite poor thyroid conversion. In essence, a reliance on simple thyroid tests may suggest a person is not hypothyroid when in fact they are hypothyroid due to a selenium deficiency.  Both low zinc and antioxidant status can also impair the conversion of T4 (precursor) to T3 (active) hormone.  The most concentrated dietary source of selenium is the Brazil nut, because the soil where Brazil nuts are grown is particularly rich in selenium.

Find out whether you have a selenium deficiency today!

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Topics: micronutrient testing, Selenium, Hypothyroidism, Metabolism, thyroid symptoms and solutions, thyroid treatment, Thyroid Issues, selenium testing, how selenium affects thyroid, thyroid hormones, T4, thyroid gland, healthy metabolism, thyroid disease, key to thyroid problems, what causes thryoid problems, selenium deficiency, thyroid stimulating hormone, T3, antioxidant status, thyroid dysfunction

SpectraCell Case Study - Female with Multiple Conditions!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 @ 03:03 PM

In 2006, a 45 year old female with complaints of multiple conditions including hypertension,case study MNT dyslipidemias, insomnia, athralgias, mitral valve prolapse, GERD and HSVI, tried SpectraCell testing only to reveal  deficiencies in key vitamins and minerals. 

This patient experienced malaise fatigue (x3-4years), joint pain, thin nails, sleep onset insomnia and hot flashes.  She had been taking Micardis (40/12.5), Ibuprofen (800mg as needed), vitamin D3 (1,000IU), Lasix (20mg as needed) and Valtrex (500mg daily) for prophylaxis.  Spectracell's micronutrient test revealed deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, CoQ10 and antioxidants.  Based upon her deficiencies, she was administered the following treatment protocol:

  • 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D3
  • 5,000 IU/day of vitamin A
  • 25 mg/day of zinc
  • 300-400 mg/day of magnesium
  • 100 mg/day of CoQ10
  • 400 IU d-alpha tocopherol & antioxidants of vitamin E
  • 100 MCG/day of selenium 

Clinical Outcome:
Fatigue/tiredness improved significantly - she can now do exercises at the gym.  Her nails became stronger and don't break easily.  Joint pains have decreased significantly.  Blood pressure is more controlled.  Insomnia improved and the hot flashes minimized.  Increased focus and concentration at work.  Improved memory compared to before.  Overall quality of life improved significantly.  She can now pursue her hobby (gardening) with enthusiasm and interest.

Follow up Nutritional Testing:
The previous deficiencies were corrected.  New deficiencies were far fewer than before - vitamin B12, selenium and antioxidants.

Conclusion:
She stated she had tried treatments in the past before SpectraCell's micronutrient testing, but nothing had helped her.  Following the testing and then replenishing with supplements in the appropriate dosages, has brought significant positive changes in her day to day functions.

SpectraCell Laboratories is combining the Micronutrient Testing and MTHFR Genotyping as a special package promotion.  To find out more CLICK HERE!




Topics: micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Autoimmunity, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Vitamin A, Selenium, B Vitamins, Antioxidants, Minerals, hypertension, Aging, athralgias, dyslipidemias, HSVI, GERD, insomnia, mitral valve prolapse

Sleep Apnea and the Correlation with Nutrients and Minerals

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 @ 10:52 AM

Cysteine - Oral supplementation with cysteine, the precursor to glutathione, has therapeuticSleep Apnea, Nutrient Correlation Wheel potential for sleep apnea.  Snore time and duration were significantly reduced for patients treated with N-acetyl cysteine compared to untreated sleep apnea patients.

Antioxidant Status - It is well documented that sleep apnea patients have both reduced antioxidant capacity and higher levels of oxidative stress than controls.

Vitamin C - Improves endothelial function (blood vessel health) in sleep apnea patients to levels seen in people without sleep apnea.

Vitamin E - Mitigates the oxidative stress seen in sleep apnea patients; Works synergistically with Vitamin C.

