Healthy diet and lifestyle can help avert metabolic disorders: HCFI

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Avoid exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and consumption of processed food

New Delhi, 22 May 2019: A recent study has found that people exposed to chemicals have an increased risk of acquiring metabolic disorders. They found that certain chemicals can lead to impaired liver function and thereby an increased likelihood of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The need of the hour is to raise awareness about the incidence and prevention of metabolic disorders.

Common additives used to manufacture plastics can be found in everyday items including milk, bottled water, instant coffee, perfume, makeup, shampoo, toys and food packaging. Exposure to certain chemicals called endocrine disruptors can also cause infertility and other issues.

Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Our internal and external environment can affect our metabolism. Our bodies are composed of five elements, and all of them are responsible for different functions. For example, air and space affect movement; fire and water affect metabolism; and water and earth affect all secretions and structures. The three negative emotions that are responsible for diseases include ‘ignorance, hatred and desire.’ Physical sickness is caused by hatred, which further leads to disharmony of the bile. Diseases that stem from the middle and upper part of the body are caused by the mental emotion called hatred. In Ayurveda, this is called as ‘Pitta’ disorder and the person experiences metabolic and digestive issues. They can also be caused by eating unhealthy food or exposure to harmful chemicals and substances.”

A less commonly known source of an endocrine disruptor called bisphenol A (BPA), is paper money. Present in trace quantities, BPA is a chemical found in some plastics and other consumer products. BPA may be associated with behavioral and reproductive issues.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “The incidence of metabolic syndrome was low in the Vedic era. People kept a weekly fast with no carbohydrate intake. They followed a vegetarian diet which was preventive in nature. The only example of probable metabolic syndrome in mythology was of Lord Ganesha with increased abdominal circumference with preference for eating sweets or laddoos.”

Ganesha pooja is incomplete without the use of durva grass, consumption of bel, katha (cathechu) and jamun. In Ayurveda, these are known to possess anti-metabolic syndrome properties (insulin sensitizers).

Some tips from HCFI

  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight for your height.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Limit sodium intake to under 2,300 milligrams a day (one teaspoon of salt) and get plenty of potassium (at least 4,700 mg per day) from fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  • Reduce stress.

Steroids not superior to placebo in patients with mild persistent asthma and low sputum eosinophils

Health Care Comments Off

NIH: Inhaled steroids are often used to treat people with mild persistent asthma, but now a new study suggests that mild persistent asthma can be managed safely without daily steroid use.

The study of patients with mild persistent asthma found that inhaled steroids were no more effective than placebo in nearly three-fourths of the study patients, all older than age 12. Inhaled steroids were better than placebo for a subset of the patients who had high levels of eosinophils, in their sputum, but they represented about a fourth of patients enrolled in the trial.

The study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health was published online on May 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The findings were also presented at the international conference of the American Thoracic Society in Dallas.

The multicenter study included 295 people over the age of 12 with mild persistent asthma. The researchers further divided the group based on low or high sputum eosinophil levels (low = less than 2%; high = greater than or equal to 2%). The subjects were randomized to three treatment groups for 12-week periods: inhaled steroids (mometasone), long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA; tiotropium), a nonsteroidal treatment for uncontrolled asthma, or placebo. By the end of the study, every participant had received each treatment.

A surprising finding of the study was that nearly 73% (n=221) of the participants were classified as having low sputum eosinophils.

Among those participants who were classified as “Eos-low,” the number who responded better to active treatment with steroids was no different than the number who responded better to placebo, whereas, those who were classified as “Eos-high” were nearly three times as likely to respond to inhaled steroids than placebo.
Among those who were ‘Eos-low’ and had a better response to one of the treatments, 60% had superior results on LAMA, versus 40% who had better symptom control on placebo.
Previous research has shown almost 50% of patients with mild persistent asthma have less than 2% eosinophils in sputum and that most patients with low eosinophils do not respond well to steroid treatment. But, sputum eosinophils are not routinely measured.

The findings of this study now indicate that it may be possible to target particular therapies to subsets of patients, such as those with high or low eosinophil biomarkers, for more effective treatments.

(Source: NIH)

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA