Friday, April 14, 2006

SpectraCell Testing: Get It, It's Money Well-Spent

For some time now, I've wanted to tell you guys about a really important advance in nutrition therapy diagnosis. SpectraCell testing, tests the amount of vitamins that the cell can absorb. While too complicated to adequately explain here, you can read more here about it.

Both Dr. C and I had the testing done. My results were shocking considering the anal-retentive attention I pay to all things nutritional especially since I'm still nursing. The most alarming deficiencies included B12 (Cobalamin--indicating an anemia), Pantothenate, and Vitamin D(ergocalciferol). Secondary deficiencies included Coenzyme Q-10 and Vitamin E (a-tocopherol).

The B-12 deficiency explained a lot of the fatigue and some other symptoms. The scary part was that my regular blood test didn't indicate anemia. In fact, I have never been anemic in my life--even at the end of my pregnancy when most women are anemic, I'm not anemic. But I had all these weird symptoms... Sub-clinical deficiencies are like that, though. You are missing something you need, but typical blood testing won't reveal it.

The Vitamin D deficiency indicates a possibility of future problems including cancer (read more here) if it isn't corrected. But it is not a typically tested-for vitamin.

Anyway, get this blood test. It is on the expensive side still, but the price continues to go down as more people use it. For people with cancers in their family, and cancer survivors, also heart disease and diabetes folks, the SpectraCell blood test could be a life-saving early detection/prevention help.


Anonymous said...

How do you go about getting this test done? Does Mr.Dr. do it in the office? I think this is great and glad you posted about it. I have occasional bouds with the shakes and heart racing, feeling tired and weak. The other day I had it so bad on the road that, thank God a girlfriend lived close by and I called and said that I am coming by to get some bread and something to drink right away. I thought I was going to faint. Her little daughter met me on the curb and handed me a Sprite and two pieces of freshly baked English bread. I also am not anemic but keep having these symptoms at times. When my blood sugar drops like that, my moods can go completely off the chart. Really scary!

Christy're said...

Yeah, I would like to get this test too! If I get it in the next month it will probably free on the University Health Care.

vj--I used to have what you are going through. Anemia is related to hypoglycemia. When I started making sure to eat protein frequently, it helped a lot. I also have oatmeal for breakfast every day and for lunch and dinner I make sure there's a good amount of protein in each meal.

Dr. Melissa said...

Well, that sounds like reactive hypoglycemia to me, but would have the doc check it. If it is hypoglycemia (a precurser of diabetes, btw), you need to change not what you eat, but HOW you eat. First, you must eat more meals per day--at least six small ones. Second, you must eat protein with every meal and milk does not count, vegetarians. It needs to be nuts or cheese or, preferably some meat. This helps regulate your blood sugar.

The blood test will help determine your nutrition absorbtion at the cellular level. It won't test insulin reactions. However, if you change the diet, and your symptoms improve, that in itself is diagnostic of hypoglycemia.

This is VERY common, btw, so don't freak out!

Yes, Dr. Clouthier does the test in our office. We send you to a lab for the bloodwork and all interpretation/results come into him and he sets you up on a program to meet your specific needs.

Dr. Melissa said...

Also, SpectraCell has a very complete report that comes with the results. I found it helpful to read over, slowly, so I could digest the information.

The chart is clear. You will see not just numbers. You'll see where you are visually compared to a healthy person. Standard blood tests can be difficult because you don't know how far out of range your health is.

Doc doesn't talk it up much, even though he thinks its great because it's on the pricey side. But I'm so jazzed with the results--and freaked out really, too--that I think it's worth it.

You're all wondering, now, how much. And I can't tell you off-hand because I can't remember. (The B12 is just starting to kick in, so please cut me some slack!) But call Cindy at 281-419-9104 and she'll tell you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you both for the info and I do believe I will check into this after talking to Dr. Clouthier. Neat that they make such a test.

Anonymous said...