Vitamin A - Sleep apnea patients have low retinol (vitamin A); Retinol suppresses the growth of vascular smooth muscle, a process that causes blood vessels to clog, linking low vitamin A levels to the cardiovascular complications seen in sleep apnea patients.

Vitamin D - People with sleep apnea have a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency; The worse the apnea, the more severe the deficiency; Evidence suggests low vitamin D worsens sleep apnea's negative effect on heart disease risk.

Selenium - In one case report, selenium supplementation completely stopped snoring caused by non-obesity sleep apnea; Selenium's role as a potent antioxidant may reduce the oxidative stress seen in sleep apnea patients.

Copper - Considered a strong predictor of oxidative stress in sleep apnea patients; Copper's role as a key cofactor in the powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD) explains this; SOD is very low in apnea patients.

Minerals - The trace minerals zinc, copper; magnesium, manganese and selenium are critical cofactors for the major antioxidant enzymes, which are important in repairing cellular damage caused by hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in sleep apnea.

Glutathione - Low levels linked to sleep apnea; This powerful antioxidant helps repair liver damage caused by sleep apnea.

Click to download your own copy of the Sleep Apnea Nutrient Correlation Wheel

Topics: micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Cysteine, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, B Vitamins, Copper, Antioxidants, diagnostic tools, deficiencies, Glutathione, Minerals, micronutrient test, Dr. Fred Crawford, Sleep Apnea

Fertility Awareness Week - SpectraCell Female Fertility Chart

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 @ 01:52 PM

Folate - Protects genes during rapid cell division which increases likelihood of a healthy 389 Female  Fertility Wheel 2.13 Page 1embryo (via methylation of DNA); Deficiency raises homocysteine which damages reproductive cells.

Vitamin B6  & B12 - Both are needed to convert toxic homocysteine to a benign form; Low homocysteine levels linked to a better chance of pregnancy.

Vitamin C - Increases serum progesterone levels; Induces ovulation in some women; Enhances effect of the fertility drug clomiphene.

Vitamin D - Higher levels linked to better success rates of IVF (in vitro fertilization); Influences production of the sex hormones estradiol and progesterone.

Vitamin E - Protects reproductive cells (follicles); May improve endometrial response (ability of fertilized egg to implant into uterine wall properly) during IVF.

Selenium - Deficiency implicated in miscarriage and infertility; In one trial, 100% of infertile women achieved pregnancy after supplemenation.

Glutathione - Protects eggs (fertilized or not) from damage by reactive oxygen species; Protective action of follicle stimulating hormone on embryonic development is due largely to glutathione synthesis.

Cysteine - N-acetyl cysteine can improve ovulation and pregnancy rates in women with infertility due to PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) that do not respond to fertility drugs; Improves viability of endometrial cells in vitro; Precurso to glutathione.

Antioxidant Status - Reproductive cells, including embryos, are very susceptible to damage from oxidative stress due to the rapid rate of growth; Low antioxidant status can cause infertility or miscarriage.

Minerals - Several enzymes needed to protect a woman's reproductive organs (such as superoxide dismutase) are dependent on the trace elements, zinc, copper and magnesium.

Click here to download your own copy of the Female Fertility Wheel

 

Topics: micronutrient testing, Cysteine, folate, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Vitamin B6, B Vitamins, Antioxidants, Vitamin B12, Fertility, deficiencies, deficiency, Minerals

Nutrient Correlation Wheel on Estrogen

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 @ 10:52 AM

Estrogen wheel

Choline - Estrogen stimulates the breakdown of phosphatidylcholine (cell membrane) so those with low estrogen (postmenopausal women) require more choline; Detoxifies excess estrogen via methylation pathway.1,32,33

Folate -  Deficiency reduces estrogen levels; Excess folate is linked to some types of estrogen-related breast cancer; Detoxifies excess estrogen via methylation pathway; Regulates estrogen’s effect on genes.1,2,3

