Tooth Decay Precursor of Metabolic Syndrome?
Before we examine the dangers of the various artificial sweeteners, let’s take some time to delve further into just what makes excess sugar in our diets so unhealthy.
As explained in Part One of his book,
More than a third of Americans meet the criterion for this potentially fatal condition and experts believe it will take over as the leading cause of heart disease and eventually bankrupt our health system.However, despite these alarming statistics, many people still do not know about Metabolic Syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of high risk factors that seriously increase your chance of developing diabetes, heart attack and strokes. It is caused by high blood sugar - or chronic hyperglycemia. Essentially, chronic hyperglycemia is brought on by eating too many carbohydrates.
What does Metabolic Syndrome look like?
It looks like high blood sugar, extra abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Specifically, Metabolic Syndrome occurs when a person has three or more of the following most widely used measurements:
1. Abdominal obesity - a waist circumference over 102 cm (40 in) in men and over 88 cm (35 inches) in women;
2. A triglyceride level of 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or greater;
3. HDL cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women
4. Systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater;
5. Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) of 85 mm Hg or greater;
6. Fasting glucose of 100 mg/dL or greater;
7. Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (the body can't properly use insulin or blood sugar)
If a person has just one of these risk factors - it is an important indicator that health changes need to be implemented immediately. In combination they raise the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes significantly.
In addition to consuming too much sugar, the underlying causes of metabolic syndrome are obesity, being overweight, physical inactivity and genetic factors. Dentists who see patients who regularly have tooth decay as a result of consuming a modern diet high in refined sugar are actually seeing the first signs of Metabolic Syndrome. Unfortunately, most conventional dentists are unaware of this connection and as a result are unable to warn their patients about the potential of this serious health condition. To the contrary, most dentists simply inform their patients to brush more often and perhaps to eat a few less sweets.
Although Metabolic Syndrome is a very serious condition, it is very responsive to changes in diet. Some researchers define this condition as “physiological markers that respond to a reduction in dietary carbohydrates.” You can turn your health around by significantly reducing your weight; increasing your physical activity; eating a healthy diet as described in the book,
"Supplemental Content." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.