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Injections & Infusions

How the Body Responds to Oxidative Stress, and How to Best Counter Them

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  • Oxidative stress: The What and the How
  • Oxidative Stress and Its Link to Human Diseases
  • Signs and Symptoms of Oxidative Stress
  • Oxidative Stress Biomarkers
  • Counteracting Oxidative Stress through Antioxidants 
  • Levels of Antioxidant Function
  • Lipoic acid and Glutathione: Non-enzymatic, Endogenous Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B complex: Exogenous Vitamin Antioxidants
  • Detecting Oxidative Stress
  • Takeaway

Congratulations. You’ve found the culprit for almost ALL  the ailments sustained by the human body as it ages!

Increasing knowledge about free radicals, antioxidants, and oxidative stress has revolutionized the management of many diseases, including cancer and metabolic diseases. It has paved the way for a deeper understanding of almost any ailment affecting the human body.

Isn’t it ironic that oxygen, an element vital to the survival of life, can also work against life? 

That is what oxidative stress is all about. 

Here at The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ, we educate you about oxidative stress, and we show you the best way to counter it.

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Oxidative stress: The What and the How

Oxidative stress is the state of the human body where there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants.

How does it happen?

As biological systems undergo metabolism, it gives off metabolic by-products. These by-products include reactive oxygen species (ROS), including superoxide radicals, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen.

 The body fails to detoxify the reactive products in cells and tissues and causes oxidative stress.

Overproduction of free radicals results in reactions with cell membrane fatty acids and proteins. This overproduction results in the permanent impairment of these fatty acids and proteins.

Oxidative stress occurs once there are many reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species in the body, such that it outnumbers the antioxidants.

Many body processes are dependent on the adequate production of ROS, such as protein phosphorylation, activation of several transcriptional factors, apoptosis (or cell death), immunity, and differentiation. Inability to balance this production will result in harmful effects on proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. When free radicals overwhelm the body’s ability to control and regulate them, oxidative stress happens.

Oxidative stress activates inflammatory pathways, hence leading to inflammation. Chronic inflammation then leads to many age-related diseases, including cancer, and is responsible for the visible effects of aging.

Studies have documented oxidative stress can be responsible for the onset and progression of several diseases such as cancer, diabetes, metabolic disorders, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular diseases. Oxidative stress plays a critical role in disease development, and the substances noted as antioxidants act as a safeguard against the accumulation of ROS in the body. Hence, there should be a balance between free radicals and antioxidants to maintain proper physiological function.

Understanding oxidative stress has resulted in the application of external antioxidants to cope up with its deleterious effects. Here at the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ, we offer a series of infusions designed for that specific purpose.

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Oxidative Stress and Its Link to Human Diseases

Oxidative stress has significant involvement in many conditions, specifically atherosclerosis, inflammation, cancer, and aging. As further studies dived deep into oxidative stress, it seems  to contribute to:

  1. Inflammatory diseases (e.g., arthritis, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, lupus erythematosus, adult respiratory diseases)
  2. Ischemic diseases (e.g., heart disease, stroke, intestinal ischemia)
  3. Neurological disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, ALS)
  4. Hemochromatosis
  5. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  6. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other smoking-related diseases (emphysema)
  7. Organ transplantation
  8. Gastric ulcers
  9. Hypertension
  10. Preeclampsia
  11. Alcoholism

A study in 2014 evaluated the indispensable role of a low concentration of ROS in intracellular signaling and its function against pathogens. Environmental stressors are responsible for the increase of ROS production, leading to tissue damage. Examples of these environmental stressors include UV, ionizing radiation, pollutants, heavy metals, and xenobiotics.

The diet can also be contributory to the production of free radicals. Unfortunately, some food contains direct and easy sources of free radicals, such as fats and oils, cooked and processed meat, alcoholic beverages, and excessive intake of antioxidant supplements.

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Signs and Symptoms of Oxidative Stress

Can we easily detect if our body is experiencing a lot of oxidative stress? Yes, we can. The common tangible signs and symptoms of oxidative stress include:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog or memory loss
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Wrinkles, reduction of skin elasticity, and other skin conditions
  • Grey hair, thinning of hair.
  • Changes in vision 
  • Headaches and noise sensitivity
  • Susceptibility to infection
  • Slower wound healing
  • Excessive weight gain, hormonal imbalances
  • Food sensitivities
  • Bloating
  • Constipation 
  • Nasal congestion 

However, we can still feel normal, unaware of the amount of oxidative stress our body is going through. The presence of biomarkers helps detect these silent changes, and the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ can assist you with that! 

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Oxidative Stress Biomarkers

One of the detrimental effects of oxidative stress is lipid peroxidation. It damages lipids by an excess of the hydroxyl radical and peroxynitrite, resulting in damage of cell membranes and lipoproteins.

Lipid peroxidation leads to cytotoxic and mutagenic substances such as malondialdehyde (MDA) and conjugated diene compounds. Lipoproteins lose their function or are even altered because of conformational changes. 

Another biomarker for oxidative stress is 8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG). The 8-OHdG is an incredibly destructive DNA lesion that can cause mutagenesis and loss of epigenetic information. Epigenetic changes control the turning “on” and turning “off” of gene expression. 

Both the environment and behavior influence epigenetic changes, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA. Epigenetic changes occur as part of development and aging and in response to your behavior and the externalenvironment. 

Epigenetic changes can affect health in many ways. It can weaken one’s immune response, cause mutation, or increase cancer risk that can subsequently lead to cancer. It can also affect pregnant women and their unborn babies, with previous literature linking changes in methylation to the baby’s propensity to develop certain diseases at a later point in life. This change makes the detection of 8-OHdG particularly important even in pregnant women. 

The good news is the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ offers an affordable way of detecting these biomarkers. You may inquire or schedule an appointment with our front desk personnel at this number: 505-445-4300.

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Counteracting Oxidative Stress through Antioxidants 

 Knowing the extent of the damage that oxidative stress can cause, the next step is to identify how to counteract it. Since oxidative stress is a daily phenomenon, it is vital to know how to prevent imbalance and live a better quality of life.

What is an antioxidant? 

 Did you know the chemical that prevented the consumption of oxygen became known as an antioxidant?

Simply put, antioxidants are molecules that are stable enough to neutralize a free radical, hence reducing its capacity to inflict damage to adjacent cells. Antioxidants delay or prevent cellular damage by scavenging these free radicals. 

Science classifies antioxidants as either endogenous or exogenous. Endogenous antioxidants are naturally produced by the body, while exogenous antioxidants are supplied externally either through diet or supplementation.

The body also formulated its own mechanism against oxidative damage by producing endogenous antioxidants,  classified as either enzymatic or non-enzymatic antioxidants. The most familiar is the non-enzymatic antioxidants, including lipoic acid, glutathione, ʟ-arginine, and coenzyme Q10.  Today, there are several products on the market making these non-enzymatic antioxidants available for supplementation and help the body counteract the effects of oxidative damage. 

 Diet, oral supplementation, topical applications, or IV infusions supply exogenous antioxidants. Micronutrient antioxidants include vitamin E (α-tocopherol), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and B-carotene. The body does not produce these micronutrient antioxidants. Thus, the body gets them through external means.  IV infusions provide these micronutrient antioxidants to the human body nowadays, hence skipping the first-pass metabolism and with technology making the compounds 100% bioavailable for the body to use.

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Levels of Antioxidant Function

Do you know antioxidants function at different levels? These levels are (1) preventive, (2) radical scavenging, (3) repair and de novo, and (4) adaptation. Learning these different levels will help us have a better understanding of how antioxidants work.

The first line of defense is composed of preventive antioxidants. These antioxidants directly stop the formation and production of free radicals.

These, it is postulated,  preventive antioxidants react to hydroperoxides and hydrogen peroxide, resulting in the latter’s reduction to alcohols and water without generating free radicals. Examples of this type of antioxidant include glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-s-transferase, phospholipid hydroperoxide, glutathione peroxidase (PHGPX), and peroxidase.

The second line of defense involves antioxidants that scavenge active radicals. This defense results in the suppression of chain propagation reactions. 

This type of antioxidant is exogenous and is either water-soluble or lipid-soluble. Examples of water-soluble antioxidants are Vitamin C, uric acid, bilirubin, albumin, and thiols. On the other hand, lipid-soluble antioxidants are Vitamin E and ubiquinol. The most potent radical-scavenging antioxidant is Vitamin E.

The third line of defense is composed of the repair and de novo antioxidants. Most of these are endogenous and are present inside the mammalian cells. These antioxidants function in recognizing, degrading, and removing oxidatively modified proteins, therefore preventing their accumulation.

It also involves DNA repair systems that are innate in the cell. Glycosylases and nucleases are examples of enzymes that repair DNA damaged by oxidative stress.

The fourth line of defense is called adaptation. This defense is more accurate and precise signaling, so the exact site affected by oxidative stress receives the right and appropriate antioxidant. Signals from reactions of free radicals induce adaptation. 

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Lipoic acid and Glutathione: Non-enzymatic, Endogenous Antioxidants

We are probably familiar with supplements such as lipoic acid and glutathione. But how do these antioxidants work?

Lipoic acid is a naturally occurring compound that functions as a cofactor in many cell processes. It is a direct antioxidant, which classifies it as part of the first defense against oxidative stress.

 Lipoic acid has transient radical scavenging activity, making it fit for the second line of defense antioxidant. 

Lipoic acid noted to increase glucose utilization, is used widely in patients with metabolic disorders.  Lipoic acid manages diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Studies are also currently ongoing for lipoic acid. It’s thought to slow down disease progression in mouse models for multiple sclerosis and possible benefits in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Lipoic acid supplementation in humans comes either in oral form or via an IV infusion. Both routes of administration are effective and without serious adverse effects, except for some allergic reactions. Overall, it is regarded safe at the recommended doses.

On the other hand, glutathione has gained so much popularity nowadays as a very potent antioxidant. 

Glutathione, noted to play critical roles in protecting cells against the effects of oxidative stress,  protects against ROS, and protects the cell against the ROS’ by-products. It is naturally found inside the cell but has multiple functions inside and outside the cell. It is composed of three amino acids: glutamine, cysteine, and glycine. 

Glutathione also plays a significant role in recycling other antioxidants such as Vitamin C and E. Thus, getting glutathione along with Vitamin C and E can result in better outcomes.  Glutathione enables these vitamins to remove free radicals and decrease oxidative stress.

Glutathione,  most recognized for its activity in delaying cell death or apoptosis, makes it remarkably effective against the effects of oxidative stress on aging. Furthermore, adequate glutathione levels result in healthy concentrations of white blood cells, vital in fighting infection. 

A study also supports glutathione’s importance against chronic inflammation seen in inflammatory lung diseases. It acts as an immunomodulator, controlling the inflammation process in the face of oxidative stress.

Most glutathione is produced intracellularly in the liver, and it plays a big part in liver detoxification. Glutathione is actively used and produced in cells; hence, glutathione levels decrease as the human body ages. 

However, there are times when there is an increased demand for glutathione, hence depleting its concentration in the body. This depletion happens with inadequate nutrition, stress, illnesses, exposure to environmental toxins, and aging. 

Therefore, it is necessary to help the body amp up its glutathione levels. Glutathione increases naturally through diet, but the body does not fully absorb this. Due to the interest sparked by glutathione in researchers, there are now several routes of administration available for this antioxidant:

  • oral (pills, solutions, sublingual tablets, syrups, and sprays), 
  • parenteral (intravenous and intramuscular), 
  • intranasal, and
  • intrabronchial 

In terms of administration, oral glutathione is also the most common type and is available in various health food stores as a dietary supplement. 11 Unfortunately, there are still many debates on the bioavailability of oral glutathione and how the body maintains its levels. 

But there is a better way to ensure you are getting the right dose: intravenous glutathione infusions.  Like any other drug given intravenously, glutathione infusions are more likely to result in 100% bioavailability, unlike oral glutathione supplementation.

If you want to know more about lipoic acid and glutathione infusions, you can schedule an appointment at our front desk or call our hotline at 505-445-4300. We will be happy to assist you in discovering these very potent antioxidants. 

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Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B complex: Exogenous Vitamin Antioxidants

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) is one of the lipid-soluble antioxidants obtained exclusively from the diet. It is a very potent antioxidant that effectively stops the production of ROS formed when fat undergoes oxidation.

One of Vitamin E’s major effects is its ability to prevent platelet hyperaggregation, leading to atherosclerosis. It also reduces the production of thromboxane, which causes platelet clumping, thereby leading to thrombotic sequelae. Numerous studies show vitamin E supplements can decrease the concentration of lipid peroxidation in patients with oxidative stress.

There are many potential uses for Vitamin E, but there is still a lack of evidence to establish its role in health and disease as far as research is concerned. One of the probable reasons is the lack of validated biomarkers for vitamin E intake and status to link Vitamin E intake to valid clinical outcome predictors.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is one of the most studied antioxidants, although it can act both as a prooxidant or an antioxidant. Like Vitamin E, ascorbic acid must be obtained from the diet as it can’t break down in the human body.

Vitamin C is known for its ability to scavenge hydroperoxyl radicals. Vitamin C biologically functions as a co-factor for several enzymes, especially in hydroxylases involved in collagen synthesis. Vitamin C has roles in cancer chemoprevention and the therapy for cancer, sepsis, and neurodegenerative diseases. 

Also ascorbic acid, or Vitamin C, is a key player in enhancing neutrophils’ ability (a type of white blood cell) in killing bacteria. These positive effects explain why Vitamin C,  in patients known to have low Vitamin C levels, specifically in immunocompromised, elderly, and hospitalized individuals receive supplementation.

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The six B group vitamins demonstrate both prooxidant and antioxidant activities. A study documented different conditions influence whether the B group vitamins take on a prooxidant function or antioxidant function. In general, however, it was noted that as lipid peroxidation increased, the more these B vitamins function as antioxidants.

In summary, the B vitamins take on the following roles against oxidative stress: 18

  • Vitamin B1, or thiamine, helps in the structural development of brain cells and alcohol detoxification.
  • Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, recycles glutathione, which is the most crucial antioxidant which protects against free radicals in the body.
  • Vitamin B3, or niacin, is the vital precursor of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). NAD and NADP play crucial roles in metabolism and scavengers of free radicals, protecting tissues from oxidative damage.
  • Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is incorporated into Coenzyme A (CoA) and plays an essential role in energy metabolism. 
  • Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is involved in red blood cell production and has a significant role in liver detoxification.   Its deficiency may cause liver dysfunction. 
  • Vitamin B9 or folate is also involved in red blood cell production. 
  • Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is vital in red blood cell production, and is responsible for maintaining homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine cause cardiovascular diseases. 

