Back to Back Issues Page

Health News U Can Use
Syndrome X and Detox
Issue #002 – June 16, 2004

In this Issue...

  1. Syndrome X-The Silent Killer? Why a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet could give you a heart attack.
  2. Detoxification: Summer Is a Great Time to Do It.
  3. Medicinary News: Ultraclear and Fish Oil
  4. Recipe: Brown Rice - You need to know this one.

1. Syndrome X

Syndrome X is also called "insulin resistance syndrome," and is as powerful a predictor of coronary heart disease as elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol, if not more so. Few people know about it and their doctors are not telling them.

People with insulin resistance require greater amounts of insulin to get blood sugar into your cells for energy production. About 23-30% of Americans are insulin resistant.

When you are insulin resistant your pancreas makes large amounts of insulin to get its job done. In diabetes the amount of insulin made does not get the job done and blood sugar levels increase in the blood stream.

Its the large amounts of circulating insulin that is the first in a series of events which triggers the damage to arteries that may precipitate a heart attack. That's why simply lowering total cholesterol or bad cholesterol won't solve the problem. And its why the low-fat, high carbohydrate is so dangerous with this disorder. Remember, carbohydrates become glucose, and glucose is sugar and must be herded into certain cells by insulin. More carbo's equals more glucose equals more insulin: that's the formula for disaster for those with this "unknown" syndrome. Even if you never develop diabetes you can still suffer the effects of insulin resistance greatly increasing your risk of coronary artery disease.

Who is likely to get Syndrome X?

  • People of non-European origin
  • Family medical history of heart attacks, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

Lifestyle factors that worsen Syndrome X

  • Improper diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Cigarette smoking

Syndrome X risk factors

  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • High Insulin levels
  • Elevated triglycerides (blood fats)
  • Low HDL "good cholesterol"
  • Slow clearance of fat from the blood
  • Smaller, more dense LDL "bad" choesterol particles
  • Increased risk of blood clotting
  • Elevated blood pressure.

The Solution

  1. Diagnosis
  2. Diet
  3. Weight Loss
  4. Physical activity
  5. Health Lifestyle Habits
  6. Medical Intervention (if necessary).

The solution to Syndrome X is based on rigorous scientific research. It is safe, effective and very easy to follow. The dietary changes are easily to implement and taste good. Since it’s nutritionally balanced, all family members can share the same food. The strategy you adopt depends on you lab tests and how many aspects of Syndrome X you have and how severe they are. But even if you are only standing on the precipice of Syndrome X, adopting and maintaining a preventive program now will greatly enhance your heart health for the rest of your life.

If you are concerned you may have risk factors for Syndrome X, call 503-434-6515 and ask for an appointment to have Dr. Dickson assess you.

For more information: Syndrome X The Silent Killer by Gerald Reaven, M.D., Terry Kristen Strom, MBA., and Barry Fox, Ph.D. ISBN 0-684-86862-8.

2. Why should I Do a Detox Program?

Toxic burden

By the age of 65, the average American has eaten 50 tons of food. Our food supply contains 1.2 billion lbs/yr pesticides on fresh produce, 2,800 FDA approved food additives, 5 million lbs/yr of antibiotics to grow animals faster, herbicides, etc. The EPA estimates that 40 percent of fresh water in the United States in unusable. There are 1,300 different chemicals in the average EPA approved city drinking water. About 1/4 of the America population experiences adverse effects from exposure to heavy metals. There are 100,000 chemicals in commercial use, 25% are known to be hazardous.

Investigators in previous studies have suggested that toxic substances may play a role in the interruption of cellular energy production and may produce symptoms in chronically ill patients. Scientific literature suggests an association between impaired detoxification and certain diseases, including cancer, Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

If you breathe, eat, or drink you are exposed to these toxins. The National Human Adipose Tissue Survey, a project of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, reveals to what extent this is true. Since 1976, fat samples have been taken from cadavers and from elective surgery patients all over the U.S. to be measured for toxins. A total of 20 toxic compounds were found in 87% of samples.

Detoxification therapies are designed to lessen exposure to toxic substances while facilitating the physiological processes associated with elimination of toxins from the body. Detox is accomplished by a combination of controlled calorie intake, lowering the toxic load through the use of oligoantigenic (low allergic potential) foods, and enhanced intake of specific nutrients that are important for the nutritional support of hepatic detoxification and gastrointestinal mucosal integrity.

What a cleansing program can do for you

Symptoms that will improve most rapidly will be those related to energy/activity, digestive function (bloating, gas, alternating constipation and diarrhea, intestinal pain after eating), mood/mind/emotions, sleep, and muscle pain. Additional symptoms that can be expected to improve relate to eye pain when reading, headaches, and skin problems.

