SpectraCell Blog

Feeling Fabulous or Fatigued?  (Hint – it’s all in your cells!)

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 @ 12:30 PM

healthy woman.jpgCellular health – whether referring to brain cells, bone cells, or fat cells – impacts the health of the entire body. Health issues may arise and manifest differently for each person depending on one’s unique biochemistry. Some common examples of these manifestations include excess weight, headaches, and dry skin, driven by poor cellular metabolism. Quite literally, health and wellness begin at the cellular level. 

A paradigm shift in women’s healthcare is happening right now.  You may have noticed that much of the focus in medicine today has shifted from disease to prevention; however, what we commonly think of as “preventive” medicine (mammograms, PAP smears) is actually pre-symptomatic screening for earlier disease detection and diagnosis.  Prevention can be facilitated by the optimal nourishment of cells with micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants), as these fuel the cell and are involved in hundreds of metabolic reactions and physiological process. Some of these include detoxification, energy production, neurotransmitter balance, sleep quality, cognition, and immunity. Therefore, micronutrients profoundly affect mood, skin, hormone balance – every organ, endocrine, and body system is impacted. In fact, the nutrient-hormone connection is huge.  Did you know that many female cancers – breast, uterine, ovarian – may occur when estrogen is metabolized into toxic by-products that are not eliminated? To keep estrogen metabolism in the body safe, women are encouraged to focus on these micronutrients:

  • Magnesium activates the enzyme that removes toxic forms of estrogen.
  • Vitamin B6 protects genes from estrogen-induced damage.
  • Vitamin B3 increases adiponectin, a weight loss hormone.
  • Vitamin A regulates leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite.
  • Cysteine prevents toxins in breast tissue from becoming cancerous.

These nutrients and dozens others behave like hormonal housekeepers, and lacking even one of these can set the stage for compromised health: vitamin deficiency can manifest as fairly benign conditions (lack of energy or poor sleep), or more serious illness (allowing the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells to grow and invade healthy tissue).

Because we are all biochemically unique, micronutrient deficiencies may lead to different symptoms in different women. Find out yours, and take steps to correct them, by taking your micronutrient test today.

GET TESTED


 

Topics: micronutrients, vitamin deficiencies, intracellular, Women's Health, Cellular Health, nutrient deficiencies, estrogen metabolism, Nutrient-Hormone Connection

Zinc, the MINERAL you should know about

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, May 07, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

The primary role of zinc is to activate almost 200zinc enzymes with vital roles in cell regulation, immune function, acid/base balance, DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis, lipid metabolism, eicosanoid production, and digestion.

Zinc also is a component of insulin (energy metabolism), thymic hormones (immune function) and gustin (taste acuity).

Deficiency  Symptoms:

Symptoms of zinc deficiency include fatigue, dermatitis, acne, loss of taste, poor wound healing, anorexia, decreased immunity, delayed growth, hypogonadism and delayed sexual maturation, diarrhea, skeletal abnormalities, alopecia, behavioral disturbances, white spots on fingernails, infertility and night blindness.

Those at risk for zinc deficiency include alcoholics, malnourished, malabsorption (Crohn’s Disease, celiac disease), long-term  parenteral nutrition, chronic renal disease, anorexics, dieters, pregnant women, elderly, and sickle-cell disease.

Repletion  Information:

Dietary sources rich in Zinc (per serving) are:

  • Red Meats                              
  • Wheat Germ
  • Seeds                                   
  • Nuts
  • Soybean Products                
  • Legumes
  • Potatoes                                  
  • Zinc-Fortified Cereal Products

Compounds found in meats enhance absorption of zinc from plant sources.

Download SpectraCell's Nutrient Correlation Wheel on Hypothyroidism, fatigue and weight management all showing the correlation with these have with zinc deficiency.

GET TESTED!

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrients, zinc, micronutrient test, vitamin deficiencies

A Look at Carnitine

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 @ 03:37 PM

anatomy of nutrition blank resized 600

L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative of the essential amino acids L-lysine and methonine. The conversion to carnitine requires niacin (B3), vitamins B6 and C, and iron.  It is found in nearly all cells of the body but chiefly in the liver and kidney.  Carnitine is essential for the transportation of long-chain fatty acids across the inner mitochondrial membranes in the mitochondria, where they are metabolized by beta-oxidation to produce biological energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

L- carnitine also is required to remove short- and medium-chain fatty acids from the mitochondria.  This removal optimized energy production by maintaining coenzyme A at optimal levels for normal metabolism and energy production.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Deficiencies of carnitine may result from 1) deficiencies of essential amino acids lysine and methionine, 2) deficiencies of cofactors (B3, C, B6 and iron), 3) defective gastrointestinal function, 4) increased requirement because of high-fat diet, metabolic stress or disease.  The consequences of carnitine deficiency are impaired lipid metabolism and lipid accumulation in skeletal muscles, heart and liver. Patients usually exhibit muscle weakness and fatigue.

Normal heart function depends on adequate concentrations of carnitine.  While the normal heart stores more carnitine than required, if the heart does not have a good oxygen supply, carnitine levels quickly decrease.  This lack of oxygen leads to decreased energy production and increased risk for angina and heart disease.  Carnitine benefits blood lipids by lowering triglycerides and total cholesterol, while increasing HDL.  L-acetylcarnitine (LAC) may be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, senile depression and age-related memory loss.

Download the nutrient correlation chart on Fibromyalgia, Pain and Testosterone all include a deficiency in carnitine.

GET TEST TODAY!

Topics: SpectraCell, Carnitine, Vitamins, deficiency, micronutrient test, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies, weakness

The role Copper plays in YOUR body

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

copperLike most trace minerals, copper acts as an enzyme cofactor in several key metabolic processes in the body.  Among its many functions, copper aids in the formation of bone, hemoglobin and red blood cells, therefore enabling the efficient transport of oxygen throughout the body. 

In addition, copper works in balance with vitamin C and zinc to manufacture elastin (skin protein) as well as collagen and other structural proteins in cartilage and tendons.  It is also involved in the healing process, energy production, hair and skin coloring (production of melanin) and taste sensitivity. 

Copper stimulates the absorption of iron through the copper transport protein ceruloplasmin.  Copper also aids in the metabolism of several fatty acids and helps prevent oxidative damage by serving as a cofactor to superoxide dismutase.  In addition, copper is needed for proper insulation (mylination) of nerve cells and serves as a cofactor for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Due to copper's role in the formation of collagen, copper deficiency can manifest as osteoporosis.  Other possible signs of deficiency include anemia (due to its role in hemoglobin formation), baldness, diarrhea, general weakness, impaired respiratory function, myelopathy, decreased skin pigment, reduced resistance to infection and increased triglyceride levels.  Evidence also links copper deficiency with increased oxidative damage to cell membranes.

Download SpectraCell's Nutrient Correlation Chart on Inflammation and Hypertension, both handouts provide information as to how important is Copper in maintaining overall health.

Check your Copper levels and all other essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and how your immune system is performing. Stop Guessing, Start Testing!

GET TESTED!

 

Topics: SpectraCell, zinc, Copper, immune system, Vitamins, micronutrient test, Inflammation, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies

Calcium the MOST abundant mineral in the body!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 @ 12:54 PM

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, withcalcium 99% residing in bones and teeth. As a component of hard tissues, calcium fulfills a structural role to maintain body size and act as attachments for musculoskeletal tissues. The remaining 1% of calcium is present in blood and soft tissues.

Functions of non-skeletal calcium include: enzyme activation, second messenger roles (transmitting hormonal information), blood clotting, cell and cell organelle membrane function (stabilization and transport), nerve impulse transmission and muscular contraction, tone, and irritability. Calcium levels in the blood are maintained within very strict limits by dietary intake, hormonal regulation and a rapidly exchangeable pool in bone tissue.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Calcium deficiencies are both acute and chronic. Acute calcium deficiency relates to lack of ionized calcium, causing increased muscular and nervous irritability, muscle spasms, muscle cramps and tetany. Chronic calcium deficiency manifests as bone loss disorders (osteoporosis, osteomalacia in adults, rickets in children), tooth decay, periodontal disease, depression and possibly hypertension. Those at risk for calcium deficiency include: malnourished, malabsorption and bone loss disorders. Conditions which are known to decrease calcium uptake or distribution are: decreased gastric acidity, vitamin D deficiency, high fat diets, high oxalate intake from rhubarb, spinach, chard and beet greens, high phytic acid intake from whole grains, high fiber intake, immobilization, faster gastrointestinal motility, psychological stress, thiazide diuretic therapy, aluminum compounds (aluminum-containing antacids, drugs, some parenteral feeding solutions).

