Vitamin E and metabolic syndrome

According to Ohio State University research, 1 out of 3 Americans may need more vitamin E to combat metabolic syndrome.

Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that helps reduce free radicals (or sludge) from your body. Other major vitamin antioxidants include vitamins A and C. Antioxidants may come naturally from many fruits and vegetables. People in the study who drank milk along with the natural form of vitamin E absorbed between 26.1 and 29.5 percent of the vitamin, depending on their health status. Those with metabolic syndrome absorbed considerably less.

Those who have been diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome would then have to be more vigilant in taking vitamin E supplements.

Metabolic Syndrome is not just one disease or condition. It is a cluster that brings symptoms such as high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels together. Doctors believe that these symptoms are involved in increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Studies have correlated those as cofactors that may lead to those main diseases.

As an anti-oxidant, Vitamin E helps eliminate byproducts within your body for cellular and organic wellness. Lack of dietary antioxidants may result in damaging vital networks that keep your body healthier. Some studies have been investigating a vitamin E role in preventing degenerative mental imbalances such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Good thought when applying for research grants.

Dietary sources of vitamin E include: Almonds, Raw Seeds (sunflower and pumpkin), and Hazelnuts. Plant oils also have vitamin E. The benefit with these as they are high in good fats – mono- and poly-unsaturated. The downside is that excessive consumption may lead to fat elevation because these are still high in fat content.

Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens and Swiss chard are low calorie vegetables that eaten raw or cooked releases vitamin E with natural co-factors that may help absorption without fats.

Foods high in antioxidants help reduce bad cholesterol levels and elevate good cholesterol levels when taken as part of an habitual diet, with minimal dietary cholesterol intake from meats and fish.

As a cluster of possible conditions, metabolic syndrome may actually have several other reasons. One is called insulin resistance that may be hereditary or dietary. Under normal conditions your digestive system breaks down many foods you eat into sugar (glucose). Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps sugar enter your cells to be used as fuel. People that are resistant to insulin don’t respond normally to insulin, and glucose can’t enter the cells as easily. Thus results in elevated glucose. It is a pre-diabetic condition that may likely contribute to belly fat accumulation.

Age also factors in belly fat as lean muscles tend to soften and develop fatty deposits up to 5% nearly each decade of age. By the time you reach 70, you may have lost 20% lean muscles and added belly fat.

Fats and sugars are fuels that keep your body going. Excesses often result in raising glucose levels, belly fat accumulation, and cholesterol markers.

Centuries ago, metabolic syndrome was less likely as people needed to walk and labor manually. In today’s age, fewer people walk and labor is more sedentary. Metabolic syndrome may be an adaptation to technology. Yet this adaptation may elevate risks of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.

Essentially, any activity after eating, dietary vigilance, and use of vitamin supplements at moderate levels will help adjust metabolism to normal levels over time. Vitamin E is only one possible factor. There are, as you see, many more. The Ohio University study only provides a glimpse of a much larger picture.

The good news is that Cow’s milk over water promotes absorption of supplemental vitamin E.

Resveratrol life isn’t sweeter with wine

Praised Resveratrol nutritional supplements, touting wide health benefits, are being questioned by a new study. Back in the 1960’s, Linus Pauling endorsed mega-doses of Vitamin C might ward off the common cold. Doses of practically every vitamin have been tweaked to help support many health benefits, with multiple vitamins you can hardly swallow. A couple years back, Green Coffee Extract supplements touted rapid weight loss benefits. All these were supported by news and medical media. Practically all have faded from star status due to ill-gotten claims or noticed side effects. Star or starless, sales of nutritional supplements topped 11 billion dollars in 2012 USA sales. Are people gaining health benefits? Is it hype or faith? Do these behave like placebos producing a vast placebo-effect for those that believe in supplements as a lifestyle?

There’s an irony in research and often it’s hard to conjure any thoughts of conclusiveness. Just last month, the Scripps Institute released Resveratrol modulates the inflammatory response via an estrogen receptor-signal integration network. Just about two weeks later, a group from Johns Hopkins debunks Resveratrol’s effectiveness as a supplement. The disunity among science research may confuse the masses with ideas that are drawn from inconclusive conclusions. Is Resveratrol the elixir of love and life that many purport it to be? Is it possible that it may and may not, simultaneously?

