Tag Archives: Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories

Proper Nutrients for Healthy Brain Aging

BrainDiet1Jacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Along with a growing aged population comes the desire to preserve healthy cognitive function throughout one’s lifespan. An interdisciplinary field of research known as nutritional cognitive neuroscience investigates the impact of nutrition on cognition and brain health with aging. This research demonstrates that many aspects of nutrition, from entire diets to specific nutrients, can affect brain structure and function. Emerging evidence indicates that optimal nutrition may potentially preserve cognitive function, slow aging progression and reduce the incidence of debilitating diseases in healthy aging populations. Recent advances in the study of the beneficial effects of plasma levels of nutrient biomarkers on the aging brain aim to establish effective nutritional interventions to promote healthy brain aging.

Biomarkers provide measures of nutritional status of bioactive chemicals in foods, which can indicate a healthy level of nutrients, as well as nutrient deficiencies. Epidemiological studies have identified approximately 100 biomarkers that correlate with dietary intake, such as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, polyphenols, fatty acids, amino acids, metabolites and enzymes. These biomarkers can be used to estimate the intake of a wide range of dietary components, including overall fruit and vegetable intake, whole grains, salmon, red meat, tea and wine, as well as food additives and contaminants.

In one study, reported in the March 2019 edition of Neurolmage, scientists at the University of Illinois examined 32 key nutrients present in significant amounts in the Mediterranean diet. Shown in previous studies to provide nutrients that confer protective effects on brain health, the Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, whole grains, olive oil and seafood and limits red meat and sweets. The study linked higher blood levels of several key nutrients with more efficient brain connectivity and enhanced performance on cognitive tests, supporting previous research that linked better brain function in older adults who most closely followed a Mediterranean style diet.

Multiple studies have shown that adherence to the Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), as well as reduces the likelihood of progression from MCI to dementia. The University of Illinois study applied a rigorous approach to the study of diet and brain health. As opposed to relying on food intake surveys, researchers used MRI high resolution brain imaging to evaluate brain network efficiency in addition to measured blood levels of nutrients and cognitive function tests. Per leading researcher Aron Barbey, U. of I. psychology professor in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, “Functional MRI’s can indicate the efficiency of individual brain networks, which has to do with how information is communicated within the network.”

Researchers looked at local efficiency, or how well information is shared within spatially  confined brain regions, as well as global efficiency, the number of steps required to transfer information from one region to any other region in the network. Different nutrient patterns appeared to moderate the efficiency in different brain networks. The study suggests that diet and nutrition moderate the association between network efficiency and cognitive performance. The researchers found what they termed “robust” links between five nutrient biomarker patterns and better results on memory, general intelligence, and executive function tests. Nutrients in the biomarker patterns include antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, lycopene, carotenoids, riboflavin (vitamin B2), folate (vitamin B9), vitamin B12 and vitamin D, which all appeared to work synergistically.

The U. of I. study has highlighted the potential impact of nutritional factors and individual micronutrients on brain and cognitive performance, particularly in the older population. Of particular interest are the B vitamins, folate, B12 and B6, as mild deficiencies in these vitamins are relatively common in older adults. Studies have provided evidence of an association between these B vitamins and many aspects of cognitive performance, especially in seniors. Evidence continues to mount that higher intakes and serum concentrations of folate, B6 and B12 may influence cognitive performance, as well as neurological and physiological function.

The growing and promising field of nutritional cognitive neuroscience will continue to advance our understanding of the beneficial effects of nutrition on aging brain health. Ultimately, nutritional therapies will be developed to support targeted treatment of cognitive and neurological impairments in the aging brain. In the meantime, preliminary evidence indicates the effectiveness of supplementation in enhancing cognitive performance in older adults. Along with the Mediterranean diet, regular exercise and healthy sleep, therapeutic nutritional supplements may play a protective role in brain health and have a positive impact on cognitive performance, mood and wellbeing as we enter our golden years.

Professional Supplement Center offers unique and effective quality formulations in support of brain and whole body heath and function:

Synergistic Brain...Synergistic Brain Health by Diamond Formulations: This product is specifically formulated with well-researched therapeutic nutrients that work collectively to support long-term brain health and function. Key ingredients with potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties optimize cellular energy production, reduce oxidative stress, enhance neurotoxin detoxification and promote the production and communication of brain neurotransmitters in support of the maintenance of healthy cognitive function. Free of wheat, yeast, soy, gluten, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO formulation.

