Is Metabolic Syndrome Now a Better Predictor of Heart Disease?
For many years now there have been six risk factors that have been considered the “Gold Standard” for identifying persons at risk for developing heart disease. These have included: 1) high blood pressure, 2) diabetes, 3) family history of heart disease, 4) high LDL (bad) cholesterol, 5) smoking history and 6) obesity with a body mass index of > 25.
As I pointed out in my book, Fructose Exposed, I feel a more accurate predictor of heart disease is the metabolic syndrome. This is defined as suffering from three of five of the following: 1) central (waistline) obesity, 2) elevated triglycerides, 3) reduced HDL (good) cholesterol, 4) high blood pressure and 5) diabetes.
The metabolic syndrome is caused by altered metabolism of dietary fructose that is consumed in excess on a daily basis. The “Gold Standard” risk factors for heart disease were determined by observing people in a study based in Framingham, MA several decades ago.
A group of scientists have now compared these two sets of risk factors to see which are a better predictor of blood vessel inflammation and therefore, an increased risk of developing heart disease. The study was quite revealing and supports the thesis of my book.
More blood vessel inflammation was seen in people suffering from metabolic syndrome than in individuals who had been identified by the “Gold Standard” for heart disease. The importance of this study is very apparent once you understand the metabolism of fructose. This sugar leads directly to metabolic syndrome and is reversible in most individuals who fast from fructose for several weeks and then maintain a low daily intake of this sugar indefinitely.
To better understand the dangers of chronic, daily excess fructose, check out my book on this topic: Fructose Exposed.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings October, 2012; 87: 968-975.
Fructose Exposed 2010.