Neat that a laboratory with a highly questionable and complex technique wants to take YOUR and YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY'S MONEY??? I don't think so. If you don't believe me, check out the actual research done on the technique of using white blood cells for purportedly assessing your "intracellular nutritional status." The research is extremely outdated (dare I say ARCHAIC?). Look up "lymphocyte proliferation" and "nutritional assessment" or "EMA" into medscape. Read what you find. The original research is flawed in and of itself so badly, in fact, that I am surprised CLIA/ hasn't shut them down! (Wait, that already happened once, for Medicare fraud...but I digress) the original researcher is DEAD. So WHOM, you ask, is doing the research and QA? Nobody. This lab and its director (whomever he/she may be, they have been through so many of them -- they leave because the testing is BOGUS) couldn't find a person WITHOUT deficiencies if they were sitting right in front of them! Try this: send a whole blood sample (4 tubes) from ONE patient and turn two tubes into the company with a pseudonym and another with the patients real name. Then see what happens. Time and time again this lab fails to come up with consistent, reliable results... TRY IT! I'm not asking you to take my word for it, but just try it. You'll know I'm telling the truth, and that this lab has been indiscriminately taking millions of dollars from consumers, insurance companies and federal care for years. BE INFORMED, BE AWARE, LOOK INTO THIS QUESTIONABLE TESTS. If your doctor makes a lot of money on nutritional supplements he/she (for "convenience" on the patient's part) supplies in his/her office, then DEFINITELY BE CAUTIOUS. Their reasons for running this faulty test is purely profit-driven, both on the money made ON the test, but also by the subsequent sales of vitamins and minerals based on your "individualized" test results.

Dr. Melissa said...

I would appreciate your comments more, Anonymous, if you would leave your name, cite research and give your credentials. No doubt, you have submitted blinded samples and viewed the results yourself, correct?

Any testing our office provides is patient-driven, not profit-driven. For four years the lab representative visited our office with the research for SpectraCell. We waited. The prices came down and the reliability went up.

If you are willing to acknowledge that all blood tests contain variability, if you are willing to withhold dangerous medications based on blood tests, if you are willing to bring the same level of skepticism to what is considered to be "standards of practice", maybe we can have a rational conversation. That won't happen.

Open-heart surgery happened for 10 years before ONE double-blinded study was done. 10 years. Back surgeries continue to happen when nearly 90% result in another back surgery within 3 years. Arthroscopic knee surgery is WORTHLESS and continues unabated to this day. Let's examine some of the failed medications shall we? Oh wait, the list is too long.

How many people die from medications each year? That's right way over 100,000. That's being conservative, too. How many people died last year from Vitamin C? From Vitamin B? Zero.

If the nutrition therapies that we offer didn't work, we'd stop offering them. The clinical evidence is overwhelming, though. Double-blind studies just aren't done on vitamins (especially whole food vitamins) because there is NO MONEY to be made. I'll grant you this: many of the fractionated, synthetic vitamins are expensive, some worthless and some even toxic. We offer supplements (to supplement a healthy lifestyle)where we know the source of the nutrion, the processing and the freshness. Since they are mostly food-based, this is imperative. We could send people to Vitamin stores where they could pay more money for garbage. The supplements we sell are a service. And yes, we do make money. Thankfully!

Chiropractic, nutrition, massage, acupuncture are therapies that don't include sexy things like knives, drugs, lots of pain. They form a solid foundation to BUILD health--make life better. While medicine focuses on the bare minimum to keep you alive, we are interested in building the best life you can have.

For the record, while my SpectraCell sample revealed some alarming deficiencies for me, my husbands had nothing worrisome. In fact, his sample revealed a healthy dude.

The problem you cite, Anonymous, is real. There are hucksters and charlatans and snake-oil salesman in every profession including Mainstream Medicine. You imply that every doctor who would recommend nutrition, who would give diagnostic blood tests, who would practice Alternative Medicine is this way.

I wonder who receives economic benefit if the Alternative Medicine folks are out of business? Hmmmm..... While being so worried about the "ethics" of my profession, many critics seem to ignore the ethics of destroying a profession to maintain a monopoly. Heaven forbid more than one approach is used to solve a problem.