The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ helps you address oxidative stress problems through an infusion of these vitamins. 

Intravenous infusion of vitamin supplements will result in higher bioavailability compared to oral supplementation. It is vital to have the right dose and get it from the right clinic. To know more about these vitamin infusions, please schedule an appointment at our front desk or through the hotline 505-445-4300.

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Detecting Oxidative Stress

So how do we start? We should begin with early detection. 

Regardless of whether you are experiencing symptoms of oxidative stress or not, it is best to submit yourself for a test to see your levels of oxidative stress.

Here at The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ, we offer an objective way to measure how our body deals with daily oxidative stress. We call it the Oxidative Stress Panel, wherein we use a blood and urine sample to evaluate your antioxidant reserves and the damage existing free radicals have caused.

With just a urine sample, you can directly measure oxidative stress in your body using oxidative stress biomarkers for (1) lipid peroxides and (2) 8-OHdG. The process is noninvasive and very convenient for everyone. 

A clinician obtains a blood sample to evaluate for the following: 

  • Glutathione (GSH) 
  • Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) 
  • Cysteine (Cys-SH) 
  • Sulfate Cysteine/Sulfate Ratio Cystine (Cys-S-S-Cys) 
  • Cysteine/Cystine Ratio Glutathione Peroxidase (GPX) 
  • Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) 
  • Lipid Peroxides

The patient should fast for ten (10) hours overnight before collecting the urine and the blood draw. It is best to schedule ahead with the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ to avoid any confusion and inconvenience. You may schedule an appointment at the front desk or call our hotline at 505-445-4300.

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Takeaway

The body is constantly in a battle against environmental stress and pathogens. Oxidative stress happens when the body’s naturally occurring antioxidants can no longer address free radicals’ buildup. 

Research and technology have helped us come up with solutions for the dilemma. Supplementation of antioxidants is now available through various means. One of the best ways to develop the highest bioavailability of these antioxidants is through intravenous infusions. It is an excellent way to bypass the first-pass metabolism, which results in lesser absorption of antioxidants. The occurrence of the first-pass metabolism is always a main drawback for oral supplementation. 

Schedule an appointment with The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ today!

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Injections & Infusions

Fast Facts on Aging: Identifying the Causes and Delivering Solutions

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The quest for eternal youth, especially in visibly soft, clear, vibrant skin, continues from generation to generation.

Everyone wants to look beautiful and young for the rest of their life. And everyone knows that is not simply possible! 

However, with all the advances in technology and research, the industry has simply found ways to “buy more time” in delaying the aging process.

Aging is inevitable, but it’s delayable. 

The Infusion and Injection Clinic of ABQ is one of those clinics which employed technology and research to offer guaranteed, safe, and long-lasting solutions for aging. If you are interested to know more about our programs and products, you can set an appointment with our clinicians at this number: __________–

But before you pick up the phone to schedule your first appointment, let us first learn a few facts about aging to help us understand what we are doing. 

  • What is aging?
  • What is skin aging?
  • What does aging skin look like?
  • What are the causes of skin aging?
  • What happens during the skin aging process?
    • Oxidative stress
    • DNA Damage
    • Telomere Shortening
    • Advanced Glycation End Product Accumulation
    • Inflammation or “Inflammaging”
  • What are some of the current methods used to delay or reverse the effects of aging on the skin?
    • Antioxidants
    • Stem Cell Therapy
    • Retinoids
    • Hormone Replacement Therapy
    • Telomere modification
    • Diet Restriction
    • Others: Microneedling
    • Others: Laser Ablation
    • Others: Radiofrequency

What is aging?

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Aging is a series of biological and physiological changes that come along with increasing age. It is a complex, gradual process dependent on intrinsic (genetic) and extrinsic (environmental) factors. 

Environmental factors tend to amplify the effects of aging. Examples of this are habits and lifestyle: the tendency to smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, involvement in stressful professions, and so on.

Aging is a phenomenon that is multifaceted and was once barely understood. Thanks to technology, a better understanding of the aging process enables us to know how to reverse it.

What is skin aging?

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The aging of all body organs starts from birth. However, being the most voluminous organ, the skin is the first to demonstrate the effects of genetic and environmental factors causing aging.

Characterized by features such as wrinkling, loss of elasticity, laxity, and rough-textured appearance, skin aging is undeniable (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

As people age, their worries about appearance focus more on the face (Honigman and Castle, 2006). 

Aging is the effect of time on the human body. There are multiple levels of aging, which include:

  1. Cellular aging. 

Our cells continuously divide and repair themselves as we age. However, as time passes, genetic material may no longer be copied accurately. Furthermore, environmental factors and even free radicals cause damage to cells hence the need for cells to replicate more. 

  1. Hormonal aging. 

Hormones highly influence the aging process. It causes the transition from childhood to puberty and subsequently causes menopause. Hormone levels fluctuate throughout life.

  1. Metabolic aging.

Metabolism creates energy readily used by the body as it proceeds with its daily activities. Byproducts of all these metabolic activities can be harmful and cause damage to the body over time. 

What does aging skin look like?

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As the skin ages, it thins out, becomes less elastic, more fragile, and the fatty tissue just below the skin remarkably decreases. (Mayo Clinic, 2020). 

There may be easy bruising and drier skin due to less production of natural oils. According to Mayo Clinic (2020), changes, such as the following, are observable:

  • Skin becomes rougher.
  • Skin develops lesions such as benign tumors.
  • Skin becomes loose due to the loss of elastin.
  • Skin becomes more transparent because of the thinning of the epidermis. 
  • Skin becomes more fragile due to flattening of the area where the epidermis and dermis (layer of skin under the epidermis) fuse.
  • Skin becomes more easily bruised because of thinner blood vessel walls.
  • Loss of fat under the skin, especially in the cheeks, temples, chin, nose, and eye area (hence the appearance of loose skin and sunken eyeballs
  • Bone loss, commonly observed around the mouth and chin, may become evident after age 60 
  • Cartilage loss in the nose results in drooping of the nasal tip, further resulting in an emphasis on the nose’s bony structures.

 What are the causes of skin aging?

There are two leading causes of skin aging: (1) intrinsic factors and (2) extrinsic factors.

Intrinsic aging is an inevitable physiological process. It results in thin, dry skin, fine wrinkles, and a gradual decrease in the size of dermal tissues (Zhang and Duan, 2018). 

Research has noted that as a person ages, the production of cells in the basal layer also decreases (Zhang and Duan, 2018). As a result, the skin thins out, and the cells undergo a process called senescence.

Aside from cellular senescence and decreased proliferative capacity, other intrinsic factors include a decreased cellular DNA repair capacity, DNA mutations, chromosomal abnormalities, and loss of telomeres in cells (Makrantonaki and Zouboulis, 2007). 

Telomeres are little protective caps at the ends of the DNA molecules that make up the human chromosome (Australian Academy of Science, 2020). These are responsible for ensuring that in cell division, the reproduced cells have correctly copied DNA. 

In fact, l research consistently links telomere to aging. This aging is because telomeres adjust the cell response to stress and growth stimulation based on previous cell divisions and DNA damage (Aubert and Lansdorp, 2008).

 External environmental factors highly influence extrinsic aging. External environmental factors include air pollution, smoking, poor nutrition, and sun exposure (Zhang and Duan, 2018). These factors directly cause the formation of coarse wrinkles, loss of elasticity, laxity, and the notable rough-textured appearance of the skin. 

Photoaging is also a primary factor of extrinsic skin aging (Zhang and Duan, 2018).  Long-term exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation characterizes photoaging.

What happens during the skin aging process?

There are different mechanisms used to explain the skin’s aging process. Understanding these mechanisms led to the discovery of multiple aging-reversal techniques that we see today.

Scientists proposed that only 3% of these aging processes are intrinsic, while extrinsic factors contribute to the rest  (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

Here are some important models and advances in molecular mechanism research on skin aging:

  • Oxidative Stress
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Among all the theories explaining aging, it is the free radical theory that is already long proven and established (Harman, 2003). To put it simply, oxidative stress is an imbalance between the pro and antioxidant molecules (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

In metabolism, the body normally generates reactive-oxygen species (ROS). Oxidative stress happens when an imbalance occurs due to excess ROS or oxidants over the cell’s capability to mount an effective antioxidant response (Ray et al., 2012). 

Under normal conditions, antioxidants neutralize ROS and prevent its effective binding to other molecules. However, under UV radiation, cellular chromophores absorb the energy and get excited, thereby producing more ROS oxidation products. 

 ROS oxidation shows prolonged exposure to extrinsic factors, such as photoaging, promotes the overproduction of ROS. ROS overproduction leads to an imbalance in the body’s pro and antioxidants, resulting in oxidative stress.

It is because of this long-standing theory that researchers highly recommend the use of antioxidants in delaying aging. Emerging research evidence has suggested that natural compounds found in the body (e.g., glutathione) can reduce oxidative stress and improve immune function (Zhang and Duan, 2018). 

DNA Damage

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The constant and prolonged exposure of skin to UV radiation increases DNA damage and mutations. Mutations and DNA damage lead to structural rearrangement of nucleotides, further leading to premature aging and even carcinogenesis (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

These findings led to the use of sunscreen, which has been found effective against UV-B, therefore protecting the skin against squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

Telomere Shortening

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Telomeres are little protective caps located at the end of DNA molecules, designed to keep the DNA strands from getting shorter with each cell division. An enzyme called telomerase keeps adding more of the repeating sequence onto the end of DNA strands, so the telomeres in these cells do not shorten (Australian Academy of Science, 2020).

In most cells, telomerase is less active, leading eventually to gradual shortening of telomeres as time passes (Australian Academy of Science, 2020).

 Researchers believe this “shortening to be causative of cell aging. If telomeres are too short, cells eventually become inactive or “senescent” and can no longer divide (Australian Academy of Science, 2020). UV radiation causes the overproduction of ROS, which can further result in telomere shortening (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

Advanced Glycation End Product Accumulation

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Glycation, initially described in diabetes,  is when proteins, lipids, or nucleic acids are bound by sugar molecules. 

Glycationresults in the inhibition of target molecules’ normal function (Zhang and Duan, 2018). 

In the process, advanced glycation end (AGE) products form. The excess glucose in skin fibers triggers an internal reaction and changes the molecular arrangements in collagen fibrils (Bansode et al., 2020). 

Collagen and elastin usually help keep skin firm and supple. The binding of advanced glycation end products to collagen results in tissue stiffening and reduced elasticity (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

Inflammation or “Inflammaging”

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Inflammaging refers to the chronic low-grade inflammation that progresses along with advanced age. It also contributes to the initiation and progression of age-related diseases (Franceschi et al., 2018).

Scientists proposed, through a model, that UV radiation induces oxidative stress in epidermal cells, resulting in damaged cells with oxidized lipids (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

These damaged cells and oxidized lipids are recognized by the complement system and cause inflammation. Macrophages are then activated to remove the damaged cells and oxidized lipids (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

These activated macrophages trigger the production matrix metalloproteinases, which degrade collagen (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

Repeated UV exposure triggers another series of events again, resulting in overburdened macrophages and the production of more matrix metalloproteinases and ROS. It results in a deadly cycle repeating itself over time (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

What are some of the current methods to delay or reverse the effects of aging on the skin?

  • Antioxidants
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 You can quickly notice many antioxidants are being marketed nowadays as a quick and easy measure against aging. In various forms and preparations, antioxidants reduce agents that relieve skin aging by neutralizing ROS already formed in the body (Zhang and Duan, 2018). 

 Common antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E, stop the degradation of collagen. Antioxidative enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and coenzyme Q10, are also effective in controlling the production of matrix metalloproteinases (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

Some plants can even be natural sources of antioxidants. These natural resources include the popular aloe vera and green tea. 

 Catechin, found in green tea,  prevents skin aging via the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway in a mouse model, resulting in better skin structure.

Glutathione oral supplementations and infusions are among the most popular ways to “detoxify” and regain one’s youthful glow. It is a low molecular weight thiol-tripeptide that protects intracellular redox balance (Sonthalia et al., 2016). In the process of aging, the body’s natural supply of glutathione actively decreases. 

Since aging makes glutathione levels appear to decline in several tissues, cells are at an increased risk of yielding stress (Maher, 2005). The effectiveness of glutathione as an antioxidant is due to its ability to delay cell death or apoptosis (Sastre et al., 1996).

Healthcare professionals primarily administer through the following routes (Sonthalia et al., 2016):

  • oral (pills, solutions, sublingual tablets, syrups, and sprays), 
  • parenteral (intravenous and intramuscular), 
  • intranasal, and
  • intrabronchial 

Oral glutathione is the most popular form and is marketed as a dietary supplement, either alone or in combination with vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, and other antioxidants (Sonthalia et al., 2016). However, data on the bioavailability of oral glutathione remains controversial.

On the other hand, intravenous infusions of glutathione are also becoming more popular due to the expectation of 100% bioavailability like other intravenous infusions (Sonthalia et al., 2016). Researchers expect the oral route to have lower bioavailability levels than the intravenous route due to the first-pass metabolism. However, there is still no sufficient data to support the hypothesis of a 100% bioavailability of intravenous glutathione in humans. 

Some researchers suggest that antioxidant supplements do not have preventive effects on chronic diseases. Excessive supplementation of β-carotene and vitamins A and E may be harmful (Zhang and Duan, 2018). Therefore, it is imperative to be evaluated by a healthcare provider before using antioxidants. The goal of antioxidants is not to eliminate ROS but to restore intracellular balance. 

To learn more about glutathione infusions, click here.

Stem Cell Therapy

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Stem cells are unique cells that can develop into different cells, given the right environmental conditions. These are otherwise known as the body’s raw materials, from which all other specialized cells are generated (Mayo Clinic, 2020). 

Scientists attribute The development and maturation of individual tissues and organs to the proliferation of differentiation of stem cells – a process starting right after birth. (Yu, 2018). 

As an individual matures, these stem cells within the individual’s tissues ensure the metabolism of different cells and tissues. An example is that of the hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow (Yu, 2018).

The aging of stem cells in human tissues is a major cause of the decline in tissue regeneration capacity (Yu, 2018). 

The good news is, the application of advanced stem cell technology improves the ability to regenerate and repair cells. This technology provides a solution and delays aging. It also reverses the effects of aging and aging-related illnesses (Yu, 2018).