Vitamin B6 - Protects genes from estrogen-induced damage thus lowering risk of hormone related cancers; Detoxifies excess estrogen via methylation pathway; Estrogen-based oral contraceptives cause B6 deficiency.4,5,6,7

Vitamin D - Regulates synthesis of estradiol and estrone; Enhances estrogen’s protective effect on bones.8,9,10

Vitamin C - Increases the most potent estrogen (estradiol) in women on hormone therapy; Lowers aromatase (enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen) in ovaries.11.12.13

Vitamin K - Inhibits estrogen activity by binding to estrogen receptors; Lowers the ratio of estradiol (strong estrogen) to estrone (weaker estrogen).14,15

Vitamin E - Deficiency impairs estrogen detoxification pathway; Some forms of vitamin E inhibit estrogen action, especially in breast tissue; Low levels linked to higher estrogen.1,16,17

Vitamin A - Helps metabolize the biologically active estrogen (estradiol) to an inactive form (estrone).18,19

Calcium -  Calcium-D-glucarate lowers estradiol levels; Helps breakdown estrogen in the liver and convert it to a less toxic form.1,20,21

Selenium - Estrogen levels affect how selenium is distributed to various tissues in the body.22,23

Magnesium - Cofactor for the enzyme that removes toxic forms of estrogen (catechol-O-methyltransferase); Estrogen alters magnesium levels throughout menstrual cycle.1,24,25,26

Zinc - Estrogen lowers risk of zinc deficiency; Zinc dependent proteins metabolize estrogen.26,27,28

Cysteine -  Prevents oxidation of estrogen into a dangerous form that causes breast cancer.29,30,31

 Click here to download your own Nutrient Correlation Wheel on Estrogen
 

Topics: SpectraCell, Cysteine, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Calcium, Hormones, Estrogen

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 Nutritional Correlation Chart on DEPRESSION

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 @ 05:52 PM

Depression WheelBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person affected with depression.
  • Chromium - Elevates serotonin (feel-good neurotransmitter) levels in the brain; May be particularly effective on eating symptoms of depression such as carbohydrate craving and increased appetite, due to its effect on blood sugar regulation.
  • Magnesium - Deficiency damages NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain, which regulate mood; Well-documented anti-depressant effects.
  • Vitamin B12 - Depression may be a manifestation of B12 deficiency; Repletion of B12 to adequate levels can improve treatment response; B12 deficiency common in psychiatric disorders.
  • Vitamin B6 - Cofactor for serotonin and dopamine production (feel good chemicals); Studies indicate that low levels may predispose people to depression.
  • Vitamin B2 - Low B2 has been implicated in depression due to its role in methylation reactions in the brain.
  • Vitamin D - Clinical trials suggest increasing blood levels of vitamin D, which is actually a hormone precursor, may improve symptoms of depression.
  • Carnitine - Increases serotonin and noradrenaline which lift mood; In trials, carnitine alleviates depression with few, if any, side effects.
  • Inositol - Influences signaling pathways in the brain; Particularly effective in SSRI  (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) sensitive disorders.
  • Biotin - Part of the B-vitamin complex, biotin deficiency has induced depression in animal and human studies.
  • Antioxidants - Oxidative stress in the brain alters neurotransmitter function; Antioxidants protect our brain, which is very sensitive to oxidation; Several antioxidants – Vitamins A, C and E, Lipoic Acid, CoQ10, Glutathione and Cysteine – play a key role in prevention and treatment of depression.
  • Serine - Regulates brain chemistry; Involved in NMDA receptor function; Acts as a neurotransmitter; Low levels correlate with severity of depression.
  • Zinc - Improves efficacy of antidepressant drugs; Particularly useful for treatment resistant patients; Regulates neurotransmitters.
  • Selenium - Integral part of regulatory proteins (selenoproteins) in the brain; Supplementation trials are promising; May alleviate postpartum depression.

To learn more, visit our Clinical Education Center's handouts section!

