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Europe: DSM symposium focuses on Vitamin E intake, metabolic syndrome

Happy fatty woman with umbrella

DSM hosted a satellite symposium alongside the 12th European Nutrition Conference FENS recently to discuss the role of micronutrients, including vitamin E and omega-3s, in a targeted approach to address the risk factors in metabolic syndrome.

The condition has a high prevalence around the globe and encompasses numerous health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Through communication of cutting-edge research, the event demonstrated that nutrition-associated solutions can play a major role in tackling these key global health concerns.

The program included talks by various scientists and nutritionists from leading European universities.

The discussion highlighted that while metabolic syndrome is an increasingly worrying concern, it can be delayed or treated with targeted nutrition.

For example, NAFLD can be reversed rapidly by strict caloric restriction and control, as well as increased vitamin E intake due to its antioxidant function.

NSH UK says omega-3s have been shown to address NAFLD and lipid disorders, such as high triglyceride level, which increases the risk of heart disease.

The presentations also demonstrated that genotype can play an important role in the way the body processes micronutrients.

For example, in hypertensives with a particular mutation of an enzyme involved in folate metabolism, the provision of riboflavin (vitamin B2) can compensate for this genetic variation and contribute to lower blood pressure.

A study by Oregon State University states carriers of this genotype have higher blood pressure throughout life, compared to matched controls.

About 34% of US adults have metabolic syndrome, putting them additionally at higher risk of heart disease, stroke and damaged blood vessels, says the American Heart Association.

Vitamin E intake among sufferers

A recent study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined vitamin E absorption in adults with metabolic syndrome and demonstrated that they absorbed and transported vitamin E in the circulation poorly.

While the healthy adults absorbed up to 29.5% of the vitamin E dose (15 mg), those with metabolic syndrome processed 26.1%.

The study further showed that people with metabolic syndrome had limited absorption of vitamin E and its distribution to the tissues from the bloodstream was slowed.

These findings suggest adults with metabolic syndrome must consume more vitamin E to achieve adequate status. Importantly, because adverse consequences of liver disease can be slowed by high vitamin E intakes, poor vitamin E status may lead to greater secondary consequence of metabolic syndrome.

“Further research is required into what prevents individuals with metabolic syndrome from achieving optimal vitamin E status, but it is likely due to greater inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, causing increased breakdown of vitamin E,” says Maret Traber, Helen P. Rumbel professor for Micronutrient Research and director of Oxidative/Nitrative Stress Core Laboratory in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

She is also the co-author of the paper.

“Higher vitamin E intake is required to achieve its antioxidant protection, which may help to prevent or delay the onset of the disease risks associated with the condition.”