SpectraCell Blog

Nutrition Speaks: The Role of Micronutrient Deficiencies in Autism

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

autism.jpgWhen people think of autism and nutrition, the first thing that comes to mind is often food sensitivities, especially given the widespread attention to the impact of certain additives and common triggers (such as wheat or dairy) on that condition. But it is worth considering that micronutrient levels can have a profound impact on autistic symptoms. The list below includes specific micronutrients suggested to have a role in the development and treatment of autism:

Vitamin D: High-dose vitamin D therapy reversed autistic behaviors in severely deficient children; maternal vitamin D deficiency may predispose children to autism.

Vitamin A: One cause of autism may be a defect in a retinoid receptor protein (G-alpha protein) that is critical for language processing, attention, and sensory perception. Evidence suggests that natural vitamin A fixes this protein defect in autistics.

Folate: Oral folate therapy can resolve symptoms of autism in some cases, particularly in autistics with genes that impair folate-dependent enzymes.

Glutamine: Blood levels of this amino acid - which acts as a neurotransmitter - are particularly low in autistics. Glutamine also helps prevent leaky gut syndrome, which can exacerbate autistic symptoms.

Vitamin C: Improves symptom severity and sensory motor scores in autistic patients possibly due to interaction with dopamine synthesis; it also has a strong sparing effect on glutathione.

Glutathione & Cysteine: Both are commonly deficient in autistic patients. Low antioxidant status impairs detoxification and methylation processes, and has been linked to neurological symptoms in autism, which is often considered an oxidative stress disorder.

Vitamin B1: Deficiency linked to delayed language development; supplementation may benefit autistic patients.

Vitamin B12: Low B12 impairs methylation (detoxification), which can cause the neurological damage responsible for many autistic symptoms. B12 deficiency can cause optic neuropathy and vision loss in autistics; B12 raises cysteine and glutathione levels.

Vitamin B6: Cofactor for the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine; conversion of B6 to its active form is compromised in many autistics. Supplementation trials with B6 resulted in better eye contact, improved speech, and fewer self-stimulatory behavior in autistics. Some consider B6 in combination with magnesium to be a breakthrough treatment for autism.

Magnesium: Cofactor for the neurotransmitters that affect social reactions and emotion; autistics have low levels. Magnesium improves the effectiveness of B6 therapy.

Zinc: Eliminates mercury from brain tissue. The zinc/ copper ratio is particularly low in autistic kids, and low zinc impairs metallothionein, a protein that removes heavy metals from the body.

Carnitine: Transports fatty acids into cells. Low carnitine status, a common feature of autism, impairs the ability to use fatty acids for learning and social development.

For a copy of SpectraCell's Nutrition Correlation chart on autism, click here. 

To evaluate your micronutrient status, order your micronutrient test today!

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Topics: Cysteine, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, autism, Glutamine, Glutathione, Vitamin B1, nutrition and autism, nutrition speaks, autistic symptoms, micronutrient deficiencies, autism speaks

Functional Indicators of Zinc Status Are More Telling Than Plasma Levels

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

zinc food sources.jpegEighteen healthy adult men participated in a six-week controlled consumption study, in which all food or beverage they consumed was provided for them over the course of the study. For the first two weeks, the men were given food with very low amounts of zinc plus a chemical (phytate) that reduces zinc absorption. Then the amount of zinc in their prepared food was increased by over 60%. Measures of zinc status – both functional and static – were taken at the beginning and end of the trial. After the increase in dietary zinc, plasma levels remained the same. However, functional measures of zinc status increased. Specifically, total absorbed zinc as well as serum levels of protective proteins involved in cellular repair increased. Over a thousand proteins were measured, and those that increased in function were proteins that help repair DNA damage and quell inflammation, many of which are zinc-dependent. Although plasma zinc remained the same, functional indicators of zinc status improved after an increase in zinc consumption. 


 

Topics: micronutrients, zinc, Zinc Deficiency, Functional Zinc Status

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.

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

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!

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

Vitamin A - How does it AFFECT YOU!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Aug 01, 2013 @ 11:47 AM

Vitamin A is a group of nutritionally unsaturated hydrocarbons. Different forms of the vitamin vitamin A include retinol, retinoic acid, and carotenoids. Retinol is the most biologically active form of vitamin A and is synthesized by pro-vitamin A(beta-carotene). Vitamin A regulates cell proliferation, differentiation, immune function and apoptosis (cell death).  This vitamin plays a vital role in night or low-light vision and color vision among many other common functions.

Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency - Impaired immune function; eye or skin problems; compromised cell growth and development; fat malabsorption; night blindness; zinc deficiency; insomnia.

Common conditions associated with vitamin A deficiency - Hormone balance, Immunidex, Insomnia, night blindness.

CASE STUDY highlights a common problem with a vitamin A deficiency. A 45 year old female with multiple conditions such as hypertension, insomnia and GERD, click here.

View our webinars Nutritional Considerations of Hormone Balance and Nutritional Considerations of Skin disorders, which references vitamin A deficiency among others in these conditions. 

To check your micronutrient levels or to get started click here

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrients, micronutrient testing, Cancer, cancer cells, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin A, Migraines, Heart Disease, pregnancy, Multivitamins, immune system, E-zinc, breast cancer, Fertility, PMS, deficiencies, Case Study, Headache, Dr. Ron Grabowski, deficiency, Depression, degenerative illness, micronutrient test, Cancer Prevention, Hypothyroidism, Hormones, Menopause, HSVI, GERD, mitral valve prolapse, infertility, Immunidex, eczema and nutrition, Women's Health

Do the Prescriptions YOU take deplete your nutritional status?

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 @ 03:34 PM

When a person takes prescription drugs or over the counter medication chances are that they can prescription depletions Page 1 resized 600 be affecting their nutrient levels. Below are some of the possible deficiencies that are correlated with each corresponding drug.

Antacids/Ulcer medications

  • vitamin B12 - Anemia, depression, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular risk

  • Folic Acid - Birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, heart disease, cancer risk

  • vitamin D - osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss

  • Calcium - Osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay

  • Iron - Anemia, weakness, fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails

  • Zinc - weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction


Antibiotics

  • B vitamins, Vitamin K - short term depletion affects are minimal, but failure to re-inoculate the GI tract with beneficial bacteria (probiotics) often results in dysbiosis which causes gas, bloating, decreases digestion & absorption of nutrients, and also may lead to a variety of other health problems.

  • Calcium - osteoporosis, heart & blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay

  • magnesium - cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS

  • Iron - slow wound healing, fatigue, anemia

  • vitamin B6 - depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk

  • zinc - weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction


Cholesterol drugs

  • Coenzyme Q10 - Various cardiovascular problems, weak immune system, low energy


Female Hormones

  • Vitamin B6 - depression, sleep disturbance, increased cardiovascular disease risk

  • Folic acid - birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease

  • vitamin B1 - depression, irritability, memory loss, muscle weakness, edema

  • vitamin B2 - problems with skin, eyes, mucous membranes and nerves

  • vitamin B6 - depression, sleep disturbances, increased cardiovascular disease risk

  • vitamin B12 - anemia, depression, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular risk

  • vitamin C - lowered immune system, easy bruising, poor wound healing

  • magnesium - cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS

  • selenium - lower immunity, reduced antioxidant protection'

  • zinc - weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction


Anti-Inflammatories

  • calcium - osteoporosis, heart and blood pressure irregularities, tooth decay

  • vitamin D - osteoporosis, muscle weakness, hearing loss

  • magnesium - cardiovascular problems, asthma, osteoporosis, cramps, PMS

  • zinc - weak immunity, wound healing, sense of smell/taste, sexual dysfunction

  • vitamin C - lowered immunity, easy bruising, poor wound healing

  • vitamin B6 - depression, sleep disturbances,increased cardiovascular disease risk

  • vitamin B12 - anemia, depressioon, tiredness, weakness, increased cardiovascular risk

  • Folic Acid - birth defects, cervical dysplasia, anemia, cardiovascular disease

  • Selenium - lower immunity, reduced antioxidant protection

  • chromium - elevated blood sugar, cholesterol & triglycerides, diabetes risk

  • vitamin B5 - fatigue, listlessness, and possible problems with skin, liver and nerves

For a complete list of drugs and their correlating deficiencies click here

If you would like to check your nutrient levels click here

Topics: SpectraCell, micronutrients, Coenzyme Q10, Antidepressants, Cancer, autoimmune diseases, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Antioxidants, Fibromyalgia, Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Health, Heart Disease, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, Chronic Disease, diabetes, immune system, E-zinc, Vitamins, Calcium, Fertility, PMS, deficiencies, chronic fatigue and nutrition, health, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Depression, Diet, Digestion, Stress, Vitamin B1, micronutrient test, Inflammation, Vitamin B5, High Blood Pressure, Vitamin B2, Iron, Nutritional Deficiency, Cancer Prevention, Heart Health, Gastrointestinal Tract, Hypothyroidism, Allergies, Wound Healing, Vitamin B3, Antihistamines, cardiovascular disease, Nutrient, hypertension, Women's Health

SpectraCell Case Study - Female with Multiple Conditions!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

Vitamins Can Help with Weight Management!

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 02, 2013 @ 10:56 AM

Asparagine - The amino acid increases insulin sensitivity which helps the body store energy Weight management 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 the 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 lipases, 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 of 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.

Zinc - Deficiency of zinc reduces leptin, a beneficial hormone that regulates appetite, which is reversed by zinc repletion.

Download your own copy of the Nutrient Correlation Wheel on Weight Management

 

Topics: Asparagine, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, biotin, inositol, Glutamine, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B3, Chromium

Nutrient Correlation Chart on Testosterone

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Apr 04, 2013 @ 02:39 PM

Folate Deficiency reduces circulating testosterone; Evidence suggests testosterone may Nutrient Correlation chart on Testosteroneregulate folate metabolism.1,2,3

Vitamin B6 Regulates sex hormones; Vitamin B6 reduces prolactin which stimulates hypothalamus to increase testosterone; B6 also a cofactor for dopamine synthesis which influences testosterone levels.4,5,6,7

Vitamin D Actually a hormone, vitamin D regulates the synthesis of testosterone; Supplementation can significantly increase total, free and bioactive testosterone levels. 8,9,10,11,12

Vitamin K Deficiency reduces testosterone production because the rate-limiting enzyme for testosterone synthesis (Cyp11a) is vitamin K dependent. 13,14,15

Vitamin E Long term administration of some forms of vitamin E may reduce testosterone levels.16,17

Vitamin C Studies suggest it protects prostate from testosterone induced tumors.18,19,20

Carnitine Boosts dopamine, which is directly related to testosterone levels; May prevent testosterone decline after intense physical stress.21,22,23,24

Magnesium Makes testosterone more biologically active in the body; Raises free and total testosterone levels in men.25,26,27

Zinc Deficiency lowers testosterone levels; Inhibits prolactin secretion (testosterone
inhibiting hormone); Supplementation increases testosterone depending on baseline levels.28,29,30,31

Click here to download your copy of the Nutrient Correlation chart on Testosterone

 

Topics: SpectraCell, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Vitamins, Nutrient, Hormones, Testosterone

Nutrient Correlation Wheel on Estrogen

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

Estrogen wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Click here to download your own Nutrient Correlation Wheel on Estrogen
 

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