SpectraCell Blog

SpectraCell's Nutritional Correlation Chart on DEPRESSION

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 @ 05:52 PM

Depression WheelBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person affected with depression.
  • Chromium - Elevates serotonin (feel-good neurotransmitter) levels in the brain; May be particularly effective on eating symptoms of depression such as carbohydrate craving and increased appetite, due to its effect on blood sugar regulation.
  • Magnesium - Deficiency damages NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain, which regulate mood; Well-documented anti-depressant effects.
  • Vitamin B12 - Depression may be a manifestation of B12 deficiency; Repletion of B12 to adequate levels can improve treatment response; B12 deficiency common in psychiatric disorders.
  • Vitamin B6 - Cofactor for serotonin and dopamine production (feel good chemicals); Studies indicate that low levels may predispose people to depression.
  • Vitamin B2 - Low B2 has been implicated in depression due to its role in methylation reactions in the brain.
  • Vitamin D - Clinical trials suggest increasing blood levels of vitamin D, which is actually a hormone precursor, may improve symptoms of depression.
  • Carnitine - Increases serotonin and noradrenaline which lift mood; In trials, carnitine alleviates depression with few, if any, side effects.
  • Inositol - Influences signaling pathways in the brain; Particularly effective in SSRI  (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) sensitive disorders.
  • Biotin - Part of the B-vitamin complex, biotin deficiency has induced depression in animal and human studies.
  • Antioxidants - Oxidative stress in the brain alters neurotransmitter function; Antioxidants protect our brain, which is very sensitive to oxidation; Several antioxidants – Vitamins A, C and E, Lipoic Acid, CoQ10, Glutathione and Cysteine – play a key role in prevention and treatment of depression.
  • Serine - Regulates brain chemistry; Involved in NMDA receptor function; Acts as a neurotransmitter; Low levels correlate with severity of depression.
  • Zinc - Improves efficacy of antidepressant drugs; Particularly useful for treatment resistant patients; Regulates neurotransmitters.
  • Selenium - Integral part of regulatory proteins (selenoproteins) in the brain; Supplementation trials are promising; May alleviate postpartum depression.

To learn more, visit our Clinical Education Center's handouts section!

 

 

Topics: serine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Antioxidants, Vitamin B12, biotin, inositol, Depression, Vitamin B2, Chromium

SpectraCell's Clinical Updates - Volume 6, Issue 7

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Aug 09, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

Omega 3sCLINICAL UPDATE - Omega 3s Can Replace Ibuprofen for PMS Pain
In this trial, a group of women were given either placebo or omega3 fatty acids for three months, followed by three months of the opposite regimen.  Symptoms of PMS, especially pain, were monitored. After 3 months of treatment, women who took the omega 3 capsules every day decreased their ibuprofen usage by 19% (first group) and by 53% (second group). (International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT  Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea

AsthmaticsCLINICAL UPDATE - Carnitine Supplements Improve Lung Function in Asthmatics
A recent placebo-controlled study compared 50 children with asthma to 50 healthy controls and found that not only were levels of the amino acid carnitine lower in those with asthma, but supplementation with 350mg of L-carnitine daily for six months significantly improved lung function is those with asthma.   Researchers noted that carnitine’s primary role in transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria may explain its benefit to those with asthma – carnitine also transports fatty acids to lung membrane surfaces ensuring they are lubricated, explaining a mechanism by which carnitine improves pulmonary function. (Journal of Allergy, 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT L-carnitine improves the asthma control in children with moderate persistent asthma.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT
LINK to FLYER on NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS OF ASTHMA

DiabetesCLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin C Benefits Diabetics on Metformin
Seventy patients with type II diabetes were given either placebo or 500mg vitamin C twice a day.  All patients were taking metformin as well. After twelve weeks, measures of blood sugar control (fasting blood sugar, post-meal blood glucose and HbA1c levels) were all improved in the vitamin C group only. (Advances in Pharmalogical Sciences, 2011)

LINK to ABSTRACT Supplementation of vitamin C reduces blood glucose and improves glycosylated hemoglobin in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized, double-blind study.
LINK to FREE FULL TEXT

Brain InjuryCLINICAL UPDATE - Zinc: A New Role for Traumatic Brain Injury
In this review, the protective role of zinc against traumatic brain injury is elucidated.  The authors stat that human clinical data “suggest that zinc may increase resilience” and can be used “to improve cognitive and behavioural deficits associated with brain injury.” (Nutrition Reviews, July 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Improving treatments and outcomes: an emerging role for zinc in traumatic brain injury.

