Metabolic Syndrome: A Recurring Risk Factor

Metabolic Syndrome: A Recurring Risk Factor

Quick overview of what we’ll cover in this blog post:

  • Metabolic syndrome, along with aging, is one of the biggest risk factors for most chronic diseases.
  • The combination of insulin resistance, high levels of inflammation, and elevated lipids increases risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, among other chronic diseases
  • Preventing or reversing metabolic syndrome is one of the most powerful things we can do to live healthier for longer.

As discussed in previous blogs here and here, being metabolically unhealthy – or, having metabolic syndrome – can have far-ranging implications for our overall health and longevity.

Aside from the direct consequences of being metabolically unhealthy, there is an equally concerning aspect to metabolic syndrome. It is, next to aging, one of the biggest risk factors for most chronic diseases. Its impact goes far beyond diabetes and fatty liver disease, which are extremes of metabolic syndrome.

Having high levels of inflammation, being insulin resistant, and having elevated lipids sets the stage for many other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

Let’s explore each disease and its connection to metabolic syndrome further:

  • Cardiovascular or heart disease is the largest cause of death in the US. An incredible 25% of all U.S. deaths are related to heart disease.1 The Framingham Heart Study, which was performed in 1979, was one of the first studies that demonstrated a link between diabetes and heart disease.2 It was found that metabolic syndrome and the ensuing bodily inflammation damages the arteries and veins, which leads to heart disease. Similarly, high LDL and elevated blood pressure, two things commonly seen in metabolically unfit individuals, are also highly correlated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Moving on to the second largest cause of death in the US, cancer, we also see a scary connection between metabolic syndrome and cancer incidence. The high levels of insulin and glucose common in metabolic syndrome are associated with increased cancer risk.3 Similarly, chronic inflammation also elevates risk of cancer, metastasis, and death.4 These connections show that a metabolically unhealthy body sets the stage for cells in the body to behave in abnormal fashion, greatly increasing risk for cancer.
  • Lastly, a cursory look at the literature in Alzheimer’s, which is actually being called diabetes Type-3 now, also demonstrates a well-established link between metabolic health and dementia.5 Elevated glucose levels were associated with increased risk for all types of dementia. Similarly, diabetes and prediabetes increase the risk for cognitive decline.6 And insulin resistance, which we’ve explored extensively, also affects neurons, leading to impaired brain health.7 It is clear that the link between metabolic health and Alzheimer’s (among other types of dementia) is strong.

In conclusion, while metabolic syndrome may only prove directly fatal in the most extreme of cases, being metabolically unhealthy sets the stage for many of these chronic diseases. Taking the necessary steps to prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome is one of the most powerful longevity levers we have.

Note: The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.