SpectraCell Blog

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

COMING SOON to a Lab Near You! Immunidex...

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 05:21 PM

SpectraCell ImmunidexWhat Does the Immunidex Measure?
A patient’s Immunidex score is one measurement to evaluate a person’s cell-mediated immune system performance. Specifically, it measures T-cell lymphocyte proliferation. Since immune function is a systemic measure of general health, a higher Immunidex score is generally desired since it means a person can respond efficiently not only to exogenous threats such as pathogens or allergens, but also to endogenous threats like tumors. The immune system, comprised of both cell-mediated (Th1) and humoral (Th2) components, when balanced and performing optimally, affords us critical protection and promotes health and wellness.

How is the Immunidex Performed?
A patient’s lymphocytes are isolated from whole blood and introduced to a protein that stimulates growth. The protein mitogen used to trigger mitosis, or cell division, is PHA (phytohemagglutinin), which stimulates T-lymphocytes to proliferate. The proliferative response is measured by the incorporation of radioactive thymidine into newly synthesized DNA. Your patient’s response is compared to responses of a reference population and results are reported to you as an Immunidex score.

Calcium DeficiencyWhat Affects the Immunidex Result?
Micronutrient deficiencies will undermine a person’s immune function, and thus lower the Immunidex. Since the highly complex immune system is dependent on the intracellular availability of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, correcting specific micronutrient deficiencies typically raises the Immunidex and contributes to tangible clinical benefits, such as reduced infections and may assist in achieving Th1/Th2 balance.

How does the Immunidex correlate with antioxidant function?
In general, the higher the antioxidant score (Spectrox™), the higher the Immunidex score. Antioxidant function plays an important role in promoting optimal T-cell (lymphocyte) function. It is important to find out if a patient has deficiencies in specific antioxidant nutrients so they can supplement wisely. But it is also important to measure a total antioxidant function because the metabolic pathways in which antioxidants are involved are Spectroxhighly complex, sometimes redundant and often overlapping. Research confirms that taking excess antioxidants that are not needed (i.e. where no deficiency exists) can actually cause them to become pro-oxidants and decrease antioxidant function.

How is Immunidex related to aging?
As we age, our immune function typically decreases as seen in the figure below. Although many factors are involved in this complicated process of decline, the Immunidex is one of many relevant aging biomarkers since age diminishes the ability of a person’s lymphocytes to respond to challenges. The effects of both good and poor antioxidant function on the Immunidex is shown and emphasizes the importance of testing for antioxidant function (Spectrox™) and individual antioxidant deficiencies.

How do you order the Immunidex?
The Immunidex is part of SpectraCell’s Micronutrient Testing panel. There is no additional charge for this calculated test result. Ordering instructions are the same – same kit, same blood draw instructions.

Please contact your local representative for more details or email us at spec1@spectracell.com with any questions or comments!  Thank you.

Topics: Antioxidants, Nutritional Deficiency, Aging, Spectrox, Immunidex, Immunity

The Role of Micronutrients in Breast Health

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 @ 03:20 PM

Micronutrients and Breast HealthStart with the right building blocks...

Prevention is not simply earlier diagnosis. True prevention starts with your body's foundation - micronutrients.

The role of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in cancer prevention are many - repairing cellular damage in breast tissue, preventing genetic mutations, killing pre-cancerous cells before they multiply and maintaining healthy hormonal balance. Evaluating micronutrient status on the cellular level is where true prevention occurs.

Micronutrients and Breast HealthEvery Woman is Biochemically Unique

Each woman is biochemically unique, and several factors affect her personal nutritional needs - age, lifestyle, metabolism, prescription drug usage, past and present illnesses, absorption rate, genetics and more.

SpectraCell's micronutrient testing measures 33 vitamins and minerals in your body and goes even further - it measures functional, long-term levels within the cell, and evaluates how well your body actually utilizes each nutrient - a more useful measure than the one-size fits all approach to nutrition.