Stem cells do not only proliferate and differentiate, but they also have a secretion function. These cells secrete various growth factors and cytokines to regulate the tissue microenvironment (Yu 2018). Because of this added knowledge, the use of stem cells has become very promising in the reversal of aging.

Despite being an otherwise invasive method, stem cell transplantation is a novel and promising therapy for skin aging therapy.  Specifically, adipose tissue transplantation could improve skin quality at the recipient site in addition to increasing skin volume (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

The secret lies within these adipose tissues: adipose-derived stem cells generate a series of growth factors. These cells postulate to influence cutaneous cells through these growth factors, resulting in rejuvenating underlying skin (Zhang and Duan, 2018). 

Retinoids

Retinoids are not new in the treatment for aging. It most often comes in the form of topical applications for daily use. It is a popular choice among dermatologists as part of the skincare regimens offered to patients.

Retinoids are chemically similar to Vitamin A and are otherwise known as Vitamin A derivatives. The first retinoid approved for clinical use is tretinoin (Zhang and Duan, 2018). Researchers documented in various studies the use of retinoids reverses aging with clinical and histological evidence indicating its effect against photoaging (Katsambas and Katoulis, 1999). 

Retinoids are lipophilic molecules that can penetrate the epidermis easily. Its mechanism of action is through modulating gene expression – binding to nuclear receptors and then to specific DNA sequences (Sorg et al., 2005).  It specifically inhibits the transcription factor activator protein-1, suppressing the expression of matrix metalloproteinases and preventing the degradation of collagen (Zhang and Duan, 2018). 

Scientists document that various retinoids increase the synthesis and concentration of both hyaluronate and collagen in the skin by reducing their rate of degradation (Sorg et al., 2005). Also observed is an increase in epidermal thickness and anchoring fibrils upon histologic examination (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

The biological, chemical and physical properties of retinoids may help treat skin aging and photoaging. This treatment, attributed to a typical chemical structure shared by retinoids, contains several conjugated double bonds that trap free radicals and absorb UV radiations from the sun (Sorg et al., 2005).

In effect, retinoids protect cellular targets such as DNA, lipid membranes, or proteins by preventing direct photochemical damage or UV‐induced oxidative stress (Sorg et al., 2005). Retinoids are usually part of the topical therapy combinations offered to patients, often used in conjunction with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) (Kockaert and Neumann, 2003). 

Part of a systemic therapeutic regimen against aging skin, used in conjunction with Vitamin C, uses oral retinoids(Kockaert and Neumann, 2003).

Hormone Replacement Therapy

image 13

Menopause is an estrogen-deficient state which has a significant impact on the skin. The decreased estrogen levels in the body result in a hormonal imbalance, which further results in the mechanisms responsible for the signs of aging: rapid collagen breakdown, decreased elastin, dehydration, and impaired wound healing (Borda et al., 2019).

d  Used in reversing the effects of menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is also helpful in slowing down the skin’s aging process. 

It has been Researchers documented that HRT improves skin thickness, collagen content, and elasticity. However, studies suggest HRT increases the risk of developing breast cancer and thromboembolism, resulting in doubts regarding its use (Borda et al., 2019).

The visible signs of aging, primarily attributed to hormonal imbalance, correct the result to more youthful, vibrant-looking skin. Despite some trials’ adverse effects, hormone replacement therapy remains a promising avenue in reversing aging (Rinaldi, 2004).

In fact, it is not just appealing to women but also men, particularly in the middle-aged and older age group in the US. (Rinaldi, 2004).

A study in 2004 noted that after menopause, decreased estrogen levels resulted in a decline in skin elasticity by 0.55% / year. A 12-month regimen of hormone replacement therapy increased elasticity by 5.2% in the respondents (Sumino et al., 2004).

There are two types of hormone replacement therapy: conventional hormone replacement therapy and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

In conventional HRT, drugs come in standard doses, which are then prepacked and dispensed by pharmacies. On the other hand, the advent of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy uses precise duplicates of human hormones, synthesized through extracting a compound called diosgenin from plants (Crofford, 2019). This extraction diminishes apprehension related to cancer because of its dose-specific preparations. 

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy decreases the likelihood of coronary heart disease and breast cancer in post-menopausal women (Col et al., 1997). This decrease is one of the huge advantages of customized hormone therapy.

Hence, compounding in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy decreases the overall risk involved in hormone replacement therapy. Compounding can allow lower concentrations of hormones than commercially available products (Borda et al., 2019). 

Some clinics instruct their patients to undergo assessment first so that the patient’s symptoms cater to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be catered according to the patient’s symptoms. Some others measure hormones in the saliva or serum to identify the correct therapeutic combination (Borda et al., 2019).

In effect, because of the ability to specifically cater to patient needs, it appears that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is safer than conventional hormone replacement therapy in preventing aging. A literature review supports this theory, highlighting the superiority of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (Rosenthal et al., 2019). 

Telomere modification

Scientists have found a way to lengthen telomeres using modified messenger RNA (Conger, 2015). RNA transmits the instructions from DNA towards the protein-making machinery of the human cell. 

Lengthening telomeres is an ideal approach in reversing skin aging; however, there is a standing risk for epidermal carcinogenesis in the procedure (Zhang and Duan, 2018). Hence, further investigation and studies are needed to evaluate the safety of the enhanced proliferation done by the artificially lengthened telomere. 

Diet Restriction

image 14

Diet can cause skin aging or can either improve skin aging.

One of the simplest but overlooked ways of combating aging is through diet modification. Through the daily diet, one gets a daily dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and other essential nutrients necessary for health maintenance.

However, foodborne antioxidants have certain limitations. These limitations include unstable storage, low skin bioavailability, and poor solubility. Recent methods, however, improved the delivery of these antioxidants through chemical modification, collagen drug delivery, plus a combination of supplements (Cao et al., 2020).

Glycation is still one of the most widely studied processes regarding aging and aging-related diseases (Nguyen and Katta, 2015). 

Once glycation occurs, it is already impossible to revert glycated proteins to their original state. Hence, Scientists still direct the primary strategy towards preventing these proteins from undergoing glycation (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

The problem is, our usual diet provides not only sugars like glucose and fructose, but it also has preformed advanced glycation end (AGE) products. Recent studies have disclosed specific methods of food preparation (i.e., grilling, frying, and roasting) generate much greater levels of AGE compared to water-based cooking methods such as boiling and steaming (Nguyen and Katta, 2015).

Therefore, foods with lower sugar content that undergo cooking with water (e.g., boiling or steaming) would also decrease the intake of preformed AGEs. It also stops the production of physiologically glycated proteins (Zhang and Duan, 2018). Hopefully, researchers discover medicines with the deglycation capability, and such would be a significant breakthrough discovery against aging and aging-related diseases.

Furthermore, several studies promote calorie restriction to delay and prevent aging. It appears that on the cellular and molecular level, a high-fat diet causes rapid cellular aging in fibroblasts, while caloric restriction prevents it (Millar, 2018).

 Scientists also believe that culinary herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, oregano, and allspice, may have a role in inhibiting fructose-induced glycation (Zhang and Duan, 2018).

Furthermore, the following compounds have a role in inhibiting AGE formation (Zhang and Duan, 2018), with mechanisms still under investigation:

  • ginger, 
  • garlic, 
  • α-lipoic acid, 
  • carnitine, 
  • taurine, 
  • carnosine, 
  • flavonoids (e.g., green tea catechins), 
  • benfotiamine, 
  • α-tocopherol, 
  • niacinamide, 
  • pyridoxal, 
  • sodium selenite, 
  • selenium yeast, 
  • riboflavin, 
  • zinc, 
  • manganese
  • Others

Microneedling 

image 15

Microneedling is not a new practice for skin improvement. It is considered one of the minimally invasive procedures used for anti-aging.

In fact, it dates back to 1905, when a German dermatologist initiated the use of a device with rotating wheels and rasps in the treatment of acne scars, keratoses, and hyperpigmentation. By 1995, two doctors, David Oreintreich and Norman Oreintreich, introduced a process, called “subcision” involving hypodermic needles in the induction of wound healing (Iriarte et al., 2017).

Microneedling involves the use of a roller product to make fine, uniform pinprick wounds on the epidermis. Microneedling stimulates the production of growth factors, as well as collagen and elastin. 

The mechanism behind microneedling involves tapping on the body’s natural healing mechanisms to improve one’s skin. It relies on the premise that the body responds in the same way towards minute wounds versus more significant wounds. 

Microneedling is also known as percutaneous collagen induction. Its edge over other cosmetic techniques is that it preserves the epidermis while it stimulates collagen deposition. This preservation reduces the risk of post-treatment complications and patient downtime (Ablon, 2018). 

Microneedling works by stimulating intradermal collagen production and is also used in achieving trans-epidermal drug delivery (Casabona and Marchese, 2017). Today, most clinics recommend microneedling combined with the use of serums on the skin’s epidermis, simultaneously using the same procedure. 

These results are even better once microneedling, coupled with serums such as topical anti-aging vitamin C serum and tretinoin application, for combination therapy for the delay and reversal of aging.

In terms of frequency, research illustrated four microneedling treatments of facial skin, spaced four weeks apart, significantly improved lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and skin texture, 90 and 150 days after the first treatment (Ablon, 2018). 

In general, microneedling was well-tolerated. There was only minimal pain, discomfort, and little to no downtime. Side effects were minor and easily managed compared to other invasive technologies, such as laser ablation and radiofrequency (Ablon, 2018).

Microneedling is a very safe, minimally invasive procedure of which the benefits vastly outweigh the risks. To know more about microneedling, click here

Laser resurfacing

image 16

The use of lasers in treating aging skin is not new. Now and then, there are new variants of laser treatments.

There are two types of laser treatments: the ablative laser and the nonablative laser.

The ablative laser works by removing the thin outer layer of skin (epidermis) and heating the underlying skin (dermis). This procedure stimulates the growth of new collagen fibers (Mayo Clinic, 2020). 

In the process of healing and regrowing, the area treated will visibly appear smoother and tighter. Types of ablative treatments are the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, the erbium laser, and combination systems (Mayo Clinic, 2020).

On the other hand, the nonablative laser is a non-wounding laser; hence it is noninvasive. The process still stimulates collagen growth, which over time helps improve skin tone and texture. 

However, it is less effective compared to ablative lasers. An example of nonablative lasers is intense pulsed light (IPL) devices (Mayo Clinic, 2020).

Laser resurfacing may not be easily recommended to everyone (Mayo Clinic, 2020), especially if:

  • You have taken a specific isotretinoin during the previous year.
  • You have an autoimmune disease.
  • You are immunocompromised
  • You are scar-forming 
  • You have undergone radiation therapy to the face.
  • You have had the herpes virus before
  • You have a darker skin tone.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It is best to seek consultation before booking an appointment involving laser treatments. 

Radiofrequency

image 17

Radiofrequency therapy, or RF therapy, uses energy waves to induce heat at the dermis, subsequently stimulating collagen and elastin production. It is non-surgical and noninvasive. It encourages cell turnover, hence making skin look and feel firmer, thicker, and younger-looking (American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, 2020).

Radiofrequency is a form of energy measured in wavelengths per second. This energy form is about 100 million times slower than visible light and over 1 billion times slower than an x-ray (American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, 2020).   

Equipment used for radiofrequency is highly controlled. The ideal equipment based on FDA standards allows the practitioner to monitor and control the device during treatment. This monitoring and controlling ensure that targeted tissues reach the optimal temperature to induce new collagen production and cell regeneration without overheating (American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, 2020). 

Hence, it is essential to choose a qualified provider for radiofrequency treatments to obtain excellent results.

 As a non-invasive way to prevent and delay skin aging, radiofrequency is highly effective. 

Studies reported that type I and III collagen increased significantly in the dermis after monopolar radiofrequency treatment (Yokoyama et al., 2014). A statistically significant increase in the mean of collagen types I and III and newly synthesized collagen was noted even after as early as three months post-treatment (El-Domyati et al., 2011). 

Radiofrequency also showed equal efficacy towards chemical peels in treating facial rejuvenation of patients with photoaging (Wakade et al., 2016).

Takeaway

  • Aging is a process that begins after birth and culminates after death. The skin, being the most voluminous organ, is the first to show signs of aging.
  • Scientists attributed skin aging to intrinsic and extrinsic causes. Various mechanisms are responsible for skin aging.
  • Antioxidants are one of the most marketed supplements nowadays. Glutathione, an antioxidant that comes in various forms (i.e., as an oral supplement, sublingual spray, topical cream and ointment, or parenteral infusion), has gained a lot of popularity due to its anti-aging effect.
  • Hormone replacement therapy anchors on the fact that hormonal imbalance trigger menopause, which is then responsible for the clinical manifestations of aging. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy eliminates the concerns brought about with conventional hormone replacement therapy through customizing management based on specific patient needs. 
  • Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that is guaranteed to have a noticeable effect against skin aging with little to no downtime.
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INFABQ Image 1 Smart Ways to Combat Fatigue...
Injections & Infusions

Smart Ways to Combat Your Fatigue and Boost Your Energy

INFABQ Image 1 Smart Ways to Combat Fatigue...

“A survey by the National Safety Council reveals 97% of respondents reported at least one risk factor of fatigue.” Some of the risk factors include lack of sleep and working long shifts without breaks. Other risks are working more than 50 hours each week and long commutes to and from work. Besides the daily grind, fatigue can also be a result of other factors.

Can Vitamin Supplements Help Fight Fatigue?

One of the physical causes of fatigue is Vitamin Deficiency. This deficiency is the lack of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and iron. 

  • Iron: Iron deficiency results in anemia. You don’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen or protein in your body. Anemia is usually the first sign of fatigue. Eating iron-rich foods and taking over-the-counter supplements can correct your deficiency.
  • Vitamin D: Lack of Vitamin D decreases your muscle and bone strength. You can get Vitamin D by sunbathing early in the morning. Foods such as salmon, milk, and cereals are likely sources, too.
  • Vitamin B12: Your body needs Vitamin B12 for the production of healthy red blood cells. A deficiency in B12 can also cause anemia. Increasing your B12 intake from meat and dairy and taking supplements reverses the deficit. For other causes of B12 deficiency, a healthcare provider may prescribe injectables for you.

The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ offers vitamin infusion therapy to beat your fatigue and boost your energy. 

INFABQ Image 2 Smart Ways to Combat Fatigue...

What is Fatigue?

Energy and fatigue are interrelated. Energy refers to strength and liveliness, while fatigue is the opposite, with a distinct psychological response. It refers to a lack of energy or extreme tiredness. It’s being exhausted mentally, where you lack motivation to do anything. Fatigue affects your activities of daily living and general well-being. 

