Friday, April 27, 2007
Medical Reports: Deficiency Detector
Most of us judge our health by the way we look or feel. But now doctors are finding new ways to test how healthy we really are way before symptoms show up. Tonight's special assignment report, "Deficiency Detector," shows what our bodies really need.
WSVN -- From testing our driving, to quizzing our knowledge, no one wants a failing grade.
But now there are new tests for our bodies where a poor score could signal failing health.
Dr. Mark Firestone: "This is one way that we can measure a woman's overall health."
Ann-Marie Dewar Anderson just got married six months ago, and like any newly-wed, she can't wait to spend the rest of her life with her husband.
Ann-Marie Dewar Anderson: "I want to be healthy for my husband, and I want to be around for a long life."
Even though she doesn't always eat right or take vitamins, she considers herself pretty healthy.
Ann-Marie Dewar Anderson: "I wasn't worried about health problems. It's just that sometimes I'm bit tired at work. I get very sleepy."
Recently, her OB/GYN, Dr. Mark Firestone, told her about new technology that can judge just how healthy she really is.
Dr. Mark Firestone: "Put your hand against the scanner."
This scanner measures the levels of antioxidants in your body and gives you a score from 10,000 to 50,000 -- 50,000 being the best.
Dr. Mark Firestone: "Less than 10,000."
Ouch -- that's as low as you can go.
Not good, because antioxidants help us ward off disease and slow down the aging process.
Ann-Marie Dewar Anderson: "It made me feel like, 'Wow, I need to do something to increase that so that it's not that low anymore.'"
The good news is, once doctors know your score, they can help you make changes to increase your antioxidant levels.
Dr. Mark Firestone: "Number one would be to improve their diet, make sure they get more fruits and vegetables in their diet, make sure they are taking the proper supplements and right dose to maximize their supplement."
Here at the Miami Institute for Age Management, there's a test called Spectracell that pinpoints all your nutritional deficiencies.
Dr. Suzel Vazquez: "Anywhere from vitamins, minerals, proteins and even sugar and fructose intolerance."
Frank Navarro was one of the first to try it.
When he hit his 40s he started noticing a huge difference in the way he felt.
Frank Navarro: "I really felt really tired."
Frank tried to fix things on his own, but he didn't know what his body needed.
Frank Navarro: "I would take vitamins on not really knowing which was the one that I was deficient in."
All it takes is a simple blood test that is sent to the Spectracell lab.
Dr. Suzel Vazquez: "They take your white blood cells, and they grow them in a culture, and they see that those cells are not growing appropriately because there is a nutrient that it's lacking."
The test nailed down the exact nutrients Frank was lacking.
Frank Navarro: "I think I had a little bit with my B-12, some antioxidants and protein."
Dr. Vasquez was then able to give him specific vitamins and make changes to his diet.
Dr. Suzel Vazquez: "You are looking at just deficiencies and supplementing yourself with what you need specifically and not overdosing or not underdosing."
Frank now feels the difference.
Frank Navarro: "Two major ones. My energy has increased substantially, and I'm am now able to sleep!"
Anne-Marie has also made some changes to her life: She has started eating a diet rich in antioxidants and taking supplements -- and it showed in her score three weeks later.
Dr. Suzel Vazquez: "Oh, much improved, very good, 24,000."
Ann-Marie Dewar Anderson: "All right! Oh, I am so excited. It's a huge difference."
The next test she's looking forward to passing is the test of marriage.
Ann-Marie Dewar Anderson: "I love him very much. He's my heart."
The antioxidant scan costs about $20, and the more in-depth Spectracell test costs about $500.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Mark Firestone
Gynecology and Women's Health
21110 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 312
Aventura, FL 33180
The Miami Institute For Age Management & Intervention
1441 Brickell Avenue 3rd Floor
Miami, FL 33131