What Is The Metabolic Syndrome
In this blog it has already been briefly hinted at a condition that includes a number of risk factors for both cardiovascular system and diabetes, it is called the Metabolic Syndrome.
The risk factors of this condition occur together, and will inevitably -if not cured in time, lead to diabetes, then to cardiovascular disease (clots are forming in the arteries and the rupture of these clots is the most common way heart attacks and stroke occur) and finally even to Cancer.
These risk factors are:
- Insulin resistance.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)— 130/85 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher.
- Hyperglycemia (elevated sugar blood counts).
- High triglyceride level — 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L), or higher of this type of fat found in blood.
- Elevated fasting blood sugar — 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or higher.
- Reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) , the good cholesterol — less than 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) in men or less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in women of this “good” cholesterol.
- Dyslipidemia (excess fat in the blood) characterised by
- High levels of VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoproteins),
- Small type-B LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) particles.
- Abdominal obesity (waist circumference) greater than 40 inches for men and greater than 35 inches for women,
- Having just three of these conditions means that.
- metabolic syndrome is affecting you too and you are in for becoming a type-2 diabetic sometimes in the future.
Metabolic syndrome is clearly a pre-diabetic state of disease.
It is estimated that 50 percent of the population have the metabolic syndrome, some form of heart disease, or full-blown diabetes. Basically they :
- eat too much of the wrong foods and
- not enough of the right ones, and
- don’t do any exercise, and
- take too many pharmaceuticals that speed along the process of cardiac degeneration.
Unfortunately, in our consumeristic society people are directed by the media to believe that the wrong foods are good for us, that convenience and processed foods are healthy and that our bodies can deal with the myriad of toxins we are exposed to everyday without consequences -when in reality each of these things is contributing to the deterioration of cardiac health, and then it is no wonder that they suddenly experience a tragic event that says the opposite is true.
As the metabolic syndrome develops in a person, their LDL cholesterol transforms into the dangerous small-dense variety (B-type particle LDL). This LDL particles when oxidized causes atherosclerosis.
Typically, most doctors do not order the proper testing to measure the cholesterol subclasses, they only look at LDL and HDL levels and right away they prescribe just the dangerous statin drugs.
Statin drugs are antioxidants that reduce heart attack and stroke risk by improving blood flow and helping prevent LDL from oxidizing. But they are dangerous because they can produce serious side effects, including dementia and a potentially fatal muscle disorder.
Disorders/Consequences Associated With the Metabolic Syndrome
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Polyneuropathy (Pattern of nerve damage affecting various parts of the body)
The Complete Treatment For The Metabolic Syndrome
Five are the strategies that will help us to cure, dramatically reduce and even reverse the complications associated with the metabolic syndrome:
- Drastically change your lifestyle according to healthy guidelines that have already been discussed in this blog
- Transform the small-dense B-type LDL into the large- buoyant A-type LDL.
- Reduce oxidation of LDL.
- Lower Glycation.
- Take the proper supplements, vitamins, flavonoids (from fruits and vegetables), antioxidant enzymes
- Check your homocysteine levels
2 – How to transform the small-dense B-type LDL into the large- buoyant A-type LDL
You have to understand that there are there are different types of LDL: Small, dense LDL cholesterol (A type) and large, “fluffy” LDL cholesterol (B type)
Research has shown that large, fluffy LDL particles do not contribute to heart disease. It is the small, dense LDL particles, that get easily oxidized, and may trigger heart disease because they penetrates the arterial wall more easily, and so they contribute to the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
Get more foods that are naturally rich in saturated fats, like grass-fed meats, grass-fed butter, pastured eggs and coconuts. Saturated fat increases the large, and benign LDL and decreases the bad LDL.
Saturated fats have been shown to also raise protective HDL cholesterol — a benefit — and may also increase A-type LDL. They are loaded with healthy, fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K.
Avoid synthetic trans fats and processed omega-6 vegetable oils because they increases the small, dense LDL.