David said...

Many consumers of nutritional supplements, do not realize that there is an impending danger to their Right to take nutritional supplements. Codex Alimentarius, or 'Codex' for short, a part of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA, could result in an international body, the World Trade Center (WTC), restricting or banning the personal use of nutritional supplements. To prevent this from happening, consider supporting Dr. Ron Paul in his quest for the presidency of the United States. Ron Paul knows that individuals have rights and, as a Congressman, has introduced legislation to protect people's right to take nutritional supplements. Check it out at

Searching said...

Re. Assertions by Anonymous – the scientific foundation for the SpectraCell test –

SpectraCell provided me with 3 articles when I requested information on the scientific basis on the test:




The research presented in these papers consists of two parts.
1. the development of a minimal growth medium for lymphocytes. This appears solid research that was subsequently used by others to assist in growing lymphocytes in the laboratory.
2. The use of this growth method to assess nutritional deficiencies in humans. This research was presented in (3) and consisted only of anecdotal information on a few human subjects. The author stated that this research is still incomplete and requires double blind studies for verification. The latter has not been carried out.

To conclude: The assertions made by Anonymous that the research on which the SpectraCell test is based is flawed and outdated is correct.

laurel said...

For 40 years, I've told doctors I believe I do not absorb nutrients well. Because my standard blood panels are near idea, every one of them dismissed my concerns. The biggest problem, IMO, is that med schools, being funded by pharmaceutical companies, do not teach nutrition. Without understanding that, you can not understand how the body works. I can not trust someone like that.

I treat, and greatly reduce migraines with magnesium, which furthered my suspicion. I have had arrythmia since I was 9 years old. but wasn't aware that was what it was until 20 years ago. For 20 years I've seen cardiologists and gotten worse and worse. At this point it is very severe, and I will probably get a pacemaker soon. I googled causes and discovered some families have a gene that blocks potassium from entering the heart. I contacted relatives and found many others have migraines and atrial fibrillation, so this is definitely genetic.

I then hunted until I found Spectracell and then hunted for a doctor that uses that lab. My tests came back today - I'm horribly deficient in everything that affects the heart. I'm even deficient in 10 nutrients that I take supplements for every day. I take the most digestible forms, but they are not absorbing.

My doctor believes we have found the root of the problem. It would NEVER have happened without this company, and this doctor. Now we need to figure out why this has happened and how to stop it. She put me on supplements by Ortho Molecular plus B12 shots, as a place to begin treatment.

Disgusted is too weak a word for how I feel about doctors who do not bother to learn about nutrition and med schools that don't bother ti require it. I'm disgusted with all the doctors who claim there is no such thing as tests for function.

My family would be ideal if someone wants to fund a study on absorption and a-fib. That study would also test Spectracell, because they cold do the testing. We're a tiny family ( 147 members born since 1900) and come from an isolated part of the world. Here is anonymous' chance to put his money where his mouth is. Do you want to find out for sure if it is legitimate? Then count me in and I'll round up the rest.

elhnad said...

what do you think about this med student's response to the the spectracell info, particularly the part where he discusses how their testing on intracellular lympocytes is not comprehensive of your overall usage availability of minerals and nutrients

Calico Jack said...

I'd say Spectracell stand to make some money from a double-blind study.

Why is there so little research behind this? 3 studies? And from so long ago. With most promising things, you can find hundreds of studies within in the latest decade.

And if you can consume plenty of Vitamin X, but still not absorb it or utilize it, then what difference does it make if you learn that you're deficient in Vitamin X? You can't just throw more Vitamin X at your body and hope it'll stick.

Anton P. said...

Thanks for sharing all this. After reading Tim Ferris' 4 hour work week and this post, I called Spectracell and got my testing done. Came back I was deficient in Vitamin D, B12, Folate and Magnesium. I totally feel more energetic now that I have supplemented for the past 6 months. I came across a custom formula that makes vitamins according to your micronutrient testing (or health quiz), VitaminLab, and ordered there. They are a new company and I had a free 7 Day Trial, so maybe you guys can get this as well.