To Your Health
August, 2009 (Vol. 03, Issue 08)
Potassium is important for intracellular chemical reactions and regulates the transfer of nutrients to the cells. Potassium is required for proper carbohydrate metabolism.
Severe potassium deficiency can lead to heart attack. Studies have found that potassium can reduce high blood pressure and help to prevent heart attacks. Additionally, potassium supplementation may help to prevent type 2 diabetes in people taking thiazide diuretics
. Research published last year
suggests depleted blood potassium levels may explain why people prescribed diuretics for the treatment of high blood pressure run an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Always discuss dosing with your doctor before taking potassium or any other supplement, particularly if you are currently taking medication for a pre-existing health condition.
Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolism Gone Bad
Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X or insulin-resistance syndrome, affects an estimated 50 million Americans. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), this syndrome, which significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other significant health problems (particularly those related to plaque buildup on artery walls) , is actually a constellation of six metabolic factors gone bad:
- Abdominal obesity (excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen).
- Blood fat disorders: low HDL ("good") cholesterol, high LDL ("bad") cholesterol high triglycerides, which promotes plaque buildups on artery walls.
- Elevated blood pressure.
- Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (the body can't properly use insulin or blood sugar).
- Prothrombotic state (which elevates the risk of blood clot formation).
- Pro-inflammatory state (e.g., elevated C-reactive protein in the blood; linked to numerous diseases).
The AHA suggests primary interventions to manage or reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome include weight loss (goal is to attain a body mass index of less than 25 kg/m2); increasing physical activity (goal of 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week; and adopting health eating habits, including reducing intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Talk to your doctor for additional information and visit www.americanheart.org.
Ronald Klatz, MD, is the president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging (www.worldhealth.net), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, detection and treatment of aging-related disease.
Robert Goldman, MD, is the chairman of the American Academy of Anti-Aging (www.worldhealth.net), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, detection and treatment of aging-related disease.