SpectraCell Blog

Three Important (but Overlooked) Strategies for Weight Loss in the New Year

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jan 05, 2017 @ 01:41 PM

apple-tape-salad_1000.jpgEvery January, many of us are inspired by the prospect of a healthier self to begin important lifestyle and behavior changes. In the United States, losing weight is among the most common of New Year’s resolutions. Here, we outline some tips for achieving and maintaining a healthy BMI (body mass index). We won’t go on to describe the mechanics of doing a proper push-up, or offer healthy recipes, but we will offer you practical information to help you achieve more optimal health, of which fitness/ body composition is a byproduct.

Lean body mass and weight loss are very dependent on the following:

    1. Eliminating/ reducing inflammation. Most people associate inflammation with redness and pain after an injury or illness.  This is how acute inflammation manifests itself, and it is easy to see and feel.  But subacute, or “chronic” inflammation is the type of inflammation that manifests as heart disease, cancer, fatigue, and – you guessed it – extra pounds. Chronic inflammation is not something we directly feel, hence the phrase, “silent killer.”

      It is true that eating fresh fruits and vegetables in copious amounts can help quell inflammation, but the key is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. One strategy is to eliminate sugar, as it is extremely inflammatory: eating sugar increases inflammation. This is a simple enough concept, but did you know that fat cells, too, are inflammatory? Contrary to popular belief, adipose tissue (AKA “fat”) is not an inert substance in the body: it is, in fact, a living organ that secretes inflammatory hormones. This in turn exacerbates metabolic dysfunction. Therefore, weight loss generally helps reduce inflammation. And when you reduce inflammation, it helps you lose weight. 

    2. Maintaining stable blood sugar. Many people believe that hunger is mostly caused by an empty stomach when the reality is that hunger is a response to blood glucose levels. This is why it is possible to eat hundreds, even thousands of calories (such as candy bars and other sweets), then feel hungry relatively soon after. This is also the reason why it is possible to go long periods of time without eating (despite an empty stomach, there is a lack of hunger). The bottom line? It’s all about blood sugar control. 

      When starting a new weight loss program, one of the many obstacles that eventually trips people up is wild blood sugar fluctuations, which leads to unrelenting cravings and mood swings. The goal, then, is to optimize blood sugar stability/ prevent insulin resistance. Doing so helps drive a metabolic shift that facilitates weight loss and weight management. Blood sugar control can be easily assessed via pre-diabetes biomarkers including fasting glucose, HbA1C, and insulin.

    3. Optimizing gut health. This means establishing and colonizing the gastrointestinal tract with diverse beneficial bacteria (AKA a healthy microbiome). Healthy gut flora not only help protect against pathogens, they also help synthesize vitamins and impact neurotransmitter levels, ultimately affecting not only one’s immune system function, but how one looks and feels.  

      A healthy gut ecology is supported through the consumption of prebiotic and probiotic foods. Fermented foods, such as vegetables and dairy, are such examples. On the other hand, sugar and refined carbohydrates promote the growth of pathogenic (“bad”) bacteria, which often cause weight gain.

The good news is that these three pillars of health work synergistically: reducing inflammation helps promote healthy gut bacteria; optimizing blood sugar results in a smaller inflammatory burden; and a healthy gut helps drive blood sugar stabilization with greater efficiency. All work together; fortunately, you can quantify more than just what you see on the scale.

Did you know that many biomarkers are available to measure inflammation, blood sugar control, and gut health?  Contact SpectraCell Laboratories to find out more!

Topics: Weight Loss, Maintaining stable blood sugar, Reducing Inflammation, New Year Weight Loss Solutions, Optimizing gut health, healthy gut flora, Healthy BMI

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

Nutritional Considerations of Weight Management

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 @ 10:27 AM

Presented by Dr. Ron Grabowski
Dr. Grabowski lectures on an international level. He has over 25 years of clinical nutrition experience that encompasses topics such as diabetes, heart disease, sports nutrition, renal disease, immunology and gastrointestinal disorders. He received his clinical nutrition training at the New York hospital, an affiliate of the Cornell Medical Center located in New York City, and has worked in various prestigious hospitals in the Houston, Texas area. He was a professor at Texas Chiropractic College, Director of the PFIT Applied Nutrition Specialist School and ANS Certification and maintains a private practice in the Houston area. He is known to provide his audiences with valuable information that you can implement immediately.

