Spectracell

CardioMetabolic /Pre-Diabetes 

 

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death. Standard cholesterol tests can miss that YOU are at risk. SpectraCell’s CardioMetabolic test offers a clinically relevant evaluation to help define risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), progression toward Type 2 Diabetes, and inflammation. It includes SpectraCell’s Advanced Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ Plus (LPPTM Plus), which measures lipoprotein size and density; cardiovascular risk stratification; and also includes triglycerides and traditional cholesterol screening. Each patient is assigned a CardioMetabolic Risk Assessment, which is an indication of your risk (Low, Moderate or High) for developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke and diabetes. In addition, the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment is an estimate of your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.  These check points help patients understand that not just one factor, but rather a constellation of risk factors, contribute to the genesis and progression toward poor blood sugar control and/or ASCVD.  Results of testing allow doctors to know when guidance, educational referral, or treatment is necessary. 

Who should take the CardioMetabolic Test or Pre-Diabetes Risk Panel?

All patients, and especially those who:

 

 

  • Have a family history of heart disease or diabetes

  • Have been diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes

  • Are already taking cholesterol-lowering medications

  • Have been diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome (high blood pressure)

  • Are overweight

  • Have high LDL - the bad cholesesterol

  • Have low HDL - the good cholesterol

  • Have high triglycerides

The CardioMetabolic and Pre-Diabetes Risk Panels are the tests that could save your life.

 

  • Lipoprotein Fractionation

  • Lipoprotein Particle Numbers

  • Total LDL Particles

  • Total HDL Particles

  • Triglycerides

  • Lipoprotein (a)

  • Leptin

  • Apolipoprotein B

  • hs-CRP

  • Homocysteine

  • Insulin

  • Glucose

  • Hemoglobin A1c

  • C-peptide 

  • Adiponectin

  • OmegaCheck

CardioMetabolic Test Panel

 

Your cellular metabolism and your cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels) are very intricately linked.  For various reasons – not just age – our metabolism changes.  Our personal chemistry controls these changes and they can be measured in SpectraCell’s CardioMetabolic panel, which covers the three main areas of keeping a healthy metabolic profile your whole life: Glycemic Control, Lipid Profile, and Vascular Inflammation.  Key components of the CardioMetabolic Risk Panel are listed to the right.

Pre-Diabetes Test Panel

 

SpectraCell's Pre-Diabetes Risk Score is a way to estimate a patient's risk of developing diabetes and associated complications such as heart disease or stroke.  The following tests have the largest impact on the pre-diabetes risk score: hemoglobin A1c, fasting blood sugar and metabolic syndrome traits.  Other factors that significantly affect a pre-diabetic risk but that are not included in this report include weight, blood pressure (hypertension), smoking, inflammation and family history.

  • Glucose - snapshot of blood sugar at time of blood draw

  • Insulin - correlates to the efficiency with which a person can metabolize carbohydrates; high fasting levels indicate insulin resistance and possible pre-diabetes.

  • Hemoglobin A1C - long term (2-3 months) marker of glycemic control; also considered a marker of accelerated aging

  • C-peptide - a measure of endogenous insulin production; useful in distinguishing between ty pe 1 and type 2 diabetes

  • Adiponectin - a hormone that ezymatically controls metabolism; high levels beneficial and indicate efficient cellular energy production

  • Metabolic syndrome traits - A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is confirmed if any three of the following six traits exist in a patient: (1) high triglycerides (2) high glucose (3) low HDL (4) high blood pressure (5) high waist circumference or (6) increased small dense LDL

Micronutrient Test 

 

SpectraCell’s Micronutrient test measures 31 vitamins, minerals, amino/fatty acids, antioxidants, and metabolites – and how they affect cellular function in a person. Correlating micronutrient deficiencies not only slows aging and degenerative disease progression, it can also prevent as well as repair cellular dysfunction, and by extension, disease.

Nutritional balance plays a key role in optimal wellness, chronic disease prevention and managing the aging process.

  • Do you find yourself feeling stressed, tired and maybe a little depressed?

  • Do you take prescription medicines to alleviate symptoms of certain conditions, but wonder why the condition exists at all?

  • Do you want to boost your immune system now, to possibly prevent chronic disease later? 

SpectraCell's Micronutrient testing offers the most accurate, scientifically proven method of assessing nutritional deficiencies.