Spectrox blurb resized 600

B Vitamins and Breast Tissue

B vitamins, especially folic acid, can prevent mutations in breast tissue which eventually become carcinogenic. They may also reduce tumors on women with existing breast cancer.

Micronutrients and Breast HealthThe Hormone - Nutrient Connection

Minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and metabolites interact closely with hormones. Improving estrogen metabolism, which is highly dependent on the availability of specific nutrients, reduces risk of many hormone related cancers, including breast cancer.

Research shows that hormone replacement therapy affects minerals such as calcium, copper, chromium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, while reducing important antioxidants like coenzyme Q10 which is needed for heart health. Adequate vitamin D and calcium levels can lower breast cancer risk by more than 70%.

The Micronutrient Test is for YOU

Just one micronutrient deficiency may compromise your ability to fight cancer at the cellular level and several nutrients are critical for maintaining healthy breast tissue. SpectraCell provides a comprehensive nutritional profile specific to YOU. The micronutrient test empowers you and your doctor to correct deficiencies, strengthening your body's foundation for a lifetime of wellness.

Whether you are a patient or a physician, speak to a representative today by calling our Client Services department at 800-227-5227 or emailing us at spec1@spectracell.com.

Micronutrient Testing and Breast Health

Topics: micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Cancer, B Vitamins, breast cancer, Cancer Prevention, Hormones, Spectrox, Free Radicals

CASE STUDY: Female with Fibromyalgia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Aug 09, 2011 @ 03:37 PM

FibromyalgiaPatient was initially seen in January of 2006. She had been diagnosed five years prior with fibromyalgia by her rheumatologist after ruling out other rheumatologic and autoimmune diagnoses. At that time, she was prescribed dulaxetine and gabapentin. Her pain was described as “constant” and “often intense”, limiting her daily activities. She has a history of poor sleep habits and constantly feeling unrefreshed in the morning. Otherwise, osteoporosis and depression were her only other comorbidities. Her daily intake of nutritional supplements included: 1000mg of strontium carbonate, 1200mg of calcium citrate, 400IU of vitamin D in divided doses. Upon physical examination, fifteen of the eighteen FMS points were positive upon 5kg of digital pressure. Sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia (SEA) occurred at 140 mm Hg of pressure. Only mild hypertonicity was found throughout her upper trapezii and paraspinal musculature. SpectraCell testing revealed functional intracellular deficiencies of vitamin B6, vitamin D, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10. Her total antioxidant function measured 51.2%. Based upon these deficiencies, she was administered the following daily nutritional supplement protocol:

  • B-Complex weighted with extra B6 (250mg)
  • 500mg of magnesium glycinate
  • 1000IU of vitamin D3
  • 200mg of Coenzyme Q10

She was also instructed to consume one cup of pomegranate juice per day. Foods containing the deficient nutrients were advised to be consumed.

SpectroxFollow up SpectraCell testing was performed six months later.

All deficiencies were resolved except for CoQ10. Her SPECTROX™ results increased to 68.1%. Sphygmomanometry-evoked allodynia (SEA) occurred at 170 mm Hg of pressure. Overall, her fibromyalgia symptoms were greatly improved. She was able to perform more of her activities without “suffering the consequences”. She still had some pain from the fibromyalgia, but this was only a “shadow” of the previous pain. In addition, she is waking up in the morning with more energy. Her rheumatologist has taken her off gabapentin and duloxetine. It was recommended to increase CoQ10 to 300mg per day and continue at a lower dose of the daily protocol until following up with another SpectraCell test in one year.