Topics of Discussion:

weight management

  • How does inflammation play a role with weight loss?
  • Learn why a high protein diet may be detrimental in a long-term weight loss program.
  • Why should we focus on the micronutrients during weight loss?
  • Case Study Review

Nutritional Considerations of Weight Management Webinar

 

Topics: micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Asparagine, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, wellness, Vitamin K, Multivitamins, Weight Loss, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, biotin, inositol, Case Study, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Glutamine, micronutrient test, Inflammation, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B3, Chromium, Weight Gain, Protein

SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - volume 6 Issue 11

Posted by Char Perez on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

CLINICAL UPDATE – Nutritional status of mom has major implications foNutrition, Vitamins, vitamin B12r baby 

Three recent studies emphasize the fallacy of the paradigm “baby gets what he needs at the expense of the mother.” In one study done in the Netherlands, researchers evaluated over 3200 mothers for blood folate levels and their children at three years of age for behavioural and emotional problems. Although the implications of low folate status of the mother on neurological development is well established, this study reported that low folate status of the mother is linked with a “higher risk of emotional problems in the offspring.”  An unrelated study in India found a similar result with vitamin B12 and heart function. Cord blood of mothers was compared to the cardiac function of their babies. “Children born to mothers with a lower vitamin B12 status have a reduced cardiac sympathetic activity.”  Finally, a review of studies done between 1999 and 2011 concluded that vitamin D deficiency of mom is linked to gestational diabetes. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2012),(Maternal and Child Nutrition, May 2012),(Journal of Obstetric,  Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, May 2012)

Link to Abstract Maternal folate status in early pregnancy and child emotional and behavioral problems: the Generation R Study.

Link to Abstract Low maternal vitamin B12 status during pregnancy is associated with reduced heart rate variability indices in young children.

Link to Abstract Maternal vitamin d status as a critical determinant in gestational diabetes.

CLINICAL UPDATE - E Zinc deficiency common in diabetics                                                        

Diabetes, E-zinc, serumSerum and intracellular levels were measured in 75 type I and II diabetics and compared to 75 age matched controls.  Zinc levels were significantly lower in diabetic patients.  Authors of the study reported that in vivo and in vitro studies indicate that zinc promotes insulin signalling and supplementation may be a potential treatment in zinc-deficient diabetics. (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, November 2012)   

Link to Abstract Disturbed zinc homeostasis in diabetic patients by in vitro and in vivo analysis of insulinomimetic activity of zinc.

CLINICAL UPDATE – N-acetylcysteine lowers irritability in autistic kids

In this randomized clinical trial on 33 autistic children ages three to ten years old, a dose of 900mg N-acetylcysteine was given twice daily for 12 weeks.   At each 4 week interval, a standardized test was given to measure irritability and behaviour on each child.  After three months, those receiving the high-dose N-acetylcysteine had significant improvements on their irritability compared to the placebo group. (Biological Psychiatry, June 2012)      

Link to Abstract  A randomized controlled pilot trial of oral N-acetylcysteine in children with autism.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin D trial shows it can reduce body fat


vitamin D
In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 77 people were given either 25mμg of vitamin D or placebo for 12 weeks. Researchers concluded that “supplementation with vitamin D3 caused a statistically significant decrease in body fat mass.”  Specifically, the vitamin D group lost six pounds while the placebo group lost an average of only one pound. (Nutrition Journal, May 2012)             

Link to Abstract A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D3 supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women.

Link to Full Text 

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin K reduces diabetes risk

diabetes, vitaminsDietary intake of phylloquinone (a form of vitamin K) was assessed in over a thousand men and women.  Those with increased intake of vitamin K hahave lower rates of diabetes.  As a follow up to the study, the people who increased their dietary vitamin K during the follow-up had 51% reduced risk of diabetes. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2012)                                           

Link to Abstract Dietary phylloquinone intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in elderly subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

CLINICAL UPDATE – Vitamin E kills cancer cells

Cancer Cells Immune SystemThe alpha, delta and gamma tocotrienol forms of vitamin E were evaluated on leukemic cancer cells.  The delta tocotrienol form of vitamin E, which was the most potent in killing cancer cells, changed the DNA of the cancerous cells in such a way that it induced the cancerous cells to undergo apoptosis (cell death). (Microscopy and Microanalysis, June 2012)      

 

Link to Abstract Delta- and gamma-tocotrienols induce classical ultrastructural apoptotic changes in human T lymphoblastic leukemic cells.                               

To further enhance your knowledge of nutritional considerations for improved clinical patient care, click here for our webinar series library.       

Topics: cancer cells, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, vitamin, nutrition testing, wellness, pregnancy, Serum, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, supplements, Multivitamins, Chronic Disease, Weight Loss, Nutrition, diabetes, immune system, expecting mothers, cord blood, cardiac, early pregnancy, E-zinc, N-acetylcysteine, autism, body fat, Vitamins, DNA, overweight, breast cancer, leukemia, Women's Health

The Insulin & Cortisol Factors

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 @ 10:38 AM

The Fatigue Solution resized 600Excerpt from Eva Cwynar, M.D.'s new book, "The Fatigue Solution"

Two hormones in particular affect our energy levels: insulin and cortisol.

The Insulin Factor: Insulin is one of the body's key hormones. It works with a partner, glucagon, ro regulate how the body utilizes food for fuel and therefore energy. Insulin is a storage hormone designed to take excess glucose (sugar) from dietary carbohydrates, excess amino acids from proteins, and other nutrients, and store them as fat. Not only does it store the fat, but it also locks fat up so it can't be released. Glucagon, insulin's biological opposite, mobilizes stored energy (primarily carbohydrates), to be circulated in the bloodstream as a source of energy. Its primary job is to release stored carbohydrate, in the form of glucose, from the liver so that it can be used for energy. So...

