We’re always looking for the next big thing but the next big thing is already here – Metabolic Syndrome X – the biggest problem in America! The USA has the highest percentage of obese in the world, 34% female and 27.7% male, 35% of whom are Mexicans and 40% African American males.
What is Metabolic Syndrome X? In our blog last week, we shared that this syndrome is a result of having three or more metabolic risk factors: insulin resistance, elevated blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high lipids – TG, LDL, etc.
“94% of the rats who were allowed to choose between sugar and cocaine, chose sugar. Even rats who were addicted to cocaine switched their preference to sugar!”
Here are the symptoms:
- Borderline high or normal blood glucose
- High triglycerides (above 2.3 mmol/l)
- Low HDL (good cholesterol)
- High blood pressure
- Excess weight resistant to dieting
- Skin tags
According to researchers at Yale University School of Medicine, insulin resistance in skeletal muscle leads to changes in energy storage and insulin-resistant individuals rerouted carbohydrates to liver fat production. This leads to elevated triglycerides in the blood by as much as 60% while lowering HDL (good) cholesterol by 20%. In a study done by Yale, participants who were young and lean, with no excess abdominal fat became insulin resistant. The good news is, they found that insulin resistance in skeletal muscle can be treated with one simple method – exercise!
Let’s talk about sugar for a moment, because that it ultimately the biggest culprit in the cause of The X Factor.
The average American eats 142 pounds of sugar a year, or about 2.5 pounds each week, a 23% increase over the last 25 years! And most of it is coming from, one guess . . . soft drinks – which includes artificially sweetened drinks as well! In the US, ¼ or 22% of the daily calories are from drinks, according to a report called “What America Drinks.”
According to Drs. Fischer, Hommel, Fiedler, and Bibergeil, in a study done on “reflex mechanism on insulin secretion,” we are seeing that soft drinks are linked to Metabolic Syndrome:
- Men and women who drank more than one soda daily had a 48% adjusted higher prevalence
- insulin level rises in the first minute after the start of a carbohydrate-rich meal, vs glucose level rising in the third minute of a balanced diet
- An increase in triglyceride levels and LDL
- Consumption rose 135% of high fructose corn syrup between 1977 and 2001
- Americans eat an average of 132 calories of high fructose corn syrup a day
In a lab experiment with rats by the University of Bordeaux called “Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward,” 94% of the rats who were allowed to choose between sugar and cocaine, chose sugar. Even rats who were addicted to cocaine switched their preference to sugar!
Obviously, we have to get over our addiction to this satiable substance! In the meantime, many changes have to take place to get this X Factor under control.
Doctors, in weight-loss fields, GP’s, restorative, and otherwise, are all finding that to get this syndrome under control several factors have to take place:
- Balance glucose/insulin levels
- Increase metabolism
- Increase fat burning
- Create appetite suppression
A study done by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute European Association for the Study of Diabetes found that a natural substance can greatly help in this fight: Green Tea Catechins or EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). After 5 and 10 weeks of treatment with EGCG, and GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia, the blood sugar and insulin levels of mice were tested. The researchers found that the mice did just as well on the green tea extract as they did on the drug. The extract has been found to have these benefits:
- Reduces fat absorption
- Reduces LDL cholesterol/TG levels
- Reduces glucose/insulin levels
- Increases beta oxidation
- Helps decrease appetite
- Reduce body weight gain
- Reduce body fat accumulation
- Stimulate oxidation in the liver
All in all, here are the recommendations by Alexander McLellan, ND, Neuropathic Physician in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and professor at the Canadian School of natural Nutrition and Chief Medical Officer for three clinical research trials in Diabetic Neuropathy in Canada and the US, in treating obesity and Metabolic Syndrome: Check thyroid function, Restrict carbs, Check for food allergies, Keep hydrated, Get stress levels down, Get to a support group and stay educated, Detox, detox, detox! The bottom line? It’s the samo, samo:
- Eat right
- Exercise more
- Don’t rely on a “magic pill”
What do you think?