We can treat the physiology or down the road we treat with pharmacology. Your nutrient deficiencies eventually contribute to the onset of disease.
Vitamin supplementation can be confusing. How do you determine what nutrients you are deficient in?
NutraEval, is the most comprehensive laboratory analysis of blood and urine identifying biochemical imbalances including comprehensive metabolic pathways affecting hormone metabolism, energy formation, detoxification pathways, digestive pathways and immune function. NutraEval panel screens for the most common mechanisms of age related disease including inflammation, free radical damage and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Inflammation is critical to most age related disease. Once thought to be the body’s response to acute infection or injury, it is now believed to be pivotal in the cause of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic lung disease and joint disease.
The standard America diet is high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars, and refined starches, all of which are known to promote inflammation. Our diets increase a substance called arachadonic acid, which sets off a cascade of events causing inflammation. Corn and corn oil fed to our livestock are major culprits in increasing arachadonic acid. Inflammation can be measured by blood tests such as cardiac CRP, SED RATE, the ratio of arachadonic acid (Omega6/EPA)Omega3, and LpPLA2, a new test that is quite sensitive to arterial inflammation and a good predictor of stole and heart disease.
NaturaEval panel tests fatty acid ratios specifically omega 6/omega 3 revealing the degree of inflammation in the body. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are found in fish oils. For good health, consider supplementing with a pharmaceutical quality omega 3 Fatty acid.
Free radical damage, and DNA damage occur for many reasons. Most age free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane.
Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants. Antioxidants include Vitamins A, C, E Selenium, Zinc, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic acid and Carnitine. They give up electrons and neutralize the free radicals. Diseases mediated by this mechanism include Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Macular Degeneration, Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancers, and Arthritis.
Measuring lipid peroxides in the serum and 8 hydroxy 2 deoxyguanisine in the urine are two ways of knowing if you have adequate antioxidants. Levels of these vitamins may not tell you about function. At times the level is normal, but the individual has so much damage, they are not protected.
In terms of liberating free radicals, 1 hour of strenuous exercise liberates the same number of free radicals as smoking a pack of cigarettes. However, Damages are offset by an adequate intake of antioxidents.
Mitochondrial dysfunction is the third major mechanism of disease. Scientists at the Karolinska Institute have found that changes in the “powerhouse” of cells, the mitochondria, play a key role in aging. The findings have been published in the journal Nature. Mitochondria are responsible for processing oxygen and converting substances from the foods we eat into energy for essential cell functions.
Mitochondria produce energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is then transported to the cytoplasm of a cell for use in numerous cell functions. Mitochondrial and metabolic medical conditions are now referred to as mitochondrial cytopathies. Mitochondrial cytopathies actually include more than 40 different identified diseases that have different genetic features. The common factor among these diseases is that the mitochondria are unable to completely burn food and oxygen in order to generate energy.
Many diseases of aging have been found to have defects of mitochondrial function. These include, but are not limited to, Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, Atherosclerosis heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. In addition, many medicines can injure the mitochondria including the statins used to lower cholesterol. It is interesting to think that drugs like the statins (Pravechol, Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, Mevacor and Leschol) used to decrease the risk of heart disease may contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction and increase risk of age related disease.