You may experience fatigue at least once in your lifetime. It’s a common condition or non-pathological, which is not generally due to an illness. 

According to a study, fatigue can be pathological. This type of fatigue isn’t typical, and it may be caused by an underlying illness. Pathological fatigue has seven primary characteristics:

  1. Physical sensation: It’s the severity of your feeling tired, weak, and lack of energy. 
  2. Impact on functioning: It refers to your diminished function, quality of life, and capacity to work.  Difficulty completing a task, poor sleep quality, or skipping activities are ways pathological fatigue manifests.
  3. Subjective: It’s how you feel or self-perception. It’s your personal experience and narration.
  4. Temporal variability: It refers to persistence. It can be temporary or long-term and episodic or continuous.
  5. Unpleasant emotions: You may feel a mixed range of emotions. You may be anxious, numb, moody, distressed, or reactive.
  6. Decreased cognitive ability: You may have decreased attention, concentration, and motivation. You may also have memory deficits and decreased mental capacity.
  7. Unusual: It’s abnormal and unpredictable. It’s something you can’t sleep off or relieve by rest.
INFABQ Image 3 Smart Ways to Combat Fatigue...

What Are the Causes of Fatigue? Activation of microglia or increased cytokines in the brain brings about fatigue, according to a study. This neural region in the brain is associated with arousal, reward, sleep, and circadian rhythm.

There are many causes of fatigue, and these causes may be physical, pathological (linked to a disease), and psychological. 

  1. Physical: “Normal” fatigue relates to physical exertion, which responds to rest. This type of fatigue relates to your lifestyle activities. The activity includes excessive exercise, physical work, and, ironically, lack of physical activity. Alcohol or drug use and medications all lead to fatigue. A lack of sleep and an unhealthy diet result in fatigue. 
  2. Pathological or sign of a medical condition: “Abnormal” fatigue may occur over time and doesn’t respond to rest. It may exist on its own. Or it may be brought about by underlying physical or psychological conditions. It may also be an effect of the medications used to treat various medical conditions. Some of these are the following:
  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heart disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  1. Psychological or mental: Anxiety, depression, and stress can affect your fatigue level. More than 90% of people who suffer from major depressive disorder experience fatigue. In a study, people may perceive fatigue as physical. A medical professional, though, may view it as psychological distress. Thus, the study highlights the need to develop a good working relationship to determine the root cause of fatigue.

What are Some of the Symptoms of Fatigue?

A study reveals mental and physical fatigue came with a reduced level of activity. There may also be changes in mood, motivation, concentration, and memory. Here are ten of the most common symptoms of fatigue:

  • Feeling down
  • Headaches
  • Irritable
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Sleepy most of the time
  • Tired
  • Weary

How Do  You Assess Fatigue? 

Researchers developed and initially validated a Fatigue Sensitivity Questionnaire. It aims to measure a person’s perception of negative consequences linked to fatigue symptoms. You answer each question with four choices – Very Little, A Little, Some, and Much. Your answer corresponds to either a physical, cognitive, or social concern. 

10 questions to ask yourself, according to Kauffman and associates:

GbF6SyQ104re10yUj24r9oplOMX2ROFm6GA3VWLvKEj9I5DAYcfMX6GJlmY

Reference: Kauffman et al. (2018). The development and initial validation of the Fatigue Sensitivity Questionnaire.

INFABQ Image 4 Smart Ways to Combat Fatigue...

How Do You Combat Fatigue?

A medical professional prescribes the proper therapy depending on the cause of your fatigue. Questions asked are about your activities, symptoms, medical conditions, and the medications you’re taking. A healthcare provider may ask you to take lab tests if you have an underlying illness.

Tests may include any of the following, which depends on your initial assessment:

  • Complete blood count 
  • Electrolytes
  • Glucose for blood sugar
  • BUN/creatinine for kidney function
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • Test for deficiencies: Vitamins B12, D, iron, and folic acid
  • CPK (muscle inflammation) or ESR (inflammation in the body)

A study proposed therapy for all types of fatigue. A structured plan may include physical activities such as aerobics, stretching, and walking. The researchers also suggested caffeine, naps, and medications to boost energy and mood. These are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine or sertraline. For chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive behavior therapy can be used.

How Do You Boost Your Energy?

  1. Do: Try to lessen your workload and manage your stress. Overworking causes fatigue, so try to set priorities. Don’t take on all tasks at the same time, as this also leads to stress. You can control stress by talking to friends or taking regular breaks from work.  

Exercise helps elevate your mood and makes you sleep soundly at night. It also leads to better sleep which your body needs to recharge itself. Avoid daytime napping as this interferes with your night sleep. To prevent insomnia, avoid smoking as the nicotine stimulates you into wakefulness. 

  1. Drink: Hydrate yourself. Drink water, especially if you’re exercising.  Water replenishes your body of the lost fluids when sweating. Try coffee. It keeps you alert and sharpens your mind. Although, refrain from drinking coffee after 2 PM. Drinking coffee late in the evening could keep you awake later in the night. Limit alcohol intake, too. Avoid drinking alcohol during lunch and at 5 PM, as this makes you sleepy afterward.
  2. Eat: Eat foods with a low glycemic index. Foods with a low glycemic index are sugars absorbed slowly by the body. It helps in sustaining your energy. Examples are high-fiber vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Vitamin supplements may also help build and maintain energy.
INFABQ Image 5 Smart Ways to Combat Fatigue...

What Other Vitamins can Beat Fatigue? 

Maintain your energy levels by eating a balanced diet, exercising, and getting enough rest. But in your busy schedule, this may not always be possible. Your physical fatigue and lethargy relate to a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Thus, it’s important to have adequate vitamins and minerals.

There are many vitamins and supplements to combat fatigue. Some of these are CoQ10, iron, Vitamin C, and magnesium. B vitamins have been well-researched as it plays an essential role, in the production of energy

Lack of B vitamins is associated with fatigue. Beriberi, a severe deficiency in Vitamin B1, has symptoms of fatigue and muscle weakness. Inadequate Vitamin B2  results in a risk of anemia, a condition connected with fatigue. Lack of B3 includes weakness, fatigue, and appetite loss. Vitamins B9 (folic acid) and B12 deficiencies result in anemia and reduced endurance.

Vitamin B12, in particular, is effective in reducing fatigue among hemodialysis patients. But it doesn’t boost sports endurance or performance among healthy people who have no deficiency. You may take it, though, as a supplement to avoid deficiencies if you’re into sports. 

Should You Take B Vitamins?

INFABQ Image 6 Smart Ways to Combat Fatigue...

Fatigue is a common symptom associated with many conditions. Yet, it has a few efficient therapies. Proper diet and exercise are natural ways to fight fatigue and boost energy. Vitamin and mineral supplements can also help, particularly B vitamins. 

You can take B vitamins by mouth as an oral supplement.  Injections and IV infusions are most effective since it goes directly into your bloodstream. Oral supplements go to the digestive system, so it usually has a lower absorption rate. The potency of the supplement is reduced, unlike in injection or IV infusion. 

If you have questions about Vitamin B for energy and fatigue, call us at the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ – – 505 455 4300.

CTA: Get an appointment now!

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INFABQ Image 1 Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Cant Ignore
Injections & Infusions

Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Can’t Ignore

INFABQ Image 1 Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Cant Ignore

The prevalence  of low Vitamin B12 is high among people who are between 26- to 49 year-olds. Vitamin B12 deficiency is treatable.

You may take Vitamin B12 supplements by mouth. Vitamin B12 injections or shots are also useful  in treating  Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 shots boost  Vitamin B12 quickly. It bypasses the digestive system and goes directly into your tissues. It works for people who are unresponsive to oral supplements and severely deficient.

For more information about Vitamin  B12, call us at the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ at 505-445-4300. Or book your Vitamin B12 shot online today.  https://www.schedulista.com/schedule/theinjectioninfusionclinicofabq/r8dlm-m1pge

A lack of Vitamin B12 can cause many health problems. It affects your heart, physical performance, and cognitive functions. This blog shares with you the importance of  Vitamin B12:

  • What is  Vitamin B12?
  • What are the causes of  Vitamin B12 deficiency?
  • What are the symptoms of    VitaminB12 deficiency?
  • What are the potential benefits of  Vitamin B12 shots?
  • How long do  Vitamin B12 shots last?
  • What are the side effects of  Vitamin B12?
  • How much is the cost of  Vitamin B12 shots?
INFABQ Image 2 Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Cant Ignore

What is Vitamin  B12?

Vitamin B12, known as cobalamin, is a naturally occurring water-soluble vitamin. It’s essential in energy and red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, and proper nerve and neurological function. 

Protein-rich foods such as eggs, meats, and dairy contain  Vitamin B12. It’s not present in vegetables, but breakfast cereals can be fortified with it. The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends a daily intake of 2.4 mcg of Vitamin B12 for adults and children four years and older.

It comes in various forms. The natural-occurring B12 vitamins are methylcobalamin (MeCbl), adenosylcobalamin (AdCbl), and hydroxycobalamin (Cbl). These bioidentical forms can be found in foods and supplements. The synthetic form, cyanocobalamin is found in supplements. A study reveals that bioidentical forms are superior in safety and bioavailability than cyanocobalamin.

Vitamin B12, specifically MeCbl in combination with AdCbl or Cbl, corrects B12 deficiency. Clinical evidence shows it’s effective as a supplement given by mouth or injection. Another study suggests methylcobalamin as a potential pain killer. It improves nerve conduction and helps in regrowing damaged nerves. The researchers of the study noted methylcobalamin alleviated low back pain, neuralgia, and diabetic neuropathy.

INFABQ Image 3 Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Cant Ignore

What are the Causes  of Vitamin B12 Deficiency ?

An autoimmune condition, malabsorption, or insufficient intake of Vitamin B12 can cause a  deficiency

  • Autoimmune condition: Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia. It’s a blood disorder characterized by the lack of intrinsic factor. A  protein,  intrinsic factor aids your intestines to absorb  Vitamin B12. With a lack of intrinsic factor, the intestines can’t get enough  Vitamin B12. The body can’t produce enough red blood cells because there isn’t enough  Vitamin  B12. It affects 1% to 2% of adults.
  • Malabsorption: Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders can’t absorb enough Vitamin  B12. Gastrointestinal disorders include Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and infestation from a tapeworm or Diphyllobothrium latum. Older adults and people who have undergone weight loss or gastrointestinal surgery are also at risk. 
  • Insufficient intake of  Vitamin B12 happens among vegetarians and strict vegans. People who eat all plant-based food may lack the recommended intake of  Vitamin B12. Researchers published a cohort study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study reveals vegetarians and vegans have low concentrations of  Vitamin B12. 

What are the Symptoms  of Vitamin B12 Deficiency ?

The prevalence rate of  Vitamin B12 deficiency ranges from 1.5% to 15% in the general population. Symptoms include:

  • Anemia
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Numbness and tingling of hands and feet
  • Neuropsychiatric: Confusion, depression, dementia, and poor memory
INFABQ Image 4 Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Cant Ignore

Six Potential Benefits of Vitamin  B12

  1. Prevents anemia: High-dose  Vitamin B12 taken by mouth or injected intramuscularly are effective in correcting anemia related to B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 helps prevent megaloblastic anemia. Megaloblastic anemia is  acquired due to a lack of  Vitamin B12. 

Huge  red blood cells characterize  megaloblastic anemia, but fewer red blood cells appear.  Due to its size, it can’t move out of the bone marrow into the bloodstream. When this happens, there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the parts of your body. You feel weak or tired as a result.

  1. Prevents congenital disabilities: Lack of  Vitamin B12 to women and their fetus, have detrimental effects. Women may experience infertility and abortions due to  Vitamin B12 deficiency. For pregnant women, it may cause a risk of birth defects and preterm birth. 

Researchers found  low levels of Vitamin B12 were evident among mothers of children with neural tube defects. Vitamin B12 levels of <250 ng/L may pose three times the risk of birth defects. Women who want to become pregnant should have concentrations of Vitamin  B12 >300 ng/L to 400 ng/L.

  1. Improves mood and depressive symptoms:  Vitamin B12 aids in synthesizing serotonin chemicals in the brain that regulate mood. A lack of  Vitamin B12 may decrease serotonin, which results in mood disorders such as depression. 

A study revealed  lower  Vitamin B12 levels caused  a higher risk of melancholic depressive symptoms. Vitamin B12 deficiency also increased the risk of severe depression two-fold among older women. 

Management of depression may include  Vitamin B12. A study reveals   Vitamin B12 with antidepressants improved depressive symptoms. 

INFABQ Image 5 Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Cant Ignore
  1. May reduce risk of neurological disorders: There have been studies conducted that dispel claims that  Vitamin B12 improves cognitive function. Researchers need to complete further studies to have adequate evidence to support it. 

However, some studies reveal otherwise. Some research studies  linked  anorexia, apathy, irritability, growth retardation, and developmental regression as Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms. The study cited that Vitamin  B12 is essential in keeping the brain healthy

Vitamin B12 supplements may prevent damage to the nervous system, which leads to mental decline and disorders. Among people with mild cognitive impairment,  Vitamin B12 with omega-3 fatty acid may slow the decline. The rate of brain deterioration also declines with  Vitamin B12 plus folate.

Low levels of  Vitamin B12 are associated with poor memory. A study suggests that  Vitamin B12 supplementation may improve memory function.

  1. Boosts energy and fights fatigue: A study shows that  Vitamin B12 deficiency affects physical performance.  Vitamin B12 supplementation corrects it.  However, athletes with a well-balanced diet won’t benefit from it because they already have sufficient amounts. 

“Can vitamin supplements improve sports performance?” Physically active individuals may take vitamin supplements to prevent vitamin deficiency based on the recommended dietary allowance.

A 2020 review shows vitamins and minerals play a vital role in energy, fatigue, and cognition. It includes B vitamins. According to the researchers, vitamins and minerals are needed for energy production. 

Moreover, vitamins and minerals aid in carrying oxygen to the brain and muscles through red blood cells. Note that iron and B vitamins play a critical role in the development of red blood cells.

The researchers concluded that vitamin and mineral supplementation might contribute to physical, psychological, and cognitive health. It may decrease perceived mental and physical fatigue.

  1. Supports immune system: Vitamin B12 plays a role in the regulation of the immune system. However, the exact mechanism is still unclear. Researchers conducted a study among people with  Vitamin B12 deficiency. 

