Cardiovascular and metabolic disease account for a large number of deaths in Australians, and we’re not getting any healthier. As clinicians we’re tasked everyday with making therapeutic decisions based on the best available science for a patient’s individual health circumstances. There is an art to interpreting scientific conclusions drawn from nutritional and lifestyle modifications, which can often be ambiguous and leaving us with more questions than answers. This is where Dr Bradley McEwen’s expertise is invaluable.
In today’s part two podcast, Andrew and Brad expertly navigate the many evidence-based interventions for cardiometabolic syndrome(s) and how to draw out relevant conclusions to make rational clinical decisions.
Cardiometabolic syndrome is a very serious health condition that needs more recognition. Cardiometabolic syndrome is a multifactorial complex condition and is a cluster of abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, and elevated triglycerides and fasting plasma glucose. Additionally, there is insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, increased oxidative stress, and a prothrombotic state. There is a higher risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Out of Australia’s top 20 leading causes of death in 2016, 6 of these can be directly related to cardiometabolic syndrome and another 3 of these diseases have links with cardiometabolic syndrome.
Collectively cardiometabolic syndrome accounts for more deaths in Australia than any other single disease.
Diet and nutrition play a major role in the management of cardiometabolic syndrome. This podcast discusses the impact of cardiometabolic syndrome on health as well as the effect of diet and nutrition, plus more.
Cardiometabolic syndrome needs greater attention. Listen on for more information…
Cardiometabolic Syndrome FX Medicine Podcast Part 1
Also available on iTunes
International Coffee Day ☕️
Coffee has numerous mental and physical health benefits. Coffee should be enjoyed daily with family, friends, or as a time out.
Have a time out. Sit back and relax. Enjoy!
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in females of reproductive age. PCOS can be described as a complex endocrine condition and is characterised by polycystic ovaries, anovulation, amenorrhoea, hyperandrogenaemia, hirsutism, acne and infertility. All of these characteristics of PCOS affect quality of life and wellbeing.
Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when any three of the following five risk factors are present: elevated fasting plasma glucose level (hyperglycaemia), elevated triglyceride levels, reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level, elevated blood pressure, and increased waist circumference.
Additionally, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress have been associated with cardiometabolic syndrome. Women with PCOS have an increased risk of insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, altered cholesterol and triglyceride levels, inflammation, oxidative stress and impaired endothelial dysfunction, which are indicative of cardiometabolic syndrome.
Nutrition plays a major role in the prevention and management of chronic disease, especially cardiometabolic syndrome.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that contains a thiol group. NAC has numerous cardioprotective properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, improving lipid profile, as well as decreasing oxidative stress and reducing paracetamol toxicity, along with mucolytic and detoxification properties. NAC is one of the precursors of glutathione, which is an important antioxidant.
PCOS and cardiometabolic syndrome are complex health conditions. NAC shows promise in the management of cardiometabolic parameters in women with PCOS, via reducing insulin resistance, blood glucose levels and improving lipid profile. The dosages used in these trials were 1800 mg per day for 24 weeks and a step-wise dosage up to 1800 mg per day (study length three months).
Read on for more info:
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 80% of the world’s population use traditional medicine for their primary health care needs. Most of this therapy involves the use of plant extracts or the active components from plants. Plants have been used for their healing purposes throughout human history and forms the origin of modern medicine. Herbal medicine emphasises the effects of herbs on the whole body and individual body systems (McEwen 2015).
Herbal medicines include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products, that contain as active ingredients parts of plants, or other plant materials, or combinations (WHO 2000). Traditional use of herbal medicines refers to the long historical use of these medicines (WHO 2000).
Speak with a naturopath or herbalist for more information.
McEwen BJ 2015, The Influence of Herbal Medicine on Platelet Function and Coagulation: A Narrative Review, Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis, 41(3); 300-314.
World Health Organization (WHO) 2000, General Guidelines for Methodologies on Research and Evaluation of Traditional Medicine. WHO/EDM/TRM/2000.1
Population-based studies have shown an inverse association between dietary menaquinones (MK-n, vitamin K2) intake, coronary calcification and coronary heart disease risk, suggesting a potential role of vitamin K in vascular health.
Vitamin K serves as a cofactor for γ-glutamate carboxylase, promoting the post-translational conversion of glutamate residues into γ-carboxyglutamate (Gla) in γ-carboxyglutamate-proteins. The γ-carboxyglutamate-residues confer calcium-binding properties needed for the proper functioning of these proteins. The most studied γ-carboxyglutamate-proteins are osteocalcin (synthesised by osteoblasts) and matrix γ-carboxyglutamate-protein (MGP, synthesised primarily by vascular smooth muscle cells).