Comprehensive...Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories: This micronutrient test kit offers an accurate, scientifically proven method of assessing nutritional deficiencies. This test  measures 35 nutritional components, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, antioxidants, and metabolites. Test kit, shipping labels and a complimentary post-test in-person or telephone consultation with our Registered Nurse to discuss test results is included.

Cognizin Citicoline...Cognizin® Citicoline 250 mg by Healthy Origins®: This formula provides clinically studied nutrients that provide antioxidant defense, stimulate neuronal communication and support healthy cognition. Free of starch, wheat, gluten, corn, soy, barley, fish, shellfish, nuts, tree nuts, eggs and dairy. Non-GMO formulation.

Vital Brain Natural...Vital Brain Powder™ by Vital Nutrients: This lemon flavored powdered formula provides powerful nutrients that support mental performance, healthy cognitive function, healthy mood and brain wellness. Free of wheat, barley and rye gluten, casein, whey, eggs and sugar. Contains soy.

CogniAidCogniAid™ by Designs for Health®: This herbal extract formula is designed to help support heathy mood and cognition by supporting the maintenance of neurotransmitters, neuronal health and healthy nerve impulse transmission. Featured ingredients include a wild blueberry complex, green tea extract and bacopa monnieri. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience: Innovations for Healthy Brain Aging. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893495/
Nutrients in Blood Linked to Better Cognition and Brain Connectivity in Older Adults. https://neurosciencenews.com/aging-blood-cognition-nutrients-10385/
Study links nutrient patterns in blood to better brain connectivity, cognition in older adults. https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/730014
B Vitamins, Cognition, and Aging: A Review. https://academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article/56/6/P327/610645
Does the Mediterranean Diet Impact Brain Health and Memory? https://www.verywellhealth.com/mediterranean-diet-brain-health-98428

A, D, E, and K – The Fat Soluble Vitamins

FatSolubleVitaminsJacquie Eubanks RN BSNInfluenced by their molecular properties, the solubility of nutrients determines how well they will be absorbed by the body. Whether a vitamin is soluble (dissolvable) in water or in lipids influences where it can be utilized and whether any excess will be excreted or stored. Water-soluble B-complex vitamins and antioxidant vitamin C are quickly and easily utilized; any excess intake is eliminated so daily replenishment is required. Not surprisingly, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K require some dietary fat in order to be absorbed and metabolized. Excess intake of these nutrients is stored in the liver and the body’s fatty tissues until needed. Dietary fats are also required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for numerous biological processes. Vitamins A, D and K cooperate synergistically, and also work in tandem with important essential minerals like magnesium, calcium and zinc.

Nutrient deficiencies are generally the result of dietary inadequacy, impaired absorption, increased requirement, or increased excretion. While a well-balanced diet containing a wide variety of nutrient dense whole foods can provide sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies are incredibly common. Unlike vitamins A, E and K that have multiple dietary sources, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. As food sources are limited, a deficiency can occur when dietary intake is insufficient over a period of time. Since vitamin D is synthesized through skin exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, restricting sunlight exposure can also create a deficiency of this nutrient. Additionally, low serum levels of vitamin D can result from inadequate digestive absorption, or the inability of the liver and kidneys to complete the synthesis of vitamin D from ultraviolet light.

Vitamin A

Also known as retinol, antioxidant vitamin A is critical for the maintenance of normal vision, as well as the growth and specialization of virtually all bodily cells. Vitamin A has important roles in embryonic development, normal immune functions, red blood cell production and free radical scavenging. Naturally present in foods such as organ meats, salmon, dairy products and colorful fruits and vegetables, vitamin A is actually a group of nutritional organic compounds that include retinol, retinoic acid, and provitamin A carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene. Although it is best known for the ability to support eye health, vitamin A also helps to relieve inflammation and supports bone, immune, skin and tissue health.

Vitamin D

All vitamin D, whether obtained through sunlight exposure, diet or supplementation, is biologically inert. To become biologically active it and must go through conversion, first in the liver, then in the kidneys. As optimizing vitamin D levels is important to disease prevention and long term health maintenance, one must expose large amounts of skin to the proper amount of sunlight, or supplement with vitamin D3, a highly potent, quickly converted bioactive form. Actually considered a prohormone, vitamin D has the potential to provide numerous health benefits when adequate levels are maintained. Among its many functions are the facilitation of calcium, phosphate and magnesium absorption, cell growth modulation, and inflammation reduction, as well as immune and neuromuscular support. Vitamin D may play a role in protecting against certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, autoimmune diseases and depression. As many individuals either avoid sun exposure or block ultraviolet rays with sunscreen, supplementation with vitamin D3 may be a wise choice for those who with low serum levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Required for the proper function of many organs, enzymatic activities and neurological processes, antioxidant vitamin E fights free radicals, helps reduce inflammation, and works to balance hormones naturally. Found in seeds, nuts, whole grains and some fruits and vegetables, vitamin E helps boost immunity and supports blood vessel health. Although more studies are needed, vitamin E may support cardiovascular health by helping to prevent platelet clumping and plaque buildup in blood vessels. Through its ability to fight the inflammation and oxidation linked to numerous health conditions, vitamin E may aid in the prevention of cataracts, arthritis and some cancers.