They found that the  Vitamin B12 deficient participants had decreased lymphocytes. They also exhibited abnormally high CD4/CD8 ratios and low Natural Killer (NK) cell activity. CD4/CD8 and NK lymphocytes are vital in fighting bacteria and viruses. Any changes in the ratio of lymphocytes may increase your risk of catching infections.

The study reveals  Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) injection therapy restored lymphocytes. Vitamin B12 shots also improved CD4/CD8 T cell ratio and NK cell activity. It highlights  Vitamin B12 as an “immunomodulator for cellular immunity.”

INFABQ Image 6 Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Cant Ignore

How  Long Do  Vitamin B12 Shots Last?

The effects depend on how your body reacts to the Vitamin B12 shots. These shots are   absorbed rapidly within 48 hours after injection. At this time, about 50% to 98% of the dose may appear in your urine. 

A severely deficient person may get five to seven B12 shots in the first week of therapy. Once Vitamin B12 levels become normal, Vitamin B12 shots should be given at least every three months   to prevent relapse. Most patients prefer a weekly shot for the most energy.

 Vitamin B12 may be stored in your body for 3 to 5 years. . Depending on your lifestyle and health condition, your Vitamin B12 level fluctuates. A liver disorder may affect  Vitamin B12 storage since Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver. Liver disorders include ascites, cholestasis, hepatic encephalopathy, jaundice, and portal hypertension.

INFABQ Image 7 Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Cant Ignore

What are the  Potential  Side  Effects of  Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 shots are safe, effective, and well-tolerated for preventing or correcting a deficiency. You may experience pain or redness at the injection site as a temporary discomfort. There’s no risk for toxicity except if you have a kidney problem. You can pass it out of your body through urination since it is water-soluble. 

In general, other side effects are mild diarrhea or itching all over your body. People must be cautious if they have allergies, medical conditions and are taking medication. Vitamin B12 shots may affect people with the following conditions:

  • Cobalamin or cobalt allergy
  • Kidney disease
  • Leber’s disease (an eye disorder)
  • Low potassium levels (hypokalemia)
  • Polycythemia vera (rare blood disorder)

Vitamin B12 interacts with other medications:

  • Antibiotics, such as Chloramphenicol, may interfere with red blood cell response.
  • Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid is linked to low Vitamin B12 levels. A study shows  people who took aspirin were more frequently  Vitamin B12 deficient than non-takers.
  • Histamine H2 receptor antagonists include cimetidine, famotidine, and ranitidine, which may interfere with the absorption of  Vitamin B12 in the stomach.
  • Metformin may reduce the absorption of  Vitamin B12. A study suggests that 10-30% of people who take metformin have decreased absorption.
  • Oral contraceptives are associated with low Vitamin B12 levels. Researchers  found that women using oral contraceptives had significantly lower Vitamin B12 than usual in a case-control study.
  • Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole and lansoprazole, may slow down  Vitamin B12 in the stomach.

How  Much is the  Cost of  Vitamin B12 Shots ?

Vitamin B12 injections at the Injection Infusion Clinic of ABQ cost $24.81. Take note  we use activated Vitamin B12 shots made up of methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin. It performs better and safer than cyanocobalamin, which contains cyanide.

INFABQ Image 8 Interesting Benefits of Vitamin B12 Shots You Cant Ignore

Take the  Shot

Vitamin B12 shots are beneficial for people suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency.  If you have this condition or think you may already have this condition, talk to us about it at the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ  505-445-5030.

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food sensitivity test injection and infusion clinic abq
Injections & Infusions

5 facts about the Food Sensitivity Test you probably dont know

food sensitivity test injection and infusion clinic abq

What is Food Sensitivity ?

Have you dined on a banquet of seafood, and not long after, you get rashes all over your body? Or have you ever sipped coffee or milk only to find out you’re intolerant to these drinks? 

Food sensitivities aren’t limited to skin issues and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Most people benefit from a food sensitivity test to pinpoint specific foods that cause headaches, mood disorders, and body pains. By removing these  foods from your diet, you won’t have to suffer these bodily discomforts.

The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ recommends high-accuracy food sensitivity tests for you. But how reliable and practical are food sensitivity tests? Let’s take a True or False Test to find out about the following questionable statements:

  1. Food allergy, intolerance, and sensitivity mean the same.
  2. Food sensitivity tests are overrated.
  3. Food sensitivity tests are accurate.
  4. Food allergy, intolerance, and sensitivity appears  with any test.
  5. There is no best test for food allergy, intolerance, and sensitivity.
food sensitivity test injection and infusion clinic abq 2

1. True or False? Food allergy, intolerance, and sensitivity mean the same.

False.  These three terms mean different conditions.

  • Food allergy involves the immune system and immunoglobulin E antibodies. You get itchy red rashes, a tingling feeling around your mouth, and swelling of your face and throat. In a severe case, you’d find it difficult to breathe or  worse. 

These reactions are potentially life-threatening food allergies.  Food allergy is most common in children, and frequently,  they outgrow this condition. Examples of food allergies are egg, milk, peanut, soy, and wheat.

  • Food sensitivity is a less immediate situation than a food allergy.  It also involves the immune system but is mediated by immunoglobulin G antibodies. This immune reaction is subtle and can take days to experience symptoms after eating the food.  This reaction causes general irritation and inflammation that results in a variety of symptoms.  
  • Food intolerance does not involve the immune system. Food intolerance  happens when your body can’t properly digest food. It’s associated with the digestive system due to poor absorption of specific carbohydrates or an enzyme deficiency. 

Food intolerance and sensitivity are not as dangerous as an allergy, but they lead to alower quality of life. According to a Mayo Clinic allergy expert, the way to identify whether  it’s an allergy or intolerance is the amount of food you ingest before getting a reaction. It’s an allergy if you get a reaction to small amounts of the suspected item.  Sensitivities and intolerances reactions are usually relative to the amount eaten.

food sensitivity test injection and infusion clinic abq 3

2. True or False? The food sensitivity tests are overrated.

False. A food sensitivity test is vital. 

Toxins in your body cause  a significant  impact on your general health and well-being. It damages your organs, weakens your bones, causes hormonal imbalance, and speeds up aging, among other things. Your body can eliminate toxins with proper nutrition, an active lifestyle, and supplements. 

But there are certain foods  you may or may not know whether you’re allergic, intolerant, or sensitive to. These foods can cause unpleasant reactions to your body, such as inflammatory symptoms. Symptoms  include but are not limited to leaky gut syndrome (LGS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), mood disorders, headache, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.

  • Inflammation in the gut

A leaky gut happens when gaps in the intestinal walls widen, allowing large protein particles to slip through. The leaky gut also involves microbiota that aid in digestion.

Any imbalance in the microbiota triggers the immune response that leads to inflammation in the gut. As this occurs, there’s an increased intestinal permeability where bacteria, food, and toxins can quickly enter the bloodstream. This increased permeability may contribute to irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.

  • Inflammation in the brain: the gut-brain axis

According to a study, there’s a gut-brain axis wherein microbiota in your gut affect mental health. The researchers suggest that inflammation in the abdomen  may contribute  to mental conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Another study revealed inflammation in the brain might contribute to mood disorders such as major depression, bipolar, and anxiety. Inflammation in the brain may be due to diet, environmental factors, lifestyle, and other medical conditions.

  • Headaches and food

Certain foods do cause headaches. One hundred seventy women answered questionnaires about their headaches and nutritional habits. The study results show there was a significant relationship between headaches and some foods.

Children and adolescents also experienced recurrent headaches due to the consumption of sensitive foods.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: the gut-joint axis

Certain foods can aggravate body and joint pains. The IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies linked to dietary antigens among people with rheumatoid arthritis were studied.  The study revealed  certain foods contributed to a hypersensitivity reaction. Some of these antigens came from cereals, codfish, eggs, milk, and pork.

  • Psoriasis and food

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease. It’s not contagious; rather it’s inherited. A study shows diet may contribute to the origin and development of psoriasis. Some of the study participants showed elevated sensitivity to foods containing gluten.

Takeaway: If inflammation persists, your body will have a difficult time eliminating toxins. To eliminate inflammation that affects your brain, joints, gut, and skin, you need to remove from your diet the foods known to be  bad for you. 

You need testing to identify the food that specifically triggers your allergic, intolerant, or sensitivity reaction. Food sensitivity tests are abundantly available. 

food sensitivity test injection and infusion clinic abq 4

3. True or False? There are different types of tests for food allergy, intolerance, and sensitivity.

True. There are different types of tests for different kinds  of reactions.

  • Food allergy: Food allergy tests measure the protein IgE indicative of an immune response. The most common and fastest way is a skin test.

    Your skin will be pricked and dropped with a small amount of food. You are allergic to food if your skin turns red or swells. Blood  testing can also be done. Your blood will be drawn and exposed to different allergens.

  • Food sensitivity: Food sensitivity tests, unlike food allergy tests, look at the presence of IgG. Some of the food sensitivity tests are the Mediator Release Test (MRT) + LEAP Diet, Antigen Leukocyte Cellular Antibody Test (ALCAT), and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Testing with or without Complement.
  • Food intolerance: Food intolerance is interpreted on symptoms after ingesting a suspected food.

But how reliable are these tests?

food sensitivity test injection and infusion clinic abq 5

4. True or False? Food sensitivity tests are accurate.

True...sort of. Some tests are not as reliable as you think.

Discrepancies in results may occur. One reason differences occur is existing antigens (IgE, IgG, IgA, and IgM) may be destroyed, or new ones created  from being exposed to the food.

The next reason is more complicated. Food sensitivity tests that measure  IgG (not IgE) can have false-positive results. Dr. Joel Evans is a Founder and Director of The Center for Functional Medicine. He is also a medical director in a company that produces a 2.0 version of IgG food sensitivity tests.

In a podcast, Dr. Evans explains false-positive results can be due to exposures like bacteria, which cross-react with your immune system. Your body creates an antibody as a response, but it has the same composition as your food. As a result, this gives the likelihood of more than 20 foods you have to avoid, which is unrealistic.

He further relates  a complement reaction is the next step in which  a complement molecule binds to the IgG molecule. It tells whether a substance is triggering an inflammatory response as part of the immune process.

If it gives off a severe reaction to a particular food, then you should avoid that food. . The usual IgG food sensitivity tests don’t do this at all.  Without the second complement step, there are lots of false positives.

food sensitivity test injection and infusion clinic abq 6

5. True or False? There is a single best test for food allergy, intolerance, and sensitivity.

False. At this point, there is no one best test for food allergy, intolerance, and sensitivity.  It is essential  to select the correct test.

IgG testing for food sensitivity cannot be used for food allergy, as food allergy is not synonymous. Remember, IgE mediates a food allergy; so IgG would not capture the allergy,  although symptoms for an allergy are usually immediate and distinct.  

As earlier mentioned, stand-alone IgG tests result in false-positives. More so, the American Academy of Allergy and Asthma Immunology recommended not using  IgG tests at all, apparently due to a lack of peer-reviewed scientific evidence (AAAAI, 2020).

The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the European Academy of Allergy Clinical Immunology, agree to this recommendation.  

The lack of studies doesn’t invalidate the various tests.  These tests can still provide information to support a potential solution. These results can  customize a diet for you to reduce symptoms of your inflammation. 

The reason is due to the lack of that critical second complement reaction step.  In our experience, many people have benefited from food sensitivity testing and avoiding the identified foods.  Selecting the right test and correctly  interpreting the results is critical. 

It is also important to remember that professional organizations exist to serve their members...not the public.  So any test or procedure that threatens the status quo or bottomline is viewed with great suspicion.  This is why so many of these organizations are slow to adopt new technology. 

So far, the gold standard in food sensitivity testing is the elimination-provocation diet. It’s a pattern of eating and eliminating foods to determine how your body reacts to particular  foods.

It’s a time-consuming and tedious process. It also requires your commitment, especially in recording your progress.  We have found a combination of testing and trial avoidance to be the best way to identify foods.

Get Tested

While food sensitivity testing can result in some false positives, the test we use at the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ utilizes the critical second complement step.  Our testing and guidance can get you on your way to feeling better!  Schedule a test today by visiting https://infusionclinicabq.com/infusion/ or call us at 505-445-4300.

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Injection-and-Infusion-Clinic-of-ABQ-Vitamin-C
Injections & Infusions

Vitamin C Infusions As Adjunct Cancer Therapy: Which C is Bound to Win?

Injection-and-Infusion-Clinic-of-ABQ-Vitamin-C

Overview

Uses and Functions of Vitamin C

How Much Vitamin C Do We Need

Adverse Effects of High-Dose Vitamin C

Vitamin C and Cancer Therapy

Dosing of Intravenous Vitamin C in Clinical Trials

Conclusion

Vitamin C is highly marketed and endorsed because of its multiple uses. It is best known for its function in strengthening the immune system, increasing collagen production, and as an antioxidant.

The discovery of Vitamin C is one of the biggest milestones in the history of improving human nutrition. Today, Vitamin C has become an immensely popular dietary supplement, however, it is still important to note that there are still a lot of people who are Vitamin C deficient.

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient that plays an important role in numerous physiological processes in the human body. Tthe human body cannot synthesize Vitamin C, hence it must be obtained through dietary intake.

Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, comes in many forms: capsules, tablets, serums, creams, and even IV infusions.

The use of vitamin C infusions is not new. In fact, way back in the 1970s, Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling was already using high doses of oral vitamin C supplementation in patients with advanced cancer. However, it was met with criticism with regards to data collection and analysis.

But research and studies did not stop there. In fact, more and more data is becoming available to support the effectiveness of Vitamin C supplementation especially in cancer patients.  It is important to understand that IV Vitamin C can attain much higher serum levels than oral supplementation.  This is critical in evaluating the effectiveness of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a proven indispensable nutrient that is beneficial to everyone. Here at The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ, we give you access to high-dose Vitamin C infusions coupled with quality patient care to give you just what you need. 

Book a Vitamin C Infusion

IV Nutrients Infusions are a great way give yourself a nutrient boost straight to the system.

Uses and Functions of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and several neurotransmitters. Vitamin C is also involved in protein metabolism.

Its role in collagen synthesis making it a very vital component for wound healing. Vitamin C is also a crucial physiological antioxidant which is necessary to give rise to other antioxidants such as tocopherol.

Here are the basic functions of Vitamin C:

  • Key regulator of immune function, cellular growth, and differentiation
  • Co-factor for at least 15 enzymes in several enzymatic reactions
  • May be an antioxidant, but if given in higher concentrations act as a pro-oxidant
  • Also involved in protein metabolism

Specifically, Vitamin C promotes the production and/or activation of immune cells, (e.g. T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells). These cells function in fighting against pathogens and cancer cells.

