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

irector of the USDA HNRCA and the Nutritional Immunology Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA. "After adjusting for age and sex, we observed significant relationships between the metabolic syndrome and two of the micronutrients, vitamins C and E."

"As a group, the participants did not exhibit low blood levels of vitamin E," Meydani continues. "The association suggests that having higher blood levels of vitamin E may protect against the metabolic syndrome." However, low blood levels of vitamin C were seen in 82% of the participants, which the authors suspect was due to limited intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. The bulk of the participants' calories came from white rice, potatoes, sugar and white bread. The authors noted 55% of the women and 33% of the men were overweight.

"With high-calorie foods lacking essential nutrients serving as pillars of the diet, it is possible to be both overweight and malnourished," Meydani says. "Our data suggests that limited consumption of nutrient dense foods such as chicken, vegetables and legumes makes this small population of Ecuadorian elders even more susceptible to the metabolic syndrome."

Additionally, Meydani and colleagues observed a significant relationship between the metabolic syndrome and C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of low-grade inflammation that has been associated with cardiovascular disease risk. High CRP blood concentrations were seen in almost half of the population.

The results, published online ahead of print in the journal Public Health Nutrition, build on the authors' previous observational study which noted a high prevalence of two metabolic risk factors -elevated waist circumference and low HDL cholesterol levels- in a population of low income, older Ecuadorian adults.

Meydani, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, says the results of the present
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Contact: Andrea Grossman
617-636-3728
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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