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Vitamins C and E linked to metabolic syndrome in low-income Ecuadorians
Date:1/4/2011

BOSTON (January 4, 2010) With life expectancy increasing in Latin America, age-related disease has become a pressing public health concern. Results of an epidemiological study conducted by researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and the Corporacion Ecuatoriana de Biotecnologia showed that the metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, was prevalent in a low-income urban community in Ecuador and that a poor diet low in micronutrients appeared to contribute.

The study enrolled 225 women and 127 men age 65 and older, living in three low-income neighborhoods on the outskirts of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The authors examined the relationship between the metabolic syndrome and micronutrients such as folate, zinc and vitamins C, B12 and E. The participants reported their food intake in biweekly interviews and provided blood samples.

Using the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) definition, the authors determined that 40 % of the population had the metabolic syndrome, with a disproportionate number of women affected: 81 % compared to 19% of the men, which the authors attribute to more of the women being overweight. According to the IDF, the metabolic syndrome is present in centrally obese men and women, as defined by hip and waist measurements, with at least two of the four following metabolic risk factors: raised triglycerides, reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, raised blood pressure, and raised fasting plasma glucose (blood sugar).

"In this population of low-income Ecuadorians, we observed a pattern of high carbohydrate, high sodium diets lacking in healthy fats and good sources of protein. Our blood analyses indicates a significant number of participants weren't consuming enough of a range of micronutrients," says senior author Simin Nikbin Meydani, PhD, DVM, d
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Contact: Andrea Grossman
617-636-3728
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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