How Much Vitamin C Do We Need

The recommended dietary intake for oral Vitamin C is 75-90 milligrams but research shows that to achieve health results, a minimum of 500 milligrams per day is the ideal dose. The safer upper limit is 2000mg orally. 

However, several studies have shown that high dose concentrations of Vitamin C given via infusions may be therapeutic for some illnesses, including cancer.

Grab Your Vitamin C Infusion

IV Nutrients Infusions are a great way give yourself a nutrient boost straight to the system.

Oral Vitamin C vs Intravenous Vitamin C

Most drugs have significantly higher bioavailability when delivered via the intravenous route as opposed to the oral route. This is because all oral medicines and supplements undergo first pass metabolism (also defined as the significant reduction of the concentration of a drug before it reaches the systemic circulation), hence resulting in decreased bioavailability in the end.

The same is true with Vitamin C, however a different mechanism was noted to regulate bioavailability.

Studies have shown that with oral supplementation higher than 250mg/ day, Vitamin C bioavailability levels reach a saturation plateau, due to a coordinated action of multiple mechanisms.

However, if Vitamin C is administered intravenously, several factors contributing to that tight control is bypassed. The results were significantly different such that the same amount of Vitamin C administered intravenously may result in its six times higher concentration than when that dose was administered orally.

vitamine c1

Adverse Effects of High-Dose Vitamin C

Though high dose Vitamin C therapy is generally tolerable and safe, with excess amounts excreted through urine, there are some adverse effects that a patient may experience once on therapy:

  • Mild headaches (more common)
  • Nausea (more common)
  • Insomnia
  • Hypertension - increased BP
  • Decreased appetite
  • Abnormal urine color
  • Edema
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Hyperglycemia - increased blood sugar levels
  • Dry mouth/skin

Vitamin C and Cancer

Vitamin C has been studied extensively for cancer. Pharmacokinetic studies have shown that the route of administration of Vitamin C (oral supplementation versus intravenous infusion) in cancer patients makes a big difference.

Even in the absence of sufficient and reliable clinical trial data, Vitamin C still sparks interest among researchers and physicians for its potential as an aid in cancer therapy. Its high safety profile makes it incredibly attractive for cancer treatment.

Daily Vitamin C supplementation through the oral route was noted through research to likely reduce the incidence of gastric, esophageal, oral, pharyngeal, and cervical cancer.

Numerous reports have shown that high doses of Vitamin C given as an adjunct to conventional chemotherapy drugs enhance the effect of these drugs in inhibiting cancer cell growth.

Vitamin C is known widely as an antioxidant, however infusions for cancer are generally given in high doses, promoting its pro-oxidant function. Pro-oxidant function simply refers to the capability of Vitamin C to illicit cell death in cancer cells without adversely affecting normal cells.

Other than the known complications of intravenous Vitamin C in those with renal impairment or glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, high dose intravenous vitamin C appears to be remarkably safe.

High-dose intravenous Vitamin C has been shown to significantly prolong the survival of patients and it has been used for decades as a complementary, alternative, and adjuvant medicine in clinics.

In patients with colon cancer, it was subsequently noted that high doses of Vitamin C increased the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs, resulting to lower dosages of oxaliplatin and irinotecan.

Oral Vitamin C was given as part of an antioxidant therapy for a study involving patients with ovarian cancer. In addition to oral antioxidant therapy, the patients were also given intravenous Vitamin C. Normalization of CA-125 levels were noted as early as after the first cycle of chemotherapy.

In a review conducted on nine cases of cancer with differing stages, the regular administration of large doses (25 – 100 grams per day) of intravenous Vitamin C was documented.

Deterioration in clinical condition upon withdrawal of Vitamin C therapy was noted, as well as survival beyond prognosis and improvement in quality of life among those who continued therapy.

Safe co-administration with and improved tolerance towards conventional chemotherapy were also noted. In another study involving 14 patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, it was observed that intravenous Vitamin C was generally well-tolerated, despite transient adverse effects during and after the infusions.

Pharmacokinetic profiles for pre-and post-chemotherapy suggested that tissue uptake of Vitamin C increases after chemotherapy, with no concomitant increase in urinary oxalic acid excretion.

Three patients with different types of cancer reported unexpected transient stable disease and a better quality of life attributed to increased energy and functionality.

Another clinical trial involving patients with ovarian cancer randomized patients to receive Vitamin C or standard chemotherapy.

Results showed an 8.75 month increase in progression-free survival - an improved trend in overall survival in those receiving Vitamin C intravenously.

Though these results need to be replicated and verified further, current information of the effect of Vitamin C infusions on cancer patients are already noteworthy and promising.

The practical information that most research provided could be used to direct future clinical trials to objectively determine the effect of Vitamin C infusions on specific cancer types at specific dosages

vitamin-c-infusion-injection-and-infusion-clinic-of-abq

Dosing of Intravenous Vitamin C in Clinical Trials

In several mouse models, intravenous Vitamin C was already noted to have a synergistic effect on chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, giving clinical promise.

Clinical trials on patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma, a dosing of 15 to 125g twice weekly along with the drug gemcitabine resulted to a mean survival time of 13 ± 2 months.

Patients with stage III / IV ovarian cancer were given 75 to 100 g of intravenous Vitamin C twice weekly for 12 months, resulting to an 8.75 month increase in progression-free survival.

In another trial involving patients having various cancer types (lung, rectum, colon, bladder, ovary, cervix, tonsil, breast, biliary tract), a different way of dosing and treatment was applied.

An infusion equal to 1.5g/kg body weight was infused three times (with at least one day apart) on weekdays during weeks when chemotherapy was administered (but infusion is not given on the same day as IV chemotherapy), and any two days with at least one day apart during weeks when there was no chemotherapy given. Significant improvement in energy and functionality was noted.

Patients with glioblastoma received 15-125g of intravenous Vitamin C three times a week for seven weeks during the radiation phase, and two times a week during the adjuvant phase. This resulted to a progression-free survival of 13.3 months and an average overall survival of 21.5 months.

In advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer, two 75g Vitamin C infusions were given weekly up to four cycles. Results noted stable response in most patients, with disease progression in only 1 out of 14 patients receiving therapy.

Conclusion

Intravenous Vitamin C has been proposed as an unconventional treatment for different types of cancers since the 1950s. Studies have proven that Vitamin C is indeed promising as an adjunct therapy to chemotherapy.

There is a better outcome for cancer patients who opt to go for Vitamin C infusions compared to oral supplementation with Vitamin C.

It was noted that intravenous Vitamin C reduces tumor size, improves overall quality of life, and has a synergistic effect on chemotherapy. Aside from that, it mitigates the adverse effects associated with chemotherapy.

Experience these effects and start by booking an appointment with The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ today. This just might be the answer you need for you or your loved ones seeking a better quality of life despite the threat of the big C.

Help yourself or someone you love by offering the promise of a bigger C – Vitamin C infusions.

Book Your Infusions Here

IV Nutrients Infusions are a great way give yourself a nutrient boost straight to the system.

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covid-19-antibody-testing
Injections & Infusions

10 Facts About COVID-19 Antibody Testing to keep you safe

covid-19-antibody-testing

The Injection and Infusion Clinic follows protocols to support our patients in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In line with safety and care standards, we’re coming up with blog posts like this one. It’s our way of informing people like you about the updates on COVID-19 and Covid-19 antibody testing.

COVID-19 is a new virus and studies have yet to reveal more about it. We’re here to share what we have researched so far about the virus. This blog refers to valid sources such as the CDC, FDA, and Mayo Clinic. 

One of the topics about COVID-19 is antibody testing. You might have heard that it’s not yet FDA-approved, since there has been no COVID-19 test approved by the FDA to this day. Although, recent studies reveal promising results of antibody tests. 

A longitudinal study conducted in the US showed that Diazyme IgM/IgG assays demonstrated low false-positive results among 235 patients who were thought to be COVID-19 free.

Another study published in September 2020 announces the development of an antibody test for the virus that causes COVID-19. The researchers from the University of Texas in collaboration with the Houston Methodist and other institutions developed the antibody test. It performed better than existing antibody tests in terms of sensitivity or accuracy. It also proved cost-efficient as it processed more plasma donor samples at a lower cost. 

Let’s uncover more facts about the antibody test to better understand its contribution to the detection of COVID-19.

1. What are the three different kinds of tests for COVID-19?

Molecular test: This includes diagnostic tests, nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), RT-PCR, and LAMP test that can show the presence of COVID-19 in the body.

These tests are considered highly accurate and don’t require repetition for validation. RT-PCR test, which is commonly used, spots the genetic material in a sample. Healthcare practitioners perform the molecular test through nasal and throat swabs. Saliva can also be tested via spit in a tube. 

According to the CDC, the FDA approved diagnostic tests as rapid tests through the Emergency-Use Authorization (EUA). The importance of EUA will be discussed later in this blog.

Antigen test: Antigen test spots the specific proteins of COVID-19. These are also rapid diagnostic tests that are accurate. But you need to be retested with a molecular test if your result turns out negative. Like the molecular test procedure, a healthcare practitioner performs the antigen test through nasal and throat swabs. Saliva can also be tested via spit in a tube.  Antigen test though is best done in the early phases of the infection as it can be less sensitive.

Antibody test: Known as the serology test, it shows past infection from COVID-19. It doesn’t detect the virus itself. At times, you’d need a second test for an accurate result. Your blood is drawn to see any presence of infection, which may stay in your body 1-12+ weeks after your recovery.

Serology assay may also be issued to the EUA after test performance and thorough review by the FDA.

covid-19 testing-infusion-clinic-abq

2. What is antibody testing for COVID-19?

An antibody test checks for antibodies immunoglobulins M and G or IgM and IgG found in the blood. IgM is the first antibody the body creates to fight an infection.

This happens at the onset of the infection. IgG protects and helps defend your body from infections. This shows up later in the course of infection. Antibody test measures the levels of both antigens as these indicate your body’s immune response to an infection.

Antibody tests can also help in identifying people who may have developed an immune response. These people may be qualified to donate plasma. Convalescent plasma may serve as an adjunct therapy for those who are severely sick from the infection.

Antibody tests can also serve as a support to NAAT, the gold standard of COVID-19 diagnosis. Dr. Liu and research associates concluded that the IgM-IgG antibody along with the RT-PCR test improved the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnosis. This is regardless of the severity of infection. The antibody test provided an effective complement to NAAT, which had false-positive results after the onset of COVID-19 infection.

Researchers in a more current study released in October 2020 also agreed that antibody testing complements NAAT. Dr. Caturegli and co-researchers said the findings of their study “provide valuable diagnostic support in patients who test negative by NAAT but remain clinically suspicious for COVID-19.”

3. What are the types of Covid-19 antibody testing?

Binding antibodies. It doesn’t show how effective your immune system is against the COVID-19. Rather, this detects whether or not you’ve developed antibodies against the virus. 

The two specific tests that detect binding antibodies are the point-of-care (POC) test and laboratory test with the use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or chemiluminescent immunoassay (CIA).

Neutralizing antibodies. This is performed as a second step after you tested positive for binding antibodies. It shows if your antibodies are effective in stopping the virus from letting you get another COVID-19 infection. 

The two types of neutralization tests are the virus neutralization test (VNT) and pseudovirus neutralization test (pVNT).

4. What are the limitations of Covid-19 antibody testing?

There has been no test with a 100% accuracy rate. Some of these tests may have false-positive results since they can react with other coronaviruses. Examples are the common cold and seasonal flu. Antibodies may also be undetectable a few days upon catching the virus. Antibody tests can be used 15-35 days after the onset of symptoms.

covid-19-antibody-testing-infusionclinicabq

5. What is the Emergency-Use Authorization for antibody testing?

The FDA has yet to approve the COVID-19 antibody test, but they can release the EUA. The acting commissioner, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein of the FDA signed the first EUA in 2009. The following circumstances warrant its issuance:

  • Declared emergency: The FDA can release the EUA during a pandemic when there’s no time to gather all evidence about the efficacy of a test, drug, or device. 
  • Evidence suggestive of benefit to people: The FDA can release the EUA when evidence is supported by positive outcomes. 

Dr. Sharfstein is now the vice dean of the Public Health and Practice at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He further mentioned one of the minimum requirements of the EUA, but not a sole standard for authorization.

It is the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. It should be for a good reason that meets efficacy and safety minimum standards.

Thus, for the case of COVID-19 tests, the criteria include effectiveness in detecting antibodies and its potential benefits outweigh potential risks. So far, the FDA has issued more than 200 EUAs for tests at this time of the pandemic.

The FDA may review or cancel existing EUAs. It depends on the FDA’s evaluation of the product’s new information, efficacy, and safety performance. If it meets the criteria set by the FDA, only then can it be approved, cleared, and licensed.

6. Who should use covid-19 antibody testing?

It can be used on people 9-14 days after the onset of the infection. People are tested in the late phase where antibodies may have developed and are already detectable (Watson et al., 2020).

It can be offered as a support to polymerase chain reaction or antigen detection test. You can get tested if you once had symptoms of COVID-19 but you weren’t tested at that time. 

You can get tested before you undergo a medical procedure.

7. Do the presence of antibodies mean you’re immune to COVID-19?

Antibody testing shows the presence of antibodies but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are immune against COVID-19. The medical community has yet to investigate more about the body’s immunity to the virus. It’s safe to assume that even if you have positive antibodies, you may still catch the virus a second time.

8. What is the procedure for Covid-19 antibody testing?

Under a policy prescribed by the FDA, states or territories are responsible for authorizing laboratories to conduct testing. It’s best to contact your direct primary healthcare provider if they’re offering antibody tests.

The healthcare professional will get a blood sample from you. The healthcare professional will prick your finger or draw blood from a vein in your arm. Your blood sample will be sent to a laboratory for testing.

You can’t do it yourself. A healthcare professional conducts the antibody testing in an authorized medical facility.

injection-and-infusion-clinic-of-abq-blog-covid-19-antibody-testing

9. What are the possible results of an antibody test?

Positive result: Antibody positive test result means COVID-19 antibodies are present in your blood.

You have been infected in the past, even if you didn’t have symptoms. As mentioned earlier, the result can also be false-positive. This means antibodies detected in your blood could be another COVID-19-related virus. 

Don’t assume you are protected from COVID-19 if you have a positive result from your antibody test. Little is still known about immunity to the virus, so it’s best to continue to follow safety protocols.