Industrially processed vegetable oils are highly processed have little nutritional value other than empty calories and they damage your cellular and mitochondrial membranes. Omega-6 fats increase inflammation in the body (just what you want to avoid at all costs). These fats accelerate atherosclerosis, which leads to heart attacks and stroke, as you must have learned by now.
Omega-6 fats include:
- canola oils.
Be aware that all processed foods you buy at the supermarket are made with Omega-6 fats. Intake of these fats is a major driving force behind both the metabolic syndrome and diabetes. American diets contain 50 times more of these oils than is necessary.
Margarine, for example, is made from omega-6 oils — most often corn or canola oil, which are partly hydrogenated which increases their stores of trans fatty acids — an abnormal fat associated with increased heart attack and stroke risk. Still, in excess, omega-6 fats themselves are dangerous, since they:
- Increase the growth and spread of cancers
- Promote cancer development
- Are related to neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s)
- Worsen arthritis and autoimmune diseases
- Increase chronic inflammation and free radical generation..
Both omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential to your health, but when omega-6 is consumed in excess, it becomes problematic — and even more so if it’s damaged through processing.The right amount of Omega-6 in your diet is beneficial only if the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, but the typical Western diet is between 1:20 and 1:50.
Do not worry for HDL cholesterol because it is actually linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Measurements of total cholesterol are totally useless when it comes to measuring such risk. if total cholesterol is “high” because you have a lot of HDL, it’s no indication of increased heart risks; rather, it’s likely protective).
Avoid also eating refined sugar and carbohydrates, such as bread, bagels and soda because research has shown that they increase the small, dense LDL particles
3 – How to Reduce oxidation of LDL
Oxidation of LDL occurs when the small LDL cholesterol particles react with free radicals. The oxidized LDL itself then becomes more reactive with the surrounding tissues, which can produce tissue damage. Oxidized cholesterol causes increased thromboxane formation—a factor that clots your blood.
The things to avoid because they increase levels of oxidized LDL include:
A diet high in trans fats
Trans fats are synthetic fatty acids; 14 of the available vegetable oils on the market are produced during the hydrogenation process. They prevent the synthesis of prostacyclin, which is necessary to keep your blood flowing. When your arteries cannot produce prostacyclin, blood clots form, and you may succumb to sudden death.
Cooking in vegetable oil.
As soon as the oil is heated and mixes with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil, so it should not be consumed. Avoiding all vegetable cooking oils, such as canola-, corn-, or soy oil,
Cooking should be done with saturated fats. like tallow, – a hard fat that comes from cows, and lard -a hard fat that comes from pigs. Because saturated fats do not have double bonds that can react with oxygen; they oxidize very little when heat, therefore they do not form dangerous aldehydes or other toxic oxidation products.
The primary sources of omega-6 that you would benefit from by excluding from your diet include:
- Corn oil, used in hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats
- Canola oil used Margarine
- Soy oil, used in shortening
It is strongly recommend that you avoid all of the above as they will only worsen your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio. There are very healthy saturated plant fats, coconut oil and palm oil, specifically. Coconut oil is a especially healthy fat as it contains about 66 percent medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Acceptable oils include:
- High quality extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Organic, grass-fed butter
Cigarette smoking also increases oxidative modification of LDL.
Cigarette smoking has effects on lipid profile in general . Smokers have significantly higher low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) than non-smokers (51).
4 – How To Lower Glycation
Glycation is a damaging process where sugar binds to proteins and result in AGEs (Advanced Glycation Endproducts AGEs naturally form inside the body when proteins or fats combine with sugars
AGEs are particularly high in animal-derived foods that are high in fat and protein, especially red meats. Sugary foods and highly processed and prepackaged products also are high in AGEs. Cooking methods that use high temperatures to brown or char foods, such as grilling, roasting, and broiling, have the largest impact on the amount of AGEs consumed.
