What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is not a single disease, but a constellation of cardiovascular disease risk factors. According to the National Cholesterol Education Program:
If you have 3 or more of the 5 risk factors, then you have metabolic syndrome, and are also more prone to cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes), diabetes, fatty liver disease, and many types of cancer. It is estimated that approximately 1/3 of the United States population and over a billion people in the world have metabolic syndrome. This is a massive epidemic!
Geeky science explanation of metabolic syndrome 🙂
In a study in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, the authors demonstrated that a high fat and low fiber diet, that is typical of the standard American diet, creates impaired junction integrity at the intestinal epithelial barrier. This loss of intestinal barrier integrity contributes to chronic inflammation of the liver and adipose tissue that is associated with the development of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and other conditions associated with metabolic syndrome. A major factor in this impaired intestinal barrier integrity is the consumption of pro-inflammatory vegetable oils in the modern diet. Vegetable oils contribute to a high omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio. The typical American now has an omega-6 to 3 ratio of 20:1. A healthy ratio is suggested to be closer to 4:1.
How to prevent metabolic syndrome?
The most important variable for improving metabolic health and insulin resistance is to decrease visceral fat. At BTF, we use the state of the art in body composition analysis with the InBody 570. This bioelectrical impedance device goes beyond traditional body composition analysis, measuring fat, visceral fat and skeletal muscle mass. Males should aim to get their total body fat below 20% and females below 25% and visceral fat below level 10 on the InBody analysis.
As a bonus for reading this article, you can call BTF and schedule a FREE InBody analysis by using the code: Healthy Metabolism
Physical Activity: According to recent CDC data, over 40% of American adults were physically inactive (defined as less than 10 minutes a week of moderate or vigorous activity in each of the physical activity categories of work, leisure time and transportation.
At BTF, we have designed an exercise program in order to combat metabolic syndrome:
BTF Exercise Plan to Prevent Metabolic Syndrome
An alternative to sprinting if you don’t feel physically capable, is to do bike sprints. At BTF, we like the CAR.O.L bike that has built in programs that really help with metabolic fitness.
Diet: We have covered an optimal diet strategy in other articles, The Kind of Food You Eat Matters & Keto-Flex 12-3 Diet. In a study in the journal Cell, the authors demonstrated that a ketogenic diet reversed the effects of diabetes. Avoiding vegetable oils and low quality, high carbohydrate foods and adding more extra virgin olive oil, capsaicin, luteolin, curcumin, cinnamon and rosemary to your diet can help avoid metabolic syndrome. Olive oil is a fruit oil and helps decrease inflammation. Foods that are higher in omega-3 fatty acids are salmon and fish oils, beef and lamb, algae, spinach, walnuts and flaxseeds.
Strategies to eradicate metabolic syndrome:
Since metabolic syndrome is a global epidemic, we need to develop a global culture of physical fitness and healthy dietary goals from cradle to grave. This can include:
- good minimal perinatal care and promotion of breast-feeding for every newborn
- good cooking lessons & basic nutrition knowledge in school education
- creation of more parks and pedestrian walkways during urban development planning
- auto-free days to encourage more outside activities in the community
- educating healthcare providers about the enormous economic cost of the metabolic syndrome epidemic and mandate incentives for preventative care
Why is a chiropractor discussing metabolic syndrome?
The medical model of healthcare in industrialized nations typically has very little focus on preventative care. Doctors of chiropractic have an intense focus on prevention and have hundreds of hours of training in nutrition and physical fitness approaches. As a result, the chiropractor is in an ideal position to lead the way in educating the public about metabolic syndrome and how to prevent it. Our staff at BTF have taken a leadership position in directing our community towards a healthy lifestyle of people that are physically fit and enjoying a disease-free long life. Half of our healthcare facility is designed for strength training our clients and we even have a reformer Pilates instructor that is also certified as a nutrition coach by Precision Nutrition. At BTF, we have made a commitment to targeting the younger population to prevent metabolic syndrome before it happens, which is a better solution than trying to cure it after the fact.
If you want to discuss nutrition and fitness with one of our BTF providers, please call 310-534-1900 or email us at email@example.com.
Cheng CW et al.. Fasting mimicking diet promotes Ngn-3 driven beta-cell regeneration to reverse diabetes. Cell. 2017;168:775-88
Saklayen, MG. The global epidemic of the metabolic syndrome. Hypertension & Obesity. 2018;20:12
Dabke K et al.. The gut microbiome and metabolic syndrome. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2019;129:4050-7
Dinicolantonio J et al.. The Immunity Fix. 2020.