How to Reverse
Metabolic syndrome and its associated condition of insulin resistance pose a major threat to cardiovascular health that most health care practitioners do not even discuss with their patients.
Remarkably, the public knows very little about this silent but deadly condition, and many affected individuals are not even aware that metabolic syndrome is inflicting severe damage to their arteries and brain cells.
The news media and health care providers pay almost no attention to this epidemic, the fundamental cause of metabolic syndrome. To avoid the potentially disastrous cardiovascular consequences of metabolic syndrome, you need to understand:
1. How to identify your risk through simple blood tests.
2. How supplements can dramatically reduce your risk.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance means that insulin does not work optimally to drive glucose into cells. This has numerous adverse consequences, including glucose and insulin levels that are much higher than normal.
As the body attempts to overcompensate for poor insulin action by pumping out more insulin from the pancreas, insulin levels rise.
Eventually, over time, the pancreas can burn out and no longer produce enough insulin to control blood sugar. When insulin levels are not sufficient to bring blood sugar levels down to the normal range, type II diabetes mellitus can result.
Certain blood tests such as fasting insulin can serve as surrogate markers. Excess insulin (fasting hyperinsulinemia) is defined when levels equal to or greater than 15 µU/mL are found.
Other blood tests that are very useful in evaluating the risk of insulin resistance include serum triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Triglycerides equal to or greater than 130 mg/dL and a triglyceride:HDL ratio equal to or above 3.0 suggest you're at risk.
How to Reverse Insulin Resistance
Smart supplementation can have a significant impact on metabolic health. A number of nutritional supplements hold great promise for normalizing blood sugar and metabolic control.
Chromium is a critically essential co-factor for glucose control. Chromium helps insulin shuttle blood sugar (glucose) into cells. In fact, without chromium, insulin cannot work properly.
Unfortunately, most Americans are deficient in this critical nutrient. Some experts believe that Americans ingest less than half the recom-mended daily amount of chromium.
This may be partly due to the nation’s over-reliance on processed foods, which are generally rich in calories but poor in nutrients.
Many clinical studies of patients with and without metabolic disease have shown metabolic benefits including improved blood sugar control, cholesterol, and insulin with supplemental chromium doses from 200 to 1000 mcg daily.
In both middle-aged and older men and women, suboptimal hormone profiles are not unusual. DHEA is a critical hormone that is involved in many metabolic processes.
Low levels of DHEA are associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. For example, a cross-sectional study of 400 men, aged 40-80, showed that the lower the DHEA level, the greater the risk of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Exciting data show that a special extract from cinnamon holds tremendous promise for normalizing blood sugar levels naturally. A 2003 study of patients with type II diabetes examined the effects of cinnamon on blood sugar.
Participants received one, three, or six grams per day of cinnamon or placebo.
After 40 days, the three groups receiving cinnamon demonstrated significant reductions in blood sugar of up to 29%, in triglycerides of up to 30%, and in cholesterol of up to 26%.
Who would have ever thought that a water-soluble extract of coffee acts to boost the key target hormone that multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies are targeting as the next breakthrough treatment for meta-bolic disease?
A very large study (14,629 men and women) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2004 showed that the greater your coffee consumption, the lower your risk of metabolic disease, including type II diabetes mellitus.
Another very large study that followed 41,934 men showed a similarly powerful association between increased coffee intake and decreased risk of type II diabetes, even after adjusting for age, body mass index, and other risk factors.
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