SpectraCell Blog

Studies Show How Micronutrients can Help

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 @ 03:04 PM

Vitamin D protects telomeres: a randomized, controlled trialTelomeres

Telomerase activity was measured before and after 37 people were given either placebo or about 2000IU of oral vitamin D supplements per day for 16 weeks.  Serum vitamin D levels for those taking the supplement increased almost 200%.  The telomerase activity increased over 19% as well, while the telomerase activity of those on placebo did not change. (International Journal of Obesity, June 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Increased telomerase activity and vitamin D supplementation in overweight African Americans.
LINK to FLYER ON NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS WITH TELOMERES

Vitamin C helps antidepressant drug work better
Vitamin C In this randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial, a group of patients with major depressive disorder (n=12) were given fluoxetine plus 1000mg of vitamin C daily and compared to a group (n=12) that were given fluoxetine plus placebo.  After six months, those receiving vitamin C in conjunction with fluoxetine showed a significant decrease in symptoms when evaluated using three different standardized depression rating systems compared to the placebo group. (Nutrition Journal, March 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT Efficacy of vitamin C as an adjunct to fluoxetine therapy in pediatric major depressive disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to FLYER ON NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN DEPRESSION

Serine improves ADHD symptoms
serine resized 600In this randomized, double-blind trial, 36 children diagnosed with ADHD received either 200mg of phosphatidylserine or placebo daily for two months.  Those receiving phosphatidylserine showed improved memory, attention and control of impulses compared to placebo.  Serine’s key role in psychiatric and neurological health has been gaining attention from studies such as this.  The authors concluded that phosphatidylserine “may be a safe and natural nutritional strategy for improving mental performance.”
(Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, March 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT The effect of phosphatidylserine administration on memory and symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
LINK to FLYER ON NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN ADHD

Are micronutrients underrated when it comes to pregnancy chances in assisted reproduction?
pregnancy resized 600Several recent studies are suggesting that micronutrient status prior to and during pregnancy should get more attention.  One study showed that low blood values of B vitamins and high homocysteine in mid pregnancy reduced fetal growth rates.  Another study showed that low homocysteine, determined by B vitamin status, was linked to a better chance of pregnancy in women undergoing assisted reproduction.  Yet another study showed that subfertile women undergoing ovulation induction who were taking a multi-micronutrient vitamin were more likely to get pregnant than women who took only a folic acid supplement.  Finally, a recently published review demonstrates how increasing a woman’s ability to fight oxidative stress increases her chances of successful pregnancy via assisted reproduction.
(Maternal of Child Nutrition, April 2013)
(Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, April 2012)
(Reproductive Biomedicine Online, January 2012)
(Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, June 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 and homocysteine: impact on pregnancy outcome.
LINK to ABSTRACT
The association between homocysteine in the follicular fluid with embryo quality and pregnancy rate in assisted reproductive techniques.
LINK to ABSTRACT Prospective randomized trial of multiple micronutrients in subfertile women undergoing ovulation induction: a pilot study.
LINK to ABSTRACT The effects of oxidative stress on female reproduction: a review.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to FLYER ON NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS IN FEMALE FERTILITY

Study sheds light on CoQ10’s role in healthy spermsperm resized 600
Sixty infertile men were given 200mg of CoQ10 or placebo for 3 months.  CoQ10 lowered oxidative stress in semen (measured by isoprostanes and superoxide dismutase activity) and improved sperm function significantly. (Andrologia, January 2013)

LINK to ABSTRACT Effect of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation on antioxidant enzymes activity and oxidative stress of seminal plasma: a double-blind randomised clinical trial.

 

For more information on micronutrients and telomeres CLICK HERE

 

Topics: SpectraCell, serine, micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Antidepressants, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Telomere testing, telomere, deficiency, micronutrient test, ADHD, Nutritional Deficiency, Heart Health, Nutrient, telomere test, Hormones, Aging, Reproductive Health, infertility, Testosterone, Women's Health

Telomeres, Hormones and Aging

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

Guest blog by: Dr. Mike Carragher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Mike Carragher

 

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

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

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

Determine How Fast You Are Aging

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 11:41 AM

True Cellular Age

What are telomeres? Telomeres are sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome that serve as a cap to your genetic material. Every time a cell replicates, its telomere will become shorter. Shorter telomeres imply a shorter life span for a cell.

What effect does telomere length have on my health and wellness?

Age adjusted telomere length is the best method to date to assess biological age using structural analysis of chromosomal change in the telomere. Serial evaluation of telomere length is an indicator of how rapidly one ages relative to a normal population. Therapies directed at slowing the loss of telomere length may slow aging and age-related diseases.

Does diet have any effect on telomere length and repair?

An inflammatory diet, or one that increases oxidative stress, will shorten telomeres faster. This would include refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and saturated fats. A diet with a large amount and variety of antioxidants that improves oxidative defense and reduces oxidative stress will slow telomere shortening. Consumption of 10 servings of fresh and relatively uncooked fruits and vegetables, mixed fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, cold water fish and high quality vegetable proteins can prevent premature shortening. In addition, caloric restriction is advised combined with an exercise program. Fasting for 12 hours each night at least 4 days per week may also be protective.

Aging CoupleWhat lifestyle modifications are likely to be helpful?