View our webinar on Clinical Implications of vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, as well as download a copy of this case study highlighting 52 year old female with muscle aches all include a deficiency in calcium.

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Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrient testing, Vitamin D, Calcium, micronutrient test, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies

The Vitamin You May NOT Know About!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 @ 12:40 PM

Vitamin b5 resized 600

Pantothenate also called Pantothenic acid,  or vitamin B5(a B vitamin), is a water-soluble vitamin. Pantothenic acid plays vital roles in energy production from foodstuffs.

Pantothenate is a component of coenzyme A, which is indispensable for two-carbon unit metabolism (acetyl groups).  Acetyl groups are involved in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and other compounds, as well as synthesis of fats, cholesterol, steroid hormones, porphyrin and phospholipids.

Deficiency symptoms:

Pantothenate deficiency symptoms are thought to be uncommon because of widespread distribution in all foodstuffs. However, human deficiency symptoms may include fatigue, depression, burning feet, dermatitis, burning or pain of arms and legs, anorexia, nausea, indigestion, irritability, mental depression, fainting, hair loss, increased heart rate, and susceptibility to infection.

Repletion Information:

Dietary sources richest in Pantothenate (per serving) include:

  • Nutritional supplements
  • Meats
  • Whole Grain Products
  • Vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Nutritional Yeasts
  • Legumes
  • Wheat Germ
  • Nuts

Download your very own copy of the Nutrient Correlation Chart on Fatigue and a case study on 54 year old with primary symptom of depression

To find out your micronutrients levels, click here!

Topics: SpectraCell, autoimmune diseases, B Vitamins, Nutrition, Dr. Ron Grabowski, deficiency, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies, Vitamin B5, pantothenate

Having problems losing weight? It could be a vitamin K deficiency

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Nov 20, 2013 @ 09:51 AM

Vitamin K is a group of structurally similar, fat-vitamin k
soluble vitamins that th
e human body needs for post translational modification of certain proteins required for blood coagulation, and in metabolic pathways in bone and other tissue.

The primary function of vitamin K is to aid in the formation of clotting factors and bone proteins. It serves as a cofactor in the production of six proteins that regulate blood clotting, including prothrombin. In addition, it helps to form osteocalcin, a protein necessary for the mineralization of bone. Vitamin K also aids in the formation of glucose into glycogen for storage in the liver. In addition, it promotes the prevention and reversal of arterial calcification, plague progression and lipid peroxidation. Deficiency may increase the risk of calcification of arterial walls, particularly in individuals on vitamin D supplementation (Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption). Vitamin K exists in three forms: K1, a natural form found in plants (phylloquinone); K2, which is synthesized in the intestine (menaquinone); and K3, a synthetic form that must be activated in the liver (menadione). Vitamin K is absorbed in the upper small intestines and transported throughout the body in chylomicrons. 

Deficiency Symptoms:

Excessive bleeding, a history of bruising, appearance of ruptured capillaries or menorrhagia (heavy periods) are the most common clinical symptoms of overt vitamin K deficiency, although subclinical deficiency may not affect clotting mechanisms. Due to its critical role in bone formation, long-term vitamin K deficiency may impair bone integrity and growth, eventually predisposing a person to osteoporosis. Antibiotic usage can induce vitamin K deficiency since it upsets the balance of normal intestinal flora. Anticoagulants such as Coumadin and warfarin can also deplete vitamin K by blocking the activation of prothrombin. However, patients on warfarin or other blood anticoagulants should not supplement with vitamin K unless specifically recommended and approved by their physician. Other causes of deficiency include celiac disease, liver disease, certain medications (i.e. aspirin, Dilantin), very high doses of vitamins A and E (over 600 IU) and gastrointestinal disorders associated with the malabsorption of fats, such as bile duct obstruction, pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease. 

