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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 […]

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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 […]

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Type 2 Diabetic? – How to Face the Truth and Not Be a Another Statistic

Diet and Lifestyle | Wellness/Disease Prevention No Comments
A recent survey presented by Andrew Green at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting presented some disturbing facts about lifestyle change in diabetics. The SHIELD (The Study to Help Improve Early Evaluation and Management of Risk Factors Leading to Diabetes) study measured such things as physical activity, weight loss and the changes that study participants had made to help control their diabetes.

Despite knowing that lifestyle changes will help control their diabetes, the study revealed that most people fail to make changes. In the study of 3867 people with type 2 diabetes only 70% tried to lose weight in the previous year, even though 87% knew that obesity aggravated the problem. Only 13% were physically active in the week of the survey.

The interesting thing was that most people were well aware of the effects that diet and exercise had on their type 2 diabetes. So this begs the question, what makes one person want to stay healthy and what makes another person continue with a diet and lifestyle that they know is making them ill?

Of course some food is addictive but so is feeling fit, healthy, full of energy and a zest for life. Foods that are full of sugars are the most addictive and can give a temporary high, but after that comes the low and often the feeling of guilt. Different people do of course have varied responses to their weight problem. When having a Cellular Health Analysis some of my patients will be genuinely motivated when the test measures that they have advanced ageing. Others are angry and refuse to take on board the real state of their health. This is unfortunate as the Cellular Health Analysis is a great tool that will measure the positive changes to a person’s health such as decreasing fat mass decreases and improved muscle mass and nutritional status.

If you have a weight or other health problem let me tell you that sometimes weight loss and generally being motivated to look after your health takes some “tough love”. It may take some self analysis for you to determine why you are resistant to looking after your own health. Although there can be some intellectual challenges in finding new things to eat, I believe resistance to change is more of an emotional problem. So if you are having a struggle with motivating yourself and nurturing your health, try these exercises.

1. Imagine where you will be in 10 years time if you continue to do the same things as you are currently doing. Be truthful with yourself. This might mean considering living a life of pain & suffering with neuropathy & inflammation, it could be taking insulin injections daily, it could mean being wheel chair bound, unable to get out of the house, unable to play with the grandkids. Each of us has a different situation, so make your own reasonable projections.

            On a scale of 1 (very bad) to 10 (feeling good), how do you feel about your future?

            Now ask yourself if you like what you see.

2.   Imagine you are now eating well – not going hungry – but enjoying some beautiful fresh, whole food. Your desire for sweet things has naturally dissipated as you change your eating habits.     You have also discovered how to cook delicious, mouth watering foods cooked with Low Glycaemic Load  alternatives to the sugary foods of the past. You didn’t realize just how tasty these foods were,  because  the    foods you were eating had interfered with the body’s natural response to healthy foods and brought about unnatural cravings.

 Imagine how much more energy you have. You look forward to getting out of the house each morning and breathing in that fresh air as you go for your daily walk. You catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and like what you see.

On a scale of 1 (very bad) to 10 (feeling good), how do you feel?

 3. Ask yourself what things tempt you to eat badly each day. Is it sitting in front of the television or computer? Is it boredom in general? Is it going out with friends or family? Is it peer group pressure or is it cooking to try to please your partner? Is it lack of cooking skills? Is it that bowl of sweets that are left in front of you at work?

 Identify each of your weaknesses. Identify the who, what, where and why of your problem eating.

4. Now get yourself a sheet of paper and rule a line down the middle of it. On the left hand side, write down a list of what makes you eat badly or not want to exercise. Now in the right hand column, write down a list of strategies to overcome these issues. For example on the left you might have written “Healthy food tastes disgusting”. On the right you therefore might write “buy a good cookbook” or “try one new food every day”. If having snacks is the problem (left side), then you might write “have a house full of healthy snacks” in the right column.

 When doing this exercise, don’t forget to address the emotional issues. You may find a deeply hidden sense of poor self worth, a feeling of wanting to hide from the world, or a feeling of wanting to beat yourself up.

 There is always a negative issue there that is influencing you, even if you are unable to identify it initially. If this is the case, maybe you should seek out a practitioner such as a kinesiologist, who can help you identify thoughts hidden in your subconscious mind.

 If you are overweight and can’t make a list of at least 10 reasons why that is, then you are hiding things or denying yourself the truth.
 
 You truly are worth some self nurturing and the positive lifestyle changes that you embrace from understanding your motivators, will help you become a better, healthier and happier person.

 

A recent survey presented by Andrew Green at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting presented some disturbing facts about lifestyle change in diabetics. The SHIELD (The Study to Help Improve Early Evaluation and Management of Risk Factors Leading to Diabetes) study measured such things as physical activity, weight loss and the changes that study participants […]