People are told that a polyphenol called Resveratrol, found in red wine and chocolate, can prolong life. A recent study among Italians has found it has no effect on mortality rates. Resveratrol has attracted a lot of attention owing to its effects on inflammation, carcinogenesis, and longevity in various studies that spawned many Resveratrol supplements on store shelves.

This study, however, examined 2 villages in the Chianti area in a population-based sample of 783 community-dwelling men and women 65 years or older, from 1998 to 2009. In these regions, consumption of red wine each day is normal. In areas where red wine isn’t a staple, will Resveratrol reduce inflammation and add longevity. The researchers concluded that “resveratrol levels achieved with a Western diet did not have a substantial influence on health status and mortality risk of the population in this study.”

There are many other polyphenols in red wine and chocolate that serve as antioxidants. Supplementation may not offer the full benefits. In addition, few make lifestyle choices to continue supplementation. The areas of Tuscany are key wine production areas. The population consumes grapes and red wine routinely, often through several generations.

Popping pills is no alternative for the health benefits of a habitual diet of natural foods. Adding dark chocolate (70% or greater), wine, and grapes to your diet is likely more beneficial.

Chocolate has natural fats and grapes or wine have lots of natural carbohydrates. One can assume that the people of Tuscany are busy gathering grapes and manufacturing wine, both active chores. Whether the Resveratrol from grapes will effect life spans in more sedentary countries is still questionable. The study, however, does indicate that Resveratrol supplements themselves offer no measurable benefits.

I admit that I use two nutritional supplements for controlling my metabolic blood panel results. Due to other conditions, drugs offer wide side effects. I do accept that I am a guinea pig and monitor blood tests regularly. The results are generally successful. Do I see a wider population able to follow my lifestyle discipline? I don’t think so. My case is unique.

Less unique is the use of supplements in sports among competitive players. The Olympics and major sport franchises frown on this behavior. The problem seems to be growing and harsh penalties are dispensed. Do these supplements, then, really enhance performance?

Supplements are not drugs. They are legally viewed as food by the FDA but supplementation claims are not necessarily scientifically supported in the United States. Other countries may have designed studies, however.

Many foods, especially cereals and juices, have added nutritive supplements. Getting 100% allowances on 10 vitamins in some cereals mean they’ve added vitamins. Wheat, corn, or rice don’t have that nutrient supply. Raw cereals have few (if any) vitamins. Just read the ingredients beneath the nutrition panel.

The differences of these nutrients are bioavailability or how well these are absorbed by your body. In natural foods, naturally occurring polyphenols and phytochemicals aid in your body’s absorption of these nutrients. Processed foods may use processed nutrients that are not readily absorbed, if at all.

We are the descendants of countless generations who have survived on natural foods. These supplements were not around before the late 1800’s. Of course there have been incidences among sea voyagers developing diseases due to lack of available fruits. In extreme cases like this, supplements are necessary.

Nutrition is the products of the foods you eat. If your diet contains fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, meat and dairy, you should be getting what you need. If all you eat are burgers and shakes, a daily multivitamin might be fine. Blood tests often have panels to determine whether you are getting proper nutrition from your diet.

So when you read research that a compound in grapes, red wine could help treat multiple types of cancer, that the role of resveratrol may be a potential but isn’t a definite helper within a specific case. On the other hand, use of resveratrol supplements can worsen certain Multiple Sclerosis symptoms (in mice).

Resveratrol is in the eye of many researchers. Despite all the studies demonstrating pros and cons, resveratrol use from diet or supplementation needs more studying to offer solid evidence that it is a spectacular nutrient.

So far, resveratrol life isn’t sweeter with wine unless you lead an active life and follow a good diet. Nutritional fads come and go. Wellness often requires a marriage with nature and movement. Barring serious illnesses, the best methods of survival is relying on what your ancestors did. After all, you made it to where you are. Want a cup of wine?