FertilityCLINICAL UPDATE - Vitamin E Increases Sperm Count
106 infertile men were included in this trial  – 64 were infertile due to low sperm count and 42 were infertile due to poor sperm motility.  They were divided into two groups – both groups received pharmaceutical therapy for fertility but only one group was simultaneously treated with a natural form of vitamin E.  Sperm count and motility improved more dramatically in the vitamin E treated group.  In fact, only five natural pregnancies occurred in the non-vitamin E group, while 15 natural pregnancies occurred in the vitamin E treated group.  In an unrelated trial, vitamin E was co-administered with fertility drugs to a group of women and compared to fertility drug treated women without vitamin E.  Although those treated with vitamin E did not have statistically higher rates of pregnancy, the women given vitamin E did show significantly improved endometrial thickness, which would facilitate future pregnancy. (Natural Journal of Andrology, May 2012; Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, April 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Efficacy of natural vitamin E on oligospermia and athenospermia: a prospective multi-centered randomized controlled study of 106 cases.
LINK to ABSTRACT Vitamin E effect on controlled ovarian stimulation of unexplained infertile women.

Muscle MassCLINICAL UPDATE - A New Role for Omega 3s in Building Muscle Mass
A group of women (average age = 64 years old) were put on a strength training program for 90 days.  Some of the women were given fish oil supplements while others received no supplement. Measures of muscle strength were taken and those taking fish oil showed significantly higher muscle development.  Researchers hypothesized that this increase in muscle development during strength training is due to the role omega 3 fatty acids play in plasma membranes and muscle cell function. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT Fish-oil supplementation enhances the effects of strength training in elderly women.

SerineCLINICAL UPDATE - High Dose Serine Improves Neuropathy: Case Report
One of the most common inherited neurological disorders, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease affects approximately 1 in every 2500 people and is characterized by muscle wasting and peripheral neuropathy. In this case report, a male patient with polyneuropathy had a serine synthesis defect.  Deficiency in the amino acid serine often manifests neurologically and in this case, high-dose supplementation of serine improved his neuropathy symptoms. (Archives of Neurology, March 2012)

LINK to ABSTRACT A Serine Synthesis Defect Presenting With a Charcot-Marie-Tooth-Like Polyneuropathy.

Clicke HERE to browse our archived library of clinical updates

Topics: serine, zinc, Carnitine, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, diabetes, Fertility, PMS, Omega 3s, Asthma

NEW! SpectraCell's Asthma Quick Reference Chart

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 @ 10:12 AM

Asthma WheelDuring last week's webinar, "Nutritional Considerations of Allergies & Asthma", we created and offered a copy of our new "Asthma Quick Reference Nutrient Chart".  This visual tool is an excellent resource to emphasize to your patients the many inter-related roles that nutrition plays in disease prevention and management.

View and/or download our flyer on Asthma HERE.

You can also view the rest of our library of quick reference nutrient charts HERE. Each chart is available as an individual handout and includes references posted on the reverse side. Our clients can order supplies by calling us at 800-227-5227 or visiting our Physician Access Center.


Topics: Coenzyme Q10, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, Vitamin B6

Nutritional Considerations of Pain

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 @ 09:20 AM

PainBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person affected with body pain.

  • Cysteine - reduces pain caused by systemic inflammation due to its potent antioxidant properties.
  • Inositol - in animal studies, treatment with inositol induces antinociception (pain reduction).
  • Oleic Acid - this fatty acid is a precursor of oleamide, an analgesic that affects neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), all of which play a role in pain signaling.
  • Carnitine - deficiency of this amino acid may manifest as muscle weakness, pain (myalgia) or neuropathy. Supplementation reduces several types of chronic pain.
  • Magnesium - lowers pain by blocking NMDA receptors in spinal cord; effective in reducing post-operative pain.
  • Minerals:
    • Manganese - a cofactor for the potent antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which fights free radicals, a known source of pain.
    • Copper - supplementation can relieve arthritic pain.
    • Selenium - treatment with this mineral improves muscle pain in deficient patients.
    • Zinc & Calcium - research suggests both play a role in the transmission of pain signals through nerves.
  • Choline - activates specific receptors in brain and spine that lower acute pain.
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12 - these produce a dose dependent decrease in various kinds of pain (heat, pressure, chemical); increases sensitivity to pain meds; their effect is likely mediated through serotonergic neurotransmitters.
  • Vitamin D - deficiency often presents clinically as muscle or bone pain.
  • Lipoic Acid - very effective treatment for neuropathic pain.
  • Antioxidants - clinical trials show antioxidant therapy is an effective treatment for chronic pain
    • Vitamin E - reduces neuropathic pain
    • Vitamin C - can lower morphine consumption after surgery
    • Coenzyme Q10 - relieves statin-induced myopathy.

