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Metabolic Syndrome Information

Oct 04, 2004

People with metabolic syndrome are at risk of developing coronary artery disease, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes and are at a greater risk of dying prematurely if these conditions develop. Approximately 47 million U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome. The underlying causes of the syndrome are obesity, physical inactivity, and genetics.

If you have 3 or more of the following risk factors, you more than likely have metabolic syndrome:

  • ABDOMINAL OBESITY - men greater than a 40 inch waist, and women greater than a 35 inch waist
  • TRIGLYCERIDES - greater than 150 when fasting
  • HDL CHOLESTEROL - men less than 40, and women less than 50
  • BLOOD PRESSURE - systolic 130mmhg or higher, diastolic 85 or higher
  • FASTING BLOOD SUGAR - greater than 110

The above criteria are according to the Adult Treatment Panel III criteria, an expert panel on high blood cholesterol.

Other risks thought to be important for having metabolic syndrome but not deemed important by the panel include:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Prothrombotic state - elevated fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor (1) levels in the blood increasing the risk of a blood clot
  • Proinflammatory state - e.g. an elevated hsCRP blood value indicating an inflamed cardiovascular state

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Recommendations:

  • Increase your physical activity - walk or cycle
  • Work at loosing weight
  • Improve your diet by replacing fatty-sugary foods with fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, fish, and salad.
  • Treat high cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure
  • Consult a nutritionally savvy professional for supplement information and make sure you include Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Magnesium, Taurine, and Chromium Picolinate along with antioxidants in your supplement program.

Policosanol Helps Lower Cholesterol Safely in Diabetics in Long-Term Study, It also protected them from Dying

Diabetes and high cholesterol are major risk factors for coronary artery disease, stroke and heart attack. The situation is even more dire when diabetics have high cholesterol (and they usually do). The main goal of blood fat control in diabetics is lowering LDL-cholesterol levels. Previous shorter studies have shown the ability of Policosanol derived from sugar cane wax at a dose of 10mg a day, to safely lower LDL-cholesterol in diabetics. This study was undertaken to investigate the long-term effectiveness, and safety of Policosanol in type 2 diabetics.

After 5 weeks on a step one cholesterol lowering diet, 239 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomized to take either Policosanol 5mg a day (the normal levels of Policosanol supplementation range from 5mg to 20mg a day) or a placebo for 2 years. After the first year Policosanol had reduced LDL by a significant 21.1%, total cholesterol dropped by 17.5%, and triglycerides dropped 16%, and HDL levels increased by 10.7% vs. the start of the study and placebo. After two years on Policosanol LDL had dropped 29.5%, total cholesterol dropped 21.9%, triglycerides dropped 16.9%, and beneficial-protective HDL increased by 12.4% vs. placebo and baseline.

Very importantly (and once again like in other studies) Policosanol also protected the patients. 28 of the patients receiving the placebo had to drop out of the study due to adverse events while only 7 Policosanol receiving patients had adverse events showing that Policosanol offered additional cardiovascular protection. The Policosanol protected the diabetics from vascular events: only 5% of the Policosanol recipients had serious adverse events while 43.3% of the placebo patients had serious adverse events such as vascular events. Five of the patients on placebo died during the study, four of them from heart attacks, none of the Policosanol patients died during the study.

The Policosanol was nontoxic, safer than placebo, reduced cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides efficiently, raised beneficial HDL, while also reducing the risk of a fatal heart attack. Policosanol had no effect on blood sugar levels but interestingly the Policosanol patients also had a modest drop in their blood pressure. The study appears in the August 2004 Supplement to the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition.