Vitamin Testing

Stop guessing and start testing –When it comes to taking nutritional supplements, you now have the ability to stop guessing if what you are taking for your body is what you actually need. Through micronutrient testing, it is now possible, with a simple blood draw, to determine the nutrients in which you are specifically deficient and choose supplements based on your actual deficiencies. Since the “more is better” philosophy can be dangerous in both pharmaceuticals and supplements, we can stop guessing and start testing when it comes to nutritional status.

Personalized Medicine – Micronutrient testing empowers you to navigate the crazy world of supplements.  Micronutrient testing measures nutritional status using your white blood cells, so deficiencies reported are unique to you.  A comprehensive analysis tests 32 nutrients plus anti-oxidant status.

Preventing Imbalances – If minerals, vitamins or antioxidants are taken without being properly balanced, they can induce deficiencies in other nutrients as a side effect.  For example, too much of an antioxidant can actually make it become a pro-oxidant, which damages (vs protects) cells.

Six Month Nutrient History – Micronutrient testing gives a 4-6 month nutritional history since it is specifically performed on cells that have a long lifespan.  It is more than just a brief snapshot in time.

It is the white blood cells specifically that are tested as white blood cells have a life span of months. Therefore, the levels of individual nutrients accumulated in these white blood cells represent a history of your nutrient status over the life span of the white blood cell, not just a snap shot in time when the sample was taken.

Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms

Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances affect mood, perceptions, and behavior.Moods are affected by many nutritional factors. Neuronutrients are vitamins, minerals and related nutrients that are needed to control mood. When people don’t eat enough high-quality neuronutrients — literally, “brain nutrients” — the body cannot make adequate amounts of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, the biological building blocks for brain chemicals.

Also included with MicroNutrient Testing is and Immunidex, an evaluation of the activity of your immune system. The functioning of your immune system can now be measured.  A younger person will generally respond more strongly than an older person.  In general, people with fewer deficiencies and stronger anti-oxidant activity will respond more strongly.

B Complex Vitamins

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – Thiamine is the least common vitamin deficiency found. Thiamine is involved in carbohydrate conversion, breaks down fats and protein. Thiamine is a precursor of choline which is involved in the neurologic system. Symptoms may be age-related cognitive decline, Alzeimer’s, fatigue, constipation, muscle fatigue, fibromylagia, depression.  Deficiency associated for risk for heart disease. Early thiamine deficiency leads to signs of loss of appetite, irritability, fatigue, constipation, mental depression, nausea and peripheral neuropathy. Principal use: To reverse fuzzy thinking and lack of energy. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates depletes vitamin Bl levels.  Dosage: 50 mg daily. Higher amounts may be recommended by a physician. Consider testing for Magnesium, magnesium needed for conversion to B1. Excessive ingestion of certain raw fresh water fish and shellfish, tea, coffee, blueberries and red cabbage should be avoided, as these foods may contain anti-thiamine factors.

B2 (Riboflavin) – deficiency often seen in athletes, heavy exercise and those suffering from stress. Deficiency symptoms include dry lips, mouth and tongue, dry eyes, can be associated with cataract formation, light sensitivity, vision changes. Needed to convert cysteine to glutathione.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – Niacin is needed to metabolize food into energy. Signs of early deficiency included muscular fatigue, depression, insomnia, and a sore tongue. Severe deficiency is called pellagra and is characterized by dermatitis, dementia and diarrhea. Dietary sources of niacin include meats, peanuts, potatoes, yeasts, and enriched cereals. Principal use: For the prevention and reduction of migraine headaches.  Dosage: 400 mg daily, along with a B-complex supplement.