The body naturally rids itself of harmful AGE compounds, but it can’t eliminate them effectively when too many are ingested. All of the body’s cells are affected by the accumulation of AGEs, which have been linked to aging as well as to the development of many chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular, liver, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s diseases.
So, to lower glycation reduce intake of foods high in AGEs by avoiding processed foods, all sugars, and cook with moist heat, shorter cooking times and lower temperatures, and add acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice.
What supplements, vitamins, flavonoids (from fruits and vegetables), antioxidant, enzymes and special substances to take (5)
Omega-3 fatty acids will dramatically lower the risk of stroke and heart attacks. These fats will also improve the chance of survival should one suffer either of these events.
Omega-3 thins the blood, improves blood flow, reduces inflammation and improves cell membrane function. and convert the harmful very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) into LDL, in the form of the protective large-buoyant LDL.
Use only DHA oils, or fish oils that contain mostly DHA.
Because diabetics have too much saturated fat in their cells, causing the blockage of insulin receptors that produces insulin resistance, a combination of DHA and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) — a special substance derived from borage oil — will correct the problem with insulin receptors.
Aged garlic extract
Taking aged garlic extract is another way to get excellent results in increasing HDL cholesterol while lowering total cholesterol. Aged garlic extract also:
- Prevents LDL from oxidizing
- Improves blood flow
- Thins the blood slightly
- Acts as a powerful antioxidant
- Improves immunity (diabetics are immune-suppressed) and
- Reverses existing atherosclerosis
Should be taken as natural-form vitamin E. Take 400 IU to 800 IU, depending on the state of your health, sicker people need the higher dose.
The best type of vitamin E is one containing high gamma- E fraction, a powerful anti-inflammatory. Vitamin E also reduces inflammation caused by the cytokine immune chemicals that are released from the bad fat cells.
Vitamin E has been shown to prevent microcirculatory disease in diabetic animals. Microvascular damage results in heart, kidney and nerve damage, brain injury and loss of vision (retinal damage) and it is also the leading cause of kidney failure in diabetics. A number of studies have shown that this damage results from overactivity of an enzyme called protein kinase C.
Taking a combination of vitamins C and E is especially effective to lower the high amount of free radicals that people with the metabolic syndrome show.: 1,000 mg. of vitamin C as magnesium ascorbate three times a day between meals.
A combination of vitamins C, E and beta-carotene significantly reduces oxidation of LDL cholesterol, at the same time reducing the uptake of LDL into macrophages (the cells responsible for removing pathogens from the system) — a critical process in atherosclerosis.
Taking flavonoids — including curcumin, quercetin, fisetin, apigenin, vitamin E succinate, myricetin and luteolin — found in most vegetables, and vitamins inhibit protein kinase C
Quercetin, hesperidin, curcumin, luteolin, proanthocyanidin, naringenin, green tea extract, catechins and artichoke extract, that can be purchased as supplements, are the most effective of all flavonoids from vegetables to neutralize free radicals and lipid peroxidation products and protect against LDL oxidation. They protect every tissue in the body, including the brain.
ALA (alpha-lipoic acid)
Is a natural compound found in the body. It controls blood sugar levels and prevents diabetic complications — especially cardiovascular and neurological problems. It also strengthens immunity, improves energy in cells, protects brain cells against excitotoxicity and removes excess iron and other toxic metals.
It can also correct blood sugar in type-2 diabetics and improve or even eliminate insulin need in insulin-dependent diabetics.
If sufferers still have some insulin cells left, alpha- lipoic acid can even improve their functions.
The most effective and potent form of alpha-lipoic acid is R-lipoic acid, obtainable without a prescription. Just with R-lipoic acid type-2 diabetics could be able to get off all medications, or will be able to control their blood sugar with significantly lower insulin requirements.
Dosing: Take 100 mg 30 minutes before each meal. Increase the dose in 50 mg. increments until you reach the desired blood sugar level. It has no toxic side effects.
