Metabolic syndrome may be linked to vitamin deficiency

Many Americans who suffer from the cluster of conditions, known as metabolic syndrome, may be deficient in vitamin E, according to a new study.

Metabolic syndrome affects one third of the population and is defined as anyone who has at least 3 of the 5 markers that increase risk for heart disease and diabetes; excess belly fat, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and triglycerides, and high LDL cholesterol.

Researchers at Ohio State University found that people with metabolic syndrome absorb less vitamin E than healthy people. It is rare to have vitamin E deficiency in a developed country like the U.S., but it seems that a significant portion of the population has “sub-optimal” absorption of the nutrient. This means that they are not benefitting from the antioxidants found in vitamin E.

Now the question is, does the vitamin E deficiency cause the metabolic syndrome, or does the metabolic syndrome cause the deficiency? More research will have to be done to know for sure.


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