Insulin = Stored Energy

Glucagon = Released Energy

An imbalance between these two hormones is usually seen as elevated insulin levels. Excess blood sugar usually responds to elevated insulin by dropping down dramatically, which will decimate your energy level and give you that well-known "sugar crash". Or it can respond by stayin elevated, in which case the body's cells can't handle the excess and simply don't allow any more sugar or insulin to come in. This is known as insulin resistance, which is the body's inability to respond to and use the insulin it produces. This can eventually lead to a variety of conditions, including the accumulation of body fat, diabetes, heart disease, and a decrease in energy levels. So...

Excess blood sugar = insulin resistance

The Corisol Factor: Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands that is critical to your body's ability to mediate stress. This came in very handy in the age of the caveman; cortisol is part of the "fight or flight" process that prepares you to either face and hopefully vanquish your enemy or run away as fast as your feet can take you. Today's stressors may not be as dramatic as facing a hungry saber-toothed tiger, but they are quite a bit more varied. Stressors can be physical, biological, environmental, or even social, from a weekend warrior's overexertion to a sudden viral infection to a chronically abusive screaming boss. Cortisol helps you cope and allows you to respond to different stressors in different ways. However, long-term exposure to unremitting stress (taking care of a parent or child with a chronic illness; a chaotic lifestyle that never slows down) will have dire consequences for your health, as too much cortisol can produce extensive biological damage, and is a leading cause of premature aging and fatigue.

Cortisol has many actions in the body, and one ultimate goal of cortisol secretion is the provision of energy for the body. Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, and stimulates insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar levels. The end result o f these actions is an increase in appetite. That's why chronic or poorlly managed stress may lead you to eat too much, which can show up as weight gain or difficulty losing unwanted pounds. So...

Excess cortisol = premature aging and fatigue

See how SpectraCell's micronutrient testing can assist you with your weight loss and fatigue issues:

To learn more about Dr. Eva Cwynar, visit her website: www.dreva.com

Topics: Fatigue, Weight Loss, Dr. Eva Cwynar, Cortisol, Insulin

Nutritional Considerations of Weight Management

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 @ 01:13 PM

Weight ManagementPresented by: Ron Grabowski, R.D., D.C.

Topics of Discussion:

  • How does inflammation play a role with weight loss?
  • Learn why a high protein diet may be detrimental in a long-term weight loss program.
  • Why should we focus on the micronutrients during weight loss?
  • Case Study Review

Listen to the archived webinar presentation as well as download the presentation slides!

 

Topics: Weight Loss, Nutrition, Dr. Ron Grabowski, Weight Gain, Protein

The Importance of Nutrition on Weight Loss

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jun 04, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

Micronutrient TestingBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person's ability to gain or lose weight.

  • Zinc - reduces leptin, a beneficial hormone that regulates appetite, which is reversed by zinc repletion.
  • Asparagine - this amino acid increases insulin sensitivity which helps the body store energy in muscle instead of storing it as body fat.
  • Biotin - boosts metabolism by improving glycemic control (stabilizes blood sugar) and lowering insulin, a hormone that promotes fat formation.
  • Carnitine - carries fatty acids into cell so they can be burned for fuel; Helps reduce visceral adiposity (belly fat).
  • Calcium - inhibits the formation of fat cells; Also helps oxidize (burn) fat cells.
  • Lipoic Acid - improves glucose uptake into cells, which helps a person burn carbohydrates more efficiently.
  • Chromium - makes the body more sensitive to insulin, helping to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle.
  • Vitamin B5 - taking B5 lowers body weight by activating lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that burns fat cells. One study linked B5 supplementation to less hunger when dieting.
  • Magnesium - low magnesium in cells impairs a person’s ability to use glucose for fuel, instead storing it as fat; Correcting a magnesium deficiency stimulates metabolism by increasing insulin sensitivity. Magnesium may also inhibit fat absorption.
  • Glutamine - reduces fat mass by improving glucose uptake into muscle.
  • Cysteine - supplementation with this antioxidant reduced body fat in obese patients.
  • Inositol - supplementation may increase adiponectin levels.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) - treatment with B3 increases adiponectin, a weight-loss hormone secreted by fat cells; Niacin-bound chromium supplements helped reduced body weight in clinical trials.
  • Vitamin A - enhances expression of genes that reduce a person’s tendency to store food as fat; Reduces the size of fat cells.
  • Vitamin E - inhibits pre-fat cells from changing into mature fat cells, thus reducing body fat.
  • Vitamin D - deficiency strongly linked to poor metabolism of carbohydrates; Genes that are regulated by vitamin D may alter the way fat cells form in some people.
  • Vitamin K - poor vitamin K status linked to excess fat tissue; Vitamin K helps metabolize sugars.

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

Weight Loss Document

Also, learn more about micronutrient testing and the importance of correcting vitamin deficiencies in our Clinical Education Center.

Topics: Asparagine, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin K, Weight Loss, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, biotin, inositol, Glutamine, Chromium, Weight Gain