Traditionally, a person waited to go to the doctor at the first signs of a symptom.  Today, individuals are looking for way to not only manage illness with personalized treatment plans, but they are also seeking to achieve a higher level of wellness.

Eating a balanced diet, exercising and taking a multivitamin is simply not enough.  Each person's body is unique in its own way.  Due to the complexity of the human body, an individualized healthcare approach is the only way to guarantee optimal results.

 

What is Micronutrient Testing?

SpectraCell's Micronutrient tests measure the function of 35 nutritional components including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids within our white blood cells.  Scientific evidence shows us that analyzing the white blood cells gives us the most accurate analysis of a body's deficiencies.

Vitamins

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin B1

  • Vitamin B2

  • Vitamin B3

  • Vitamin B6

  • Vitamin B12

  • Biotin

  • Folate

  • Pantothenate

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin K

Minerals

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

  • Manganese

  • Zinc

  • Copper

Amino Acids

  • Asparagine

  • Glutamine

  • Serine

Antioxidants

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid

  • Coenzyme Q10

  • Cysteine

  • Glutathione

  • Selenium

  • Vitamin E

Carbohydrate Metabolism

  • Chromium

  • Fructose Sensitivity

  • Glucose-Insulin

  • Metabolism

Metabolites

  • Choline

  • Inositol

  • Carnitine

SPECTROX™

for Total Antioxidant Function

IMMUNIDEX™

Immune Response Score

Lipoprotein Particle Testing

Do Cholesterol Numbers Really Assess Cardiovascular Risk? Lipoprotein Particle Numbers Tell the Story.

 

Up to 50 percent of those who have suffered heart attacks had “normal” cholesterol numbers. How can the large discrepancy between accurate diagnosis and standard cholesterol testing be prevented? Simply by testing the LDL (low density lipoprotein) particle numbers using the Lipoprotein Particle Profile™ (LPP™) from SpectraCell Laboratories.

Cholesterol testing has historically been used as the standard indicator for cardiovascular disease classified as HDL (good) or LDL (bad). However, it is actually the lipoprotein particles that carry the cholesterol throughout the body, not necessarily the cholesterol within them, that are responsible for key steps in plaque production and the resulting development of cardiovascular disease.

 

Approximately 50 percent of people suffering from heart attacks have shown “normal” cholesterol numbers (NHLBI – The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute).

Now there is an advanced cholesterol testing technology which accurately measures both the density and number of lipoprotein particles. This test is the Lipoprotein Particle Profile™, or LPP™, from SpectraCell Laboratories.

Measuring the lipoprotein subgroups is the only way to evaluate new risk factors, which is crucial for an accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk – according to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).

NCEP Risk Factors:

  • Small, dense LDL: these atherogenic particles are easily oxidized and penetrate the arterial endothelium to form plaque

  • Lp(a): this small, dense LDL is involved in thrombosis

  • RLP (Remnant Lipoprotein): is very atherogenic, has a similar composition and density of plaque, is believed to be a building block of plaque and does not need to be oxidized like other LDL particle

  • HDL2b: positively correlates with heart health because it is an indicator of how well excess lipids are removed

Why is it important to know lipoprotein numbers?

Cardiovascular risk increases with a higher LDL particle count. With a higher non-HDL lipoprotein count the probability of particle penetration of the arterial wall rises, regardless of the total amount of cholesterol contained in each particle. On average, the typical particle contains 50 percent cholesterol.

More than 30 percent of the population has cholesterol-depleted LDL, a condition in which a patient’s cholesterol may be “normal” but their lipoprotein particle number, and hence their actual risk, could be much higher than expected. This is especially common in persons whose triglycerides are high or HDL is low. In the population with a cholesterol-depleted LDL, there can be up to a 40 percent error in risk assessment.

LPP Basic

  • Lipoprotein Fractionation   

  • Lipoprotein Particle Numbers

  • Total Cholesterol

  • HDL Cholesterol

  • LDL Cholesterol

  • Triglycerides

  • Lipoprotein (a)

LPP Plus

  • Lipoprotein Fractionation

  • Lipoprotein Particle Numbers

  • Total Cholesterol

  • HDL Cholesterol

  • LDL Cholesterol

  • Triglycerides

  • hs-CRP

  • Homocysteine

  • Apolipoprotein A-1

  • Apolipoprotein B

  • Lipoprotein (a)

  • Insulin

Hormone and Thyroid Testing

Like nutrients, hormones influence all aspects of health and disease – mood, sleep, metabolism, immunity, heart health, and appearance. An imbalance of one hormone can initiate a cascade of events that alters other hormones, so a comprehensive look at hormone status is key. 

