Nutritional Testing

NUTRITION AND DISEASE

Vitamins and minerals are an essential part of healthy longevity. The American Medical Association research, along with extensive scientific and clinical studies spanning at least 50 years, have repeatedly demonstrated that vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant deficiencies may have adverse effects on health.

  • All aspects of health—from acute infections to chronic disease—are affected by nutrition.
  • Degenerative diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer's can be exacerbated by nutritional deficiency.
  • Cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are impacted by the body's nutritional levels.
  • Immune disorders such as allergy, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis can become worse if nutrient levels fall.

Part of managing the aging process is minimizing the risk of chronic disease, and vitamins and minerals are an essential part of healthy longevity.

NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES

It is important for physicians to identify patients with poor nutrition or other reasons for increased vitamin needs:

  • A combination of age, weight, stress levels, lifestyle, overall health, and genetics determine one's nutritional needs.
  • Illness, disease, and digestive problems can cause improper absorption of vital nutrients.
  • Medications such as antacids, aspirin, birth control pills, and H2 blockers affect vitamin absorption in the body.
  • Vitamin interactions, e.g., too much zinc, can reduce calcium absorption; vitamin D helps the body absorb zinc.
  • Cooking, freezing, and processing diminish nutritional value of food.
  • Soil depletion robs food of such essential nutrients as zinc and magnesium.
  • As a result of exposure to free radicals from cell phones, computer screens, televisions, microwaves, etc. there is an increased need for antioxidants in our society.

MICRONUTRIENT TESTING

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The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamins and minerals serves merely to prevent disease, not to promote optimal health. Scientists suggest that most people do not consume an optimal amount of vitamins by diet alone, and even those who take multivitamins and supplements may be deficient in one or more nutrients. It is appropriate for adults to take vitamin supplements, but which supplements are right for you? Even if we all eat the same food, we process it differently, and what works for one person does not necessarily work for another.

Micronutrient testing at RevitaLife is a potent diagnostic tool that replaces guesswork with facts about your nutritional state. It measures your ability to absorb over 30 vital nutrients and tells you if you are getting the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients.

This simple blood test, which does not require fasting, can determine if you have the proper levels of:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Amino acids
  • Micronutrients
  • Metabolites

The comprehensive micronutrient test offered at RevitaLife won’t leave you guessing about your deficiencies and nutritional needs. Equipped with essential knowledge from this test, the medical experts at RevitaLife can work with you to develop a customized nutrition plan that addresses any deficiencies. Your custom nutrition plan will give you peace of mind that comes from knowing you are properly meeting your nutritional needs, and it can save you money in the long run. You may find out that you are taking some supplements unnecessarily, or if you have any deficiencies, they can be addressed directly. To schedule your assessment and micronutrient test, call RevitaLife at 941-377-4555 or click here to use our convenient contact form.

VITAMIN D “EPIDEMIC”

The micronutrient test at RevitaLife includes testing for vitamin D levels, but it is worth special mention here about the importance of this essential vitamin, which is made in the body when exposed to sunlight. Most of us know that vitamin D is essential for strong bones and healthy teeth, but advances in science now emphasize the multifaceted role this vitamin has in overall body function and the ability to manage and lower the risk of illness and disease.

Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is very common in our society and throughout the world, and this is referred to as the vitamin D "epidemic." In the U.S., over 90% of the population has vitamin D levels that are below the accepted normal range of 20-50 nanograms/milliliter. Adolescents, women, and the elderly are especially deficient. Studies show that 50% of institutionalized elderly people and women of all ages undergoing treatment for osteoporosis have inadequate levels of vitamin D. It is important to note, however, that deficiencies in either men or women at any stage of life can have devastating consequences.

The consequences include a number of illnesses, including:

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  • Asthma, especially in children
  • Bone pain
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic gum disease
  • Cognitive impairment in older adults
  • Depression and mental function
  • Diabetes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Psoriasis
  • Respiratory infections and respiratory disease

Common reasons for vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Having limited exposure to sunlight, caused by spending more time indoors at work and at play, living in northern latitudes, wearing long robes or head coverings for religious reasons
  • Having darker skin, thereby reducing the skin's ability to make vitamin D when exposed to the sun
  • Declining kidney function, especially in older adults whose kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to an active form
  • Absorbing vitamin D inadequately, due to such conditions as Crohn's disease and celiac disease that make the intestine less able to absorb vitamin D from food
  • Being obese, because fat cells take vitamin D from the bloodstream

Ideal levels of vitamin D are 60-80 ng/ml, which is higher than the accepted nromal range. At RevitaLife, our micronutrient testing will reveal your vitamin D levels and, if low, we can give you a series of three intramuscular injections to bring you to peak levels in about two weeks. Then you will start on an oral vitamin D supplementation program with a proprietary formula customized for you. Call us at 941-377-4555 to schedule your vitamin D test or click here to use our contact form.

