March 17, 2010

How diabetics can avoid vascular disease

If you have weight-related diabetes, you probably know that you have a higher risk for vascular disease. Diabetic adults fall to vascular disease two to four times more often than non-diabetics. So it's vital you protect your vascular system from damage. Fortunately, a recent study found that a familiar vitamin can protect you and help reduce your risk. What's more, it can help even if you don't lose the extra pounds.

In this study, the researchers gave diabetic mice folic acid. They used non-diabetic mice as controls. Then they studied the mice for vascular relaxation.

They found that the aortas in the diabetic mice had significant damage compared to the lean mice. Then they found that folic acid restored normal aorta function.

They also found that a protein called resistin was seven times higher in the diabetes group. This protein fans inflammation. Folic acid, at a human dose of 5 mg reduced this protein by 25%.

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But that's not all. They also discovered that the mice they supplemented with folic acid had a higher ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione. Reduced glutathione is your body's premier detoxifier and free radical scavenger. You don't want it to oxidize.

The researchers also found that folic acid participates in the all-important nitric oxide pathway. Nitric oxide is the chemical that dilates your arteries, keeping them healthy.

And, finally, they said that folic acid helps regulate insulin and cellular stress responses.

I discussed the importance of folic acid for some people in a recent issue of Second Opinion. I addressed the use of large doses of the vitamin in cancer prevention. I pointed out that many people (up to 20%) have a genetic slow down in folic acid metabolism. Some research and practitioners suggest that you can overcome this block with large doses of folic acid (5 mg or more per day).

Others, including my friend Jonathan Wright, MD, suggest using the supplement FolaPro (Metagenics) for all suspected folic acid problems. That's under the fair assumption that anyone could have this very common genetic trait. I agree. FolaPro use (one to two tablets per day) can help you specifically address folic acid problems without having to use very large amounts of folic acid. And it can help no matter what your genetic makeup is.

You can order FolaPro through many health food stores and on the Internet.

Yours for better health and medical freedom,

Ref: Seto SW, Lam TY, Or PM, Lee WY, Au AL, Poon CC, Li RW, Chan SW, Yeung JH, Leung GP, Lee SM, Ngai SM, Kwan YW. Folic acid consumption reduces resistin level and restores blunted acetylcholine-induced aortic relaxation in obese/diabetic mice. J Nutr Biochem. 2009 Oct 30. Published Online Ahead of Print.

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