describe the imageB6 and magnesium synergistically assist the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin (which, in turn, is converted into melatonin). As a result, improvements in sleep and mood resulted. Magnesium has been used as a treatment for FMS for many years. However, SpectraCell can differentiate those patients who will better respond, thereby saving everyone time, money, and pain. Magnesium is the body’s ‘calcium channel blocker’ in the NMDA receptor, preventing the release of Substance P and various inflammatory cytokines. CoQ10 is the electron transporter than facilitates ATP production. Although in previous studies serum levels of CoQ10 (not intracellular levels) were found to be normal in FMS patients, one study demonstrated that many patients did improve when administered Coq10. Perhaps, intracellular studies would have clarified which patients were truly deficient and, therefore, would benefit for CoQ10 therapy. Vitamin D has entered as a potential key substance in evaluating fibromyalgic patients. Studies have shown that serum levels of 25-OH vitamin D correlate inversely with depression and pain of FMS. One of the symptoms of moderate Vitamin D deficiency is wide spread muscle pain. It is now commonly used in various autoimmune disorders. Being that Vitamin D is a potent antioxidant, this might have been responsible for part of the improvement in this patient’s SPECTROX™ test.

For more information on our micronutrient test, click here.

For additional case studies, click here.

 

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Fibromyalgia, Spectrox

Using Micronutrient Testing to Improve the Management of Autoimmune Conditions

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jul 25, 2011 @ 10:09 AM

Autoimmune Disorders and MNTAutoimmune conditions are a rapidly growing segment of the medical population. They go by such names as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease just to name a few. The noted growth of these conditions appears to be related to many factors, including increased stressors, poor diet, and degradation of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract allowing formation of a hyperpermeable gut.

Management of these conditions is not always a straightforward process and most therapies have traditionally centered on reducing inflammation. However, long term management of autoimmune conditions requires not only reducing the total inflammatory burden, but also working to add balance to the immune system. This is dependent on the function of the cells of the immune system. Therefore, having an assessment method that directly targets the cells of the immune system would serve as an invaluable tool in the management of autoimmune conditions.

One of the hallmarks of autoimmune conditions is that they promote the destruction of a large amount of tissue secondary to inflammation. Typically when this occurs, the ability of the cells to resist further destruction is reduced, leaving them even more susceptible. Micronutrient testing offers insight into the ability of the cells to resist tissue destruction. When levels of SpectraCell’s novel Spectrox marker start to drop, it is an indication that the tissues are no longer able to resist the inflammation. This is generally accompanied by lower levels of selenium and vitamin E since these nutrients serve to protect the lipid bilayer cell wall.

Blood CellsThe nutrient test goes beyond simply relaying the degree of destruction associated with autoimmune conditions. It also provides insight into where the destruction may be coming from. Autoimmune diseases are noted for a lack of regulation of the immune system. During states of autoimmunity, the T lymphocytes known specifically as T regulatory cells lose their ability to guide the appropriate type of immune response. The misguidance of the ideal immune response is what eventually manifests as the fulminant inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases. Proper function of the T regulatory cells is dependent on vitamin D, glutathione and omega 3’s. A deficiency in any of these nutrients opens the door to immune system dysfunction and increased autoimmunity. Lower levels of glutathione and vitamin D appear to be most representative of the state of the T regulatory cells and the likelihood of dysfunction. When these levels are low, especially glutathione, it can be noted that the inflammatory burden has become overwhelming. Ironically, the micronutrient test is probably one of the better suited tests to pick up the needed repletion of these nutrients since it is looking directly at the T lymphocytes.

An area that appears to open the door to autoimmunity is a breakdown in the integrity of the gastrointestinal lining, also referred to as a hyperpermeable gut. Nutrients such as glutamine, vitamin A and zinc are needed to maintain the integrity of these cells. As these nutrients trend lower, the suspicion of the gastrointestinal tract as a player in the autoimmunity milieu grows.

While not the only test warranted in managing autoimmunity, micronutrient testing should be one of the first considerations as it provides a window into not only areas that contribute to the autoimmune process, but also details the specific nutrients needed to manage it.

Dr. Arland HillArland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN - Complete Care Chiropractic and Wellness

For more information about our client Dr. Hill, please visit his website or his blog. Or contact him at 281-557-7200.