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

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Oleic Acid, Cysteine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Copper, Antioxidants, Pain, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Lipoic Acid, inositol, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Manganese

Nutritional Considerations of Insomnia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 @ 05:10 PM

InsomniaBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person with Insomnia.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin) - increases REM sleep; improves both quality and quantity of sleep by converting trytophan to serotonin.
  • Folate & Vitamin B6 - both are cofactors for several neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine, many of which regulate sleep patterns.
  • Vitamin B12 - normalizes circadian rythms (sleep-wake cycles); therapeutic benefits of B12 supplementation, both oral and intravenous, seen in studies.
  • Magnesium - improving magnesium status is associated with better quality sleep; mimics the action of melatonin; also alleviates insomnia due to restless leg syndrome.
  • Zinc & Copper - both interact with NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors in the brain that regulate sleep; a higher Zn/Cu ratio is linked to longer sleep duration.
  • Oleic Acid - this fatty acid is a precursor of oleamide, which regulates our drive for sleep and tends to accumulate in the spinal fluid of sleep-deprived animals. Oleic acid also facilitates the absorption of vitamin A.
  • Vitamin A - studies suggest vitamin A deficiency alters brain waves in non-REM sleep causing sleep to be less restorative.
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin) - in clinical trials, supplementation of healthy individuals that had marginal B1 deficiency improved their sleep.

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

 

Topics: Oleic Acid, zinc, folate, Magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Copper, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3

Nutritional Considerations of Fibromyalgia

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

Fibromyalgia PatientBelow is a list of various nutrients that affect a person with Fibromyalgia.
  • Carnitine - deficiency causes muscle pain due to inefficient cellular energy metabolism (mitochondrial myopathy) which presentas as fibromyalgia.
  • Choline & Inositol - altered levels of both nutrients seen in fibromyalgia; choline & inositol are involved in pain perception.
  • Serine - blood levels of this amino acid are much lower in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Vitamin D - low levels impair neuromuscular function and cause muscle pain. Deficiency is common in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Vitamin B1 - Thiamin (B1) deficiency mimics fibromyalgia symptoms including serotonin depletion (decreased paing threshold), a decrease in repair enzymes (muscle soreness) and poor energy production (muscle fatigue).
  • Antioxidants - low antioxidant status increases pain in fibromyalgia, which is often considered an oxidative stress disorder.
  • Zinc - blood levels of zinc are associated with a number of tender points in fibromyalgic patients.
  • Magnesium - involved in pain perception pathways and muscle contraction; treatment with magnesium can improve tenderness and pain.
  • Selenium - deficiency is linked to fibromyalgia; in one trial, symptoms improved in 95% of patients supplemented with selenium for at least 4 weeks.

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

Topics: serine, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Choline, Selenium, Antioxidants, Fibromyalgia, inositol, Vitamin B1

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

Nutritional Considerations of Diabetes

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Feb 06, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

DiabetesUNDERSTANDING DIABETES

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. With this type of diabetes, cells do not receive enough insulin. As a result, cells starve for energy, and, over time, a glucose buildup in the blood stream causes negative effects on a person’s eyes, kidneys, nerves and/or heart.

Today’s fast-paced society has led to quicker, higher carbohydrate alternatives as food sources. As a result, there is a greater threat of developing diabetes due to cells becoming insulin-resistant.

Micronutrients such as niacin, magnesium, calcium, zinc, carnitine, inositol, alpha-lipoic acid, as well as vitamins E, B6 and D all play an important role in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Though diabetes is a serious disease - with the right treatment - living a longer, healthier life can be made easier.

THE ROLE OF MICRONUTRIENTS IN DIABETIC HEALTH

NIACIN
Niacin (nicotinamide) may help to preserve residual B-cell function in individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This B-vitamin is believed to be one of the components of the glucose tolerance factor (GTF).

MAGNESIUM
This mineral is involved in more than 300 enzymatic functions in the body. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia and hypertension, which have all been associated with diabetes mellitus. Magnesium has been found to be one of the more common micronutrient deficiencies in diabetes.

VITAMIN E
Low levels of vitamin E are associated with increased incidences of diabetes. Research suggests that individuals with diabetes mellitus have decreased levels of antioxidants. Increased antioxidant requirements may be a result of increased free radical production during periods of hyperglycemia.

ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID (THIOCTIC ACID)
This antioxidant has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin E and vitamin C. Alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to enhance glucose uptake in skeletal muscle tissue, thus improving glucose regulation in diabetic mellitus individuals. In addition, this antioxidant can be beneficial in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy.