Vitamin B3 (niacin and niacinamide) Principal use: To relieve anxiety. Very large doses may be beneficial for anxiety and cases of acute schizophrenia. It is a powerful mood-enhancing nutrient, and it is involved in the chemical reactions that make serotonin. Jack Challem, the author of The Food Mood Solution, recommends against taking time-release niacin supplements. These supplements are more likely to raise liver enzyme levels, which may indicate problems with normal liver function.  Deficiency of niacin associated with glucose and fructose intolerance. Dosage: For schizophrenia, take 3,000 mg of vitamin B3 and 3,000 mg of vitamin C daily. For the cholesterol-lowering effect of niacin (not niacinamide), take 1,000 mg daily.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenate) – depleted by stress, physical or psychological.  Can be deficient with poor GI absorption, possibly by taking anti-acids. Closely associated with the adrenal gland. Vitamin B5 is also associated with mood and sleep and is important for the production of serotonin and tryptophan. Pantothenic acid supplementation can improve anxiety and depression. Should be supplemented in the form of calcium panthothenate, called the “anti-stress” vitamin. Also related to allergies. Closely related to copper and CQ10 metabolism. Supplementation in isolation can lead to deficiency in the other two. B5 should be supplemented in the amount of 1,000 to 1,500 mg daily.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Principal use: To reduce irritability, anxiety, tension, depression, PMS, and a “climbing the walls” feeling. B6 works with folate, vitamin B12, and tryptophan to make serotonin. Not dreaming or not being able to remember dreams is a sign of vitamin B6 deficiency, and white spots on the fingernails are a sign of zinc deficiency.  Modulates the formation of estrogen and progesterone. Associated with vitamin B6 deficiency.Also involved in hemoglobin production. Dosage: Take 50 to 250 mg daily, plus B-complex. For those who may take more than 100 mg of vitamin B6 daily for longer than six months, should ask their physician to measure both their vitamin B6 and their aspartate aminotransferase levels, an enzyme that depends on vitamin B6 (low levels indicate poor vitamin B6 activity). Taking amounts greater than 1,000 mg daily can lead to peripheral neuropathy. B6 deficiency can be seen in those on a gluten free diet. Vitamin B6 is depleted by taking anti-seizure medications.

Folate (Folic Acid) Principal use: Folate is needed to produce blood cells and other new tissues.  Involved in serotonin production and will enhance the activity of antidepressant medications. Crucial in the production of neurotransmitters and brain cells. Deficiency of folate in pregnancy is linked to neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Other symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, anorexia, constipation, glossitis, headaches, insomnia, resttess legs, impaired memory and megaloblastic anemia. Those at risk include, B12 deficiency, malabsorption, pregnant and lactating women, burns, traums, malgnancies, alsocholics and certain anti-convulsant medications ( phenytoin, barbiturates, primidone), folate antagonist therapy (nethotrezate, 5-fluoroacul, pyrmethamine), tuberculosis therpay (INH plus cycloserine, oral contraceptive use, and the elderly. Repletion recommendation: 800ucg daily. Dietary sources are dark green, leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, liver.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – Principal use: To promote mental sharpness and clarity. Low intake of vitamin B12 is strongly associated with severe depression. Deficiencies of vitamin B12 can sometimes mimic symptoms of severe brain fog and Alzheimer’s disease. Everyone who is suspected of having Alzheimer’s or dementia should have their levels of vitamin B12 and methylmalonic acid tested. Approximately one-third of senior citizens suffer from atrophic gastritis, a condition of low stomach acid, which interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12. Like folic acid, vitamin B12 is involved in the production of DNA, which is needed to make new brain cells. Drugs such as omeprazole (Prilosec), antacids, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and the use of nitrous oxide anesthesia during surgery can reduce B12 levels.  Dosage: Take 500 to 1,000 mcg daily. Vitamin B12 is required to form blood and immune cells, and support a healthy nervous system.  Deficiency symptoms of vitamin B12 affect both the blood system and the nervous system. Shortness of breath, weakness, irritability, acne, sore tongue, insomnia are all signs of deficiency. Neurologic symptoms are manifested by tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, loss of position sense and being off balance. If a vitamin B12 deficiency is not corrected permanent neurologic damage can result. Dietary sources of vitamin B12 are strictly from animal foodstuffs and not found in plants. Since the absorption and intracellular activation of oral vitamin B12 are frequently difficult, consideration should be given to injectable forms of vitamin B12. Injection should be in the form of methylcobalamin in case of genetic methylation deficiency. B12 deficiency also associated with infertility. Genetic testing can be done for MTHFR (Methlyenetetrahydrofolate reductace ). Dr Parsons may recommend supplementation with B12 Complex by Orne Research.

Biotin (B7)– Biotin is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids as well as maintaing the cell membrane.  It plays a role in the citric acid cycle, which is the process by which biochemical energy is generated during aerobic respiration. Biotin not only assists in various metabolic reactions but also helps to transfer carbon dioxide. Biotin may also be helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level.  Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails. As a consequence, it is found in many cosmetics and health products for the hair and skin, though it cannot be absorbed through the hair or skin itself.  Biotin deficiency is rare because, in general, intestinal bacteria produce biotin in excess of the body’s daily requirements. When a deficiency is found, repletion is recommended with probiotics. Biotin can be supplemented by taking Biotin 5,000 to 8,000 mcg daily.

