From the FENS Congress in Berlin

Euro congress tackles ‘syndrome X'

By Shane STARLING

- Last updated on GMT

“People tend to cut out fats for weight loss, however these foods often contain vitamin E, and therefore result in reduced intake of this micronutrient.”
“People tend to cut out fats for weight loss, however these foods often contain vitamin E, and therefore result in reduced intake of this micronutrient.”

Related tags Metabolic syndrome Nutrition

Vitamin E and prebiotics are important in the 21st century battle against ‘syndrome X’ – the umbrella term given to a collection of chronic maladies including obesity, inflammation, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the FENS congress has heard.

The Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS) heard DSM and Beneo-sponsored sessions that presented research supporting the role of these nutrients and the likes of omega-3 in battling syndrome X or metabolic syndrome. Other ailments include raised blood pressure and erectile dysfunction.

The syndrome is estimated to effect up to half of western world adults, with obesity figures often counting for about a third of many populations. Syndrome X sufferers are more prone to heart attack, stroke and circulation issues.

Presentations at the DSM session showed NAFLD could be reversed via calorie-restricted diets and increasing antioxidant intake like vitamin E, which has been shown to have reduced bioavailability in those with the syndrome.

In the European Union vitamin E has an authorised claim that states: “Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress”.

“Obesity is one of the risk factors of metabolic syndrome and these individuals are advised to alter the diet to improve overall health,” ​said Richard Bruno, vitamin E researcher and professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University.

“People tend to cut out fats for weight loss, however these foods often contain vitamin E, and therefore result in reduced intake of this micronutrient.”

He said specific intake recommendations were needed for those with metabolic syndrome, which may be different to guidelines for the normal population.

Carbs and Syndrome X

The Beneo event featured presentations about carbohydrate foods to reduce their impact on erratic blood sugar levels – another syndrome X factor and pre-cursor to heart disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes and more.

He said pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes often went unreported and so pharma interventions often came too late.

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“It is affecting people at a much lower age,” ​said GI foods expert and professor Jeyakumar Henry, director of clinical nutritional science at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences.

In a statement he added: “Using experimental and clinical intervention studies, we have shown how carbohydrate-rich foods can be reformulated to minimise glucose response in the human body.”

Dr Patrice Cani, from the Metabolism and Research department of the Louvain Drug Research Institute at University Catholique in Louvain in Belgium, has been researching how microbiota-influencing prebiotics like inulin can affect other bodily functions and systems.

Later he said: “Prebiotic-induced change in the gut flora increases gut peptides involved in appetite regulation, glucose metabolism, energy homeostasis and gut barrier function. Hence, the prebiotics inulin and oligofructose have the potential to manage obesity and related metabolic disorders.”

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