If you are watching what you eat, working out, and still not seeing improvements in your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc., here's some hope. A new report suggests that inflammation induced by deficiencies in vitamins and minerals might be the culprit.
The researchers show that - in some people - improvement results in many of the major markers of health when nutritional deficiencies are corrected. Some even lost weight without a change in their diet or levels of activity.
"It is well known that habitual consumption of poor diets means increased risk of future disease, but clearly this is not a compelling enough reason for many to improve their eating habits," said Bruce Ames, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. "However, a relatively easy intervention with something like the nutrient bar used in this study may help people to realize the positive impact that a diet with adequate nutrition can have in their daily lives, which may be a stronger incentive for change."
For the study in The FASEB Journal, Ames and colleagues undertook three clinical trials in which adults ate two nutrient bars each day for two months. Participants acted as their own controls, meaning that changes in a wide variety of biochemical (e.g., HDL-c, LDL-c, insulin) and physical (e.g., blood pressure, weight) measurements were recorded in each individual over the two-month period.
People who were overweight/obese moved in a healthier metabolic direction (e.g., improved HDL, LDL, insulin, glucose, etc.), and some lost weight by just eating small, low-calorie, nutrient bars each day for two months, without any additional requirements.