Other symptoms of toxicity

  • A history of increasing sensitivity to chemicals in the environment
  • Abundant use of medications or potential toxic chemicals in the home or work place.
  • Sensitivity to odors and medications
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Cognitive dysfunction (your mind doesn’t work)
  • Unilateral paresthesia (one sided numbness)
  • Recurrent patterns of edema (swelling)
  • Worsening of symptoms after anesthesia or pregnancy
  • Paradoxical responses to medications or supplements

The majority of detoxification occurs through the liver and secondarily through the intestinal mucosal wall. There are two distinct phases in the biochemical process related to detoxification. The Phase I and Phase II processes biochemically transform toxins into progressively more water-soluble, and therefore excretable, compounds though a series of chemical reactions.

Proper functioning of both phases is essential because the reactive intermediate metabolites produced during Phase I may be more harmful or toxic than the original toxin. The two phases must be functioning in balance to successfully complete the detoxification process. In the most common scenario of detoxification, the Phase I reaction produces a reactive intermediate that is further transformed by a Phase II activity. A consequence of this intermediate step of transforming toxins to harmless excretable metabolites is an increase in oxidant stress and its free radical generation. Because of this, less tissue damage occurs when these reactive intermediates are promptly and efficiently acted upon by the Phase II reaction.

The Phase Ii reactions require cofactors, which must be replenished through dietary sources, and energy in the form of ATP. The Phase II conjugation enzyme systems are dependant on the presence of adequate amounts of cofactors and conjugation moieties, such as glutathione, sulfate, and glycine. Therefore, nutritional insufficiencies of these cofactors can be deleterious to adequate balance of Phase I and Phase II activity.

Overview of a good detox program

  • Decrease the toxic load. Remove foods and beverages that are likely to contain toxins, food allergens, or antigenic challenge
  • Meet the basic daily nutritional needs of the individual, including adequate, high biological value protein.
  • Provide increased amounts of nutrients that function as cofactors for, or are otherwise required in, the enzyme steps that occur in the biotransformation of toxins.
  • Provide adequate hydration with clean water to promote elimination of biotransformed toxins.

A complete detoxification program for some individuals may also require optimizing body composition by decreasing fatty tissue stores and thus the toxins within the tissue. If you would like to experience the benefits of detoxification on your health, call 503-434-6515 for more information.

3. Medicinary News

UltraClear Plus

This powdered formula has been researched and clinically tested for 20 years and used in clinics worldwide to support healthy detoxification. This formula offers patients the support htey need and the record of safety and efficacy health professionals rely on for excellent patient outcomes. By supporting detoxification pathways, UltraClear Plus helps the body rid itself of toxins that can negatively impact short-and long-term health. Detoxification is a heavily nutritient-dependent process that requires key nutritional factors and optimal forms and ratios of macro-and micronutrients. Truly effective and healthy detoxification requires the nutritional support found in UltraClear Plus. I have used this product for almost 20 years and am frequently amazed by the improvement in energy, pain, and mood it produces for my detox patients.

Fish Oil

Perhaps more than any other dietary component, the omega-3 fatty acids continue to be shown by scientific studies to be essential to optimum maintenance of health and the prevention or management of often-intractable chronic disease. Over 50 studies have examined the effects of natural, stable fish oil. Fish oils differ in their efficacy, largely due to their degree of processing and stability. Our pharmacy dispenses the finest pure pharmaceutical grade fish oil with high concentrations of EPA and DHA stabilized with vitamin E, but with virtually no fish odor or taste. Just as importantly, I scrutinize independent laboratory analyses for each fish oil I carry to insure they contain the lowest levels of PCBs, DDT, dioxins, furans, and mercury of any oil available on the worldwide market. A high quality fish oil can make an important difference for patients with arthritis, lupus, irritable bowel disease, asthma, skin diseases, heart disease (reducing cholesterol, blood pressure and blood clots) and any illness with fatigue as a symptom.

4. Brown Rice - A Healthy Staple

Use an organic long grain brown rice. Rinse thoroughly. Add twice as much water as rice to cooking pan. Make enough for several days. Add 1/2 tsp of olive oil for every 2 cups of rice. Bring to a slow boil, uncovered for 3 minutes. Cover and reduce to low heat. Cook 30-35 minutes. Season with flax seed oil, tahini, Spike, or Braggs. Enjoy with fresh steamed veggies, fish, poultry, or tofu. Remember that balance in the body is what helps to create health. Make sure to nurture your mind to keep it quick, your body to maintain physical health, and your spirit and emotional life to keep you positive and happy.

Back to Back Issues Page