0

Could Your Vitamin D Level be the Cause of Your Metabolic Syndrome or Obesity?

Wellness/Disease Prevention No Comments

Could your Vitamin D level be causing obesity or Metabolic Syndrome?

Adequate Vitamin D can prevent cancer, heart disease and be a good treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Could it be increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes?  New research (Thomas, N et al.)has linked severe Vitamin D deficiency, to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. Dr Thomas and his team followed 1087 people for 7.7 years. They found that those people with adequate Vitamin D levels had a 66% reduction of their risk. Optimal vitamin D levels were also found to reduce the all-cause mortality rates by 75%.

People with Metabolic Syndrome have problems with blood sugar regulation. Interestingly Vitamin D is also known to affect blood sugar regulation and is involved in control of insulin resistance. A good treatment for type 2 diabetes could therefore involve replenishing Vitamin D deficiency. Furthermore Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an event known as the winter response. A 2009 study (Foss, Y.J) proposed that a fall in circulating vitamin D results in an accumulation of fat mass (obesity) and the induction of the winter response (metabolic syndrome).

On top of that a lack of vitamin D has been linked to a number of other health problems including cancer which is linked to inflammation. Adequate Vitamin D is believed to reduce excess inflammation and the overactive immune response.

Vitamin D levels have become a hot topic when it comes to preventing disease. So how do you ensure you are getting adequate vitamin d? In years gone by it was believed that getting adequate sunshine was enough to give you good vitamin D levels. People living in cold regions are less likely to be exposed to regular sunshine and are therefore believed to be particularly at risk. So too were the elderly who did not go outside the home a great deal.

Even with ample exposure to the sun, recent studies have found that vitamin D levels can be deficient. So we can therefore presume that other factors come into play, when it comes to the body producing adequate levels of the hormone, vitamin D.

Who is most at risk of vitamin D deficiency?

  • The elderly
  • Dark skinned individuals
  • Those covered extensively by clothing or veils
  • Healthy people who spend most of their time inside
  • People with gut absorption problems
  • Those with chronic renal and liver disease
  • People taking some medications
  • People with increased body fat.

A healthy diet should therefore include foods that increase  Vitamin D. The best food sources of Vitamin D are fish especially salmon, tuna and mackerel and fish liver oils. Other good sources include beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and some mushrooms.

Before you start taking supplements of Vitamin D, you need to ensure that you are in fact deficient. Why – because excess vitamin D can itself be a health problem. So I recommend that you ask your health care practitioner to order blood tests for 25(OD)D3. A trained health care practitioner can also help you eradicate other problems that may be contributing to a low Vitamin D status, such as gut absorption problems.

To find out more about how you can enjoy health & wellness, a treatment for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, check out my book, How to Stop Metabolic Syndrome Naturally. Click here to find out more.

Vitamin D Levels Predict All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Subjects with the Metabolic Syndrome: THE Ludwigshafen Risk and Cardiovascular Health (LURIC) Study. Diabetic Care, May 2012, Volume 34, Pages 1158-1164.
Vitamin D deficiency is the cause of common obesity. Fass, YJ. Med Hypotheses. 2009; 72 (3):314-21.
Adequate Vitamin D can prevent cancer, heart disease and be a good treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Could your Vitamin D level be causing obesity or Metabolic Syndrome? Could it be increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes?  New research (Thomas, N et al.)has linked severe Vitamin D deficiency, to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality. Dr Thomas and his team followed 1087 people for 7.7 years. They found that […]

0

How to Improve Memory, Increase Energy and Control Your Weight

Wellness/Disease Prevention No Comments

 How often have you heard someone say “my memory isn’t what it used to be?” As ageing progresses, many of us will be making the same complaint and this is particularly common in menopausal females. Being in that age bracket myself, I confess to having some issues with memory also. Interestingly studies have found that changes in brain function can begin in our 40’s.

So is there one single thing that you can do to improve memory, increase energy and control your weight? Well the answer to that is yes. In a recent study of older women with mild cognitive decline, it was found that twice weekly resistance training produced significant improvements in memory tasks. This was compared to 2 other groups of comparable women – one group doing aerobic training and the other doing balance and toning work. As well as showing improvements in the Stroop Test, the study also found functional changes in three parts of the cortical brain.

Whilst the aerobic group improved their balance and cardiovascular capacity no significant changes were found in memory.

So how does this help to increase energy and control weight? The most obvious outcome of resistance training is building muscle. In my clinic I routinely measure active tissue mass using a Bioimpedance Analysis and what I find is that most females are deficient in muscle mass.