SpectraCell offers testing for both peptide and steroid (sex) hormones in panels designed specifically for men and women, as well as comprehensive thyroid testing. Since hormones act as precursors and regulators, a complete hormone panel will facilitate your ability to match laboratory results to clinical symptoms – with the ultimate goal of administering the most effective treatment.

Conditions affected by hormone imbalance:

  • Adrenal fatigue

  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Diabetes

  • Mental disorders

  • Weight gain

  • Neurological disorders

  • Osteoporosis

  • Autoimmune disease

  • Fertility

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Cancer

SpectraCell offers comprehensive female and male hormone testing that reveals the overall state of hormonal balance. Like nutrients, hormones influence all aspects of health and disease – mood, sleep, metabolism, immunity, heart health and appearance. An imbalance in one hormone can initiate a cascade of events that alters overall hormone levels, so a comprehensive look at hormone status is key. 

THYROID HORMONES TESTING

  • Free T3 (Free Triiodothyronine) – the more potent and biologically active thyroid hormone, T3 regulates growth and metabolism throughout the whole body.

  • Free T4 (Free Thyroxine) – considered a precursor hormone, T4 is converted to T3 as required by cells throughout the body; levels of T4 are generally much higher than T3.

  • Total T4 (Total Thyroxine) - Most T4 in the blood is bound to carrier proteins which make it biologically inactive. Total T4 includes unbound (free) T4 plus T4 that is bound to carrier proteins in the blood.

  • rT3 - Reverse T3 (Reverse Triiodothyronine) - As the name implies, Reverse T3 opposes the biological action of T3.  It slows metabolism and renders T3 in the body biologically inactive.  The rate of rT3 production relative to T3 will increase in times of stress (high cortisol) and in the presence of nutrient deficiencies, inflammation or certain medications.

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – produced by the pituitary gland, TSH tells the thyroid gland to increase or decrease production of T4 or conversion to T3 depending on the amounts circulating in the bloodstream via an efficient feedback system.

  • Anti-TG (Antibodies to Thyroglobulin) – a precursor to T4. If Anti-TG are present in significant amounts, this suggests an abnormal immune response against your own body, also called autoimmunity.

  • Anti-TPO (Antibodies to Thyroperoxidase) – is an enzyme that initiates the synthesis of T4. Antibodies to TPO indicate autoimmunity where the body is attacking normal proteins in the blood (in this case, TPO). People with anti-TPO have a higher chance of developing hypothyroidism that those who do not have antibodies to TPO.

  • Tg (Thyroglobulin) – The main function of Tg is to store iodine, which is a necessary nutrient for the production of thyroid hormones T3 and T4. This test is particularly useful when monitored over time versus a single measurement and can sometimes be a useful tumor marker in patients with previous thyroid cancer.

  • TBG (Thyroid Binding Globulin) – is a carrier protein for thyroid hormones so its role is to transport T4 and T3 through the bloodstream. The thyroid gland adjusts to changing levels of TBG in order to keep free T4 constant and it is particularly useful when thyroid (T4) levels do not necessarily correlate with clinical symptoms. TBG levels are largely affected by other hormones and many prescription drugs and is useful in diagnosing the reason behind abnormal thyroid hormone levels.

Sex (Steroid) Hormone Testing

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) - the most abundant sex hormone in the body, DHEAS (the sulfated, or bioavailable for of DHEA), is produced by the adrenal glands is the precursor hormone to testosterone and estrogens.  DHEAS enhances immunity, reduces autoimmunity, helps prevent cancer, and improves insulin sensitivity, bone health and cognitive function.

  • Androstenedione - precursor hormone to both testosterone and estrogens; occurs in equilibrium with testosterone so an increase in one also increases the other.

  • Testosterone - clinically associated with increased muscle mass, libido, bone health and a general sense of well being.

  • Estradiol (E2) - the strongest estrogen; protects blood vessels, increased high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL), prevents bone loss, helps form collagen which benefits the appearance of the skin, improves cognitive function and increases the immune response.  However, estradiol also exerts a strong proliferative effect on hormone sensitive tissues like the breast, uterus and ovary so it must be properly balanced with progesterone and other estrogens to prevent the clinical manifestation of estrogen dominance and related cancers. 