Vitamin K

Well known for its crucial role in proper blood clotting, vitamin K is also essential for building strong bones and preventing heart disease. Of the three types of vitamin K, K1, K2 and K3, natural vitamin K2 is synthesized in the digestive tract and is the form most often recommended for supplementation. Viewed as an important nutritional intervention for improved bone density, vitamin K2 aids the deposit of calcium and other important minerals into the bone matrix. Additionally, published research has indicated that optimum intake of vitamin K plays an important role in longevity. By aiding calcium placement in the bones, vitamin K helps to keep calcium deposits out of arteries and blood vessels, thereby preventing  arterial calcification, or atherosclerosis, that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. Primarily present in leafy vegetables, vitamin K can be found in fermented foods and animal products, such as meat and dairy.

It can be nutritionally challenging to get the macro- and micro-nutrients the body requires, particularly when one is elderly or dieting, or has illnesses, allergies, or dietary restrictions that require the elimination of entire food groups. The result of sub-optimal intake of nutrients is a sub-optimal state of health. RDA’s, known also as Daily Values (DV), are typically based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. With diet alone, the average American will fail to meet RDA’s for B vitamins, vitamin D, and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Even those who consciously eat a nutritious diet each day may fall alarmingly short of their RDA’s for maintaining optimal health.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality nutritional supplements in support of overall health and longevity:

Comprehensive...Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories: Micronutrient testing offers an accurate, scientifically proven method of assessing nutritional deficiencies. This test measures 35 nutritional components including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and metabolites, as well as amino and fatty acids. Test kit, shipping labels and complimentary post-test consultation with Registered Nurse included.


Vitamin A 10,000 IUVitamin A 10,000 IU by Pure Encapsulations®: Largely derived from Norwegian cod liver oil, this product supplies an optimum amount of vitamin A per serving in support of healthy bodily function and maintenance. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.


Vitamin D 5,000 IUVitamin D 5,000 IU by Douglas Laboratories®: One tablet supplies 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 in support of calcium absorption, bone metabolism, and optimal health. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar, yeast and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Natural Vitamin E...Natural Vitamin E Complex with Mixed Tocopherols by Douglas Laboratories®: One softgel provides 400 IU of pure, natural alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols in support of free radical defense. Gluten and soy free formulation.


K2-7 plus D3K2-7 + D3 by Vital Nutrients: This synergistic formulation supports healthy serum calcium levels, healthy bone and calcium metabolism, and vascular elasticity. Gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, egg and sugar free formulation.


Nutrients and Solubility. http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Vitamins/vitamins.html
Which Vitamins are Water Soluble and Fat Soluble. https://www.medicinenet.com/water_soluble_vitamins_vs_fat_soluble_vitamins/ask.htm
Vitamin D: A Hormone for All Seasons – How much is enough? Understanding the New Pressures. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240026/
The role of vitamin e in human health and some diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24790736



What Nutrients Are Missing in Your Diet?

WhatsMissingDietJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

If you are focused on losing body fat or increasing lean muscle mass, chances are you are concentrating on your caloric intake, as well as placing your focus on your macronutrient intake, the proteins, carbohydrates and dietary fats that are all a necessary part of a healthy diet. Or, perhaps you follow the standard American diet consisting of foods high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, leading to hunger and overconsumption of far too many empty calories, as the body strives to get the nutrients it needs for proper function. While one of these dietary approaches may be viewed as healthier than the other, chances are neither will consistently deliver sufficient micronutrients necessary for overall good health and bodily functions, leading to a dietary deficiency in vitamins and minerals or micronutrient malnutrition.

While the general nutrition advice is to eat a “balanced” diet, many of us are not sure what that really means and so tend to make choices we like, not necessarily those that are best for heath. Dietary trends over time show Americans are not following healthy eating patterns and are deficient in the micronutrients necessary to maintain optimal health and prevent nutrient deficiency diseases. According to the American Dietetic Association, although deficiencies of essential nutrients have decreased over the last century, the rates of chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality diet and a sedentary lifestyle, have dramatically increased to the point where approximately 50% of American adults have one or more preventable diet-related chronic disease.

