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By James LaValle, R.Ph, CCN, ND
Over the years of working with patients, I have found people really fear losing their mind to dementia or Alzheimer’s. Now, two new studies show that Metabolic Syndrome may be a risk factor of these dreaded conditions. Why? Because at the core of Metabolic Syndrome is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance goes on to become belly fat. Belly fat releases inflammatory chemicals that create the oxidative free radicals that damage our artery linings and LDL cholesterol, and create lesions in the brain. These lesions may become a precursor to stroke, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease.
Armed with this information, any of us would be foolish not get serious about taking care of our health. Here’s what you can do today to lower your risk of Metabolic Syndrome.
1. Eat a low carb diet: Don’t eat more than 80 to 100 grams of carbs per day. Most carbs should be from abundant non-starchy vegetables — so put down the potatoes!
2. Recondition your insulin receptors: The following supplements that are easy to obtain and affordable can help improve insulin sensitivity: chromium, alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium, and zinc.
3. Exercise: Walk, run, workout, take the stairs…just get out and get some exercise. Many studies show that vigorous exercise will improve Metabolic Syndrome by creating a need for all the glucose building up in the blood stream. But take note that in our clinic I have seen many who cannot lose weight despite intense exercise. This is a sure sign that nutrients are lacking that are needed by insulin and insulin receptors as discussed in number 2.
4. Stress Management: For many people, stress plays a major role in insulin resistance. Controlling the stress hormones that are promoting insulin resistance is vitally important. Relora®, holy basil, and rhodiola are well-studied supplements shown to alleviate stress symptoms themselves and help prevent their unwanted side effects.
Remember that diet, exercise, and well-chosen supplements should be our treatment of choice. Prescriptions that are often used for the pre-conditions of diabetes and heart disease are risky (unless there is an already dangerously high blood pressure or blood sugar present). These meds can even hasten our path toward the very diseases we are trying to prevent by depleting essential nutrients from our body. (See Total Health Breakthroughs article, “Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion” in the February 1 issue.)
[Ed. Note: Jim LaValle is an educator, clinician and industry consultant in the field of integrative healthcare. He is a licensed pharmacist, board certified clinical nutritionist and doctor of naturopathic medicine with more than 20 years clinical practice experience in the field of natural therapeutics and functional medicine. Named one of the “50 Most Influential Druggists” by American Druggist for his work in natural medicine, LaValle has authored 13 books, including his latest, Cracking the Metabolic Code. For more information, click here.]
“This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise’s Total Health Breakthroughs, offering alternative solutions for mind, body and soul. For a complimentary subscription,