 

Amino Acids and Metabolites

Serine  – associated with the central and peripheral nervous system. Often seen with Alzheimers.  Other neurologic symptoms such as neuropathy and behavioral disturbances may be associated with serine deficiency. Phosphatidylserine Principal use: For memory, especially age-related memory decline. Has been found to blunt the release of Cortisol. In a study of young adults, taking 300 mg of phosphatidylserine daily for one month led to fewer feelings of stress, better moods, and less neurotic behavior.  Dosage: Take 100 mg of phosphatidylserine one to three times daily.  Serine is synthesize with folate, check folate deficiency for serine deficiency. Folate is required to synthesize serine, therefore folate supplementation may be beneficial when serine levels are low.

Glutamine -Glutamine is used for energy and may be the main energy source for gastrointestinal cells, more so than glucose. It is also used to make our protein and synthesis our DNA and RNA. Supplemenation of glutamine is used to help heal the GI tract for certain GI disorders  such as gastric ulcers, ulcerative colits and Crohn’s disease and when healing from major trauma or burns. As an alternate energy source glutamine supplementation can improve fatigue. Supplementation would begin with 500 mg twice a day, working your way up to 1,000mg twice a day and eventually 1,500mg twice a day. Side effects may be headaches. The richest sources of glutamine are milk and meats.

Asparagine – related to immune system functioning. Deficiency often seen with Graves disease, thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis. Also found to be deficient with cancers. If found low screening should be done such as mammogram, colonoscopy, chest xray, and liver function tests. Though diet is often sufficient in asparagine, the body may be utilizing other essential amino acids and not readily converting protein intake to asparagin. Symptoms of deficiency may be fatigue, autoimmune disorders, severe allergies, infections, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis. Asparagine supplementation should be taken 30 minutes prior to a meal with animal protein. Only one amino acid should be taken at once. A common dosage of asparagine is 1,000 mg twice daily either 3o minutes prior to a meal with protein or 2 hours following a meal with protein.

Choline and Phosphatidylcholine Principal use: To improve memory. Choline is a B vitamin that plays a major role in mood and brain function. Animal experiments have shown that prenatal choline supplements improve the brain function of offsprings. Choline is also part of phosphatidylcholine, a type of fat needed by brain cells.  Choline – closely related to B12. Thiamine is a precursor to Choline. Choline often depleted with exercise or fat malabsorption, gallbladder or liver issues. If deficient may be a cause of muscle cramps. Dosage: Take 250 to 1,000 mg of choline daily as choline bitartrate or one heaping tablespoon of lecithin.  Choline supplemenation can be taken in divided doses of 250mg either 2 times or 3 times a day.

Inositol Principal use: For depression, anxiety, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder; boosts serotonin levels.  Deficiency correlated with PMS symptoms. Inositol is similiar to choline and is a component of phospholipids.  Phosphatidyl inositiols function as cell membrane component and are important for cell hormone receptor regulation.  Inositol also has lipotropic activity, reduces blood and tissue lipd levels.  Inositol is made by our GI microflora. Symptoms of Inositol deficiency may include hair loss, eczema, insomnia, constipation and hyperlipidemia. Dosage: Supplementation dosage is 1200 to 1500mg per day. Combine 650mg to 750 mg twice a day of inositol with a high-potency B-complex supplement.

Carnitine – L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative of the essential amino acids L-lysine and methonine. Carnitine is essential for fatty acid metabolism, optimizing energy production. Carnitine is the major nutrient for myocardial metabolism. Deficiency can be associated with hypertension and congestive heart failure. Deficiency of carnitine may be due to a high fat diet, metabolic stress, or a deficiency of lysine and methionine. 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 increase risk of angina and heart disease. Carnitine benefits lipids by lowering triglycerids and total cholesterol, while increasing HDL.Note, for those who take a statin, for cholesterol control, their doctor may recommend CQ10 in conjunction to prevent muscle cramps, a known effect of statins. Care must be taken that this supplementation does not lead to a carnitine deficiency, which is also characterized by muscle cramping, often mistaking this for additional need of CQ10, therby worsening the situation. May also imbalance B5. Carnitine supplement may be used to as part of a fat loss regimen.