VITAMIN D
Obesity is often associated with vitamin D deficiency and also with type 2 diabetes. Research indicates that diabetic individuals (both type 1 and type 2) have a higher risk for bone fracture. This vitamin deficiency has clearly been associated with lower bone density. Subjects with hypovitaminosis D are at higher risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

CHROMIUM
This trace mineral is fundamental in proper insulin function and is believed to facilitate the attachment of insulin to the cell’s insulin receptors. A lack of chromium can lead to insulin resistance, which leads to elevated blood levels of insulin and glucose. Elevated levels of glucose in the blood can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular complications. Food processing
removes most of naturally occurring chromium. However, chromium can be supplemented or found in brewer’s yeast, nuts, meat, whole grains, green beans and broccoli.

HOMOCYSTEINE
Homocysteine elevation is a risk factor for overall mortality in type 2 diabetic individuals independent of other risk factors. Adequate levels of pyroxidine (vitamin B6), folate and vitamin B12 are required for normal homocysteine metabolism.

MicronutrientsINOSITOL
This nutrient is found in high concentrations in peripheral nerves. There is some evidence that inositol may be effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

VITAMIN B6
Research shows that a deficiency of vitamin B6 may result in abnormal glucose tolerance, degeneration of the pancreatic beta cells, reduced insulin response to glucose and reduced serum and pancreatic insulin levels. In addition, vitamin B6 deficiency has been associated with polyneuropathies.

CALCIUM
Studies have shown that individuals with a low intake of calcium have an increased risk of non-insulin dependant diabetes mellitus. Numerous studies have also revealed that diabetes may be associated with abnormal regulation of intracellular calcium.

ZINC
This mineral has been associated with over 200 enzymatic functions in the body. Increased fasting blood glucose levels have been associated with low zinc. Zinc has been shown to be important in the synthesis, storage and secretion of insulin. Increased urinary zinc excretion has also been associated with diabetic individuals.

CARNITINE
This amino acid in the form of acetyl-L-carnitine has been shown to benefit those individuals with diabetic polyneuropathy. One of the proposed mechanisms is that this amino acid may restore the depleted nerve myoinositol content and decrease free radical production.

Topics: Homocysteine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, zinc, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, diabetes, Calcium, inositol, Chromium, Niacin

Nutritional Relationships of Hypothyroidism

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Wed, Feb 01, 2012 @ 10:16 AM

Nutritional RelationshipsBelow is a list of nutrients which significantly affect Hypothyroidism:

  • Glutathione - Hypothyroidism decreases efficacy of some antioxidants, such as glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase
  • B Vitamins - A deficiency in B6, B12 or B9 (folate) can cause elevated homocysteine, which is linked with hypothyroidism. Folic acid levels have been linked to levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
  • Vitamin C and E - Partially restores thyroid function when liver detoxification ability is compromised.
  • Vitamin A - Activates gene that regulates TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)
  • Zinc - Increases thyroid hormone T3 in deficient subjects.
  • Copper - Low levels seen in experimentally induced hypothyroidism; Indirectly affects thyroid status by its antioxidant role via superoxide dismutase.
  • Selenium - Converts thyroid hormone T4 (thyroxine) into T3 (triiodothyronine); Deficiency reduces T3 levels causing classic hypothyroidism symptoms such as fatigue, depression or weight gain.
  • Asparagine - This amino acid is part of the structure of thyroid stimulating hormone which regulates communication with other hormones.
  • Carnitine - Decreased tissue levels of carnitine in both hypo- and hyperthyroidism contribute to muscle fatigue.
  • Lipoic Acid - Improves endothelial function in people with subclinical hypothyroidism; Protects thyroid cells from oxidative stress; May interfere with T4 therapy
  • Choline - Hypothyroidism negatively affects choline function in the brain, which can affect mood and cognition.


Topics: Asparagine, zinc, Carnitine, Choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Selenium, B Vitamins, Copper, Lipoic Acid, Glutathione, Hypothyroidism

Understanding Obesity and Nutrition

Posted by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc. on Mon, Jan 30, 2012 @ 10:22 AM

Obesity and NutritionIn the past, obesity was understood in fairly simple terms: excess body weight resulting from eating too much and exercising too little. Obesity is now regarded as a chronic medical disease with serious health implications caused by a complex set of factors.

Micronutrients and Obesity:

Obesity is a complex, chronic disease involving multiple components. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in America, second only to cigarette smoking, and increase the risk of illness from over 30 medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension, cancer, infertility, arthritis and heart disease. Prescription medications and procedures used to treat many of
these conditions often induce micronutrient deficiencies as well.