It is not surprising that many of these people with low muscle mass also have issues with fatigue and excess weight and here’s why. Inside our body we each have energy powerhouses known as the mitochondria. These energy powerhouses are found in every cell of the body but interestingly muscle has up to 100 times more of these powerhouses. So to increase energy it is vital to build muscle.

Any exercise will help control weight if it is done regularly enough, but building muscle is a key to ongoing weight control. This is because muscle mass uses more energy or burns more calories than fat mass.

So if you want to know how to increase energy, to improve memory and control your weight, the answer is to start doing some resistance training. This doesn’t mean that you have to be at the gym “pumping some iron” with the big boys, but getting some advice from a personal trainer about suitable resistance training and putting in some work, several days a week, is a must for each and every one of us.

Reference:Weight Training Aids Memory in Older WomenBy Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today.Published: April 23, 2012.Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

 How often have you heard someone say “my memory isn’t what it used to be?” As ageing progresses, many of us will be making the same complaint and this is particularly common in menopausal females. Being in that age bracket myself, I confess to having some issues with memory also. Interestingly studies have found that […]

0

How to Start an Exercise Program

Weight Loss for Health No Comments

If you haven’t done much in the way of exercise before, starting an exercise program can seem difficult. Thankfully there are few of us who are restricted by an inability to walk, so starting a walking program is an excellent way of getting you into the exercise habit. Remember however that walking can only do so much and that your aim should be to build muscle as well as burn excess fat.

Most people have a sedentary type of job or if you don’t work, chances are a lot of time is spent watching television or doing sedentary things such as working on the computer or reading a book. Movement is fundamental to weight loss. So unless you love being on a restrictive diet, exercise is the key to keeping the weight off.

ON WITH THE WALKING

The average person takes only 5,000 steps a day, even though the recommended amount is 10,000 steps daily for good health. If you are considering making walking a major part of your exercise program then you need to get yourself a pedometer. Your pedometer will measure the average daily steps that you take daily. Attach your pedometer to your clothing the moment you get out of bed and take a look at the total amount of steps that you have accrued at the end of the day. Your daily steps total will give you some idea of how active you are at present.

•  3,500 daily – very sedentary

•  3,500 to 5,000 steps per day – sedentary

•  5,500 to 7,500 – reasonably active

•  7,500 to 9,000 – almost achieving the recommended steps

•  10,000 steps – achieving recommended daily steps

•  12,000 steps – additional movement required to assist with weight loss

Now that you know how many average steps you take on a daily basis, you can set yourself an activity goal. So if for example you are currently doing only 3500 steps a day, your goal should be 10,000 steps straight off. If you have an injury or pain, you may need to work up to this. If you are already doing 10,000 steps daily, but still have a weight problem, then you need to set you goal higher – to at least 12,000 steps a day. This is because you are obviously still not doing enough activity to negate the effect of your dietary intake.

To really get some benefit from your walking you need to put some spring in your step. This will help get your heart rate up and have some positive cardiovascular effects. When your heart rate is slightly faster than normal, you should feel a little breathless when you talk.

If you are tall and walking with someone who is a lot shorter than you, remember that what is a good pace for someone else, might just be a stroll for you. As an individual you must work out what is a good pace to give you a real workout. If you are able to walk faster than your partner, plan to walk ahead and then walk briskly back to them.
Monitor the pace of your walking by counting the steps taken. A pace of less than 120 steps per minute is considered to be slow. Over 120 steps per minute is considered to be brisk walking, whilst over 135 steps per minutes is considered to be very brisk walking.

If you are prepared to work a little harder than just walking (and this is recommended), look at adding a light jog. You can alternate between jogging and walking stints initially until you feel more comfortable with the jogging. You can use your pedometer to monitor your progress and the distance that you travel. For example you can work out how many steps you have taken and the distance that you travel. For someone with short legs like myself, jogging for 35,000 steps is equal to about 5 kilometres or 3.1 miles.

Keep in mind that a balanced exercise program will also contain some resistance exercise such as weights, yoga, pushups. Weight bearing exercise not only builds muscle but also helps maintain bone density. For the ladies in the group who have a fear of looking like a male, this is not going to happen. What females achieve from doing resistance training is:

•  a more toned body,

•  more energy production,

•  decreased risk of osteoporosis

•  a greater core strength,

•  increased fat burning.

If you want to know how to lose weight, exercise is definitely the answer. Exercise must become a habit however, not something that you do whenever you put on a bit of extra weight. And of course the secret to having a good workout is to enjoy whatever activity it is that you are doing.

To find out other weight loss strategies, take a look at How to Stop Metabolic Syndrome Naturally.

If you haven’t done much in the way of exercise before, starting an exercise program can seem difficult. Thankfully there are few of us who are restricted by an inability to walk, so starting a walking program is an excellent way of getting you into the exercise habit. Remember however that walking can only do […]