Key dietary recommendations suggest following a healthy eating pattern that focuses on variety across all food groups, nutrient density and portion size. An eating pattern can be described as a combination of foods and beverages that constitute a person’s complete dietary intake over time. Nutrient density encompasses foods and beverages that provide vitamins, minerals, naturally occurring components such as fiber, and beneficial phytonutrients, all of which have positive effects on health. Variety refers to consuming a diverse assortment of foods and beverages from all food groups, without exceeding limits for calories and other components, such as added sugars and sodium.

Nutrition and physical activity-related health conditions include:

  • Obesity – For the past 25 years, more than half of the adult population has been overweight or obese, especially those aged 40 and older. Abdominal obesity prevalence now affects half of U.S adults of all ages. Nearly one in three youths aged 2 – 19 are overweight or obese.
  • Cardiovascular disease – Three-fourths of those who are overweight and half of those who are normal weight have at least one cardiometabolic risk factor, including high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids, diabetes or smoking.
  • Diabetes – 2012 statistics showed that over 29 million adults have type 2 diabetes. Highly prevalent in the senior population, the rates of diabetes among young adults and children is steadily rising.
  • Cancer – Breast cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., followed closely by colorectal cancer, the second leading cause.
  • Bone disease – Bone disease is common in the U.S., especially among the elderly, which puts them at risk of fractures. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 10 million people currently have osteoporosis and another 18 million are at risk of developing the disease. By 2020, one in two Americans is expected to have or be at risk of developing osteoporosis of the hip.

With the abundance of food available in the U.S., one might assume that Americans are well nourished and that nutrient deficiencies are no longer a health issue. Contrary to what the media may have you believe; deficiencies are very much present. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a major program of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is responsible for producing vital health statistics for the U.S. This includes an assessment of the health and nutritional status of American citizens. A 2015 analysis showed that approximately 31% of adults had one nutrient deficiency, 6% had 2 nutrient deficiencies, and 2% had 3 or more deficiencies. They concluded that about 1 out of 3 Americans have at least one vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Despite recent arguments that dietary supplement users are wasting their money, data shows that adults who take full-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplements have a significantly lower prevalence of deficiency as compared to non-users. In fact, non-users are 2.5 times more likely to have a deficiency compared to a full-spectrum multivitamin user. Data continues to show that individuals, even those who follow a whole food diet, who take a daily multi are more likely to fill any nutritional gaps and achieve micronutrient sufficiency. As far as your money goes, the cost of a multivitamin supplement is likely the least expensive health insurance you can buy!

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality vitamin and mineral supplements to support optimal wellness:

UltraNutrient by Pure EncapsulationsUltraNutrient® by Pure Encapsulations – This advanced formula provides exceptional broad spectrum, bioavailable nutritional support with a full spectrum of core vitamins and minerals, advanced antioxidants, standardized phytonutrient extracts and botanicals for enhanced antioxidant, cardiovascular, liver and overall wellness support. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Ultra Preventive Teen (201036) by Douglas LaboratoriesUltra Preventive Teen by Douglas Laboratories – This unique, carefully designed supplement is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of teenagers. Vanilla flavored, easy-to-swallow tablets provide over 30 vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other nutrients in bioavailable form to support growth and development and good health maintenance. Gluten and soy free, vegetarian formulation.

Multigenics® Chewable Orange by Metagenics®Multigenics® Chewable Orange – This comprehensive bioavailable formula provides a broad spectrum of essential vitamins along with highly absorbable mineral amino acid chelates. Suitable for children and adults who prefer a great tasting, chewable tablet. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell LaboratoriesComprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories – This micronutrient test kit offers an accurate, scientifically proven assessment of nutritional deficiencies, including 31 vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and metabolites. This kit includes a complimentary post-test consultation with our Registered Nurse by phone or in person at our Sarasota location.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 -2020. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf
Overall Numbers, Diabetes and Prediabetes. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/
The Frequency of Bone Disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45515/
Osteoporosis/Bone Health in Adults as a National Public Health Priority. http://www.aaos.org/CustomTemplates/Content.aspx?id=5604&ssopc=1
Think Nutrient Deficiencies are History in the US? Think Again. http://www.dsm.com/campaigns/talkingnutrition/en_US/talkingnutrition-dsm-com/2015/03/ExpBio_Abstract_586Point2.html
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/