Oleic Acid – Oleic acid is the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in human cells. Oleic acid may be beneficial for reducing high blood cholesterol levels. Nutritional supplement best accomplished through the diet. Deficiency can be caused by poor GI absorption. Deficiency has been associated with heart disease. Recommend daily intake of either olive oil, avacado, walnuts or almonds. Mediterranean diet will have an adequate supply of oleic acid. May supplement with Omega 9 fatty acids in a 3/6/9 combination. Also recommend taking probiotics. A deficiency of oleic acid can lead to several mineral deficiencies such as zinc, calcium and magnesium as oleic acid affects the membraine integrity of the intestinal tract.

Omega-3 Oils Principal use: To relieve depression, bipolar disorder, poor memory, impulsiveness, hostility, and physical aggressiveness, and improve thinking processes. The omega-3s are among the most healthful of all dietary fats. They are needed for normal brain development in infants and children and for normal brain function in adults. Omega-3s are found in salad greens, flaxseed, grass-fed meats, and cold-water fish, such as salmon.  Dosage: Take 3 to 10 grams daily, either in capsule form (3 to 10 capsules) or by the tablespoon.

Other Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) – Vitamin D3 is the principle regulator of calcium homeostasis in the body.  Inadequate exposure to sunlight contributes to vitamin D deficiency.  Vitamin D deficiency in adults can lead to osteoporosis. Deficiency has also been associated with depression, difficulty sleeping and eczema. Increasing evidence is accumulating that vitamin D may also contribute to antioxidant function and improve the immune system. Magnesium is needed to convert D2 to D3. Cellular deficiencies can be seen with normal serum level of vitamin D. This is thought to be due to either vitamin D “dumping” into the serum or a vitamin D receptor resistance.

*Other vitamins that can aid with sleep: Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and zinc. 

CLINICAL UPDATE VITAMIN D – Testosterone and vitamin D was measured in over 2000 men. Those with a deficiency in both vitamin D and testosterone were more than twice as likely to have a fatal cardiovascular event and over 1.5 times as likely to have a fatal event that was non- cardiovascular related. (Clinical Endocrinology, February 2012)

Vitamin A (Retinol) – Vitamin A is a family of fat soluble compounds (carotenoids) that play an important role in vision, bone growth and reproduction). It also helps regulate the immune system, promoting optimal white blood cell function in defending against bacterial and viral infections. Vitamin A promotes healthy surface linings of the eyes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts. Vitamin A also promotes healthy skin function and integrity. Deficiency symptoms:  a large number of physiological systems may be affected by Vitamin A deficiency.  Poor epithelial regeneration can result in skin hyperkeratinization, problems with genitourinary reproductive system (reduced fertility), dysfunction with the GI/biliary system and the pulmonary system. Patients with Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease are particularly susceptible to Vitamin A deficiency due to malabsorption. Vitamin A deficiency may result in night blindness and eye dryness. A deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to stomach ulcers. Deficiency seen with poor GI absorption and zinc deficiency. Best supplemented in the form of Vitamin A, as opposed to beta carotene (beta carotene needs to be converted to Vitamin A). Dose of Vitamin A in the form of Retinol Palmitate  can be 25,000 to 30,000 units daily for 4-6 weeks under a doctor’s supervision. Often liver function tests will be ordered prior to supplement therapy.  Zinc aids in Vitamin A transport, check zinc levels with Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is found in animal foods such as whole eggs, milk and liver. Vegetable sources of cartenoids are found in carrots, spinach, kale and green peas. Adequate zinc is required to synthesize retinol binding protein (RAP) which transports vitamin A. Therefore a zinc deficiency limits the body’s ability to mobilize Vitamin A stores from the liver.

Vitamin K2 – The primary function of vitamin K is to aid in the formation of blood clotting factors. It is also important for bones to hold onto calcium.  A deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and hip fractures. In addition, it promotes the prevention and reversal of arterial calcification and plaque progression. Deficiency may increase the risk of calcification of arterial walls.  Can be deficient if the normal gastrointestinal bacterial flora is out of balance, possibly for antibiotic use. Biotin can also be deficient for this reason. Recommend probiotic replacement and increased intake of cruceriferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and spinach.

