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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Aug 9, 2019



Metabolic syndrome is a nasty group of problems that might kill you but certainly will make your life miserable.  If you have any 3 of these 5 issues, namely central obesity or a body like a pear, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, high blood triglycerides, or low high density lipoproteins, then you’ve got metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic syndrome is accompanied by excess body oxidation and it puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and mental dullness deteriorating into dementia.


Researchers at Oregon State University now show that the type of overeating and fat consumption that triggers metabolic syndrome also causes a body depletion of Vitamin C since less is absorbed.  This critical anti-oxidant works in tandem with another anti-oxidant, Vitamin E, to put a lid on tissue inflammation.  If your Vitamin C levels are low, your Vitamin E stores then begin to drain as your body makes hopeless efforts to prevent oxidative inflammation.  At this point, the sickening consequences of metabolic syndrome begin to appear.


The good news?  You can prevent all this by eating plenty of  vitamin-rich fresh fruits and vegetables that prevent obesity, blood sugar chaos, and lipid problems.  The triad that will prevent metabolic syndrome is ONE - dietary moderation except for fruits and vegetables, TWO - exercise, and THREE - stress elimination. 


If you think that you may have metabolic syndrome, have your doctors check on your levels of Vitamins C and E.  If you are depleted, remember that Vitamin C abounds in citrus fruits and know that Vitamin E is found in almonds and wheat germ.  Nutritional guidelines suggest at least 90 milligrams (mg.) of Vitamin C and 15 milligrams of Vitamin E each day.  Just be aware that vitamin supplements are never a substitute for a balanced diet so eat real food rather than wolfing down pills.


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