Micronutrient Test, Spectracell Laboratories

SpectraCell’s Micronutrient test provides a nutritional analysis by measuring functional deficiencies at the cellular level. It is an assessment of how well the body utilizes 31 vitamins, minerals, amino/fatty acids, antioxidants, and metabolites, while conveying the body’s need for these micronutrients that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones, and other substances essential for proper growth, development, and good health.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Optimal range: 85 - 100 %

Lipoic Acid is a sulfur-containing vitamin-like substance that is an important cofactor in energyproducing reactions in the production of cellular energy (ATP). Lipoic acid has been referred to as a “universal antioxidant” because it is soluble in both fat and water. It is capable of regenerating several other antioxidants back to their active reduced states, including vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione and coenzyme Q10. Alpha lipoic acid has several potential actions for the type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetic. It reduces glycosylation reactions (attachment of sugar moieties to protein) and facilitates healing of diabetic nerve damage. Biochemical reactions utilizing lipoic acid occur within the mitochondria, where it functions critically in its antioxidant capacity.

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Asparagine

Optimal range: 39 - 100 %

Asparagine is a dietarily dispensable amino acid synthesized from aspartate and glutamine. Asparagine has three major functions:

1) incorporation into amino acid sequences of proteins;

2) storage form for aspartate (is a required precursor for synthesis of DNA, RNA and ATP); and

3) source of amino groups for production of other dispensable amino acids via trasaminases.

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Biotin

Optimal range: 41 - 100 %

Biotin is required for proper metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Biotin-dependent enzymes catalyze the addition of carboxyl groups (COO-) from bicarbonate, for use in fatty acid biosynthesis, gluconeogenesis, lipogenesis, propionate metabolism, and leucine catabolism.

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Calcium

Optimal range: 38.1 - 100 %

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.

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Carnitine

Optimal range: 46 - 100 %

L-carnitine is an amino acid derivitive of the essential amino acids L-lysine and methonine. The conversion to carnitine requires niacin (B3), vitamins B6 and C, and iron. It is found in nearly all cells of the body but chiefly in the liver and kidney. Carnitine is essential for the transportation of long-chain fatty acids across the inner mitochondrial membranes in the mitochondria, where they are metabolized by beta-oxidation to produce biological energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). L-Carnitine also is required to remove short- and medium-chain fatty acids from the mitochondria. This removal optimizes energy production by maintaining coenzyme A at optimal levels for normal metabolism and energy production.

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Choline

Optimal range: 20 - 100 %

Choline is an essential nutrient that is part of cell membranes and is used by nerves to send impulses. Choline is known to be essential for mammals, and is essential for human cell growth. A dietary requirement for choline in humans has not been proven, although recent data on infants and dietary choline depletion in adults suggests that choline is an essential nutrient. Historically, choline is considered as a lipotrope and member of the B vitamin complex.

Choline has several distinct functions. First, choline serves as a source of one-carbon units (methyl groups) for biosynthesis of other compounds. Interactions with methionine, Vitamin B12, folate, ethanolamine, and betaine allow choline to partially replace, or be replaced by other constituents in one-carbon metabolism. Second, choline is a component of phosphatidyl choline, the major component of cell membranes. Lecithin is a commercial name for phospholipids containing 10-35% phosphatidyl choline. Phosphatidyl choline has interactions with cholesterol and lipoprotein metabolism.

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Chromium

Optimal range: 40 - 100 %

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.

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Coenzyme Q10

Optimal range: 86 - 100 %

Coenzyme Q-10 belongs to a family of substances called ubiquinones. These compounds are lipophilic, water-insoluble substances involved in electron transport and energy production within the mitochondria. In this capacity, coenzyme Q-10 facilitates the conversion of the energy released through glycolysis into ATP (adenosine triphospate).

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Copper

Optimal range: 42 - 100 %

Like 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.

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Cysteine

Optimal range: 41 - 100 %

Cysteine is a sulfur-containing, conditionally-essential amino acid. The sulfur group (thiol or sulfhydryl group) in cysteine accounts for most of cysteine’s functions. Cysteine can be oxidized with itself to form cystine.

Cysteine has six major functions:

1) incorporation into amino acid sequences of proteins, where cysteine promotes protein structure by sulfhydryl bonding;

2) ratelimiting precursor for glutathione synthesis;

3) precursor for taurine (used in bile formation and nerve function);

4) source of sulfate for connective tissue synthesis;

5) source of pyruvate for energy or glucose production;  

6) neurotransmitter. As a component of glutathione, cysteine functions include being a powerful antioxidant, detoxification agent, component of some prostaglandins, and an amino acid transporter across membranes. Formation of cysteine from homocysteine is one pathway to reduce homocysteine levels.