  • Estrone (E1) - This estrogen has very strong tissue proliferative effects and may be linked to estrogen dominant conditions like fibrocystic breasts, endometriosis and uterine fibroids. It will create either dangerous or beneficial metabolites, depending on a person's nutritional status. 

  • Estriol, unconjugated (E3) - weaker estrogen; protective against cancer as it opposes the proliferative effects on the uterus, breast and ovary from the stronger estrogens; particularly high during pregnancy.

  • Progesterone - selectively balances the effects of estrogen in hormonally sensitive tissue (breast, uterine) as well as in the brain and skin. Progesterone decreases the immune response, promotes bone formation, protects the brain and tends to have a calming effect on mood.  It is also a precursor hormone for other sex hormones as well as cortisol and interacts with hormones to regulate metabolism.

Regulatory (Peptide) Hormone Testing

  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) - stimulates the production of estrogens; marker of ovarian function in women and initiates sperm production in men.

  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) - contributes to reproductive function in both men and women; responsible for ovulation in women and sperm production in men; works synergistically with FSH and largely affected by prolactin levels.

  • Prolactin (PRL) - an inhibitory hormone that reduces the action of several other hormones; most known for its ability to stimulate milk production in lactating women but it also regulates calcium metabolism and plays a role in the synthesis of nerve cells and prostaglandins as well, in both men and women.

  • Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) - produced in the liver and regulated by other hormones, SHGB is a protein that binds estrogens and testosterone in the bloodstream so they are biologically inactive.

Genetic Testing

The genetic tests offered by SpectraCell are a special piece of the clinical puzzle. As a clinician, knowing the genotype of your patient allows you a more accurate picture of what is going on biochemically, particularly in their methylation capacity. It facilitates a more precise plan of action and allows treatment tailored to be most effective for reducing disease risk, as the most efficacious therapy differs from patient to patient depending on their genotype. SpectraCell was the first lab to offer telomere testing outside of a research setting, bringing it to market as the diagnostic epitome of cellular aging.  

Genotyping

We offer several genetic tests that are critical for determining cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.

  • MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase)Mutations in this enzyme can affect the metabolism of homocysteine—causing accumulation—and therefore, impair methylation. Methylation is a biochemical process that is involved in numerous functions including cellular repair, energy production, detoxification, neurotransmitter production, and immunity, among others. MTHFR mutations have been linked to increased risk for cardiovascular disease, blood vessel damage, blood clots (thrombosis), stroke, and degenerative aging.

 

MTHFR is an enzyme responsible for converting 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to the product 5-        methyltetrahydrofolate - it is involved in the metabolism of folate and homocysteine. The product of the reaction catalyzed by MTHFR converts homocysteine (a potentially toxic amino acid) to methionine (a useful and necessary amino acid).

Why is MTHFR Genotyping Important?

 - Certain mutations in the gene coding for MTHFR produce an enzyme that has reduced activity.

 - Reduced activity can lead to elevated levels of homocysteine (a.k.a. hyperhomocysteinemia), especially when folate levels are  low.

 - High homocysteine (>13umol/L) may double the risk of developing illness or complications.

 - MTHFR genotyping can provide information about potential causes of elevated homocysteine and approaches for addressing it.

 - Based on MTHFR and homocysteine results, physicians can develop dietary and medical recommendations - increased intake of folate alone or in combination with vitamins B6 and B12 are recommended.

 - Based on results, recommendations for methotrexate dosage can be adjusted.

  • Apolipoprotein E - This test measures risk for lipid irregularities. The results of this test can help inform lifestyle and treatment strategies to help reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

This test determines an individual’s genetic risk associated with the Apolipoprotein E gene. ApoE is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol and triglycerides, and variants in this gene can have clinically relevant implications for disease risk as well as one’s response to statin therapy, dietary fat, and other risk factors (eg., smoking and alcohol consumption). Approximately 45% of individuals carry one or more of the high risk variants within the ApoE gene. The results of the genotyping of Apolipoprotein E have important implications in the treatment strategies for individual patients in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.

What does ApoE do?

 - ApoE plays a role in the transport and metabolism of plasma lipoproteins (which carry cholesterol).

 - The role of ApoE is to bind to cellular receptors and mediate clearance of the lipoproteins and their remnants from the bloodstream.