Download your very own copy of the Nutrient Correlation Chart on Weight Management the Nutrient Chart and an abstract on adult obesity

To find out your micronutrients levels, click here

 

 

Topics: SpectraCell, Vitamin K, Weight Loss, Vitamins, micronutrient test, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies, Wound Healing

What YOU didn't know about vitamin D

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 @ 01:52 PM

vitamin D Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. Vitamin D is the principle regulator of calcium homeostasis in the body.  It is essential for skeletal development and bone mineralization.  Inadequate exposure to sunlight contributes to vitamin D deficiency.  Vitamin D deficiency in adults can lead to osteoporosis.  Increasing evidence is accumulating that vitamin D may also contribute to antioxidant function by inhibiting lipid peroxidation.  The mechanism of the antioxidant effect is unknown.  Vitamin D is also needed for adequate blood levels of insulin and it also appears to demonstrate both immune enhancing and immunosuppressive effects.

 

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms:

  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Severe asthma in children
  • Cancer

Repletion Information:

Supplemental vitamin D is available as vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.  Vitamin D3 is considered to be the more biologically active form of the vitamin and at this time is the form most recommended for repletion. 

Download SpectraCell's Nutrition Correlation chart referencing the correlation between vitamin D with Estrogen and Testosterone and view our webinar on Clinical Implications of vitamin D and Calcium Deficiencies.

For more information on how to check your vitamin levels click here.

Topics: SpectraCell, Vitamin D, Heart Disease, deficiencies, health, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Heart Attack, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies, Heart Health

What is vitamin B12?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 @ 08:50 AM

Vitamin B12 also known as Cobalamin is a water solublevitamin vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood.  Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins. A series of closely related compounds known collectively as cobalamins or vitamin B12 are converted into active forms methylcobalamin or 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin.

Deficiency symptoms of vitamin B12:

Deficiency symptoms of vitamin B12 are both hematological (pernicious anemia) and neurological.  A megaloblastic anemia may occur because the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency on folate metabolism. Below are examples of clinical signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • shortness of breath

  • fatigue

  • weakness

  • irritability

  • sore tongue

  • decrease in blood cell counts (red, white and platelets)

Neurological symptoms are manifested as a progressive neuropathy, with loss of position sense and ataxia.  If vitamin B12 repletion is not initiated, permanent neurological damage, including degeneration of nerves and spinal cord can develop. Evidence suggests that mental symptoms of depression and fatigue are detectable before anemia develops.  Vitamin B12 is necessary to prevent accumulation of homocysteine, a toxic metabolic byproduct linked to cardiovascular disease and connective tissue abnormalities.  Hypochlorhydira and gastrointestinal disturbances are frequently associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Repletion Information:

Dietary sources for cobalamins are strictly from animal foodstuffs. Vitamin B12 is not found in plant foodstuffs. Dietary supplements can also contain vitamin B12. Since the absorption and intracellular activation of oral vitamin B12 are frequently difficult, consideration should be given to injectable forms of vitamin B12. 

Download SpectraCell's Nutrition Correlation chart referencing the correlation between vitamin B12 with Telomeres as well as watch our webinar "Nutritional Considerations of Weight Management."
Case Study, 11 year old girl suffers from seizures, click here to view the correlation between a deficiency in vitamin B12 with seizure episodes.

Topics: SpectraCell, Vitamin B12, Vitamins, micronutrient test, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies

Is vitamin B2(Riboflavin) important? YES

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 @ 01:46 PM

Vitamin B2 more commonly known as vitamin B2Riboflavin is a micronutrient with a key role in maintaining health.  Vitamin B2(Riboflavin) helps to metabolize foodstuffs into energy.  Riboflavin(vitamin B2) is converted into its active forms, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and flavin mononucleotide (FMN).  FAD and FMN are primarily involved as cofactors in oxidation-reduction reactions for flavoproteins, essential for cellular energy production and respiration.  Vitamin B2(Riboflavin) has a role in antioxidant status by activating glutathione reductase, which regenerates reduced glutathione.


Vitamin B2(Riboflavin) Deficiency Symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • sore or burning lips, mouth and tongue
  • Photophobia
  • Burning, itching or teary eyes
  • Loss of visual acuity

Severe vitamin B2 Deficiency symptoms:

  • Dermatitis
  • Cheilosis
  • Angular stomatitis
  • Corneal vascularization
Download SpectraCell's Nutrition Correlation chart referencing the correlation between vitamin B2(Riboflavin) with Depression as well as our Nutrient Depletion Chart
Click here to view our webinar on how nutrition can cure depression.

Interested in finding out your micronutrient levels, click here

Topics: SpectraCell, Vitamins, Case Study, Depression, micronutrient, vitamin deficiencies