Feb. 21, 2011 — Two/thirds of adults with high cholesterol and half with high blood pressure are not being treated effectively for these conditions, according to a recent announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This disturbing data spotlights the crucial need for new solutions to reduce the risk factors that are behind the current epidemic of chronic illness in the U.S.
“Changing our lifestyles is the only way to overcome our nation’s chronic disease epidemic”, said Jeff Bland, PhD, FACN, FACB, the chief science officer for Metagenics Inc. “Doctors must be provided with the tools and training to practice lifestyle medicine, so that they can help their patients become healthier and reduce the incidence of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.”
Today, a third of American adults suffer (most, unknowingly) from metabolic syndrome, the presence of three or more of five metabolic abnormalities: high cholesterol, hypertension, central obesity, elevated blood sugar, or high triglycerides. People with metabolic syndrome have more than double the risk for diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Leading health authorities recommend initially treating metabolic syndrome with lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. But most doctors don’t have the know-how or resources to actually implement lifestyle medicine.
An increasing number of physicians are using Metagenics’ unique lifestyle therapy program, called FirstLine Therapy (www.firstlinetherapy.com), to address their patients’ needs for lifestyle change. A key component of FirstLine Therapy is the use of a lifestyle educator to coach patients and help them adopt long-term, healthy habits. This allows the doctor to practice lifestyle medicine while actually increasing his or her patient load. In addition to ongoing professional supervision, the program features a scientifically-validated combination of medical foods, diet, and exercise and bioelectrical impedance technology to measure body composition and other health status indicators.
According to Guy DaSilva, M.D., Sarasota, Florida, “FirstLine Therapy gives us a tool that is much more effective than any medicine I have prescribed. Patients go on medical foods, including a healthier diet, and the biomarkers actually change.”
“I’m now able to do the kind of therapy that’s quoted in the literature as the most appropriate treatment for many of my patients with chronic illnesses,” noted John Wilson, MD, Daly City, California. “It’s much more rewarding to see people actually change their body composition and become healthier and happier. This is what I went into medicine for.”
“We see profound and substantial changes in people with chronic disease, far more than we have seen with anything else,” commented Kenneth Welker, MD, Eugene, Ore.
Results of a recently completed multicenter clinical trial conducted by the University of Connecticut, University of Florida, and the University of California at Irvine indicate that FirstLine Therapy significantly outperformed diet alone in reducing several risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
“We’ve known that certain food components are more healthful than others, and that diet and exercise play a role in keeping us healthy,” noted Bland. “Now, the science is there to tell us how to harness the therapeutic properties of certain nutrients to actually turn back the progression of chronic disease. We can measure these effects at the cellular level, showing how the body’s chemistry is actually changing.”
Bland added, “Not only do patient outcomes improve, but as a preventive tactic, lifestyle medicine is far less expensive than treating chronic diseases after they develop. And, physicians are inspired by being able to see patients get well, instead of treating just their symptoms.”
Source: Metagenics Inc., www.metagenics.com