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Folate

Optimal range: 38 - 100 %

Fructose Sensitivity

Optimal range: 40 - 100 %

Humans have a limited ability to metabolize fructose (fruit sugar). Fructose is metabolized differently from other sugars. A fructose load leads to accumulation of fructose-1-phosphate in cells which may partially deplete intracellular ATP levels in susceptible individuals.

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Glucose-Insulin Interaction

Optimal range: 38 - 100 %

The patients cells are challenged with glucose and their ability to grow in the presence or absence of insulin is determined. A significant decrease of cell growth is indicative of reduced ability to metabolize glucose.

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Glutamine

Optimal range: 37 - 100 %

Glutamine is used for energy, for synthesis of other essential building blocks, (protein, DNA, and RNA), and for removal of toxic substances.

Glutamine is a dispensable amino acid present in greater amounts than any other amino acid in the body fluid and cells.

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Glutathione

Optimal range: 42 - 100 %

Glutathione is implicated in many cellular functions including antioxidant protection and detoxification. It is also essential for the maintenance of cell membrane integrity in red blood cells.

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Inositol

Optimal range: 64 - 100 %

Function: An essential nutrient, inositol is found in cell membranes and is needed for proper function of hormones. Inositol, similar to choline, is a component of phospholipids (phosphatidyl inositols). Phosphatidyl inositols function as cell membrane components and as regulators of cell membrane transport by acting as a calcium-mobilizing system (the “PI effect”). Thus, inositol status interacts with a wide variety of hormonal and regulatory events in cells. Lipotropic activity (reduction of blood or tissue lipid levels) of inositol centers around the role of phosphatidyl inositol in lipoproteins. Since inositol is widely available from dietary sources, endogenous synthesis and gut microfloral synthesis, inositol is not classified as a vitamin. Nevertheless, inositol has been considered as a component of the B vitamin complex.

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Magnesium

Optimal range: 37 - 100 %

Magnesium is predominantly found intracellularly, where it is vital for proper cell functions. Magnesium is the second most prevalent intracellular cation (after potassium). Magnesium functions are numerous and essential, including enzyme activation (over 300 types), neuromuscular activity, membrane transport and interactions, energy metabolism (carbohydrates, fats, proteins), and roles in calcium and phosphorus metabolism.

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Manganese

Optimal range: 50 - 100 %

Manganese is a mineral element that is both nutritionally essential and has the potential to be very toxic. This fact is further complicated by the small range of dosage for clinical benefit and toxicity with serious consequences. Manganese is an important factor in many critical biochemical processes including antioxidant function. The principle antioxidant enzyme within our mitochondria (energy) is superoxide dismutase and the enzymes requires manganese for optimal performance. Manganese is also required for normal skeletal development and cartilage synthesis. Wound healing is also impacted by manganese, as the synthesis of collagen in skin cells is dependent on the presence of adequate manganese. Manganese is also important functioning as a co-factor in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and cholesterol. Manganese is considered anti-osteoporotic and anti-arthritic.

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Oleic Acid

Optimal range: 70 - 100 %

Oleic acid is the most common monounsaturated fatty acid in human cells. Oleic acid is incorporated into cell membrane phospholipids, where it is important for proper membrane fluidity. Hormone responsiveness, infectivity of pathogens, mineral transport and immune competence are affected by membrane fluidity.

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Pantothenate

Optimal range: 13 - 100 %

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

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Selenium

Optimal range: 74 - 100 %

The trace mineral selenium functions primarily as a component of the antioxidant enzyme, glutathione peroxidase. Glutathione peroxidase activity, which requires selenium for activity, facilitates the recycling of vitamins C and E, in optimizing the performance of the antioxidant system. Low levels of selenium have been linked to a higher risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases, and other conditions associated with free radical damage, including aging and cataract formation. Selenium is also essential for healthy cell-mediated immune function, stimulating immune properties of lymphocytes. Selenium is also needed for the activation of thyroid hormones.

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Serine

Optimal range: 30 - 100 %

Serine is used to manufacture proteins, energy, cell membrane structure and synthesis of other cell components (DNA and RNA). Serine is a dispensable amino acid obtained from the diet and synthesized from other amino acids and metabolites of glucose.

Serine participates in protein synthesis, energy production, phospholipid synthesis (phosphatidyl serine and ethanolamine) and one-carbon unit metabolism (necessary for DNA and RNA synthesis). Quantitatively, serine supplies more one-carbon units than any other nutrient. Serine is an attachment point for carbohydrates on protein chains.

Repletion Information: Since serine is a dispensable amino acid, no dietary RDA exists. Serine is present in foods that are rich in protein. Doses of 1-2 grams daily of pure serine appear safe.