 

 

Topics: serine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Antioxidants, Vitamin B12, biotin, inositol, Depression, Vitamin B2, Chromium

NEW! SpectraCell's Asthma Quick Reference Chart

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 @ 10:12 AM

Asthma WheelDuring last week's webinar, "Nutritional Considerations of Allergies & Asthma", we created and offered a copy of our new "Asthma Quick Reference Nutrient Chart".  This visual tool is an excellent resource to emphasize to your patients the many inter-related roles that nutrition plays in disease prevention and management.

View and/or download our flyer on Asthma HERE.

You can also view the rest of our library of quick reference nutrient charts HERE. Each chart is available as an individual handout and includes references posted on the reverse side. Our clients can order supplies by calling us at 800-227-5227 or visiting our Physician Access Center.


Topics: Coenzyme Q10, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, Vitamin B6

Nutritional Considerations of Pain

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 @ 09:20 AM

PainBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person affected with body pain.

  • Cysteine - reduces pain caused by systemic inflammation due to its potent antioxidant properties.
  • Inositol - in animal studies, treatment with inositol induces antinociception (pain reduction).
  • Oleic Acid - this fatty acid is a precursor of oleamide, an analgesic that affects neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), all of which play a role in pain signaling.
  • Carnitine - deficiency of this amino acid may manifest as muscle weakness, pain (myalgia) or neuropathy. Supplementation reduces several types of chronic pain.
  • Magnesium - lowers pain by blocking NMDA receptors in spinal cord; effective in reducing post-operative pain.
  • Minerals:
    • Manganese - a cofactor for the potent antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which fights free radicals, a known source of pain.
    • Copper - supplementation can relieve arthritic pain.
    • Selenium - treatment with this mineral improves muscle pain in deficient patients.
    • Zinc & Calcium - research suggests both play a role in the transmission of pain signals through nerves.
  • Choline - activates specific receptors in brain and spine that lower acute pain.
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12 - these produce a dose dependent decrease in various kinds of pain (heat, pressure, chemical); increases sensitivity to pain meds; their effect is likely mediated through serotonergic neurotransmitters.
  • Vitamin D - deficiency often presents clinically as muscle or bone pain.
  • Lipoic Acid - very effective treatment for neuropathic pain.
  • Antioxidants - clinical trials show antioxidant therapy is an effective treatment for chronic pain
    • Vitamin E - reduces neuropathic pain
    • Vitamin C - can lower morphine consumption after surgery
    • Coenzyme Q10 - relieves statin-induced myopathy.

Download our 1-page flyer which illustrates the information above, HERE!

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Copper, Antioxidants, Pain, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, inositol, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Manganese

Nutritional Considerations of Fibromyalgia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

Fibromyalgia PatientBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person with Fibromyalgia.
  • Carnitine - deficiency causes muscle pain due to inefficient cellular energy metabolism (mitochondrial myopathy) which presentas as fibromyalgia.
  • Choline & Inositol - altered levels of both nutrients seen in fibromyalgia; choline & inositol are involved in pain perception.
  • Serine - blood levels of this amino acid are much lower in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Vitamin D - low levels impair neuromuscular function and cause muscle pain. Deficiency is common in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Vitamin B1 - Thiamin (B1) deficiency mimics fibromyalgia symptoms including serotonin depletion (decreased paing threshold), a decrease in repair enzymes (muscle soreness) and poor energy production (muscle fatigue).
  • Antioxidants - low antioxidant status increases pain in fibromyalgia, which is often considered an oxidative stress disorder.
  • Zinc - blood levels of zinc are associated with a number of tender points in fibromyalgic patients.
  • Magnesium - involved in pain perception pathways and muscle contraction; treatment with magnesium can improve tenderness and pain.
  • Selenium - deficiency is linked to fibromyalgia; in one trial, symptoms improved in 95% of patients supplemented with selenium for at least 4 weeks.

Download our 1-page flyer which illustrates the information above, HERE!

Topics: serine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Selenium, Antioxidants, Fibromyalgia, inositol, Vitamin B1