When vitamin K levels are insufficient, carboxylation proceeds to a lesser extent, resulting in the release of γ-carboxyglutamate-proteins in the circulation as undercarboxylated species. Circulating uncarboxylated osteocalcin and desphospho-uncarboxylated matrix Gla-protein are recognised markers for bone and vascular vitamin K status, respectively. Remarkably, substantial fractions of osteocalcin and matrix Gla-protein circulate as uncarboxylated species in most healthy adults, suggesting that vitamin K insufficiency is widespread in Western society. High levels of uncarboxylated osteocalcin form an independent risk predictor for bone fracture and low bone mineral density. High levels of desphospho-uncarboxylated matrix Gla-protein have been found in people at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and have been associated with arterial calcification and cardiovascular mortality. Osteocalcin and matrix Gla-protein carboxylation can be improved by increased vitamin K intake by diet and supplements.
This study found that consuming a yoghurt drink fortified with low doses of vitamin K (menaquinone-7 (MK-7), daily dose of 56 µg), vitamins C and D, and omega-3 PUFA (EPA + DHA, daily dose of 0.2 g) significantly improved vitamin K status.
Knapen MHJ et al., Yogurt drink fortified with menaquinone-7 improves vitamin K status in a healthy population, J Nutr Sci. 2015; 4: e35.
Optimum nutrition plays the major role in optimum health. Cardiometabolic syndrome is a disease of unhealthy diet and lifestyle. It is a cluster of cardiometabolic risk factors, including elevated triglyceride levels, fasting plasma glucose level (hyperglycaemia), elevated blood pressure, increased waist circumference, and reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level. It is a multifactorial risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Cardiometabolic syndrome is generally regarded as a pro-inflammatory and prothrombotic state. Inflammation drives insulin resistance and oxidative stress, further amplifying cardiometabolic syndrome.
There are numerous health consequences related to cardiometabolic syndrome; these include non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, overweight, high adiposity, reproductive dysfunction, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and obstructive sleep apnoea.
Diet and nutrition play major roles in the prevention and management of chronic disease, especially cardiometabolic syndrome. The Westernised diet (high in sugar, saturated fat, fried foods, refined grains) has numerous negative effects on the parameters of cardiometabolic syndrome.
A predominantly plant-based, Mediterranean-style, low-glycaemic index diet and diets higher in fruits, vegetables, fibre, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, tree nuts, and potassium have been associated with a lower risk of cardiometabolic syndrome. Additionally, the Palaeolithic diet has beneficial effects in the management of cardiometabolic syndrome.
McEwen B. The impact of diet on cardiometabolic syndrome, J ATMS, 2018; 24(2): 72-77.
Optimum nutrition is fundamental for the development of a child’s full potential and there are studies that link chronic undernutrition and micronutrient deficiency to cognitive deficits.
Undernutrition has been shown to negatively impact various developmental and cognitive areas including motor development, language functioning, intelligent quotient (IQ), as well as memory and executive functions. The brain needs nutrients to build and maintain its structure.
Minerals, particularly iron and selenium, play major roles in cognitive development and maintenance. Further research is suggested to investigate the effects of nutrition, particularly minerals, for cognitive development and maintenance in children.
Click the link below for more information. FX Medicine:
The Palaeolithic diet and cardiometabolic syndrome: Can an ancient diet be the way of the future?
Diet and nutrition play major roles in the prevention and management of chronic disease, especially cardiometabolic syndrome.
Cardiometabolic syndrome has numerous risk factors, including increased waist circumference, elevated blood pressure, elevated triglyceride level, low HDL cholesterol, elevated fasting plasma glucose, chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and a prothrombotic state. There are numerous adverse health conditions related to metabolic syndrome, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Palaeolithic diet may be associated with lower levels of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. Palaeolithic nutrition improved risk factors for chronic disease, such as improvements in waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and triglyceride, HDL cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose levels.
I ask the following question: can an ancient diet be the way of the future? Time will tell…
McEwen BJ. The Palaeolithic diet and cardiometabolic syndrome: Can an ancient diet be the way of the future?, Advances in Integrative Medicine, 2018 Apr, 5(1): 38-40. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212958818300144)
Good health starts in the gut. To quote Hippocrates, “all disease begins in the gut”!
I highly recommend The complete gut health cookbook by @chefpeteevans and @helenpadarin . A highly essential guide to improving the health of the digestive system and beyond. Did you know that there are direct links between the gut, the brain, and the immune system?
This book contains information on:
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The superfood antioxidant power punch 🥊 any time of the day.
Açai is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Combine Açai with seasonal fruit, kiwi, banana, strawberries, berries, chia seeds, coconut, nuts, seeds, and granola = awesome!
This is my “go to” for breakfast or snack, or any time of the day, actually. Highly nutritious, packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and tastes great.
Optimum nutrition leads to optimum health!
Enjoy your day 😎