Manganse – deficiency can be associated with ataxia and Parkinson like symptoms of tremors. Deficiency is associated with osteoporosis. Manganese works as an anti-oxidant and is associated with dismutase.

Calcium– Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, with 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 preset in blood and soft tissues.  Calcium levels in the blood are maintained within very strict limits by dietary intake, hormonal regulation, and rapidly exchangeable pool in bone tissue. Calcium deficiencies are both acute and chronic.  Acute calcium deficiency can cause icreased muscular and nervous irritability, muscle spasms, muscle cramps and tetany.  Chronic calcium deficiency manifests as bone loss disorders (osteoporosis, rickets), tooth decay, peridontal disease, depression, and possibly hypertension and insomnia. Conditions which are known to decrease calcium uptake are anti-acids, vitamin D deficiency, thiazide diurectics, aluminum compounds.  Deficiency seen with thyroid disorders, as there may be increased breakdown of bone.  Deficiency associated with aneurysms.  Acts as an anti-oxidant.

Zinc – the primary role of zinc is to activate almost 200 enzymes with vital roles in cell regulation, immune function, DNA and protein synthesis. Zinc also is a component of insulin (energy metabolism), thyroid hormones (allows T3 to work properly by activating the thyroid hormone receptors) and taste perception. Also affects glucose-insulin interaction.  Symptoms of zinc deficiency include fatigue, dry skin, acne, loss of taste, poor wound healing, loss of hair, infertility and night blindness. Zinc helps produce serotonin and may aid with sleep. Zinc is needed for the normal production of testosterone and is related to prostate health. Dietary sources of zinc are red meats, seeds, nuts, legumes, zinc fortified cereals. Zinc should be supplemented with with copper in a ratio of 10 to 1. For example zinc 30mg taken with copper 3mg. Any supplementation greater than than this ratio, for example, 20 to 1, can lead to a copper deficiency.

*Other vitamins that can aid with sleep: Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and zinc. 

Copper – important for collagen formation and healing. Vitamin C in large doses will inhibit copper so care must be taken to supplement with copper, usually in the form of multi vitamin, when taking high doses of vitamin C.  Copper – closely associated with  B12 and CQ10 metabolism. Supplementation of one can lead to deficiency symptoms in the other two. If deficient related to cholesterol issues, associated with cardiovascular disease, in particular aneurysm formation due to weakening of collagen. Copper supplements should not be taking at the same time as any citrus product, as citrus facilitates the copper uptake. Taking greater than 5mg a day of copper can cause migraines. Recommended daily dose of copper is 2mg daily.

Magnesium Principal use: To reduce nervousness, anxiety, jittery feelings, agitation, twitchiness, and muscle spasms. It may have some benefits in post traumatic depression and anxiety. Plays a role in more than three hundred enzymatic reactions in the body, influencing heart rate, muscle tone, bone density, labor, and the risk of headaches. It is important in energy production as Magnesium is needed to make ATP. Muscle spasms, charley horses, and restless legs syndrome are often signs of magnesium deficiency. Deficiency of Magnesium associated with fibromyalgia. Magnesium is strongly correlated with adrenal health. A deficiency of magnesium can also be associated with depression as magnesium is need for epinephrine and norepinephrine formation. Deficiency also associated with heart disease and increased incidence of heart attacks. Magnesium deficiency correction can aid with sleep. Also needed to convert Vitamin D to its active form, D3. Dosage: Take 400 mg of magnesium citrate daily.

*Other vitamins that can aid with sleep: Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and zinc. 

Antioxidants

Eating, exercising, even breathing results in the creation of free radicals.  These imbalanced molecules attack your body at the cellular level, robbing other molecules of electrons and setting off a chain reaction.  This barrage impacts overall health and wellness, as well as how quickly you age.

Glutathione – Glutatione has the unique ability to bind to organinc toxins, heavy metals, and pesticides so the body can excrete these substances more easily through the kidneys and liver.  Glutationine is vital to proper liver function. Glutathione is also present in the lining of the entire GI tract and can intercept and neutralize toxins before they are even absorbed. Glutathione also has the ability to regenerate other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.  After these antioxidants neutralize free radicals, they become unstable radicals themselves.  Glutathione helps recycle these unstable molecules, returning them to active duty.  Deficiency usually seen with heavy exercise or stress. B complex vitamins will help convert cysteine to glutathione, in particular B2 or ribolfavin. Deficiency of glutatione has been associated with acne.

