Ready for a quick health check-up?
Are you or someone you love suffering from at least three of the following symptoms:
- Excess belly fat,
- High triglycerides in your blood,
- Low levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol),
- High blood pressure, and
- High fasting blood sugar?
If so, there’s a good chance you’ve been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (sometimes called syndrome X) — a condition that can double your risk of heart disease and make you five times more likely to become diabetic.
And that means you’ve probably been bombarded with advice on everything from how often you should exercise to what you can eat.
But there’s one piece of advice that you need to ditch right away. One that could put you on the fast track to neurological disease, liver and kidney problems, prostate cancer, and even death.
And it looks like people with metabolic syndrome are learning that the hard way.
A new study out of Ohio State has found that people with metabolic syndrome may be chronically low in vitamin E and may even have a hard time absorbing this important nutrient.
And if you ask me, there’s a very good reason for that. From the moment you’re diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, doctors will do everything they can to cut just about every last bit of fat out of your diet.
And that could turn a simple nutritional deficiency deadly.
You see, for E (as well as other fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and K), to be absorbed properly and do their jobs, they need fat.
The same fat you’ve been told to avoid.
Richard Bruno, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University and lead researcher on this new study, said that those with metabolic syndrome could up their absorption of E by close to 30 percent — simply by drinking a glass of milk along with taking an E supplement.
Now, a vitamin E deficiency is bad news for anyone, but it certainly will make matters worse for people with the existing health problems that make up metabolic syndrome.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce free radical damage that speeds up the aging of your cells. It can even improve your heart health and circulation by preventing blood platelets from clumping together.
And if you let a vitamin E deficiency continue over time, it can lead to muscle pain, poor eyesight, trouble walking and speaking, liver and kidney disease and anemia. Being low on E may even send your risk for prostate and other types of cancer skyrocketing!
So if you’re suffering from metabolic syndrome — or just want to boost your vitamin E levels — here are some quick things you can do, starting today:
- Add more vitamin E-rich foods into your diet. Good sources of E include avocados, almonds and sunflower seeds. And for an easy source add a tablespoon of wheat germ oil to a salad or recipe. That alone provides 20 mg of vitamin E, which is over the RDA amount for adults of 15 mg.
- Start taking a quality vitamin E supplement. Be sure to avoid the synthetic kind, which you can easily spot as that form will begin with a “dl” (like dl-alpha-tocopherol). A natural form of vitamin E will begin with just a “d.” You also may see natural E labeled as “mixed natural tocopherols.” *If you’re taking blood thinners, talk to your doctor before starting high-dose vitamin E supplements.
- Always eat some heathy fats along with your supplement. Even a handful of nuts taken with a vitamin E supplement can do the trick.
“Metabolic syndrome leads 1 in 3 Americans to need more vitamin E” Emily Caldwell, October 7, 2015, Ohio State University, news.osu.edu