Frequently wash your hands. Wear your face mask and observe social distancing, especially in public places.

Negative result: This means you probably haven’t been infected by the COVID-19 virus. You can also have a false-negative result. This can mean your blood was collected too soon and your body still didn’t develop antibodies.

Both positive and negative results can have false readings if the antibody test itself is flawed or defective.

10. How long will it take to get the result?

This depends on the medical facility. The Well Life ABQ tests both IgG and IgM antibodies and you can receive the result within 5-7 days. 

Ongoing developments:

Antibody tests will still have to undergo the process of certification with the FDA. In the meantime, it’s allowed with the EUA issued by the FDA. 

The FDA is presently collaborating with other government agencies to further study whether a positive antibody or serologic test relates to immunity against COVID-19.

This initiative aims to determine the level of antibodies required for protection from reinfection. It also includes the length of protection and the possible factors linked to the development of an antibody. Even if these are less accurate, it can still help in the containment of contagion in high-risk and densely populated areas.

Contact Us

For more details on the antibody test for COVID-19, you may call Well Life ABQ, a direct primary care provider in Albuquerque, New Mexico at 505 585 2345. You may also click on the link for detailed costs of COVID-19 antibody testing.

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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Injections & Infusions

What is Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Are you one of those women who’d take a sick leave from work because you feel awful before your expected monthly period?

You’re not alone. An estimated 70% to 90% of US women of reproductive age complain of premenstrual syndrome or PMS. Among these women suffering from PMS, 3% to 8% suffer from a more severe condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD.

Ketamine IV infusion may be a promising therapy for you. For more information on ketamine IV infusion, you may check our website - The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ.

Why ketamine? It targets to ease your depressive feelings whenever you experience PMDD. Your lousy mood is one of the major symptoms of PMDD.

Symptoms of PMDD:

  1. Physical: It’s a general feeling of being sick. Your head, muscles, or joints ache. Your breasts are tender and you feel bloated.

  2. Psychological: You may feel depressed, sad, or worthless. You may have bouts of mood swings, irritability, or increased anxiety.

  3. Behavioral: You may lack the energy and interest to do your usual activities. You skip a meal or binge eat as your appetite changes. You may experience either oversleeping or insomnia. There’s just no way for you to control the situation and you feel overwhelmed.

Prevalence of psychological symptoms in PMDD:

In 1997, a study was conducted to determine the link between PMDD and psychological or mood disorders. The researcher noted that women with PMDD have similar symptoms to other women suffering from psychological or mood disorders. But this doesn’t mean they can share the same kind of treatment. 

The researcher further stressed that PMDD should be differentiated from mood disorders in terms of treatment options. This should be based on biological and cognitive condition and response to treatment.

In 2013, PMDD was listed in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). It’s a separate item under Depressive Disorders with a different criterion for diagnosis, depending on the severity of symptoms.

But a study reveals the existence of comorbidity with mood disorders among teenagers and young adults. Among these co-morbidities, anxiety disorder topped the rank at 47.4%. This was followed by other mood disorders 22.9%. The remaining 28.4% was somatoform or mental disorder with physical manifestations and 26.5% had no other mental disorder.

In a later study, the most frequent PMDD symptom was irritability or anger among 276 women under DSM-IV criteria for PMDD. This was followed by anxiety, lethargy, and mood swings. 

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Depressive symptoms in Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Depression, anxiety, and irritability are the most studied PMDD symptoms. Because these mood disorders have been consistently observed among women with PMDD.

  • Researchers interviewed nine women in a two-year pilot study. They found out that PMDD posed a risk for major depressive symptoms. They noted that PMDD may likely be an onset leading to major depressive disorder. 
  • A study aimed to assess and determine the role of these mood symptoms in the diagnosis of PMDD. Sixty-seven women with PMDD and 75 other women answered comprehensive questionnaires. The results show that women with PMDD exhibited heightened mood symptoms. Depression ranked as the most prominent among the three mood disorders.
  • Symptoms of PMD and PMDD overlap and researchers correlated these with depression. They studied 116 women aged 18 to 40 years old. They found out that 46.6% of the women with depressive symptoms had major depression. The study further reveals that the diagnosis of major depression was significantly linked with the PMS and PMDD. Moreover, depression was increased alongside the gravity of PMS and the existence of PMDD.

Thus, researchers in another study highlighted the need for clinicians to carefully assess PMDD with major depressive disorder. They noted that future studies may be conducted to identify more appropriate treatments for PMDD women with major depression.

What causes psychological symptoms in Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?

Psychological symptoms of PMDD are attributed to the role of neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters are serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, glutamate, and beta-endorphins

Serotonin is involved with mood regulation. During the premenstrual or luteal phase, there is a decrease in serotonin levels which results in a bad mood. GABA levels decrease as well, but glutamate levels increase which are connected to PMDD. Serotonin though as a modulator leads to an increase in GABA and a decrease in glutamate

It has been extensively studied though that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and glutamate-targeting antidepressants are effective in the treatment of PMDD. Ketamine’s mechanism of action involves serotonin, GABA, and glutamate.

antidepressant

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are known to increase serotonin levels in the brain, which is thought of as a mood booster. Participants received a continuous dose of SSRI during the luteal phase.

The review  established SSRIs as an effective first-line treatment of PMDD. Sertraline, an SSRI antidepressant revealed to be effective as a treatment for PMDD.

SSRI was significantly more effective than placebo. Another SSRI antidepressant, fluoxetine effectively treated mood and physical and social symptoms associated with PMDD.

SSRI’s response rate to treat PMDD is high as it targets irritability, mood swings, and emotional lability.

Role of ketamine in serotonin 1B receptors 

Ketamine may be a potential therapy for PMDD as it interacts with serotonin in the brain like SSRIs. Low levels of serotonin in the brain manifests in severe depression.

In an experiment, researchers saw an increase in serotonin turnover in the rat brain after ketamine administration. Using Positron Emission Testing (PET) molecular imaging, a study reveals that ketamine boosted serotonin activity in the brain of monkeys.

In the latest 2020 study, the number of serotonin 1B receptors increased with the administration of ketamine. Researchers also found out that ketamine worked among SSRI-resistant people with major depressive disorder. 

Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA

GABA has a possible role in PMDD. Some progesterone metabolites interact with GABA A receptors, which was tested among mice. Evidence suggests the importance of the GABA A receptor in the cause and potential treatment of mood disorders, such as PMDD. 

Preliminary findings in another study also suggest the abnormal levels of GABA+ and glutamate/mine associated with women with PMDD.

Serotonin reuptake inhibitors affect enzymes that create progesterone metabolites. This modulates GABA A receptors. SSRIs increased GABA concentrations in the brain of people with depression as a primary action

Role of ketamine in gamma-aminobutyric acid: People with depressive disorder may have altered levels of GABA A and glutamate in their brains. Ketamine reversed these neurochemical or physiological instabilities. Ketamine increased the activity of GABA A receptors in the brain, which leads to ketamine’s anti-depressive effect.

ketamine-premenstrual

Role of ketamine in gamma-aminobutyric acid

People with depressive disorder may have altered levels of GABA A and glutamate in their brains. Ketamine reversed these neurochemical or physiological instabilities. Ketamine increased the activity of GABA A receptors in the brain, which leads to ketamine’s anti-depressive effect.

Glutamate

Changes in glutamate levels result from hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual period. Lower levels of glutamate lead to depressive symptoms experienced by women with PMDD. 

Role of ketamine in glutamate: Depressive symptoms during PMDD are associated with low levels of glutamate in the brain.

Ketamine has been shown to increase glutamate. Thus, infusing ketamine in the onset of PMDD symptoms may ease your mood and depressive symptoms.

  • Researchers proposed ketamine as a fast-acting antidepressant due to its effect on the glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor. 
  • Ketamine activates glutamate in the prefrontal of the brain as a key mechanism. This contributes to its temporary psychomimetic and sustained long-lasting antidepressant effects.
  • Estrogen and ketamine showed additive effects on AMPA receptors, which may have a role in ketamine’s therapeutic response in major depressive disorders. A subtype of ionotropic glutamate, the AMPA receptor imitates the effects of glutamate.

Interventions for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

PMDD negatively impacts your life due to its physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms.

The treatments available for you are SSRIs, hormonal therapy, psychotherapy, and supplements. Other therapies include proper diet or nutrition and exercise.

Psychological or mood symptoms during PMDD have been treated with SSRIs. SSRIs are fast-acting.

They are effective and have been shown to significantly improve psychological symptoms at the luteal phase of women with PMDD. It also improved the women’s quality of life.

Ketamine has been shown to interact with serotonin in the brain. Moreover, ketamine helps moderate the activity of GABA A receptors and increases the production of glutamate, which have abnormal levels in PMDD.

Best of all, ketamine has been used for people with major depressive disorder, who have been resistant to SSRIs

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Ketamine IV infusion, a potential therapy for PMDD

Ketamine’s mechanism of action is complex but studies have supported its antidepressant effects. Ketamine IV infusion for PMDD can be a promising therapy to relieve you of your mood symptoms.

You may consult with us on the appropriate intervention for you. Or you may visit us at the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ for any ketamine-related concerns. Our ketamine-certified staff have been safely doing more than 2,000 infusions since 2017. Call us at 505 455 4300.

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inflammatory bowel disease (3)
Injections & Infusions

The Perfect Support for Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

inflammatory bowel disease

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Unknown to many, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be very debilitating and can even progress into a life-threatening condition. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a collective term for two types of chronic inflammatory conditions in the gastrointestinal tract: (1) ulcerative colitis and (2) Crohn’s Disease.

All the organs in the gastrointestinal tract work altogether in the breakdown of food particles, absorption of nutrients, and excretion of waste in the human body. The presence of inflammation within any area of the gastrointestinal tract disrupts these interrelated processes. In the event of an inflammatory process, one of the most affected aspects is the absorptive capacity of the body towards food.

As a result, malnutrition is common in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. It is therefore not surprising that a whooping 20-85% of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are clinically malnourished or underweight.

The good news is, The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ can help. But first, let us educate ourselves with regards to IBD to be able to appreciate what intravenous nutritional therapy offers – especially to patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

inflammatory bowel disease (2)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Overview, Causes, Risk Factors

There is no directly identified cause for inflammatory bowel disease. However, it is noted to be both autoimmune and immune-mediated: meaning to say the body’s immune system attacks its own cells even without the presence of an infection.

Genetics plays a significant role in inflammatory bowel disease. Hence, you may be largely predisposed to develop the disease if you have a parent or sibling diagnosed with IBD.

There are also some foods that may play a role in the development of IBD. The Western diet (composed of meat, fat, sugar, synthetic additives, and processed foods) is identified as an important risk factor for IBD.

Research has it that there are two ways that food might have a significant role in IBD  :

First, the food could have a direct effect on the gut, or second, the food could disrupt the microbial balance in the gut, hence disrupting the gut mucosa, ultimately leading to inflammation.

Aside from genetics and food, risk factors for the development ofinflammatory bowel disease (IBD) include:

  • Age (people with IBD are usually diagnosed before 30 years old),
  • Race / ethnicity (the risk is highest in those with Caucasian or Ashkenazi Jewish descent)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Use of nonsteroidal inflammatory medications (e.g. Naproxen, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac)

Inflammation is a good thing: if it is directed towards infection. Chronic inflammation is another thing – and it is bad news especially if it is self-destructive and concerns the gastrointestinal tract.

The chronic inflammation common in both conditions (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) results in a myriad of symptoms which include:

  • diarrhea (because of the inability to absorb water)
  • abdominal pain and abdominal cramps (likely due to bowel obstruction and bleeding ulcers)fever and fatigue (secondary effect from diarrhea and infection)
  • weight loss (due to inability to absorb nutrients from food)
  • anorexia (due to persistent abdominal discomfort)
  • blood in the stool (depending on the location and extent of ulcerations)

Types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Ulcerative colitis

In ulcerative colitis, chronic inflammation causes the formation of ulcerations in the innermost lining of the rectum, extending upward towards the colon (large intestine). The areas damaged are continuous with one another.

Crohn’s Disease

In Crohn’s Disease, chronic inflammation can cover the entire gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus, with a tendency to affect the small intestine extending towards the large intestine. It can extend towards multiple layers of the walls of the GI tract, and often occurs in patches hence the term “skip lesions”.

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Managing Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with Diet

Although diet is long implicated in the management of IBD, no single diet plan is proven to control or prevent IBD (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, 2021).

In people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the goal of their specially crafted diet plan is to restore balance between helpful and harmful bacteria while promoting good nutrition (Center for Applied Nutrition, 2021). At the same time, it should not aggravate symptoms but instead calm them, promoting healing. 

The endpoint should be a better quality of life because of diet restrictions. 

Here are some trigger foods to avoid for people with IBD (Cunha, J., 2021):

  • Fatty and fried foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Meat
  • Creamy sauces
  • High-fiber foods including raw fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts, seeds, and beans
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Sweets including candy, soda, and juice
  • Alcohol

FODMAP is an acronym which stands for fermentable oligo-saccharides, di-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols (Knight-Sepulveda, K. et al., 2015). These pertain to certain types of carbohydrates — the sugars, starches, and fiber in foods. These are also the specific kind of foods that IBD patients should watch out for. 

The problem with FODMAPs is that they pass through the intestine unchanged without undergoing digestion (hence they are also known as dietary fiber).

Because they are resistant to digestion, they reach the far end of the intestine where natural gut bacteria reside, and these bacteria utilize these sugars for their own metabolism.

Hydrogen gas is afterwards produced and causes symptoms for affected individuals, triggering symptoms such as increased gas, bloating, distention, cramping, and diarrhea (Knight-Sepulveda, K. et al., 2015)

Examples of FODMAPs are the following (WebMD, 2020): 

  • Fructose: Fruits, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, agave
  • Lactose: Dairy products
  • Fructans: Wheat, onions, garlic, also in grains such as wheat, spelt, rye and barley
  • Galactans: Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and soybeans
  • Polyols: Sugar alcohols (examples include xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol and mannitol) and fruits that have pits or seeds, such as apples, avocados, cherries, figs, peaches, or plums

With such diet restrictions, what then should inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients go for?