Cysteine – the storage form of glutathione, converts to glutathione. Often deficient with heavy exercise, as cysteine is utilized when processing glutathione to fight free radicals released by exercise.  Deficiency often correlated with glutathione deficiency. Recommended for those with COPD, emphysema or asthma. It can act as a mucolytic make it easier to breathe for those with theses conditions. Replenish with N-actyl-L- cysteine 1,000 mg in am ad 500mg in pm. Must be taken 30 minutes prior to animal protein or 2 hours following animal protein. Will help alleviate muscle soreness. Fat soluble, will take 3-4 months to build up in tissues. B complex vitamins will help convert cysteine to glutathione.

Coenzyme Q-10 – Coenzyme Q-10 belongs to a family of substances called ubiquinones. Coenzyne Q-10 is involved in energy production and is also a powerful anti-oxidant.  Deficiency can be seen when taking a prescribed statin (cholesterol lowering medications and HMG CoA Reductase Inhibitiors) for cholesterol control. A statin will block the enzyme to convert to certain cholesterols, it also inhibits conversion of Coenzyme Q-10. Depleted with heavy exercise, as Coenzyme Q-10 is required for ATP synthesis. Deficiency can manifest as muscle soreness. Low blood levels have been reported in people with heart failure, cardiomyopathies, gingivitis, morbid obesity, hypertension, and muscular dystrophy and migraines.  Some studies have indicated that high doses of coenzyme Q-10 are useful in arresting Parkinson’s disease and the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Most common deficiency symptoms are angina and fatigue. Can replete 100mg twice daily. It takes 4 months of supplementation with Coenzyme Q 10 to notice results. Coenzyme Q-10 can be taken as ubiquinol.

CLINICAL UPDATE on CoQ10 – In this study, 22 patients with Parkinson’s Disease were compared to 88 age-matched controls that did not have Parkinson’s. Functional levels of several antioxidants – coenzyme Q10, glutathione, selenium, vitamin E and lipoic acid – were measured using SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing. A deficiency of CoQ10 occurred in 32% of Parkinson’s patients while only 8% of controls were deficient in CoQ10. Interestingly, this was not true for any other antioxidants, leaving authors to conclude that measuring CoQ10 status could determine which Parkinson’s patients would benefit from CoQ10 supplements, which has proven to slow the progression of Parkinson’s in various clinical trials. (Journal of Neurological Science, April 2011)

Selenium – A deficiency can be seen in those on a gluten free diet (B6 deficiency also seen on gluten free diet).  Selenium functions primarily as a component of the anti-oxidant, glutathione peroxidase, which facilitates the recycling of vitamins C and E.  Low levels of selenium have been lined to higher risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease and other conditions associated with free radical damage, including aging and cataract formation.  Selenium is needed for the activation of thyroid hormones, in particular the conversion of T4 to T3.  May replenish by consuming nuts and seeds or supplement with 200mcg daily.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol) – Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cell membranes andn other fat soluble compounds from oxidative damage by free radicals. For example, the osidative damage to LDL cholesterol appears to lead to the deposition of cholesterol in the arterial wall leading to atherosclerotic disease. In the past few years many other functions of vitamin E have been clarified.  Alph-tocopherol has direct effect on the control of inflammation, red and white blood cell production, connective tissue growth and genetic contorl of cell division.  Vitamin E acts to reduce free radical damage by convertin arachidonic acid free radical to less harmful derivative, limiting formation of pro-inflammatory cytokines.  In neutralizing free radicals, vitamin E is oxidized to a free radical.  Conversion back to the reduced form occurs by reacito with vitamin C.

The principal use of vitamin E is an antioxidant in the protection against heart disease, cancer, stroke and neruodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s).  In additiona, alpha-tocopherol supplementation is useful in treating other cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fibrocytis breast disea, menopause symptoms.  It may also have applications in Parkinsons’s Disease and arthritis. Vitamin E is important to immune function, protecting thymic function and white blood cells from oxidative damage.

Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include nerve damage, muscle weakness, poor coordination, involuntary eye movements, and anemia. Also associated with breast diseases, fibrocystic breasts and breast cancer.

