Why SpectraCell is better than....
... Dietary recall or food questionnaires.
These are basically useless for determining specific micronutrient deficiencies. It is impossible to accurately measure nutritional intake from diet and supplements because (1) quantifying exact nutritional content of everything ingested is next to impossible, (2) ingesting something does NOT mean it is fully absorbed in the intestinal tract, (3) absorbing something in the gut does NOT mean it is effectively absorbed into the cells that need it, (4) it assumes everyone is biochemically identical.
Using an algorithm based on input from food diaries, genetics and/or lifestyle choices will always be based on assumptions and therefore inherently grossly inaccurate.
Mass spectrometry measures the amount of a nutrient, but tells you nothing about its function. Biochemical individuality means we all have different requirements for nutrients. Even if there are very high levels of a nutrient within a cell (intracellular), the functional status of that nutrient could still be grossly deficient. Conversely, even low levels may be fine if the cellular function is not compromised. Assuming the optimal amount of micronutrients is the same for everyone is dangerous and inaccurate—potentially leading to false positives or false negatives in reporting deficiencies.
Serum levels of nutrients are a reflection of extracellular nutrient status, meaning it measures nutrients present outside of the cell, where they have no function. Spectracell’s micronutrient test measures intracellular status of several nutrients, which is always where nutrients do their job. Plus, serum levels can dramatically fluctuate from day to day and do not reflect intracellular reserves.
Plasma is just serum with anti-coagulants added to simplify blood collection. Plasma is extracellular, like serum, and thus does NOT reflect intracellular micronutrient status.
…Red blood cell analysis.
Although better than serum testing for some nutrients, red blood cells often do not reflect cellular function throughout the whole body because they do not have a nucleus. With no nucleus, red blood cells contain no DNA and thus no genetic blueprint so deficiencies that affect genetic expression (i.e. in the production of enzymes, for example) would not be reported. SpectraCell’s micronutrient test is performed on white blood cells, which contain a nucleus and are also closely tied with immune function. Micronutrient deficiencies in lymphocytes have proven to clinically correlate to other tissues throughout the body.
Hair analysis is used most often to assess heavy metal toxicity. Hair tissue does not at all reflect specific micronutrient deficiencies. Even the American Medical Association states that “the health of the body may be entirely unrelated to the physical and chemical condition of the hair.”
Two problems exist with urine testing. (1) Logistical—concentrations of metabolites will vary wildly depending on how concentrated the urine is so it is best to collect 24 hours of urine, which is clinically difficult. (2) Short term assessment—urine tests only measure nutrient metabolites over a very short window, usually 24 hours. Levels of metabolites can vary significantly in urine samples over the course of a few days. SpectraCell’s micronutrient testmeasures long-term nutrient status (4-6 months) because it is done on lymphocytes.
Knowing your genetic makeup may help determine the tendency you may have toward certain deficiencies. But one major problem exists: gene testing doesn’t account for the reality of environmental influences which are huge. A pregnant woman, a heavily medicated type 2 diabetic and an elderly man may all have the same genotype but their nutrient deficiencies are likely wildly different. SpectraCell’s micronutrient test offers the best of both worlds—it takes into account our biochemical individuality genetically speaking, and it takes into account the enormous impact of controllable (diet, activity, stress) and non-controllable (age, sex) environmental factors.