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Old 03-07-2008, 09:52 AM
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Default Metabolic Syndrome and What You Can Do About It

Metabolic syndrome is a convergence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes risk factors—including being overweight/obese, high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids and blood glucose abnormalities—connected by insulin resistance. While a relatively new term, and one that is still not officially recognized in some mainstream medical circles, its profile is rising with mainstream media attention.
As mentioned in the Italian study of fiber intake and metabolic syndrome, magnesium appears to also be a key compound in addressing the different factors of this condition. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Sur vey (1988 to 1994) and found an inverse association between dietary magnesium intake and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome.20

And a review out of Northwestern University, Chicago, noted studies indicate magnesium plays a pivotal role in glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion, and intake may be inversely related to the risk of hypertension and diabetes.21

The same research team from Northwestern examined the relationship of magnesium intake in young adults (n=4,637) to incidence of metabolic syndrome.22 During the course of 15 years of follow-up, there were 608 incidences of metabolic syndrome, with magnesium intake inversely associated with disease incidence.

The researchers stated: “Experimental data suggests that magnesium may directly regulate cellular glucose metabolism through its role as a cofactor for a number of relevant enzymes and may influence insulin secretion by interacting with cellular calcium homeostasis. In addition, epidemiological studies and clinical trials indicate that magnesium intake may improve insulin sensitivity.”

Another important mineral in this arena is chromium, which reviewers note has been shown to facilitate insulin signaling, improve systemic insulin sensitivity and reduce CVD risk.23 An animal study out of Louisiana State University, Shreveport, found niacin-bound chromium and chromium picolinate worked to lower pro-inflammatory cytokines, with the niacin-bound chromium also reducing lipid levels and oxidative stress.24

A study conducted at the University of Vermont, Burlington, reviewed the effects of chromium picolinate on obese hyperinsulinemic rats and found intervention significantly lowered fasting insulin levels and improved glucose disappearance.25 In addition, treated obese rats had lower plasma total cholesterol.

Follow-up work by the Vermont team involved 37 type 2 diabetics who were given sulfonylurea plus placebo or 1,000 mcg/d of chromium picolinate for six months.26 Drug therapy alone resulted in a significant increase in body weight, which was attenuated by chromium supplementation. Intervention also significantly improved insulin sensitivity and glucose control.

Two studies conducted at the Alpha Therapy Center, Corpus Christ y, Texas, examined the effects of a combination of chromium picolinate and biotin in type 2 diabetics. The first study, a double blind, placebo-controlled trial, involved 348 participants randomized to receive the combination supplement (600 mcg chromium and 2 mg biotin) or placebo for 90 days.27

Intervention significantly lowered glucose levels in all participants, and lowered total cholesterol and the atherogenic index in patients with hypercholesterolemia. In the second trial, 447 type 2 diabetics received the same combination supplement or placebo for 90 days in combination with oral anti-diabetic agents; researchers found the supplement could improve glycemic control, particularly among patients with poor glycemic control strictly on oral therapy.28
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