Vitamin E is available in many different formulations, either natural or synthetic. Natural from of vitamin E are designated d-, as in d-a-tocopherol.  Synthetic forms are designated as dl-.  The biologically active form of the vitamin is the d- form and it is recommended for supplemenmtation over the dl- forms.  The amount of vitamin E requires is dependent upon the amount of polyunsaturated fat in the diet.  The more polyunsaturated fat int he diet, the greater the risk for oxidative damage, and the vitamin E requirement is increased.  Most studies have utilized doses between 200-400 IU per day.  Some studies report effective use of vitamin E at doses up to 3000 IU per day without observed side effects over a 2 year period.

Alpha Lipoic Acid – facilitates glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. Utilized with heavy exercise, queches free radicals released with exercise. Involved in sugar regulation and carbohydrate metabolism. Deficiency may cause sugar cravings. Repletion may improve HgAIC. Take 400mg to 800mg daily.

Vitamin C– One of the major roles of Vitamin C is in the synthesis of collagen and elastin.  It is also necessary in the production of several stress response hormones including adrenalin, noradrenalin, cortisol and histamine, and it s required in the synthesis of carnitine.  Vitamin C protects against heart disease by helping dissolve arterial plaque, reducing free radical oxidation of cholesterol, and maintaining the elasticity of vascular walls.  In addition, vitamin C boosts immunity by increasing production of white blood cells, increasing antibodies and interferon, and modulating prostaglanding synthesis.  It enhances iron absorption, promotes efficient wound healing, and detoxifies the body by binding to certain heavy metals so they can be eliminated from the body.  Deficiency symptoms include capillary fragility which often manifests as bleeding gums, easy bruising, tender joints, muscle weakness and poor wound healing. Recommended dosage 500mg three times a day for 40% absorption. May take 1,000mg twice daily for convenience, expect 20% absorption. Physical or emotional stress will increase the body’s requirement for vitamin C.  Vitamin C Principal use: To ease irritability and fatigue. It may enhance the activity of anti-psychotic drugs. It is essential for the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine, and it protects against toxicity from high levels of some neurotransmitters. Protects the brain against amphetamines. Often see bruising with Vitamin C, vitamin K and copper deficiencies. Hyperkeratosis pilaris also common with Vitamin C deficiency. Take care to supplement copper when taking high doses of Vitamin C. Dosage: Take 1,000 to 2,000 mg daily. Recommend C ester for longer half life. Vitamin C is needed for adrenal health.

CLINICAL UPDATE VITAMIN C – In this study, 16 practitioners gave vitamin C intravenously to 67 patients with symptomatic herpes zoster pain. The dosage was 7.5 grams per 50mL administered for two weeks. Pain and skin eruptions associated with the shingles (herpes zoster) virus were significantly reduced for up to 12 weeks following injections. (Medical Science Monitor, April 2012)

SPECTROX – or Total Antioxidant Function – The function of antioxidants is to protect biomolecules from oxidative damage.  The SPECTROX measures the net ability of antioxidant and repair mechanisms of each individual’s own cells, giving a total assessment of antioxidant function.

Oxidative Stress – Each person’s cells and tissues are constantly subjected to highly reactive and unstable molecules termed free radicals, causing oxidative stress.  These hostile molecules are a normal byproduct of life and are produced by the metabolism of oxygen, immune system cells, numerous enzyme reactions essential for metabolism, and environmental sources (smoke, ionizing radiation, air pollution, chemicals, toxic heavy metals and oxidized (rancid) fats.  By their chemical nature, free radicals, promote a chain reaction of radical formation, followed by a wake of chemically altered damaged biological molecules.  Research is continuing to find that much biological damage and disease are induces and/or mediated by injury from free radicals.

Cellular Antioxidants – Protection of deleterious effects from free radicals is found in a diverse range of molecules termed antioxidants. Free radicals and thie chain reaction byproducts can be neutralized and converted to less harmful products (quenched) by antioxidants.  Antioxidants are enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase), essential nutrients (carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, cysteine, selenium) or a wide variety of endogenous compounds (glutathione, sulfhydryl groups, lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10) or dietary compounds (mannitol, bioflavenoids).  Antioxidants interact in a complex manner with recharging and overlapping, redundant functions.  Cells also possess extensive mechanisms to repair damaged biomolecules, which appear to protective in a total antioxidant function test.

Research evidence in humans has indicated that deficient intakes or levels of nutrient antioxidants are associated with higher risks of arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts and many other degenerative diseases.  Encouraging studies have also shown that intervention with antioxidant nutrient supplements have therapeutic benefits in humans.  Antioxidants help prevent chronic degenerative diseases and may help to restore health.