 

 

 

Topics: micronutrient testing, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, immune system, Omega 3s, Glutamine, Glutathione, Inflammation, Spectrox, Dr. Arland Hill

Athletes at Risk for Multiple Nutrient Deficiencies

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jul 07, 2011 @ 04:20 PM

Guest Blog by Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN

Athlete RunningMost athletes become very driven to excel in the sport in which they compete.  These aspirations require great dedication to not only a regimented training schedule, but also to higher intensity levels and training volume.  Regardless of the sport, great demands are placed on the bodies of athletes.  Most of these are secondary to higher levels of oxygen uptake, constant flirting with catabolism and the need to generate energy more frequently.  Most of these are related to nutrient status in some way and underscore the importance of an athlete maximizing their training routine, but also their diet and supplement regimen to stay at peak performance.

The final stages of energy production are dependent on adequate supplies of oxygen.  Without oxygen, fatigue and lethargy quickly set in and the ability to produce ATP, the primary energy molecule, is quickly curtailed.  While this is an issue for some athletes, the opposite is true for the majority of the athletic population.  Most athletes are constantly pushing themselves, thus the need for greater levels of oxygen.  With more oxygen come higher levels of oxidative stress, also termed free radical production.  This is characteristically noted as low or marginally low vitamin E, selenium, glutathione and Spectrox.  This pattern presents as a result of the damage brought forth by oxidative stress.  The lower nutrient profiles are the efforts of the body to offset this damage.  Ironically, this is a pattern similar to that seen in some chronic disease states.

RunningIt is almost impossible to train at a higher level and not undergo some degree of catabolism.  The key however is to minimize this breakdown process and compliment it with an anabolic, or building response.  Maintenance of an anabolic state is imperative to continued progression.  Many areas are sacrificed when the balance between anabolism and catabolism is lost.  One area that appears to be most affected is protein balance.  Protein balance can be monitored through glutamine stores.  Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue, is rapidly processed during higher intensity activity.  The affects don’t just end at muscle tissue however, but cross over into gastrointestinal health and immune function.  This in part explains why athletes become more susceptible to changes in immune health when they are really pushing themselves.

BikingThe ability to perform at the highest level requires the immediate need to produce energy.  Energy production is not one step, but multiple.  Moreover it is a factor of being able to derive energy from all the major macronutrients; carbohydrates, fats and protein.  These macronutrients require many of the B vitamins as well as some of the minerals to help produce energy.  Apart from those nutrients, the last step in energy production, also known as the electron transport chain, requires reliable amounts of CoQ10.  Conversely, energy production cannot be limited to just the energy production pathways, but must also be linked to the delivery of oxygen as the aerobic energy cycles are far more efficient.  This requires healthy red blood cells, for which the nutrients B12, folate, iron and copper are required.

While athletes trying to achieve excellence must put in the necessary hours of training, they must also properly fuel their body and monitor the need to support it nutritionally.  Routine micronutrient testing provides a window into the metabolic needs of the athlete helping them to achieve maximum performance.

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.

 

 

 

Topics: micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, folate, Vitamin E, Selenium, B Vitamins, Copper, Vitamin B12, supplements, immune system, deficiencies, Glutamine, Glutathione, Iron, Oxidative Stress, Spectrox, Energy, Free Radicals, Athletes, Performance

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

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

The Role of Micronutrients in Heart Disease

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 @ 01:56 PM

Is Your Heart at Risk?

 

 

There is compelling evidence that deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and its symptoms. Similarly, the use of many drugs in treating heart disease often lead to various nutrient deficiencies.

Micronutrients and High Blood Pressure:

High blood pressure can result in physical damage to thMicronutrients and High Blood Pressuree walls of our blood vessels. Although the causes of hypertension often overlap, micronutrient deficiencies can cause or worsen this condition. Several mineral deficiencies such as zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium have been linked to high blood pressure.

Research also suggests that a high level of oxidative stress eventually takes its toll on our arteries, ultimately causing hypertension. Several studies of coenzyme Q10 lowered blood pressure significantly. The antioxidant vitamins C and E help blood vessels maintain their flexibility, allowing them to easily dilate and contract. The powerful antioxidant lipoic acid reduces blood pressure by inhibiting inflammatory responses in the blood vessels. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to hypertension because it contributes to endothelial dysfunction, a condition where the lining of blood vessels cannot relax properly and secrete substances that promote inflammation of the blood vessel lining.