For best results follow the diet and use the other supplements as well. For the type-2 diabetic, alpha-lipoic acid is even more effective. R-lipoic acid is also especially effective in preventing or treating the neurological complications of diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy mostly affects feet and legs, they are:
- Tingling and burning pains (pins-and-needles feeling)
- Lightning-fast shooting pains
- Cannot feel temperature of bath water
- Skin burns when touched
Fiber is a great aid for diabetics because it can help in lowering their blood-sugar levels and it reduces glycation.
Another benefit to a high-fiber diet is that it removes toxins from the colon, improving bowel function (constipation is a problem in diabetics) and reducing colon cancer risk.
Soluble fiber is the most effective. Good sources of soluble fiber are vegetables and some seeds — such as pectins, gums and mucilages —. Flaxseed has one of the highest levels of both soluble and insoluble fiber content, and it also contains the lignan, an anticancer substance.
Magnesium deficiency is common among the general population, but it is a special risk for diabetics.
Low magnesium levels accelerate atherosclerosis, increase the risk of heart arrhythmias, stroke and heart attacks and make the brain vulnerable to a number of diseases.
Risk of death is dramatically increased for a person with low magnesium levels if they suffer a heart attack. Also, damage potential and the risk of death following a stroke are magnified when magnesium is low. Low magnesium generates a heavy proliferation of free radical, lipid peroxidation and inflammation.
Most doctors think that a blood test giving normal magnesium readings means you have adequate stores of the substance in your body but they do not consider that magnesium is an intracellular ion, therefore 90% of it is stored in cells and not in the blood. Consequently diabetics can have severely low magnesium levels in their tissues and simultaneously show normal magnesium levels in the blood.
Unfortunately many drugs used by doctors to treat diabetes, can lower magnesium levels. Statin drugs are the major culprit which lowers both magnesium and CoQ10 levels, essential substances for diabetics.
Also high sugar intake lowers magnesium in the body.
Magnesium supplementation reduces the risk of all disorders associated with diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
Dosing: Take 250 mg. of either magnesium citrate or magnesium malate with each meal, plus 250 mg. at bedtime. It will also help you sleep.
Warning For healthy people magnesium protects the kidney by reducing free radical damage and improving blood flow through the kidney. But if you have kidney disease let your doctor know you’re taking it because significant impairment of kidney function can spur the development of very high serum levels of magnesium.
Also if you have the heart problem known as a conduction defect, you need to consult with your cardiologist before taking supplemental magnesium.
A number of studies have shown that exercise plays a major role in preventing and improving type-2 diabetes because muscle possesses special fibers that respond to insulin and can reduce blood glucose levels. Weight type exercises and swimming should be done a couple of times a week to strengthen all body parts. Do not do aerobics.
Additionally walking one hour a day every day is recommended.
Exercise will also help in losing the internal fat that causes all the problems in the first place.
6- How To Check Your Homocysteine Levels
Diabetics also have very high homocysteine levels which is closely associated with atherosclerosis, heart attacks, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
Elevated homocysteine levels can cause atherosclerosis even when cholesterol levels are perfectly normal. A very important thing for a diabetic to do is control of hemoglobin A1c, its factor has to be kept below 6% in order to significantly lessens all the complications associated with diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
Staying below 6% was proved to:
- reduce the risk of eye damage (retinopathy) by 65%,
- kidney damage (nephropathy) by 70% and
- microalbuminuria by 57%.
Other helpful things you can do to keep homocysteine levels low are:
- avoid red meats,
- eat skinless chicken, turkey and the occasionally pork,
- eat at least five servings of vegetables,
- eat very small quantities of fruits,
- avoid sugar-containing foods and
- drink only purified water,
- avoid all grains, because they are made with soy flour and contain other unhealthy ingredients,
- avoid drinking coffee
- supplement with vitamin B6, folic acid and vitamin B12.
- obtain weight reduction through proper diet. To Loose weight and reduce inner abdominal fat is another very effectively to lower homocysteine levels
Until next time.