IBD patients should still eat a varied, nutrient-dense diet to avoid flare-ups and keep IBD under control. And because malnutrition is an obvious effect of IBD, patients are encouraged to go on a balanced diet with appropriate amounts of the following (The Iowa Clinic, 2020):

  • Fiber – Although fiber can cause IBD symptoms, it is still an essential part of the diet. For patients with IBD, soluble fiber (which helps reduce diarrhea) is advised: so go for stuff such as beans, fleshy fruits, oats and barley.
  • Lean proteins – Fat delays absorption and hence worsens symptoms. IBD patients should stick to low-fat sources of protein like chicken, fish, eggs, turkey, and tofu.
  • Fruits and veggies – Be careful with fibrous peel and seeds for they can cause digestive problems. Remove them prior to eating. Go for a mix of plants so as to have a diverse mix of vitamins and minerals.
  • Calcium-rich foods – Lactose intolerance is common in IBD patients especially those with Crohn’s disease. Patients need to amp up their daily calcium needs from non-dairy sources such as canned fish or dark-green vegetables.
  • Probiotics – IBD is notorious for flushing the “good” bacteria out of our guts. Hence it is important to consider taking in sources of live good bacteria to restore balance. Food such as yogurt, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, tempeh can be good sources of probiotics.

However, there is a better way to supply nutrients for patients with IBD other than trying to supply them through the diet.

WLABQ BLOG IMAGE TEMPLATE 12

Why Choose IV Nutritional Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Although many kinds of food are implicated in the causation of IBD, there is still no definitive data to establish as to whether the Western diet specifically predisposes to ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease (Kelly and Fleming, 1995). We should be aware however, that the kind of diet we might be eating needs a major overhaul. 

A balanced diet still plays a major role in prevention, as cliché as it may sound.

For patients already diagnosed with IBD and concomitant malnutrition, it is critical to specifically include nutritional therapy in its management.

Malnutrition in IBD is due to mechanisms such as anorexia, malabsorption, increased nutrient loss, increased energy requirements, and drug-nutrient interactions (Semrad, 2012; Shamir, 2009). With these problems in mind, there is no doubt the best way to deliver nutrients into a patient with IBD is through a route that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract. 

Parenteral nutrition is also known as IV nutritional therapy. It is simply an infusion packed with vitamins and nutrients to make these readily available to the body. 

It is not meant to cure the underlying disease or to replace the ideal diet and pharmacologic intervention.  But it is a vital part of quality of life, since patients with IBD are not able to get the full range of nutrients from the food they eat. 

Because of the nature of the disease, a lot of research studies promote the inclusion of parenteral nutrition in the management of IBD. 

Parenteral nutrition is a temporary measure which helps maintain nutrition as well as vitamin/mineral status on top of conventional medical therapy. This is also immensely helpful especially for ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease patients who are awaiting possible surgical interventions (Semrad, 2012).

On top of that, nutrition delivered via IV is 100% bioavailable to the patient. In patients with Crohn’s disease wherein frequent surgical bowel resections may result in short bowel syndrome, the use of parenteral nutrition is given on a long-term basis to maintain nutrition (Semrad, 2012).

Research further shows that the right nutrition can induce remission, maintain remission, and prevent relapse in patients with Crohn’s disease (Shamir, 2009). The mechanisms are unclear but may due to the intestinal adaptive response to “bowel rest” (since nutrients are delivered via IV), immunologic effects, and of course – nutritional factors (Seidman, 1989).

Furthermore, it was also noted that even though parenteral nutrition was associated with remission, relapse frequently occurs in patients with Crohn’s disease when normal food intake is resumed (Kelly and Fleming, 1995). In essence, these researches further support that intravenous nutritional therapy may have a fundamental place in the hierarchy of treatment in IBD, and that more research is necessary to establish the specific benefits and mechanisms associated with it (Husain and Korzenik, 1998).

The advantages of IV nutritional therapy in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can never be overemphasized. It is a primary need – regardless of the extent of the disease.

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Risks and Contraindications of IV Nutritional Therapy

There are only two main risks involved in the administration of IV nutritional therapy. First, infection can occur through the IV insertion process (which is in essence a risk if you go for any IV infusion therapy).

The best way to avoid this is to have the therapy at a trusted clinic such as The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ which has licensed medical professionals that can guarantee safe practice of IV-line insertions. We are even qualified and safely able to access central lines such as port-a-caths.

Second, because of the tendency of IBD to induce a hypercoagulable state (otherwise known as an unusually increased tendency toward blood clotting), the use of parenteral nutrition predisposes further to the formation of venous thrombosis at the catheter site.

Nutritional solutions tend to be sticky and concentrated. Hence it is particularly important to follow your clinician’s advice regarding the dosing and interval of parenteral nutrition, and to not neglect the diet and pharmacologic therapy that comes along with it.

There is only one contraindication to IV nutritional therapy, and that is a reported allergic reaction towards specific ingredients that may be included in parenteral nutrition.

The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ is well prepared to manage any emergency.

To avoid this, patients are advised to relay to their healthcare provider any history of allergic reactions. Knowing more about the patient history will allow the clinic to take the necessary precautions.

Research so far has noted that there is no documented allergic reaction to the amino acid or dextrose component of nutritional solutions, hence IV nutritional therapy can be customized by eliminating specific additives.

Takeaway

IV nutritional therapy is not a “magic elixir” that can solve nutritional problems overnight. And while it is an add-on therapy for healthy people, it is one vital component of the overall management of people with IBD who suffer from nutritional gaps.

IV nutritional therapy gives a special kind of chance to people with IBD. With it being given intravenously, the patient is given the opportunity to obtain nutrients directly.

With the limitations set to these patients by their medical condition, IV nutritional therapy offers a promise even a proper oral diet could not give. Aside from resting their gut and giving it a chance to recover, the patient still enjoys the nutrients that he or she needs.

These patients are not in it to enjoy a youthful glow and supple skin (though these may be a bonus once IV nutrition therapy is started). These patients desperately need these nutrients for survival, and more importantly, a better future.

Though it sounds so good to get started as soon as possible, make sure you are visiting a clinic with qualified professionals at The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ.

We make sure you are in good hands. Give yourself or your patient the best chance for a better quality of life.

Contact us for an IV nutrition therapy now. And see the big difference it can make.

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nad-therapy
Injections & Infusions, Peptides

10+1 Benefits You Need to Know About NAD+ for anti aging

nad-therapy

Do you want to slow down your body’s aging process and boost your youthful energy?

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) naturally occurs as a cellular compound in the body, which is vital to life. It aids in the efficient transport of energy from the food you eat into the cells of your body.

NAD+ has two precursors, namely nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and nicotinamide riboside (NR). The latter is a new generation B3 vitamin that boosts NAD+ of your body’s metabolic factor.

NAD+ restores your cell’s youthful function as it turns off genes that speed up the aging processes. It also promotes the repair of your DNA, protects your tissues, and thus prolongs your lifespan.

A pharmacologic review was conducted to determine drugs that help improve or delay aging. The result of the study reveals NAD+ precursors as a promising anti-aging drug. It may improve your organ function and strengthen your resistance against diseases, too.

NAD+ comes in various forms. One of the more convenient ways is an NAD+ patch. It’s available at the Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ.

Watch a video of Nurse Practitioner, Katherine Devine, as she demonstrates how the NAD+ patch is used. While the patch is convenient, it is less effective than an infusion and can cause local irritation. The preferred route is dependent on your individual response.

Discover the 10+1 benefits of NAD+

Builds your body’s resiliency and protects you from stress.

Have you been feeling sluggish lately? Low levels of NAD+ have this effect since your body has reduced the production of cell energy.

Boosting your NAD+ with NR promotes vigor and increases endurance since it prevents the decline of cell energy.

  • NAD+ levels decline as you age, which causes changes in your metabolism. It also increases your risk of developing diseases. Based on a 2019 study, restoring NAD+ levels promoted health and extended lifespan.
     
  • As a form of vitamin B3, oral intake of NR a precursor of NAD+ boosted the NAD+ levels in mice. This effectively delayed late-stage disease progression by inducing mitochondrial regrowth (Khan et al., 2014).
     
  • NAD+ depletion may be due to genotoxic stress. It’s when the genetic information in a cell is damaged which can lead to cancer. The researchers observed an increase of Nampt and mitochondrial NAD+ in rodents after 48 hours of fasting.
     
  • Nampt is an NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme. Increased Nampt serves to protect against cell death and mitochondrial NAD+ levels that impact cell survival.

Extends your lifespan.

Researchers explained that reduced NAD uptake is related to many physical aging processes. NAD precursors such as NMN and NR protect the body against aging-related diseases.

The researchers further noted that boosting NAD metabolism can extend lifespan. NAD+ has also emerged as a factor in enhancing oxidative metabolism that promotes healthy aging and extended the life span of worms.

NAD+ intermediates NMN and NR can boost the system by restoring NAD+ and lessen physical symptoms of aging. This supports the new studies that NAD+ intermediates can be a promising and effective anti-aging therapy.

NAD+ activates a key enzyme called sirtuins which regulates genes of aging. Activated sirtuins with NAD+ supplementation may be an intervention for anti-aging.

Sirtuins turn off certain genes that contribute to aging. These are the management of blood sugar, fat storage and synthesis, and inflammation (Kotas et al., 2013).

Improves your cognitive function

NAD+ reduces oxidative cell damage in the brain. It can be a promising therapeutic strategy for age-related degenerative diseases, which can be further customized based on a person’s condition. An example is Alzheimer’s disease.

In a study, NR exhibited the ability to protect brain cells among old-age mice. The 5-6-month-old mice were made to develop Alzheimer’s disease. They were then given NR until they reached 10-11 months.

Through a laboratory test, the researchers discovered NR may have improved the cognitive function of the mice.

NAD+ with sirtuin activation counteracts the progression of neurodegenerative diseases and it may also be an effective anti-aging intervention.

Reduces your cravings for food, drugs, and alcohol

A study shows that addiction to food undergoes the same process as addiction to drugs and alcoho.

NAD+ helps with food, drugs, and alcohol problems through its mechanism of action. It has been shown to initiate cellular repair and regeneration in neuropsychiatric conditions such as addiction.

A study further reveals the significance of NAD+ in these addictive disorders. The researcher claimed that intravenous NAD+ treated over 104 people addicted to alcohol and various drugs.

NAD+ also completely removed the addictive symptoms. Thus, NAD+ may flush addictive substances in your system, curb your cravings, and reduce your withdrawal symptoms.

Suppresses your weight gain associated with aging

Food addiction has been linked to obesity. NAD+ may help with your food addiction and it may also maintain your weight as you age.

Researchers experimented on mice in a 12-month study. The mice were given oral NMN which synthesized NAD+ in the tissues.

The results show that it curbed age-associated increase in weight and improved insulin levels and plasma lipid.

The researchers also noted enhanced energy uptake and promoted physical activity.
NR the precursor of NDA+ boosts oxidative metabolism and protects against obesity brought about by a high-fat diet.

Mice were given NR in the test, which showed an increase in their muscle endurance. The mice also exhibited improved performance.

Thus, NR as a natural vitamin could be a nutritional supplement to address age-related and metabolic disorders indicated by mitochondrial breakdown (Canitó et al., 2013).

Potential therapeutic agent for diabetes

NMN, as an intermediate of NAD+ could be a potential therapeutic agent for diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease.

An earlier study conducted by researchers of the Washington State University School of Medicine supports this claim.

The diabetic mice received NMN supplements. The researchers restored the normal blood sugar metabolism, which suggested NMN as a potential prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Potential therapeutic agent for heart disease

Researchers in a mice test concluded that NAD+ boosters and sirtuin activators with its mRNA-regulated anti-aging mechanisms have the potential to prevent and treat vascular diseases associated with aging.

Evidence suggests that boosting NAD+ levels promoted an increase in blood flow and the growth of new blood vessels. This protects against age-related enlargement or thickening of the walls of the heart.

Potential therapeutic agent for cancer

Other than preventing neurodegeneration and metabolic dysfunction, keeping NAD+ at optimum levels may be important in preventing cancer formationIt may prevent and treat liver cancer, and aging-related tumors.

Makes you sleep better

NAD+ resets the body’s internal clock due to its effect on the circadian rhythm. The sleep-wake cycle depends on the body’s reaction to light and dark. This signals you when to wake up or sleep or feel hungry.

Maintaining the sirtuins or NAD+ levels is ideal for the circadian rhythm. Thus, NAD+ may promote better sleep.

Improves your muscle health

A recent study was conducted to investigate the effects of increasing NAD+ levels on metabolic health. The researchers gave NR supplements to 113 overweight or obese participants.

After six weeks, the results reveal that the participants increased skeletal muscle and lean mass. The participants also decreased fat mass.

Enhances your mood

Researchers studied the effects of increasing NAD+ with NR supplements to the brain and gut microbiota. Mice with alcohol-induced depression served as test subjects.

The researchers noted an improvement in the behavior of the mice. Moreover, NR decreased inflammation in the mice’s brain.

This indicates NR as a potential anti-inflammatory. The inflammation of the brain has been associated with psychological and mood disorders, such as depression.

Is NAD+ safe?

A study found out that continuing supplementation of NAD+ precursor vitamin, NR is well-tolerated and effectively stimulated NAD+ metabolism in healthy and older adults.

It’s been studied as safe, well-tolerated, and efficiently increase NAD levels in healthy people, too. To improve NAD metabolism, it was suggested as a practical topic for nutritional intervention.

NR is non-irritating to the skin and it won’t cause the flush associated with niacin, a common form of vitamin B3. One hundred and forty healthy people participated in an 8-week study.

This study investigated the efficacy and safety of oral supplements of NR on NAD+. Participants who had NR, termed Niagen, reported no flushing.

The study also reveals that NR did not increase low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol.

Best way to have your NAD+

There’s a natural way to boost your NAD+ level. That’s from the food you eat. NAD+ rich foods include salmon, sardines, and mushrooms. Or NAD+ can be taken in three ways.

1. You can drink it as a supplement, put it on your skin as a cream or patch, or as an infusion. The challenge with oral supplements is absorption and bioavailability. It is also the least effective among the other forms.

nad infusion

2. Infusions are the most bioavailable. They can be time-intensive with the standard 500mg dose taking 3-4hours.

nad+

3. A more affordable and easy way is a patch. The effect lasts up to three days. How hard could it be?

Here’s a video of ABQ Business podcast host, Jason Rigby on his NAD+ patch do-it-yourself experience:

To know the best option for your NAD+ booster, visit us at the Infusion and Injection Clinic of ABQ at 8400 Osuna Road NE, Suite 5C
Albuquerque, NM 87111 or call us at 505 445 4300.

We offer both a NAD patch and infusion. We recommend the infusion for the most impact, but do find the patch to be a possible adjunct to regular infusions.

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