Prevent Arterial "Scarring":

Vitamin B6, B12, folate, serine and choline are all necessary to properly metabolize homocysteine and reduce the risk of arterial scarring. In fact, B-vitamin therapy has been an effective treatment for reducing heart disease and blood pressure.

Keeping the Heart Muscle StrongKeeping the Heart Muscle Strong:

The heart’s requirement for energy compared to other muscle tissues is incredibly high. Carnitine is an amino acid that facilitates the transport of fatty acids into heart cell mitochondria, thus helping the heart meet its strong demand for chemical energy. It also helps muscles, including the heart, recover from damage, such as from a heart attack. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is another key component in energy metabolism by helping the heart increase its pumping strength. Deficiencies of vitamin B1 have been found in patients with congestive heart failure, as long-term use of diuretic drugs, which are often prescribed to those patients, deplete the body’s storage of thiamine. Coenzyme Q10 is also required by cardiac tissue in large amounts to properly function. Statin drugs deplete the body of CoQ10, so deficiencies of CoQ10 in statin-users are particularly common.

Heart Disease is an Inflammatory Process:

Scientists now emphasize that heart disease is actually an inflammatory condition within the blood vessels. Inflammation and oxidative stress work together damaging arteries and impairing cardiac function. Several antioxidant nutrients minimize this inflammatory process.

Glutathione is the most potent intracellular antioxidant and actually helps to regenerate other antioxidants in the body. Cysteine, glutathione, B2, selenium, Vitamin E and Vitamin C work together to reduce oxidative stress throughout the entire cardiovascular system.

How Well Do Your Arteries Fight Oxidative Stress?:

An optimal antioxidant status is particularly important in the Preventing Atherosclerosisprevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Since many antioxidants work together synergistically, measuring a single antioxidant may not provide an accurate picture of total antioxidant function. SpectraCell’s SPECTROX™ score will provide a complete and accurate picture of the overall antioxidant status of patients.

Preventing Atherosclerosis:

One of the major culprits in heart attacks and stroke is the buildup of plaque within the arteries throughout the body. Lipoproteins become dangerous when they are oxidized, making them “sticky” and causing blockage of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Micronutrient deficiencies accelerate atherosclerosis. One study showed that oleic acid (found primarily in olive oil) reduces oxidative damage to lipoproteins. It also facilitates absorption of vitamin A in the gut, which is important because vitamin A is linked to lower levels of arterial plaque, primarily due to its antioxidant effect in protecting lipids from oxidation.

Vitamin K supplementation to deficient people slowed the progression of plaque formation in major arteries. Vitamin B3 (niacin) lowers blood cholesterol (fats in the blood), inhibits the oxidation of LDL, and is currently the most effective drug available for raising the heart-protective, good HDL cholesterol. One study on chemicals made from vitamin B5 (pantothenic acids) showed a decrease in blood triglycerides and cholesterol, and evidence suggests that vitamin E can even retard existing atherosclerosis. Another study showed that inositol, a member of the B vitamin family, decreases dangerous small, dense lipoproteins that easily penetrate blood vessel walls and cause atherosclerosis.

Preventing StrokePreventing Stroke:

A recent study on more than 20,000 people concluded that adequate vitamin C levels reduced risk of stroke by over 40%. Similar studies on calcium, magnesium, folate and biotin all concluded that adequate levels of these nutrients contribute to a reduction in the incidence of stroke.

Share with us your experience with the role micronutrients have played in heart disease with your patient population! Do you have a particular success?

Topics: serine, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Copper, Antioxidants, Heart Disease, Vitamin K, Calcium, Triglycerides, biotin, inositol, Heart Attack, Glutathione, High Blood Pressure, Oxidative Stress, Spectrox, Stroke, Lipoprotein Particles, LDL and HDL