IN THE NEWS

THE PERILS OF SUGAR

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for global taxation of sugary drinks by at least 20% in an attempt to halt the obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemics throughout the world. In the United Kingdom (UK), this recommendation will be initiated in 2017 by introducing the 20% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. Researchers at Oxford University believe that the tax will result in a 15% reduction in sugar consumption, thus preventing 180,000 people in the UK from becoming overweight or obese.

Added sugar is being referred to as the “new tobacco” because of its dangerous consequences to human health, namely, its direct relationship to the increase of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Legislation targeting the perils of tobacco was largely responsible for decreasing mortality from cardiovascular-related causes in the past 30 years. Therefore, it is a logical deduction that legislation will be the driving force to curb sugar consumption across the globe.

How much added sugar is needed in the human diet? Technically, none, because it does not meet any definition of “nutrient.” So sugar contributes “empty” calories to the body, as no nutrients are provided. Instead, added sugar does meet four criteria that justify it as a substance to be regulated: toxicity, potential for abuse, unavoidability, and negative impact on society.

How much sugar is safe? Researchers are strongly suggesting that WHO recommend that the daily intake of sugar be a maximum of 3% of daily calories, about three teaspoons. In the U.S., the average citizen consumes 12 to 21% of daily calories in the form of sugar. It is interesting to note that one can of regular cola alone contains nine teaspoons of added sugar.

When filling up on sugar, we may neglect to consume the nutrients—vitamins and minerals—that are essential for healthy living. For a complete analysis to determine if you have any nutritional deficiencies, contact us at 941-377-4555.

EFFECT OF DIET ON INFLAMMATION AND PAIN

Over and over again, we hear about the importance of a good diet, but does what you eat affect your pain level? The simple answer is “yes.” The more complex answer involves understanding that there is a relationship between nutrition and pain, analyzing the mechanisms by which food triggers pain in the body, and identifying those foods that either exacerbate or relieve pain.

This important topic was addressed recently at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Management, now the Academy of Integrative Pain Management (AIPM). In his address, Robert Bonakdar, MD, past president of AIPM and member of its board of directors, stated, "Diet can influence inflammation, shift the microbiome, modulate the immune system, improve joint function, eliminate pain triggers, and reduce deficiencies." Dr. Bonakdar further explained that a poor diet increases C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood, a known indicator of inflammation.

Dr. Bonakdar made several other points related to the impact of food on pain:

  • Excess grains can be inflammatory, especially in individuals who have celiac disease.
  • Magnesium deficiency, which affects about 70% of the population, has a strong association with migraines.
  • Vitamin D deficiency, present in 70-80% of pain patients, makes nerves “hypersensitive.”
  • A good diet, especially when combined with regular exercise, can significantly reduce pain.

Many medical experts suggest that patients with chronic, severe pain follow a diet that is high in “good” proteins—healthy meats, cottage cheese, eggs, fruits, and green vegetables. These high protein foods supply amino acids that produce pain-controlling substances such as endorphin, dopamine, and serotonin. Also, these patients should avoid eating carbohydrates without simultaneously eating protein to avoid a rapid rise in insulin followed by a drop in blood glucose (hypoglycemia), which appears to increase pain.

To date, there are no official dietary recommendations to manage pain, in contrast to dietary recommendations for other medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, hyperlipidemia, and renal failure. But, clearly, the American diet is heavy in processed foods, making up about 60% of what we consume, and is lacking in fiber and fresh fruits and vegetables. The AIPM is planning to issue targeted dietary recommendations before or at its next annual meeting in 2017.

RevitaLife Vitality Center of Sarasota promotes wellness through innovative nutrition therapies. We offer advanced micronutrient testing to detect any deficiencies that may interfere with your ability to achieve optimal health. A simple but comprehensive blood test can determine if you have proper levels of vitamins (e.g., Vitamin D), minerals (e.g., magnesium), antioxidants, amino acids, micronutrients, and metabolites. Gerald Grubbs, MD, leading interventional radiologist and founder of RVC, can then help you develop a plan tailored to address your specific deficiencies. Contact us by using our convenient form below, or call 941-377-4555.

RevitaLife’s partner practice, Sarasota Interventional Radiology (SIR), offers revolutionary, nonpharmacological treatments for pain reduction associated with herniated discs, pinched nerves, axial disc pain, and spinal fractures. If you are a chronic pain sufferer, Dr. Grubbs can consult with you about appropriate options to reduce your specific type of pain. For more information, click here to visit SIR’s website or call 941-378-3231.

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