Category Archives: Nutrition

Treating Metabolic Syndrome Naturally

Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that have been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. About 35% of the US adult population has metabolic syndrome. For those aged 60 or more, the rate is close to 50%.

Women are more likely to suffer with metabolic syndrome than men, and Hispanics have a higher rate than non-Hispanics.

Just What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a group of 5 symptoms. If you have 3 or more of these symptoms you are said to have metabolic syndrome. These symptoms are:
obese photo

  1. Elevated blood pressure of 130/85 or more.
  2. High triglycerides of 150 mg/dl or more
  3. Low HDL cholesterol, less than or equal to 40mg/dl for men and 50mg/dl in women
  4. Elevated fasting blood glucose levels of 100 mg/dl or more
  5. Central obesity generally associated with a BMI of 30 or more

A study reported in the the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that metabolic syndrome is increasing long term in the United States. In 2003-2004 the rate was 32.9% but increased to 34.7% in 2011-2012, a 5% increase. Some short term studies indicate that in recent years the rate have leveled out.

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome means that many people are suffering from increased risks for a number of diseases including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. And often the symptoms and diseases result in limitations of lifestyle options. In addition, a study of members of 3 health care plans indicated that those with 3 symptoms had 60% higher costs for health care than those without symptoms. And, the costs increased by a further 24% when a fourth or or fifth symptom was added.

These individual symptoms are pretty common among Americans. About a third of Americans have high blood pressure. About a third of American have high triglycerides. A fifth of American adults have low HDL cholesterol. Slightly under 10% of the population has elevated fasting blood glucose levels. And, a third of the population is obese.

Next, let’s look at how doctors treat metabolic syndrome. Continue reading

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

fat in gym photo

Photo by ~Twon~

You’ve gone to the gym to do aerobics. You’ve done crunches and tried hours of spinning classes. You’ve done resistance exercises to build muscle to raise your metabolism.

You’ve tried the Zone diet, the South Beach diet, the Mediterranean diet, and even the Weight Watchers diet.

And you’re still ready to shout: Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

Missing Key to Weight Loss

You probably know that to lose weight, especially to lose fat, you need to cut back on calories. Calories represent the energy value of foods. Now, the cells of your body get their energy from these sources: Continue reading

Brain Boosting Bacopa Monnieri – What Science Says About Bacopa

Bacopa monnieri is traditional Ayurvedic medicinal herb grown in India. It has been widely touted as a brain booster with other positive effects such as reduction of anxiety. Often called water hyssop, it is a popular plant used in aquariums.

The herb contains many active components including alkaloids and saponins (that form a soapy froth when shaken in a water solution). Most people recognize the saponins Bacosides A and B as the most significant components.

Bacopa monnieri is marketed by many supplement manufacturers which use a variety of phrases to describe its effects. Some of these marketing slogans include:

  • Optimize your brain power
  • Supports memory enhancement & learning
  • Supports memory, enhances mental performance
  • Brain & memory support
  • Mental focus
  • Support cognitive function and brain health
  • Mental alertness
  • Excellent rejuvenative for the mind
  • Benefits congnitive functions

These claims make it seem like you should start taking bacopa monnieri before your next algebra test or your final exams to make sure you get a high grade. After all, you want every advantage possible to succeed in life.

But, what do the scientific studies show about the benefits of bacopa monnieri? Are these marketing slogans simply hype that over-promise what you can really expect? Continue reading

Do You Have a Magnesium Deficiency?

Magnesium plays important roles in the body. It is needed for enzyme activity by over 300 different biological processes. All enzymes associated with ATP require Magnesium. And, you may know that adenosine triphosphate (ATP) provides energy to all cells.

Depending on just how much magnesium in the blood is considered normal, anywhere from 4.8% to 47% of all patients in hospitals are deficient in magnesium. Up to 65% of patients in intensive care are deficient, and low levels of Magnesium are associated with a higher mortality rate.

How Much Magnesium is Required?

The daily dietary allowance for magnesium set by the National Academy of Science and the Institute of Medicine is 6 mg per kg of body mass. On average, this means about 400-420 mg per day for men and 310-320 mg per day for women.

It is estimated that between 50% and 85% of those living in the United States fail to reach these levels of magnesium intake. A major reason for this is the high consumption of refined and processed foods that are deficient in magnesium. One study, for example, showed that refining and processing wheat to white flour, rice to polished rice, and corn to starch removes from 82% to 97% of the magnesium.

What Are the Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency?

Because magnesium is used in all energy producing systems as well as other systems, the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are widespread an varied. Here are some conditions to look for: Continue reading