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Vitamin A

Optimal range: 70 - 100 %

Vitamin A is a family of fat soluble compounds (carotinoids) that play an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction and cell differentiation. It also helps regulate the immune system, promoting optimal lymphocyte function in defending against bacterial and viral infections. Retinol (Vitamin A) promotes healthy surface linings of the eyes and respiratory, urinary and instestinal tracts. Vitamin A also promotes healthy skin function and integrity. Retinol is the most active form of Vitmain A and is synthesized in the body by conversion of provitamin A, primarily beta-carotene, into retinol. Lycopene, lutein and zeaxathin are carotiniods that do not have Vitamin A activity, but have other helath promoting properties. Studies are inconclusive in identifying vitamin A’s rols as an antioxidant.

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Vitamin B1

Optimal range: 78 - 100 %

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is used by cells to help make energy from foodstuffs. Thiamin pyrophosphate is a cofactor for dehydrogenase enzymes with key roles in cellular energy production.

Dietary sources richest in B1 (per serving) include:

- Nutritional supplements

- Rice Bran

- Nutritional Yeasts

- Wheat Germ

- Legumes (beans, peas, soybeans, lentils)

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Vitamin B12

Optimal range: 18 - 100 %

Vitamin B12 is needed to form blood and immune cells, and support a healthy nervous system. A series of closely-related compounds known collectively as cobalamins or vitamin B12 are converted into active forms methylcobalamin or 5’-deoxyadenosylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin interacts with folate metabolism, preventing folate derivatives from being trapped in unusable states. Adenosylcobalamin is involved in the metabolism of odd-chain fatty acids and branchedchain amino acids.

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Vitamin B2

Optimal range: 53 - 100 %

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

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Vitamin B3

Optimal range: 85 - 100 %

Niacinamide is needed to metabolize foodstuffs into energy. Niacinamide is converted into the coenzymes nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and NADP, which function in oxidationreduction reactions essential for release of energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Niacin can also be synthesized by the body from tryptophan, although with low efficiency

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Vitamin B6

Optimal range: 60 - 100 %

Vitamin B6 is needed to metabolize proteins and is important for a healthy immune system, nerves, bones and arteries. Vitamin B6 is a complex of three similar molecules: Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal and Pyridoxamine. All are present in foods and converted into to pyridoxal-5- phosphate, the most active coenzyme form. The primary functions of vitamin B6 are in protein metabolism, transferring amino acid and sulfur groups. Roles in synthesis of heme (for hemoglobin), niacin, neurotransmitters, connective tissues, eicosanoids, and sphingolipids in nerve sheaths are also essential. Vitamin B6 also participates in the utilization of glycogen and immune function.

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Vitamin C

Optimal range: 40 - 100 %

Vitamin D3

Optimal range: 55 - 100 %

Vitamin D is the principle regulator of calcium homeostasis in the body. It is essential for skeletal development and bone mineralization. Vitamin D is a prohormone with no hormone activity. It is converted to a molecule that has biological activity. The active form of the vitamin is 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, usually referred to as vitamin D3. It is synthesized in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol via photochemical reactions requiring UV light (sunlight). Inadequate exposure to sunlight contributes to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency in adults can lead to osteoporosis. This results from a compensatory increase in the production of parathyroid hormone resulting in bone resorption. Increasing evidence is accumulating that vitamin D may also contribute to antioxidant function by inhibiting lipid peroxidation. The mechanism of the antioxidant effect is unknown. Vitamin D is also needed for adequate blood levels of insulin. Vitamin D receptors have been identified in the pancreas.

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Vitamin E

Optimal range: 84 - 100 %

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cell membranes and other fat-soluble compounds from oxidative damage by free radicals. For example, the oxidative 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. Alphatocopherol has direct effect on the control of inflammation, red and white blood cell production, connective tissue growth and genetic control of cell division. Vitamin E acts to reduce free radical damage by converting arachidonic acid is converted to pro-inflammatory (12-HPETE) derivatives. In deficiencies of vitamin E, arachidonic acid is converted to proinflammatory leukotrienes and cytokines. In neutralizing free radicals, vitamin E is oxidized to a free radical. Conversion back to the reduced form occurs by reaction with vitamin C (ascorbate).

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Vitamin K2

Optimal range: 30 - 100 %

The primary function of vitamin K is to aid in the formation of clotting factors and bone proteins. It serves as a cofactor in the production of six proteins that regulate blood clotting, including prothrombin. In addition, it helps to form osteocalcin, a protein necessary for the mineralization of bone.

Vitamin K also aids in the formation of glucose into glycogen for storage in the liver. In addition, it promotes the prevention and reversal of arterial calcification, plague progression and lipid peroxidation. Deficiency may increase the risk of calcification of arterial walls, particularly in individuals on vitamin D supplementation (Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption). Vitamin K exists in three forms: K1, a natural form found in plants (phylloquinone); K2, which is synthesized in the intestine (menaquinone); and K3, a synthetic form that must be activated in the liver (menadione).

Vitamin K is absorbed in the upper small intestines and transported throughout the body in chylomicrons.

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Zinc

Optimal range: 37 - 100 %

The primary role of zinc is to activate almost 200 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).

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