One should achieve ideal body weight and body composition with low body fat (less than 22 % for women and less than 16 % for men). Decreasing visceral fat is very important. Regular aerobic and resistance exercise for at least one hour per day, sleeping for at least 8 hours per night, stress reduction, discontinuation of all tobacco products and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may decrease the rate of telomere loss.

Telomere AnalysisHow do you measure telomere length?

The Patient Telomere Score is calculated based on the patient’s telomere length on white blood cells (T-lymphocytes). This is the average compared to telomere length on lymphocytes from a sample of the American population in the same age range. The higher the telomere score, the “younger” the cells. A Telomere Score that is above the average line is desirable.

What can I do to reduce my rate of telomere loss?

Shorter telomeres have been associated with metabolic abnormalities, obesity and several degenerative diseases including cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease. In vitro studies have shown that telomeres are highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which will shorten telomere length and enhance cellular aging. Minimizing associated risk factors that are linked to shortened telomere activity is recommended and include:

  • Reduce oxidative stress
  • Correct micronutrient deficiencies, especially vitamin D
  • Change sedentary lifestyle/ increase physical activity
  • Avoid weight gain or obesity
  • Correct insulin resistance

Studies have shown that telomere length is strongly associated with CVD risk, nutritional deficiencies (particularly antioxidants) and cancer and testing may be a useful biomarker for risk assessment.



Topics: SpectraCell, telomere length, Telomere testing, telomerase, diagnostic tools, telomere, health, telomere test, Aging, telomere and cancer

The Telomere Buzz is STILL Buzzing...

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 11:58 AM

SpectraCell Laboratories, the nation’s leading nutritional testing laboratory, offers a commercially available telomere analysis. Telomere testing is an innovative cellular aging test that measures a person’s biological age in comparison to their chronological age.

Telomere and ChromosomeTelomeres are sections of DNA at the end of each chromosome that cap genetic material and serve as protective buffers that keep the ends of chromosomes from becoming attached to each other or rearranging. They are often compared to the caps at the ends of shoelaces. Every time a cell replicates, its telomere gets shorter, eventually causing cell death once the telomere attrition has reach its maximum. Measuring telomere length in human lymphocytes is an indicator of cellular aging, and research demonstrates that shortened telomeres are responsible for many of the normal processes of aging.

“Telomeres have been a hot topic for several years now because their link with aging is so strong. Doctors have shown such a persistent interest in telomere testing, especially those whose practices are oriented to anti-aging, that we knew we should invest in it. It’s really cutting edge.” says SpectraCell CEO, William “Chip” Stanberry. “We strive to offer the most informative and innovative diagnostic tests, and our new Telomere Testing is exactly that.”

Telomere CapThe phenomenon of cellular aging was first noted by Professor Lenhard Hayflick in 1961. He discovered that cells cannot divide beyond a specific number of times, a phenomenon called the Hayflick Limit, which we now know is triggered by the cell’s telomeres shortening below a specific threshold. When cells can no longer divide, conditions associated with advanced aging appear.

Telomere length is affected by many factors: age, genetics, lifestyle, disease and pharmaceuticals. Chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and dementia have strong associations with shorter telomeres. But telomere attrition can be mitigated significantly with aggressive lifestyle therapies as well as certain medications. Since deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamins C, D and E can shorten telomeres, it is important to correct such deficiencies. Oxidative stress is another major culprit in telomere shortening so reducing inflammation and shoring up the body’s antioxidant defenses is critical for telomere maintenance. A sedentary lifestyle and excess weight also negatively affects telomere length.

Telomere ReportSpectraCell’s test measures a person’s telomere length. A control gene is also measured and compared to the telomere length, and then results are stated as a ratio. A higher ratio means a longer telomere, and younger biological age. The Telomere Score is also compared to other individuals in the same chronological age group.

This automated test is based on Quantitative Real Time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology and only requires 1 mL of whole blood. When a sample is received at SpectraCell’s Houston laboratory, the white blood cells are broken apart, the DNA is extracted and the telomeric DNA is amplified into a measurable signal. This signal is compared to a control gene of known length and a Telomere Score is generated.

The price of the Telomere Test is affordable and is also covered by insurance. Testing once each year or every other year is suggested to monitor the rate of telomere loss.

Are You a Physician? Become a client and offer Telomere Testing to your patients

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Topics: SpectraCell, telomere length, Telomere testing, telomerase, diagnostic tools, telomere, health, Mortality, telomere test, telomere and cancer, Insurance

The Telomere Buzz

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 06, 2010 @ 10:33 AM

JAMA Telomere Article resized 600

Last year, the Nobel Prize Peace Prize for Medicine was awarded for the research surrounding telomeres and telomerase. Numerous new studies are being published demonstrating the important relationship between telomeres and one's health.To summarize these studies; when telomeres are short, people have a greater risk for age-related problems. People with longer telomeres should age well and live longer. Even though the importance of measuring telomere length is being debated, the evidence is mounting, and arguments supporting telomeres as a marker of health are becoming stronger. Scientists and doctors are acknowledging the importance of measuring telomeres in order to determine biological and cellular age.

For those who are still concerned about the possibility that telomerase activation might promote cancer, the link below features the abstract of the article published this week in JAMA:

"Telomere Length and Risk of Incident Cancer and Cancer Mortality"

Based on the clinical information surrounding telomeres, have you or are you considering adding Telomere Testing to your patient protocol. If so, what treatment strategies are you utilizing?

Topics: telomere length, telomere, telomere test, telomere and cancer