 - ApoE functions mainly in the liver and brain but is also found in other tissues throughout the body.

  • Factor V Leiden and Prothrombin - Determines an individual’s susceptibility to thrombosis (formation of blood clots), deep vein thrombosis, and heart attack.

Factor V Leiden refers to a mutation in the gene that manufactures a protein called factor V which is involved in the process of blood coagulation.  the factore V protein is also called coagulation factor V, and sometimes proaccelerin or labile factor. 

Risks associated with factor V Leiden

  • People with factor V Leiden gene have an increased risk of developing a type of blood clot called a deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

  • The factor V protein functions as a cofactor that activates an enzyme called thrombin.  Thrombin in turn cleaves fibrinogen to form fibrin, which functions to cross link and form the dense meshwork that makes up the majority of a blood clot when activated.

  • Factor V Leiden thrombophilia also increases the risk that clots will break away from their original site and travel through the bloodstream.  These clots can lodge in the lungs, where they are known as pulmonary emboli.

  • Although factor V Leiden thrombophilia increases the risk of blood clots, only about 10 percent of individuals with the factor V Leiden mutation ever develop abnormal clots.

  • Women with the factor V Ledien R506Q gene mutation (called R506Q) have increased risk of clotting in pregnancy in the form of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.  They also may have a small increased risk of preeclampsia, may have a small increased risk of low birth weight babies, may have a small increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth due to either clotting in the placenta or umbilical cord.  Please note: Many women with this mutation go through one or multiple pregnancies with no difficulties, while others may have complications or develop clots during pregnancy.

  • If you have factor V Leiden and have developed blood clots, medications can lessen your risk of developing additional blood clots and help you avoid potentially serious complications. 

  • Prothrombin - Prothrombin is a protein that causes blood to coagulate and form blood clots. A genetic mutation (called G20210A) in the production of this protein is a risk factor for thrombosis (blood clots) including deep venous thrombosis (DVT). This mutation in the gene encoding the clotting factor prothrombin is found in about 1 in 50 persons in the US. It raises the risk of thrombosis significantly for both males and females in all age groups. The Prothrombin G20210A mutation increases circulating prothrombin levels. This appears to create a hypercoagulable state.

Risks associated with Prothrombin

  • This gene provides instructions for making a protein called prothrombin (also called coagulation factor II). Coagulation factors are essential proteins for normal blood clotting. After an injury, clots protect the body by sealing off damaged blood vessels, preventing additional blood loss.

  • This mutation causes the gene to be overactive and leads to the excess production of prothrombin, which may lead to high rates of blood clot formation.

  • People who have prothrombin mutation G20210A have a 2-to-3 fold increase in the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). Persons who have this mutation plus the factor V Leiden mutation have a 10-to-20 fold increase in thrombotic risk.

  • Other factors also increase the risk of blood clots in people with prothrombin thrombophilia (a disorder that causes overcoagulation of the blood). These factors include increasing age, obesity, trauma, surgery, smoking, the use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) or hormone replacement therapy, and pregnancy.

  • Telomere Analysis - An innovative approach to managing the aging process.  An individual’s chronological age and cellular health may be very different, and SpectraCell’s Telomere Test is one way to evaluate the rate of cellular turnover, and the effectiveness of anti-aging therapy. Age adjusted telomere length is the best method to date to assess the correlations between age, morbitity, mortality and disease risk.

What does Telomere Testing measure?

Telomeres are sections of genetic material at the end of each chromosome whose primary function is to prevent chromosomal “fraying” when a cell replicates. As a cell ages, its telomeres become shorter. Eventually, the telomeres become too short to allow cell replication, the cell stops dividing and will ultimately die - a normal biological process. SpectraCell’s Telomere Test can determine the length of a patient’s telomeres in relation to the patient’s age. 

What are the nutritional implications on telomere length and repair?

An inflammatory diet, or one that increases oxidative stress, will shorten telomeres faster. This includes refined carbohydrates, fast foods, processed foods, sodas, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and saturated fats. A diet with a large amount and variety of antioxidants that improves oxidative defense and reduces oxidative stress will slow telomere shortening. Consumption of 10 servings of fresh and relatively uncooked fruits and vegetables, mixed fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, cold water fish, and high quality vegetable proteins will help preserve telomere length. In addition, it is advised to reduce total daily caloric intake and implement an exercise program. Fasting for 12 hours each night at least 4 days per week is recommended. 

 

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