Life Extension Update
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Abdominal fat may increase heart disease risk by promoting inflammation
Barbara Nicklas, PhD and colleagues studied obese postmenopausal women over the age of 50 whose waist measurements were greater than 35 inches. Postmenopausal women are at risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that increase heart disease risk, that include increased abdominal obesity and elevated triglycerides and glucose. Five of the 20 participants were diabetic.
The team found that abdominal fat volume was inversely related to the expression of leptin, a protein that regulates energy metabolism. Abdominal fat volume was also inversely correlated with expression of the anti-inflammatory protein adiponectin. When abdominal subcutaneous fat tissue samples were analyzed, greater expression of the inflammation-promoting proteins interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, which are involved in atherosclerosis, was related to a diminished ability to respond to insulin and utilize glucose in the nondiabetic women. However, when expression of the anti-inflammatory protein adiponectin was measured, an increase was associated with an improved ability to use glucose. In the e ight participants diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, adiponectin levels were 32 percent lower than those of the remainder of the women in the study. Lead author and Wake Forest Baptist instructor in geriatric medicine Tongjian You, PhD observed, “This suggests that low production of adiponectin in subcutaneous fat is linked with an elevated risk of heart disease."
"It is well known that obesity affects nearly one-third of adults in the United States and is closely linked with heart disease, “ Dr You explained. “While we don't fully understand the link between obesity and heart disease, our study suggests that inflammatory proteins produced by fat itself may play a role."
Dr Nicklas is conducting another study to determine whether diet and exercise can modify levels of the proteins studied in the current investigation. “We need to understand more about the mechanism," she said.
A surprising number of studies report that excess serum insulin (hyperinsulinemia) is a major health problem. It appears that excess insulin promotes hypertension by impairing sodium balance. Too much insulin harms the kidneys. The vascular system is severely damaged by prolonged exposure to excess insulin. By acting as a catalyst in promoting cell growth, excess insulin increases the risk and progression of certain cancers. Excess insulin is a contributory factor to benign prostate enlargement because it promotes overgrowth of prostate cells.
For people trying to reduce body fat, excess insulin suppresses the release of growth hormone and prevents fat from being released from fat cells. High serum insulin is associated with the development of abdominal obesity and a number of health problems, including atherosclerosis and impotence. Obesity is associated with excess insulin and reduced insulin sensitivity, both risk factors for Type II diabetes.
Prior to the 1950s, scientists believed that stored fat was relatively inert and that once adipose (body fat) tissue was formed, very little metabolic activity took place in fat cells; however, it was then learned that the triglyceride stores of fat tissue are constantly turning over (Bjorntorp 1996). An enzyme called lipoprotein lipase controls the passage of fat precursors into the fat cell. The breakdown of stored fat and the passage of these breakdown products out of the fat cell are controlled by a different enzyme, hormone sensitive lipase. Insulin prevents the action of the second enzyme (hormone sensitive lipase).
High-glycemic index foods cause weight gain by inducing the overproduction of insulin. A fiber blend called PGX™ helps to limit the absorption of dietary sugars into the bloodstream, thereby reducing the release of insulin by as much as 40%! Only small amounts are required to help maintain healthy blood glucose and insulin levels.
By taking just three grams of this new soluble fiber blend before ingesting high-glycemic foods, the amount of glucose absorbed can be reduced by as much as 23% and the ensuing insulin surge cut by 40%.
Chromium, the metallic element once believed to be toxic, is now generally recognized that when used as part of your diet, to play an important role in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. In addition, supplemental chromium has been shown to promote a healthy cardiovascular system.
For many years, Life Extension has included niacin in its chromium supplements. In response to evidence that people may benefit from higher does of chromium, a formula has been developed that provides 500 mcg of chromium along with 60 mg of flush-free niacin in just one capsule.
To provide full-spectrum benefits, the antioxidants and gene-protecting nutrients like curcumin, resveratrol and green tea have been included.
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