Carbohydrate Metabolism

Persons with abnormal Glucose-Insulin Interaction exhibit hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia based on glucose tolerance testing. Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, headaches, nausea, disorientation, dizziness, cold hands and feet. Adrenal health is strongly correlated with glucose-insulin interaction.  Cushing’s disease may lead to hyperglycemia and Addison’s disease may lead to hypoglycemia.

Dietary suggestions are to limit refined carbohydrates (table sugar, corn syrup, white flour) and replace with unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grain products, legumes and fruits. Reduce intake of foods with a high glycemic index.  Dr. Parsons may recommend further laboratory testing of glucose and insulin metabolism with glucose tolerance test, and glycosylated hemoglobin.

Since chromium status is closely linked with insulin function and glucose tolerance, a chromium deficiency is one possible reason for abnormal Glucose-Insulin Interaction. Other nutrients associated with insulin function are zinc, magnesium, vitamin B3 and vitamin D.

Chromium Principal use: Chromium is an essential trace mineral that plays an important role in optimizing insulin function and the regulation of blood glucose levels.  Chromium may also be anti-atherogenic and assist in lowering cholesterol.  Following food intake, blood glucose levels rise causing insulin to be secreted by the pancreas.  Insulin lowers blood glucose levels by increasing the rate at which glucose enters a person’s cells.  Chromium is believed to facilitate the attachment of insulin to the cell’s insulin receptors.  Studies indicate that chromium participates in cholesterol metabolism, suggesting  role for this mineral in maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels and preventing atherosclerosis.  To reverse depression, particularly when it involves overeating. It can lower and stabilize insulin and blood sugar levels, which may lessen mood swings. May increase levels of tryptophan and serotonin. Chromium is involved in the synthesis of Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF).  GTF is the key than activated the insulin receptors of all our cells and helps the receptors function at an optimal level. Insulin receptor tolerance is what leads to Type II diabetes, where there is enough insulin, but our cells are resistant to it, leading to elevated blood sugars. Also involved in the synthesis of GTF are niacin, lysine and magnesium. Deficiency symptoms:  due to processing methods that remove most of the naturally occurring chromium from commonly consumed foods, dietary deficiency of chromium is believed to be widespread in the United States.  Chromium deficiency may increase the likelihood of insulin resistance, a condition in which the cells of the body do not respond to the presence of insulin.  Insulin resistance can lead to elevated blood levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia) and elevated blood levels of glucose, which can ultimately cause heart disease and diabetes.  Recommended reading on chromium, Richard Anderson. Dosage: Take 200mcg twice daily.

Fructose Sensitivity – most of us are aware of sensitivity of glucose or glucose intolerance and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. But what a lot of people don’t know is that the same kind of intolerance of glucose, can occur with fructose. Many people may experience the symptoms of low blood sugar, but tested for glucose intolerance, the test is normal. This is because their symptoms are due to fructose intolerance. Symptoms of fructose sensitivity may include fatigue, headaches, weakness, dizziness and behavioral changes. In order to help alleviate these symptoms, reduction of excess dietary fructose intake in recommended. Foods very rich in fructose includee table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates and many prepared food containing sucrose or corn syrup. Fructose sensitivity can be associated with vitamin B3 (niacin) deficiency.

Humans have a limited ability to metabolize fructose.  Fructose is metabolized differently from other sugars. Problems with fructose metabolism can lead to elevated triglycerides and uric acid levels, and can aggravate gout and cardiovascular disease.

Foods very rich in fructose include table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates and a large list of prepared foods containing sucrose and/or corn syrup.

 

MTHFR DNA Test – Hyperhomocysteinemia is a widely recognized risk factor for coronary artery disease, venous thrombosis, and stroke. It is also involved in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects, stillbirths, and recurrent pregnancy loss. The leading cause of hyperhomocysteinemia is folate deficiency. Other determinants include insufficient B12 intake, impaired renal function, and genetic variations including those in the MTHFR gene. Folate supplementation can correct for most causes of hyperhomocysteinemia.

 

Supplement Companies – Dr. Parsons only orders nutritional supplements forom GMP certified companies that have filed with the FDA and are regulated. Depending on your specific needs, Dr. Parsons may order form Jomar, Orthomolecular, Pure Encapsulated, Orne Research, PharmaHealth.