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From the Townsend Letter
May 2007


Metabolic Syndrome X – As Defined Through Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) Patterns
by Dr. David L. Watts

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The metabolic syndrome has no defined etiology that can be targeted by specific treatment, and its use in predicting risks for cardiovascular disease has proven disappointing as well (Kohli et al. 2006). Kahn et al. stated that the new definitions of MSX have major flaws (Kahn R et al. 2005). The definition of MSX is assumed to predict diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), but in fact includes diabetes and CVD. The American Heart Association (AHA) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) have been at odds over the clinical relevance of the metabolic syndrome. The ADA feels that MSX is poorly defined and misleading, and there is no consensus of agreement as to the utility of the grouping of risk factors associated with MSX (Mitka 2006).

It is obvious from the above discussion that the development of MSX is complex and multi-causal. The condition involves not only genetic, lifestyle, environmental, and emotional factors; development and progression is greatly influenced by neuroendocrine and nutritional imbalances.

HTMA may serve as a useful screening tool for assessing individuals with a predisposition toward MSX. Further research will undoubtedly show that HTMA patterns will provide not only an indication of MSX but also reveal factors contributing to the underlying progression of the associated syndromes. HTMA will substantially aid in assessment of the collective factors, which is necessary for determining a specific, targeted nutritional approach in treatment and prevention.

In reviewing this paper, one should be cautious about drawing conclusions and making applications. There are not only biological differences contributing to diabetes and CVD, but also biological variability among each metabolic type. One should not assume that there exists a single mineral pattern and, therefore, a single nutritional approach for all individuals who have MSX. There are several subtype mineral patterns associated with each metabolic type. Consequently, each person should be assessed and treated as an individual rather than grouped under a broad category of disease or syndrome. With the recognition of biological individuality that can be assessed through HTMA and other methods, the concept of one diet or nutritional approach for diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions is obsolete and can no longer be justified. Quoting Ann Coulston, "Changes in philosophy, scientific recommendations, and terminology shift the nutrition management of diabetes from a mathematical to a cognitive process…" (Coulston 1994). This statement is true for the treatment of most health conditions and provides the opportunity for increasing the effectiveness of nutritional therapy.

Dr. David L. Watts, Director of Research
Trace Elements, Incorporated
4501 Sunbelt Drive, Addison, Texas 75001 USA
(800) 824-2314
(972) 250-6410
Fax: (972) 248-4896

Reprinted with permission from Trace Elements, Inc. Newsletter. January-April 2007; 17 (1,2).

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