Availability of NutrientsAvailability of Nutrients:

Obesity often reduces the availability of certain nutrients. In a recent study, over 50% of obese patients were evaluated for Vitamin D status and found to be deficient. Since fat cells have
their own nutritional requirements, fat cells will draw from nutritional reserves in much the same way other organs do in order to perform normal cellular functions. The combination of reduced availability and increased demand for nutrients caused by excess fat cells ultimately causes multiple deficiencies that need to be corrected.

Regulation of Hormones Linked to Obesity:

Niacin (Vitamin B3) treatment has been shown to increase hormone levels that regulate metabolism of glucose and fatty acids. Decreased levels are associated with obesity and heart disease. Vitamin B5 helps breaks down fat cells so they can be used up by the body.

Low Zinc status is also associated with obesity. This may be due, in part, to the relationship between Zinc and leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite. Zinc depletion reduces leptin levels, while Zinc repletion reverses this effect.

Obesity and NutritionFat Cell Formation:

Studies suggest that a form of Vitamin E (tocotrienol) inhibits pre-fat cells from changing into mature fat cells, resulting in a decrease in body fat. Calcium intake has also been associated with weight loss through its ability to inhibit the formation of fat cells. It also promotes the oxidation, or burning of fat cells, therefore reducing the risk of obesity.

The Effect of Amino Acids on Body Composition:

Carnitine is an important nutrient that helps muscle cells utilize energy and burn calories. Evidence shows that supplementation with carnitine when combined with an exercise program may induce positive changes in body composition by reducing (belly fat) more efficiently than without supplementation. Glutamine has been shown to reduce fat mass and improve glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and the relatively unknown amino acid Asparagine can improve insulin sensitivity by increasing the amount of sugar taken into muscle tissue to be burned for fuel.

Obesity and Insulin Resistance - Partners in Crime:

Obesity severely impairs the body’s ability to efficiently burn dietary carbohydrates. This is caused primarily by the body’s inability to use insulin, which is the hormone that helps the transport of sugars into muscles where they can be used for fuel instead of being stored as fat. Optimal micronutrient and mineral status are necessary for proper insulin function.

Vascular Health and ObesityVascular Health in Obesity:

Blood vessels in overweight individuals are typically not as pliable and healthy as normal weight people. Vitamin C supplementation has been demonstrated to improve vascular function in overweight people. Similarly, minerals such as Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium and Copper have all shown positive effects on blood pressure and vascular health. Overweight people tend to have high blood pressure, which is intensified by vitamin deficiencies. Since so many nutrients (Folate, Biotin, Carnitine, Vitamins A, C, and E and several minerals) are involved in the maintenance of healthy blood vessels of both normal weight and overweight people, a comprehensive evaluation of how they are performing in the cells of obese patients is crucial.

Oxidative Stress and Inflammation:

Numerous studies link oxidative stress and inflammation with  obesity. Visceral adiposity (belly fat) is particularly high in dangerous enzymes that cause oxidative stress. Weight loss certainly counteracts this phenomenon and studies show that the amount of weight lost directly correlates to decreases in oxidative stress. Belly fat also causes inflammation of the liver, which is particularly common in obese people. One recent study  demonstrated that Coenzyme Q10 decreased obesity-induced inflammation of the liver. Similarly, inflammation in blood vessels of obese patients contributes to heart disease and stroke, which can be alleviated in part through proper antioxidant supplementation. It is imperative that antioxidant status be optimized, especially in obese patients. SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing measures several specific antioxidants and gives an overall picture of how well all the antioxidants are working together.

Malabsorption Issues After Bariatric SurgeryMalabsorption Issues After Bariatric Surgery:

The impaired ability to absorb nutrients after bariatric procedures routinely causes multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies in patients. Due to fat malabsorption after bariatric surgery, deficiencies in fat soluble Vitamins (A, D, E and K) are extremely common. Neurological complications such as confusion, impaired muscle coordination, even seizures may occur after bariatric procedures, due to a lack of B Vitamins, especially Thiamine. These complications can occur acutely or decades later. A comprehensive evaluation of nutritional status in bariatric patients is critical in maintaining post-op health.

Also, share with us your experience with the role micronutrients have played in obesity with your patient population! Do you have a particular success?

Topics: Coenzyme Q10, Asparagine, zinc, folate, Vitamin D, Carnitine, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Copper, Calcium, biotin, Glutamine, Vitamin B5, Hormones, Oxidative Stress, Insulin Resistance, Niacin, Obesity